Black Lion on Welsh Row

Nantwich’s oldest pub, The Black Lion on Welsh Row, has seen many chapters in its long history, writes Jan Roberts.

That includes the empty and shady period of the 90s when it was known as the Drunken Duck with scantily clad barmaids!

Thankfully, nowadays this historic town gem is attracting customers for all the right reasons particularly when it comes to food.

And it was my pleasure to sample the delights of a new menu devised by landlord Darren Snell who has worked for some of the world’s best restaurants including the famous Dorchester in London.

While I can only dream of enjoying its £1200 a night splendour, dining at The Black Lion offers a taste sensation worthy of any five-star hotel but at pocket-friendly prices.

Indeed its Google ratings, of which there are many, are just a shade below a full five stars after serving hundreds of satisfied customers.

And after my Friday lunchtime visit I can see why they made the effort to post such glowing reviews.

From the specials board I opted for a waistline-friendly grilled cod fillet served with vegetable rice, oyster sauce and spring onions.

The fish was a beautifully cooked melt-in-the-mouth experience and the rice, very tasty.

black lion fish dish

All washed down with a chilled Sauvignon blanc, fantastic quality for a house white.

My lunchtime companion, Nantwich News editor Pete Leydon, enjoyed a hearty steak and ale pie and chips and pint of Cheshire Cat, from the Weetwood brewery at Kelsall.

The Black Lion is well-known for its ales and he assured me it lived up to its description as ‘very easy drinking.’

Dessert? Yes please! Who can resist salted caramel and vanilla ice cream, especially in two sizeable dollops, enough for two spoons.

black lion dessert

This was the lunchtime menu but there’s no skimping on portion sizes and the fab company and ambience hit the spot.

I love also the ethos of The Black Lion.

As much as possible is locally sourced to cut down on food miles and support Cheshire businesses.

Food is served Thursday to Sunday and is a refreshing change to the usual pub grub – chips or “fried beige” with everything.

It’s been a busy summer drawing many to the pub’s pretty floral garden where Darren’s green fingers have been busy tending beautiful blooms.

As colder months approach, The Black Lion comes into its own with a roaring log fire and candle-lit cosiness.

Dating back to 1664, The Black Lion is the oldest pub in town to have always been an inn and it’s incredible to think of the people who have passed through. As one follower put it on Facebook: “If only your walls could talk Black Lion.”

Indeed there’s one spirit behind the bar who just won’t leave – the ghost of Charlie whose footsteps have been heard by many employees.

For great food and drink The Black Lion can’t be faulted.

And every visit helps Darren and team preserve this piece of history for future generations.

Call to book on 01270 628711 or email [email protected]

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