Jump to content

[LifeStyle] The Black Bull Inn, Sedbergh: ‘We were properly fed and watered’ – restaurant review


Recommended Posts


It may be a classic Cumbrian pub, but the Black Bull knows how to please a far more diverse crowd
Jay Rayner
Jay Rayner
Sun 27 Nov 2022 06.00 GMT
The Black Bull Inn, 44 Main Street, Sedbergh LA10 5BL (015396 20264, theblackbullsedbergh.co.uk). Snacks £4.50-£6.50, sandwiches £6.95-£14.95, starters £9.95-£10.9, mains £18.50-£27.95, desserts £7.50-£8.50, wines from £28

It would be easy to misread the Black Bull at Sedbergh, located in that part of the Yorkshire Dales which offers a lofty wave to the Lake District. On a weekday lunchtime, the dining rooms fill quickly with parents in expensive waxed outerwear, grabbing lunch with their kids from the eponymous boarding school that dominates the town. A parade of burgers and sandwiches, precision stabbed with cocktail sticks, alongside soups with doorstep slabs of bread, troop out of the kitchen. And a pint please for the pink-cheeked, broad-chested chap with the Range Rover outside.

This may be both the Black Bull’s literal and figurative bread and butter; the way that any multi-purpose country pub earns its crust and crumb. But take a look at the bar menu that those family groups are ordering from and another story begins to unfurl. Yes, it includes beef and horseradish sandwiches, and another filled with hot roast pork from nearby Mansergh Hall Farm, famous in the Lune Valley for its outdoor-reared pigs. So far, so shabby chic. But there are other less traditional things: a chickpea and lentil curry for example, or a pork and kimchi stew, or perhaps crispy Korean beef with shiso and sesame, offered as a snack.


The same juggling act is there in the layout of the place. To the left of the front door is the bar area. It comes complete with beers from Fell Brewery, Lakes Brew Company and Timothy Taylor’s on tap. It might just satisfy furious members of the Pub Liberation Front who believe that the serving of nice things to eat in such places


is a bloody disgrace. What’s wrong with a packet of scampi fries, eh? (Nothing, as it happens.) Immediately to the right is the casual dining area, with its curving booths in red leather. Beyond that is the restaurant proper, a more austere space with raw wood panelling hung in turn with large charcoal landscapes. It’s a veritable riot of greys and blacks.

It all begins to make sense when you know more about the heritage of head chef Nina Matsunaga who runs the pub with her partner, local-born James Ratcliffe. Matsunaga was raised by Japanese parents in Dusseldorf, and brings those influences to bear on the ingredients from the surrounding hills and meadows, but in a thrillingly loose-limbed, lets-be-having-you sort of way. If it tastes good, it’s on. Recently Matsunaga was named a finalist in the chef of the year category of the Be Inclusive Hospitality awards, which celebrate diversity in the restaurant industry. Having eaten her food, I can say she very much deserves to be celebrated.

link: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2022/nov/27/the-black-bull-inn-sedburgh-restaurant-review

The Den Win GIF by MillwallFC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.