The Black Bull

Etal, TD12 4TL

Alnwick, Northumberland

Cuisine: British, Gastro Pub

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About The Black Bull

Atmospheric pub dining in Etal, Northumberland

Based beside the River Till and a crumbling Medieval castle, The Black Bull in Etal village is the only thatched pub in Northumberland. Recently, this atmospheric pub, restaurant and beer garden has been refurbished to make it even more welcoming to locals and visitors. Yet if you are expecting a classically English menu, then there is a welcome twist — the Italian chef means that many of the classics on offer have an added Sardinian vibe.

Gastropub dining with a Sardinian Twist

Now under new management, The Black Bull also has a new ethos — to build strong relationships with local food suppliers and producers. This includes sourcing flour from a historic mill on the banks of the Till, as well as goats’ cheese from an artisan producer and sausages from a local farmer.

The kitchen team serve up traditional pub fare with an added sprinkle of sunny Sardinian flavours. Menus can change, but sample starters might include black pudding bon-bon with ham hock and apple plum chutney; beetroot-infused, home-cured salmon with herbs and crème fraîche, and cod fish cake with tarragon mayonnaise.

Mains might feature braised slow-cooked ox cheek with smoked mashed potatoes and root vegetables; fresh mussel stew in a tomato & white wine sauce, and the pub’s own 60z beef & bacon burger in a baked-on-site brioche bun.

Veggies can tuck into dishes such as butternut arborio risotto with parmesan shavings. A children’s menu is available too.

The bar serves beers and ales from the local Cheviot micro-brewery, as well as a wide range of spirits and wines.

Etal attractions and transport links

A meal at The Black Bull makes for a lovely, tranquil day trip. After dining, you could take a walk along the River Till, stop by the ruins of Etal Castle and also explore the pretty village with its thatched cottages. You could also take a short steam train trip from Etal to historic Heatherslaw Cornmill on the local light railway. Berwick-on-Tweed, various sandy beaches and The Holy Island of Lindisfarne with its castle are all less than a half hour drive away.

Menus for The Black Bull