The Union Canal is one of my favourite places in my adopted new home town and I’m loving it even more now.
I do a lot of cycling now after buying a second hand bike for 40 quid from the Dawson Bike Club in Bainsford and my rusty old sidekick has become a close companion in recent months as I work on my fitness.
I’m also a great outdoors freak and the cycle from the Falkirk Wheel to Linlithgow is a perfect fit for me combining beautiful scenery with a challenging 22-mile round trip.
Instead of going all the way into Linlithgow along the canal I sometimes cut off just before the Avon Aqueduct because it’s so high and I’m scared of heights and the best point to do that is at the Causewayend Bridge just down the road from Muiravonside Country Park.
It’s here that the Bridge 49 Cafe Bar & Bistro has sprouted up out of nowhere on the canal bank to add a refreshing new feature along the popular waterway.
It’s a purpose-built cafe and bar through the week which does evening meals at weekends. Being a new build it is very modern, warm and colourful with an impressive high triangular ceiling and high spec fittings and fixtures. The location looking out onto the canal is just amazing, a view I could take in all day long.
The food is similar to the view, very good, and head chef Matthew Currie has a few good ideas on his delicious menu - most notably the black pudding and goats cheese tower although you get two black puddings where just one would do, but the dish is superb, very tasty.
The other starter we had was the smoked salmon and prawn platter which is always a winner for me.
I opted for the fillet steak from the specials menu for my main while my girlfriend chose the chicken Balmoral. The dishes were big and succulent and the whisky sauce was a perfect accompaniment for both. The chips with the steak were brilliant - crispy and light and coated with a mild spice to add extra flavour and kick. Lovely.
My daughter got the macaroni cheese with garlic bread from the kids menu and she slapped my hand a couple of times when I tried to steal a forkful because it was so nice. I hate it when people do that to me. For dessert we all shared sticky toffee pudding and hot chocolate fudge cake with ice cream which were hot, sticky and yummy.
It would be great to see more quality venues like this to add a bit of life and leisure along Falkirk’s canals to help people enjoy them more.
Bridge 49 Cafe Bar & Bistro,Causewayend, Muiravonside, By Linlithgow.