The Fire Pit
For many years we have been discussing ideas of cooking on solid fuel, and in this long period of closure and restrictions with lockdown after lockdown we decided to turn that idea into a reality. For many weeks in early 2021 we would be busy designing and building during the week, and by Thursday would be frantically cleaning and packing the building equipment in the kitchen; ready to cook takeaways by the weekend. Come March, we even went as mad as to cut the supply of the gas leading to the kitchen, and selling our electric oven- so there was no going back! Our wood burning hearth in our kitchen is our sole form of heat to cook with, and our wood-burning oven also doubles-up to produces the embers and coals for use under pan rings, grill, and stove top (self-producing charcoal). Some might think it mad, some might think it brave. We just love it, and are proud of what we have converted to, using a more sustainable source of fuel. The wood comes from just up the road and is 80% kiln dried; can't get more local than that.
Gill and Alex met when they both worked and managed a Hotel and wedding venue. This was followed by various roles that culminated in becoming management couple for a village pub. When this was put on the market they decided that it was the time to stop working for others and turn their years of experience and working together into their own place. Alex is a highly trained and experienced chef and manager and Gill has many years of working and managing front of house. Coupled with the fact they had managed to work together for many years; without killing each other...the Black River Inn was born. After three weeks of refurb, on 22 June 2018 the Black River Inn opened its' doors for the first time. Whatever and however they choose, Gill and Alex always wanted to pub to remain a pub whilst still offering quality food and drink. An emphasis on keeping it local, food and drink being fun, produce speaking for itself are just a few of the business ethos they have chosen to take.
Image credit: Steve Haywood Photography
Alex and Gill have served many fantastic menus, following various food trends etc. A lover both of dining, eating out and going to the pub, their main priority now is to ensure food is fun, that their is less of the 'fluff' that can accompany food trends and more of allowing the produce to speak for itself. 90% of all food stuffs are sourced locally. Keeping to a rolling menu, that can change regularly depending on when the produce is at its' best, thus ensuring a great food experience with minimal food miles. The current menu offers British (or should we say Black River Inn) tapas, which is not only a very sociable way to eat but also allows for the opportunity to taste lots of different things or fantastic main meals that showcase some delicious and clever dishes. We even grow an amount of food items right here in the BRI garden and greenhouse; can't get lower food miles than that.
The bar is well stocked. Again where possible drinks have been sourced locally. A house ale doesn't feature on this bar, instead a rolling variety of ale can be found here, all extremely varied but with something to suit all tastes. Westcountry gins, soft drinks, rums, ethical and fair trade coffee sourced from Cornish roaster etc are just a few of the other drinks on offer. An annual beer festival with lots of beer (and more) and plenty of live music has become a yearly date to look forward to.