Before lockdown, Wine & Dine Yorkshire was invited to wine & dine at The Black Bull, Sedbergh on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales.
Now that the hospitality industry is slowly starting to reopen, you might be looking for somewhere to visit where you are guaranteed a relaxing night with amazing food, and we can tell you that The Black Bull might just be perfect for your next weekend getaway.
The revamped 17th century coaching inn and dining room situated just along the main street is owned by head chef Nina Matsunaga and her husband James Ratcliffe and has been awarded an AA Four Gold Star Inn status as well as its first AA Rosette for culinary excellence.
Dishes on the Black Bull’s evening menu are conjured up by head chef Nina, who was jointly crowned the UK’s most Innovative Chef, alongside Gareth Ward from Ynyshir, Wales.
With a truly cosy ambiance and beautiful décor throughout the bar, restaurant and rooms, you feel at home straightaway, especially with the huge log-burner, which is perfect to sit by after a day of walking.
When we arrived, we checked in and made our way to our room. Each room is named after the hills that surround Sedbergh, with ours being named ‘Docker Knott’, a luxury double room.
The main attraction had to be the bathroom, elegantly hi-spec designed with immaculately white-tiles, a walk-in rain shower and a deep free-standing bath perfect for washing away all the cares of your day with a range of bespoke ‘Petrichor’ toiletries designed exclusively for the inn by The Sedbergh Soap Co. The bathroom is divided from the room with a glass wall, but you can pull the curtains over if you prefer.
The room was equipped with everything you would need for a night away, including a tea and coffee making kit which was a nice touch. And lastly, the bed… the perfect place to unwind with plenty of room for two to starfish and get cosy.
We had reserved a table at the restaurant which having looked at the menu prior, we couldn’t wait to have an indulge. The restaurant had a casual, stylish feel and the picturesque surroundings makes it an ideal location for a date night or celebration with family. The menu aims to create the best ‘British, European and Asian-inspired dishes’ with an array of delicious seasonal, locally-sourced and wonderfully varied dishes guaranteed to impress your taste buds. The Swordfish Beignet & Fermented Chilli Mayo from the nibbles section of the menu is what the opted for first. From the first bite, the spice warmed your mouth and the fermented chilli mayo had the right kick to complement the fish. We could’ve eaten this all night; it was a true highlight.
For starters when chose Mansergh Hall Pork Belly, Scallop, Morel & Bisque and Skrei Cod, Fermented Tea Leaves & Squid Cracker. The pork and scallop were paired beautifully together along with the rich bisque to add even more flavour to the dish. The cod was cooked to perfection and the amount of flavour packed into the squid cracker was phenomenal. Although the starters were fairly small, I believe it was the right amount especially if you are having nibbles and a main to follow.
Now it was time for the star of the show, the 40oz Shorthorn Beef Tomahawk, Lobster, Chimichurri, Black Garlic, Chips & Greens. When it arrived on our table, we had to take a minute just to stare at the beauty in front of us. (as did everyone else at the tables next to us) Ordered medium-rare, the steak was cooked to perfection, melted in your mouth and along with the chimichurri dipping sauce, it is s a dish we will not be forgetting for a long while! The buttery greens that accompanied the steak were fresh and so moreish along with the chucky, crisp chips that also when ducked in the sauce, went down a treat. This was all washed down with a bottle of Finca Decero, The Owl & The Dust Devil, a Argentinian Malbec, ‘a succulent award-winning blend with 10% of the local tannat. Dark fruit, orange peel and spice fine tannins’ which matched the flavours of the steak both thoroughly complimenting each other. The main was the highlight of the night and is a must if you love your steak and want a real treat to share with a loved one. The only downside was we had no room left for a dessert. However, we will certainly be returning and will definitely be seeing what the dessert menu has to offer next time.
The staff were extremely attentive and friendly, always on hand to help with any queries we always had and made us feel very welcome.
Overall, our stay at The Black Bull Inn was amazing, the ambiance throughout the inn made us feel at home whilst still being looked after and spoilt for choice with the food. We will certainly be returning and recommend our readers to pay this stylish coaching house a visit.
So, if you are someone who loves good quality top food along with a perfect location for a getaway with your friends, family or loved one, The Black Bull is the place for you.