Char Bistro is the award winning restaurant in the Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore. This is an iconic Irish hotel, and one of the finest in the midlands and serving Ireland’s Ancient East. The elegant foyer and sweeping staircase with statement chandeliers is oppulent.
At the present time the safety of their customers and staff are a priority and they have taken all the necessary precautions for CoVid-19, with masked staff and sanitizer stations located throughout while still making your experience the best they can offer.
Char Bistro has received a complete makeover, and the mosaic floors, well spaced tables and chairs in a variety of colours is a welcoming sight. The bar and kitchens are on view, and the cocktail list is a feature here, with mixologists given a free rein to be creative and imaginative, while ensuring the classics are just so.
There is an all-day menu, which is casual and crowd pleasing. I opted for the fish cakes which were a generous helping of 2 cakes made with plenty of the freshest of fish with an Asian fusion of flavours from the sweet chilli and ginger served on a bed of leaves with a mixed herb salsa.
My daughter was excited to see her favourite house chicken wings with a spicy sauce, again an exceptionally generous serving, served with a blue cheese dip. If you were just looking for a light bite, a couple of these starters would hit the spot.
Steak is a thing here, so I went with the 10oz Irish sirloin steak with all the trimmings. That’s an unusual choice for me but it looked fabulous and a lot of people seemed to be ordering it so I needed to see for myself. It was cooked beautifully and was overly generous. I had the pepper sauce but there was also Gaelic sauce or garlic butter, and the flavour was deep and rich and satisfying. It’s easy to forget how good Irish produce is.
Keisha went in entirely the opposite direction, picking the vegetarian option of penne pasta primavera, which was a colourful selection of vegetables in a creamy tomato sauce and lots of freshly grated parmesan.
One thing became very apparent when our mains arrived, a big appetite is required as the portions were definitely larger than average. We were two happy bunnies after this feast and some time out was required before even thinking of desserts.
Choices ranged from cheesecake to apple pie to a chocolate brownie. I ordered the homemade cheesecake which came with fresh cream and berry coulis while Keisha opted for brownie which was served with fresh cream and ice cream. Both were absolutely delicious and again no exception to the rule at Bridge Bar & Char Bistro; both extra generous servings, in all honesty we could have shared one.
Don’t forget the Bridge House leisure club and the wonderful spa. In the current times you need to book into both as numbers are restricted. We went for a swim, but to be honest most of the time was spent in the outdoor hot tub which was so rejuvenating and a little surreal as you are looking down over the Bridge Shopping Centre.
After this, it was time for the spa. We were greeted at the entrance, filled in the required paperwork, and before we knew it we were being introduced to our therapists and the pampering began. Keisha relaxed through a back, neck & shoulder massage and an Elemis facial while I did the full body massage with hot stones. We felt fabulous afterwards, it’s so important to do a little bit of self care in these challenging times. Elizabeth the salon manager and Leanne and the rest of the team couldn’t have been nicer, or more professional.
Next time you find yourself anywhere near Tullamore, make the diversion and visit the Bridge Bar & Char Bistro at the Bridge House Hotel; it’s a real treat, and if you have the time don’t miss some ‘you time’ in the spa.