Food - The Black Horse

I’ve been meaning to review the Black Horse for ages so I ask a work colleague to accompany me, who asks another, who asks another, who makes a couple of phone calls. Pretty soon we are a table of eight, including a woman who’s fresh off the red-eye flight from New York, her tiredness offset by her fascination with the quaintness of her situation. I start trying to look at the place through her eyes. It’s a pubby pub, the Black Horse, all patterned carpet and wooden panelling, yellow paint and a darts-board and toads. Smells of England. The pub has, in recent years, been sadly deprived by its patrons of Harveys, so I order a pint of Reverend James, which is actually quite palatable.

The menu’s small but intriguing. What’s the difference, we wonder, between a Cornish pie and a Cornish pasty? The American wants to know what the hell bubble and squeak is. I can’t look past ‘Lew Howard’s renowned pork sausages’. We order a variety of things. My sausages turn out to be small, but extremely tasty in a strong herby sort of way. The bubble and squeak is declared a hit, when salt is added. It comes with mousepad-thick ham, and a fried egg. The Cornish pie is just like a Cornish pasty, in pie form. The crust is slightly burnt, and the meat-to-veg ratio is low, but every scrap is eaten. They do a nice Sunday roast there, I’m told, and are starting up a more ambitious evening menu on the ninth of this month. I don’t think the experience will be the first thing our visitor reports on back in New York, but it’s certainly a good option for a hungry person at the top end of town. AL

Horses for courses: bubble and squeak down the Black Nag

The Black Horse, 55 Western Rd
When? Lunches Served 12-2pm
How Much? £15.75 for four meals
(t) 01273 473653