The Black Horse Review
Returning to The Black Horse tucked away in the foot of the North Downs feels very much like being back amid the company of old friends. This traditional Kentish pub and restaurant is something of a locals’ favourite, and it’s easy to see why, with its exceptionally warm welcome from the Italian family who have successfully run the business for years.
The relaxed manner of Rita and the rest of the team at the venue does them credit – considering just how busy this place can often be.
For our Saturday lunchtime visit, the main restaurant appeared to be doing very brisk trade, alongside preparations being made for a wedding reception at the venue.
The restaurant has become somewhat renowned for the quality of its Sunday roasts, but on this occasion, the main general menu has more than enough to offer, including several vegetarian options. There’s also a fine specials board offering everything from partridge through to seafood dishes that are likely to please the broadest of palates.
As for our choices, this time around, I opted for one of the vegetarian dishes, the chargrilled peppers with aubergine and cheese, which proved very satisfying indeed. My wife selected the salmon dish with basil and tomato – which was well presented, and came with a separate side dish of vegetables and sauteed potatoes.
While its mains are strong, for many visiting the venue the highlight is very much its ‘trolley of temptation’, which frequently makes its way around the restaurant and is practically impossible to ignore.
I had the chocolate fudge cake, while my guest opted for the blackberry cheesecake, both of which proved particularly enjoyable.
Speaking to our hostess Rita afterwards, it appears there are more plans to continue its themed nights, which recently featured an opera evening. There are also plans afoot for a special wine tasting evening that will no doubt prove particularly popular.
With a fine selection of ales and lagers on tap, the venue’s lovely beer garden has great views of the surrounding countryside, so it’s somewhere that’s equally well suited for both a relaxed evening drink, or enjoying a family gathering watching the sun fade into the downs.
• The Black Horse, Fiddling Lane, Monks Horton, Ashford TN25 6AP, call 01303 812182 or visit www.theblackhorse.uk.com