Last month I was invited to The Black Horse in Great Linford, Milton Keynes to take an exclusive first look at their newly refurbished restaurant and stunning new interior. The Black Horse (probably one of the most well known pubs in MK) is a premium pub, bar, and restaurant located in an idyllic waterside setting next to the Grand Union Canal.
The location is perfect for a refreshing drink, a quick bite to eat, or a delicious Sunday roast. They offer a great selection of pub food with a twist, plus a fantastic range of wines and drinks. I visited The Black Horse press night along with Gavin and my parents for a wonderful evening meal.
The Black Horse was closed for a couple of weeks whilst they underwent a major refurb inside to give it a more modern, stylish and contemporary feel. The restaurant has had a makeover from top to bottom with new lighting, seating and stylish decor touches. I love how they’ve managed to keep the traditional country pub feel whilst updating and modernising the interior in a very sophisticated way.
Upon arrival we received a very warm welcome from the staff into their bright and cosy bar area. We took a look around the pub and explored the new seating areas, which although previously I thought were nice, now the whole place is truly stunning!
Over the summer I visited The Black Horse on a few occasions to enjoy a drink in the sunshine. The outdoor seating area overlooks the canal and is a tranquil place to relax. They’ve given the outdoor terrace a total makeover and the new decked area is ideal for a spot of al fresco dining on a hot, summer’s day. It looks so pretty lit up in the evening too!
I absolutely love the new greenhouse style roofing on the booths and the pretty fresh live flowers lining the area. It’s a great space to relax, unwind, and soak up the sunshine with your favourite tipple in hand!
We were offered a G&T upon arrival and then led to the gin infusion table to add any garnishes to our glass of Tanqueray gin. I added some watermelon flavouring and fresh fruit to my glass which was very refreshing! The Black Horse has a vast drinks menu and they have introduced a brand new range of seasonal cocktails.
You can even enjoy 2 for £10 cocktails Monday to Friday between 12 – 7pm! Plus, if you sign up to their newsletter, you will be rewarded with a complimentary Hendricks G&T! They also offer an extensive range of premium spirits, beautiful wines, champagne, craft beers and refreshing ciders.
The first thing we got to try was a huge platter of appetizers to nibble and share with various little portions from their menu. The platter included deep fried brie, falafels, crispy duck, pate and chutney, lobster and crab croquettes, and mini fish and chips. It was a good sign of the yumminess to come! The deep fried brie was a definite favourite for me, as well as the crispy duck.
After enjoying our appetizers in the casual bar area of the pub, we were then led to the more formal and beautifully styled dining room by our very helpful waiter. After browsing their very thoughtfully put together menu, we ordered our food which started off with a baked camembert to share, the lobster and king prawn pot, and the chargrilled lamb koftas.
I shared the camembert with my Dad and it’s the perfect size for two people. It was topped with an omega seed sprinkle and came with a sweet cherry and thyme dip and warm dough sticks to dip. The lobster and king prawn pot came with Devon crab crème fraiche and toasted ciabatta bread, whilst the lamb koftas came with cucumber ribbons, mooli, kale and cauliflower couscous salad and warm katsu sauce.
For my main course I opted for the 7oz fillet steak which came with twice-cooked chunky chips and the most delicious ale-glazed shallot tart topped with Cropwell Bishop custard, stilton and walnut crumb. This tart was probably my favourite part of the whole meal to be honest.. it was sooo good! I absolutely loved the flavours and I would definitely order it as a starter if it was an option!
It made a wonderful side to the steak which was very succulent and juicy and cooked just how I like it. They also have a choice of steak sauces available – peppercorn, Béarnaise, beef dripping, king prawn and garlic butter or lobster and garlic butter.. yum!
My dad ordered the Diablo pizza which was topped with chorizo, pepperoni, bacon, mozzarella, jalapeños and red chilli. The hand-stretched pizza had a lovely thin and crispy base and the toppings were full of flavour. Their main menu is full of delicious options such as panchetta carbonara, Wagyu burger, roasted rack of lamb and buttermilk southern-fried chicken. I love that the menu includes popular choices with a contemporary twist, and everything was beautifully presented.
The dessert menu at The Black Horse is phenomenal! I definitely have a sweet tooth so I will always have dessert after dinner! The menu includes so many of my favourite desserts that it made it tough to choose, but in the end I was intrigued by the melting chocolate and peanut bomb. I love chocolate and I love peanut butter, so I knew that I had made the right choice.
I was presented with a gorgeous sleek, shiny chocolate ball which the waiter then covered with hot salted caramel sauce which he poured all over. The hot sauce caused the chocolate ball to crack which then revealed a piece of sticky toffee pudding and peanut butter cream in the middle. It was also served with Bourbon vanilla ice cream and the whole thing was truly delicious and not too sickly.
Gavin ordered the warm Belgian chocolate brownie (his favourite!) which came with Bourbon vanilla ice cream and again was nicely presented with a bit of chocolate sauce. He really enjoyed the brownie as it was nice and moist unlike some places where it can be a little bit dry. I tried a bit and I agree – it was very yummy!
My Dad loves an apple crumble so he went for the homemade apple and blackberry crumble which was topped with a Demerara crumb and served with custard in a mini frying pan. It was a lovely comforting winter pudding and is perfect at the time of year to warm you up.
There were so many options on the dessert menu that I will definitely be up for trying on my next visit! Their sharing dessert sounded amazing. It comes with a bit of everything – chocolate brownie, baked vanilla cheesecake, mango and berry meringue mess, and an Bourbon vanilla ice cream cookie sandwich!
The Black Horse is definitely worth a visit if you’re local or visiting the area – it’s got a lovely cosy country pub atmosphere and a vast menu with lots of choice. The refurb has really made the pub stand out from other venues in Milton Keynes and it would make a wonderful restaurant for a special occasion. The service and the quality of food was second to none and I would 100% recommend The Black Horse. And if you’re after an impressive dessert then definitely try the melting chocolate and peanut bomb!