The Black Cow was renovated a little while ago returning it to the status of village pub at the heart of Dalbury Lees. It retains many of the features of a village pub, a convivial bar area where locals gather in the evening, tables that can be used for dining and bar meals, a snooker room and a separate restaurant which can accommodate small parties as well as couples dining.
It has resisted the temptation to be dragged into the chic world of leather, scrubbed tables and stone floors, the mark of boutique pubs; instead the Black Cow has stayed faithful to the tradition of the English pub. The decoration is in warm reds and creams with minimum fuss and on cold nights a fire roars in the bar. It certainly wasn’t a cold evening when we dined and with the doors and windows open it created a cool breeze. John is the new manager at the Black Cow and gave us a friendly greeting. After a lengthy discussion with my husband about the moving trends in real ale; all of which I’m sure I have heard somewhere before, we took our drinks through to the dining room.
Here we could choose from the bar menu, summer specials or all day dining menu. With the temperature rising we decided to choose a lighter summer meal. The food is freshly prepared in the kitchen so timing will depend on how busy they are. As the evening was rather oppressive we chose light summer starters; tomato and mozzarella served with a pesto oil as well as fresh basil(£6.95) and I had the tiger prawns served with a dusting of paprika and cumin with a chilli sauce (£7.50). For main course my chicken supreme was served on a bed of mixed Mediterranean vegetables surrounded by diced, roasted sweet potato (£12.65).
The chicken had a lovely crisp skin and there was plenty of white meat. My husband’s sea bass was gently pan fried and served on top of a creamy risotto with a hint of crab and beans. (£13.50) If we had needed anything else there was a dish of broccoli, cauliflower and new potatoes.
Thankfully the desserts are all home made so we finished with passion fruit cheese cake and almond tart (£4.50). The Black Cow has a comprehensive wine list and is open for food 7 days a week. Set in such beautiful rural countryside yet within easy commuting distance of Derby it also offers bed and breakfast accommodation in 7 en-suite rooms. For bookings contact: 01332 824297 firstname.lastname@example.org