Pub still serving up an excellent feast
The Black Dog at Belmont is a pub loved by thousands of Lancashire folk.
The landmark hostelry is a popular stopping off point for walkers, cyclists, runners or just people out for a Sunday drive into the beautiful Lancashire countryside.
Having been there many times over the years, it dawned on me I could not remember ever eating there.
Wimbledon men’s finals day seemed the perfect opportunity to give it a try.
So would the Black Dog serve up a winning feast?
We arrived at lunchtime en route home to watching Andy Murray’s stunning victory.
A short drive from Chorley, Bolton and the Blackburn area, the Black Dog is a popular haunt for many people enjoying a weekend off.
It was quieter than usual on the Sunday as most of the county was probably getting ready for Wimbledon, but it allowed us space to appreciate the lovely refurbishment it had undergone earlier this year.
The pub is situated in the picturesque and perfectly English village of Belmont - worth a visit on its own.
The pub first opened in 1825 and was previously a farmhouse.
It is believed, in the 1700s, part of the bar area was used as a village courthouse.
The pub is known for its warm and quaint atmosphere. Its homely feel with open-hearth coal fires has become popular with hikers and cyclists who regularly make the Black Dog their port of call as they navigate around Rivington and surrounding areas.
The new menu and surroundings have been sympathetically designed to blend it with its heritage.
And in truth the quality of the food and the surroundings are top notch - and not pricy in the slightest.
After a three-mile walk around the nearby reservoir and surrounding country lanes, we were pretty peckish.
The menu is varied from light bites to Sunday lunches, steaks and burgers.
I choose the chicken kebab hanging skewer (£10.75).
It came with pitta bread, a bowl of spicy coated chips, a lethal garlic butter and salad.
It was certainly a filling tasty lunch.
My partner chose the pulled lamb and black pudding shepherd’s pie (£8.25).
It came with a good portion of diced carrot and swede and braised red cabbage, and, like my main course, was absolutely fresh and piping hot.
This imaginative dish has already given us ideas for a home-made version.
Of course I had to try a nice a nice glass of one of Holt’s traditional bitters and it did not disappoint.
A dark rum and coke and a diet cola to quench the thirst completed the meal for both of us before we drove home for an appointment with Wimbledon.
The total bill came to a very reasonable £27.18 and the service was swift, pleasant and efficient.
And dog lovers will be pleased to note the Black Dog is dog-friendly.
A winning combination – game, set and match I would say.