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Check out the stylish renovations at East Halton’s Black Bull Inn

THE village pub that is the Black Bull Inn in East Halton looks to be in for a positive future, with high-quality, affordable food remaining at the heart of the plans.

Check out the stylish renovations at East Halton’s Black Bull Inn

After a major refurbishment of the restaurant, which has been transformed from a dated, dark room into a beautiful contemporary dining area with fabulous fixtures and fittings, the sky is the limit for owner/manager Stephen Gorwood.

"A good number of people have had a say in the design and we are really pleased," Stephen said.

"We haven't finished yet, as we will continue to improve the Black Bull well into the future, but we are very happy with how things have turned out in the restaurant."

The garden room, which was an old-style conservatory, has been closed in, creating a lovely, cosy space with large doors that open out onto the rear decking and the beer garden, which is perfect for the summer months.

Stephen has used lightweight, sustainable tiles on the roof of the garden room, always keen to look to new and innovative ideas for his renovation project.

He said: "The new fireplace, which is in the snug, would normally draw warm air in from a cavity wall, but on the other side of the wall that it hangs on are the fridges in the bar area.

"The fridges generate a lot of warm air so I decided to re-route this air towards the fireplace and use this as a way of moving it away from the fridges. It has made everything much more efficient!"

Of course, the decor is just the icing on the cake, as Stephen and his team redesigned the menu last year in order to streamline it and ensure that freshly cooked, homemade ingredients were used. Many of these are delivered daily from local suppliers.

Along with head chef Robert Bentley, Stephen and the team are looking forward to introducing the spring and summer menu, which has been specially created to complement the season.

Starters include treats such as wild mushrooms on toast (£4.95) with chive and garlic cream, toasted ciabatta and cress, pan-seared scallops (£7.95) with pea puree, purple sprouting broccoli, chive puff pastry tuile and belly pork croquette, potted ham hock (£5.95) with chilli cheddar scones, traditional chutney and a cider-dressed salad, among others.

For your main, sit back and enjoy mouth-watering delights such as chicken stew (£10.95), a dish of crispy skin chicken breast, crispy bacon, baby leeks, portobello mushroom, new potatoes and fine beans; pan-fried sea bass (£13.95) with clams, samphire, slow-roasted heritage tomatoes, roasted rosemary new potatoes and rocket; or risotto primavera (£9.95) with peas, purple sprouting broccoli, herb oil, broad beans, fine beans, puff pastry tuile and watercress.

Many of the dishes on the menu are suitable for vegetarians and there are plenty of gluten free options.

The traditional pub menu includes beer battered haddock (£8.95), pie of the week (£8.95) and bangers & mash (£8.50) while light bites of caesar salad (3.95) and soup of the day (£3.95) are also available.

And let's not forget the grill menu, which has not only a whole range of burgers, steaks and surf and turf options, there is also a veggie burger!

The dessert menu is equally as fabulous, offering scrumptious treats such as chocolate fondant, rhubarb & custard and blueberry bakewell.

If this isn't enough, don't forget the Sunday lunch menu, one of the most popular meals at the Black Bull Inn, offering customers what they would expect from a one, two or three course Sunday lunch, and much more!

The pub has continued to serve food whilst refurbishments have been ongoing and will continue to do so in the future – though looking at the beautiful restaurant today, there seems to be little more Stephen and his team can do to make it any better ... it's wonderful!

Of course, the restaurant is not the only focus of staff at the Black Bull, who are also passionate about the need to keep local pubs alive.

To that end, they are aiming to attract local groups to use it as a meeting place and it is also a favourite for walkers, as they park their cars in the car park, head off for places such as Thornton Abbey, and return to either a meal in the restaurant, a drink in the beer garden or a coffee in the garden room.

Customers are welcome to bring dogs into the bar area.

Stephen is also keen for customers to make the most of the lovely new restaurant as a function room, but there is also a large barbecue outside should people want to make the most of the outdoors this summer.

To find out more, or to book at meal, call 01469 540828 or visit the website at

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