Black Bull, Moulton
The Black Bull holds fond memories for anyone who ate out in Yorkshire in the 70s when British food was still a joke and we would drive to the furthest corner of North Yorkshire for a decent meal, in particular to the white-washed pub at Moulton to eat oysters and white wine in their wood-panelled seafood bar or Yorkshire grouse in the Brighton Belle dining car, a beautiful old railway carriage with lace curtains and pretty carriage lamps.
The Bull was run for some 40 years by George and Audrey Pagenham until their retirement in 2006 after which it went into steady decline until it was purchased by Michael Ibbotson of Provenance Inns, owner of Carpenters Arms, the Oak Tree, the Punch Bowl and the rest. He spent 18 months and a small fortune bringing this much-loved pub back to life.
The railway carriage went – on a low loader to Derby where the 5Bel Trust are restoring it to go back on the mainline. Meantime Ibbotson was adding a sparkling new dining room in glass and steel and in the Provenance way, adding Yorkshire tweeds and wood burning stoves and turning the cherished seafood bar into a private dining room.
Elsewhere there’s little recognisable of the old Black Bull. No matter, it’s warm, comfortable, even glamorous. And the menu? Like the rest in the group it offers reliable, low risk family fare of fish and chips, burgers, fish pie and good value £7 dishes taken before 7pm.
In homage to the past, they also go big on steak and seafood with seafood platter, Lindisfarne oysters, scallops and lobster and if you’ve never had Chateaubriand (for two) here is a good place to sample it grilled on Big Bertha, their state of the art charcoal oven. It comes with onion rings, skinny fries, rocket salad and a jug of Bearnaise or peppercorn sauce. You won’t leave hungry.