It’s been a long time coming, but the Black Bull Inn at Moulton is up and running and we’ve been.
If you need a bit of background on the famous Black Bull at Moulton then read our earlier blog (or my review in the Yorkshire Post). Suffice to say, it was the place to eat in the 70s and 80s under George and Audrey Pagenham until their retirement in 2006.
Thereafter it fell into decline until it was bought 18 months ago by Provenance Inns – Michael Ibbotson and Chris Blundell - the people behind the Carpenters Arms, Felixkirk, the Oak Tree at Helperby, the Crown and Cushion at Welburn, the Punch Bowl at Marton cum Grafton and the Durham Ox at Crayke.
When they took possession the BB was in a state. It had been stripped bare and as Ibbotson recalls, ‘most of it was under water’. Instead of a quick makeover they were forced to call in the builders. It took 18 months of hard graft to bring it back to life, but they have done so now and it’s remarkable.
Don’t come looking for the old vine covered conservatory, the Brighton Belle railway carriage or the oak-panelled seafood bar. Actually, the panelling has been saved; taken out piece by piece, French polished, and put back in the bar and private dining room, but apart from that, the head of a black bull over the fireplace and some 70s melamine place mats, that’s about all that was saved. Today the place looks totally different, especially the dramatic new dining room, a 100 cover glass extension overlooking a terrace for outdoor dining with a life size black bull sculpture.
The menu is in line with the rest of the Provenance group in that it’s generous, good food with something for everyone and more than a nod to the old Black Bull with oysters, Dover sole, lobster thermidor as well as fish pie, seafood pancake, and posh prawn cocktail. Chateaubriand for two is a pricey £59.95 but when was fillet steak ever cheap? It’s grilled on their mighty charcoal Bertha grill and comes on a board with chips, onion rings, rocket and a béarnaise or peppercorn sauce and as one slid past our table, it looked terrific.
Provenance is the chain that gives the exception to the rule that chains are invariably bad news. We can only cheer every time a dead or dying North Yorkshire pub falls into their hands which they then artfully convert into an appealing place to eat and drink. And there’s still more than a few decrepit outfits they could profitably target.
Moulton, Richmond, North Yorkshire DL10 6QJTel 01325 377566
Review by Jill, 26 May 2014blog comments powered by Disqus