There’s nothing like sitting back in a beautiful beer garden on a sunny day and enjoying a leisurely meal while you soak up the scenery – even better when it’s kid and pooch friendly. Set right alongside Cox Creek and adjacent to the Heysen Trail, the historic Bridgewater Inn is in prime position for making the most of nature’s beauty. An ideal location for lunch with the family or as the starting or end point of a walk through the area, kids can say hello to the resident ducks, explore the surrounds and even drag mum and/or dad to find the elusive ‘Fairy Garden’ (more about this later).

As far as al-fresco dining goes, you can’t get much better than the Bridgewater Inn’s split-level beer garden. It has character galore, beauty and charm aplenty, plus they boast a fantastic menu that caters to all. Featuring weekly specials like ‘Wednesday’s Schnitzel Day’, ‘Rump Thursdays’ and ‘Cheap Tuesday’, the dishes are popular with both locals and visitors. We dug into the Lamb Ragu Gnocchi and the Pressed Lamb Shoulder, both super tasty and served in generous portions. Little ones have their reasonably priced menu at the Bridgewater Inn, offering meal choices that include a drink, ice cream, and an activity pack, or just the meal itself. From chicken nuggets (dino nuggets to be exact – an important factor if you ask my kids) to a juicy beef burger, traditional fish and chips, or a tasty vegan schnitzel, there’s something to satisfy every hungry tummy. And don’t worry, your furry friends aren’t left out – they can indulge in a menu filled with nutritious treats like crispy pig ears and beef bites. Spoiled much?

A trip to Bridgewater Inn is made even more special if you set off on an adventure to explore the fairy dwellings nestled at the base of trees near Arbury Park. Whether you undertake this magical walk before a meal to whet your appetite or after to burn off any indulgence, the experience is truly charming. Keep a lookout for rabbits, koalas, and other wildlife along the scenic trail. The fairy garden stands as a testament to a successful community project, offering a simple yet captivating activity that delighted our kids. A word of advice: take a moment to read the back of the map, I missed the part where it said ‘2 km hike’ and found myself not wearing the most suitable shoes.

Speaking of shoes… during the summer, the creek transforms into a natural playground. Be prepared for the kids shoes and socks to come off as little ones happily hop from rock to rock, playing freely by the water and embracing some wet toes. It’s a carefree and fun experience that keeps them entertained, but please make sure you watch your kids at all times to ensure their safety.

Also available are plentiful highchairs along with kids umbrellas, blankets and gas heaters to keep you warm on colder days and evenings. Given the current summer weather, the water misters, when activated, offer a refreshing escape from the heat – a feature thoroughly enjoyed and tested by our own kids.

Both the upper and lower level in the Bridgewater Inn’s beer garden are serviced by an outdoor bar and provide a peaceful setting. It’s clear to see that a lot of time and effort has been put into making sure these spaces are beautiful as it can be. The staff are brilliant and the service is next to none. Don’t go home without a quick stop at the Bridgewater Mill playground, it’s right next door.

So grab your phone and send round that ‘Bridgewater Inn?’ text to plan your next family/ friend Sunday catch up here!

Bridgewater Inn
Open 7 days a week from 10am – Late
Weekday meals from 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm and 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Saturday meals from 11:30 am – 9:00 pm
Sunday meals from 11:30 am – 8 pm
Location: 387 Mt Barker Rd, Bridgewater
You can find them on Facebook or Instagram

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