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“2nd review, 2nd time there, deserves another mention”
Review of Black Bull Inn

Black Bull Inn
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Black Bull Inn
Ranked #1 of 1 Matfen B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Durham, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“2nd review, 2nd time there, deserves another mention”
Reviewed September 29, 2013 via mobile

We drove into Northumberland on a nice sunny September day, especially to return to the black bull. We had a great night there one summers eve a few months ago after visiting matfen hall & decided to return to visit the place again.
Once again, the village looked beautiful, the locals were really chatty & friendly, and the pub owners recognised us, and were again welcoming, chatty and friendly. The place is an utter gem. Yet again the food was lovely. Ploughmans lunches, which were super filling, and served with a side order of chips that are just delightful. The menu is small, but that's not a criticism. The food we have had there both times has been lovely. It's a pub with a small staff base, and owners who are brilliant at looking after their customers, so the levels of service are high, because your being looked after by people who have a vested interest in what they do. They even source seasonal potatoes to make sure their chips are the best.
It was a relaxing afternoon, chilling out, playing pool, chatting with the owners and locals and generally enjoying the atmosphere that a proper pub with proper beers & proper history is all about. It now has the addition of an old school turntable to play LPs, which adds to the atmosphere. I'd rather travel 40 minutes to get there to sample a proper pub, than go a few miles to visit my local "chain" pub that tries to pretend to be like the black bull & has staff who just want to throw some overpriced, precooked microwaved fayre at you. I've given everything 5 stars, except rooms, as I haven't seen them, and I'm not sure it has rooms. If it had, I've no doubt we would have just stayed there all night. It feels more like you are guests in someone's home than being in a pub.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank camer0n34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ali_Patta, Owner at Black Bull Inn, responded to this review, September 30, 2013
Thank so much for that really great review. It means everything to us that people have a lovely experience here and you're right, I do want to make it feel homely and welcoming for visitors. I don't have rooms here unfortunately, but if you were to tow a caravan to the car park....?! I was delighted to see Izzy again, she is such a great little character, and I was really pleased that you came all this way just for a ploughman's and a pint. Do come back again and stay in touch.
With best regards,
Ali Cassidy
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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70 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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  • English first
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English first
Durham, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 28, 2013 via mobile

Friendly service, great ale, record player, and the best lamb curry my wife and I have had in a long while - perfect.
I only wish our local was this good.
If your staying at Matfen Hall like we were it's definitely worth a wander to.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank Julesandsharky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ali_Patta, Owner at Black Bull Inn, responded to this review, September 30, 2013
Thank you for your review. Feedback is really important to us to make sure we're getting things right so it's much appreciated. We hope to see you again over the winter when the pub's all warm and cosy - hearty winter food is our speciality.
Alison Cassidy, Licensee.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2013

We were staying in Matfen Hall and went for a walk after dinner. Matfen is a small village, with a green, tea shop and the sounds of a ping pong coming from the community hall.
The Black Bull has great beer and very friendly atmosphere with fellow patrons that gave us good tips on what to see in 'the North' Thanks Dave & Linda. But the other Dave's tip to see Rochester was a bit off as the Paleolithic site in Rochester closed up seven years ago. But it was a great drive thru the Northumbria Park.
It was the last night for Lindsay behind the bar, a perfect bartender that will do great at her next gig. After one night I felt sorry to see her go.
We did meet the chef and the menu looks far better than a typical pub. Will eat there next time instead of going to Corbridge.
It's a great small and personal pub and I hope to return.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank pcplod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, England, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
49 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2013

My husband and I and two friends visited the Black Bull on Saturday afternoon - nice to be greeted with a smile from all the staff. The landlady gave us full descriptions of all the meals and if it was not there they would see what they could do ............ I had one of the best Ploughman's I have had for a long time; wonderful selection of excellent cheeses and home cooked ham, Parma ham, gherkins, onions, locally baked bread and more.
Such a pity we were booked into a hotel for an evening meal because I really wanted the line caught pan friend trout with salted potatoes etc - next time!
Oh touring instructions - the landlady was spot on with her road nos, better than the sat nav.
We will visit again.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Anne C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2013

My mam and I went for lunch at the Black Bull today, and both had line-caught trout with crushed potatoes. This was presented beautifully with a salad on the side, and was some of the tastiest fish I've ever had!

I was told that the trout has only just been added to the menu; the menu is seasonal and changes from week to week.

The owners Alison and Nigel are very welcoming and keep a very good pub, with different real ales (always a choice of 4) every few weeks from the local Wylam brewery.

All in all, a lovely experience and can't wait to be back to see what's new on their food and drink menus!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Rwilson1991
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cupar, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2013

Stopped here late afternoon after visiting Go Ape at Matfen Hall. We asked if they were still serving food, we were assured they were. We ordered 2 BLTs and a Sausage on a Roll with chips. The chips were lovely, the same can't be said for the BLTs. The bacon looked and tasted like it had been cooked for breakfast much earlier in the day, then re-heated in the microwave. The rolls tasted stale, overall the presentation was very poor.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank megzig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ali_Patta, Owner at Black Bull Inn, responded to this review, July 28, 2013
I'm really sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your BLTs when you visited. I've looked back through all the checks and can see that you did indeed order 2 x BLT's with no tomato, chips and a sausage sandwich. I can assure you that everything is cooked to order and that nothing is microwaved or cooked earlier to reheat. I remember last Sunday as an exceptionally busy one,but that is no excuse for poor service. Had you complained to me at the time, I would have waived the cost of the sandwiches. However, as you didn't, I'd like to offer you replacements upon your next visit, to make up for your disappointment last week. Please get in touch again soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 21, 2013 via mobile

I've just returned home from a weekend at Matfen Hall. We took the dog to the hotel & decided that rather than have a meal in the hotel, we would go to the black bull in the village, and involve the dog. We walked her through to the pub which is literally a stones throw through the churchyard, over the village green to the pub. It was an excellent decision, and recommended. The owners and all the locals are so friendly it's fantastic!...we arrived too late for food, but they happily rustled up two bowls of really tasty home made chips, and then sat with us, and even gave us advice on which attractions to visit before returning home. We then sat outside the pub all evening, chatting with the pub owners, and several locals, who were all so friendly and welcoming, while everyone made a fuss of the dog. The place is a total gem. We left the pub and returned to the hotel later that evening a little worse for wear, and after clearing our heads we went back to the pub for lunch the next day, which was ploughman a and Spanish ham salad...which contained some home grown ingredients as I'd seen the chef bring in some chives from a garden somewhere. Food was really nice, I would recommend to anyone, if they're anywhere near matfen, and enjoy a pub with good ales & good crack....that's the place to go. And if you have a Staffordshire bull terrier, make sure your dog says hello to theirs!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank camer0n34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Black Bull Inn

Property: Black Bull Inn
Address: Northside, Matfen NE20 0RP, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Northumberland > Matfen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Matfen
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A traditional English pub (no B&B or rooms) in the beautiful village setting of Matfen. Serving a choice of five excellent Wylam Brewery ales as well as a good choice of well-known and well kept beers, fine wines, spirits and soft drinks. Fresh home cooked bar food is served Friday - Sunday with a small choice of home-cooked food and bar snacks. The Black Bull has everything you would want in a pub; warm, welcoming and friendly. Our games room includes a pool table, darts board, cards, dominoes and board games as well as a juke box and comfortable seating. Dogs and well-behaved children are very welcome! Winter opening hours Monday-Thursday 4pm - 10.30Pm. Friday 3pm - 11pm. Saturday Noon - 11pm, and Sunday Noon - 10pm. PLEASE NOTE: Large parties (over 10 people) cannot be catered for unless booked in advance. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Black Bull Hotel Matfen
Black Bull Inn Matfen, Northumberland

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