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Black Horse, Great Linford

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user reviews of the Black Horse, Great Linford

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Very good description of the pub by the last reviewer.

Absolutely packed on a sunny Saturday afternoon and queuing out of the door to get to the bar.

Plenty of outside space plus a sandpit for my eldest to run around and play in without disturbing anyone.

Great location and outside areas but I wouldn't go back purely on the prices: £6.15 for a pint of Landlord (Doom Bar and London Pride were also available), a packet of crisps and a glass of water. This is Great Linford, not central London.
duchyjim - 8 Apr 2017 23:01
A large and attractive old canal side pub, it’s clearly had a contemporary makeover but has nonetheless managed to retain some, although perhaps not all, of it’s olde worlde charm.

There are several different areas, both inside and outside. Starting with the outside, there is a patio at the front of the pub, a garden shaded with trees adjacent to this, beyond this again a larger open area (no food service here apparently), a small garden with just a couple of tables right next to the canal, and what I assume is a fairly modern terrace built up level with the top of the pub to make the most of the canal view. Certainly there’s plenty of space, although even so in the nice weather it inevitably attracts the crowds and I only just managed to procure a table as someone was leaving.

Inside it’s a bit of a mixture of the old and the new. The main bar at the front has an old flagstone floor which is an attractive feature, a low and slightly sagging beamed ceiling and a mixture of exposed stone walls and khaki green paintwork. A slightly more modern looking fire-place is at one end, various old black and white photo’s adorn the walls, and there were a couple of sofa’s in the window. Off to the left is a relaxed area with a part tiled, part wooden floor with a rug or two, sofa’s and a fire-place with a wood burning stove. This seems a relaxed place to chill out. Beyond this again was an area more geared up for dining and all together more contemporary with straw coloured matting on the floor and a “pile” of log ends attached to one wall to make a bit of a feature.

Going right from the main bar, you go up what appears to be a small staircase to the loos, but this then opens out in to another two or three rooms, again with a modern feel to them but retaining a number of old oak beams and supports. This also leads out to the small canal side garden. Service at the bar was a little chaotic as others have mentioned, but they were extremely busy and seemed to be doing their best to cope.

Food wise, I chose from the “bar and terrace menu” which I suppose suggests that there is a separate restaurant menu. This offered a decent selection of dishes, not your usual pub staples, and perhaps with a slight bias towards fish which may not suit everyone. Choices included Sticky BBQ ribs, Haddock & chips and Garlic prawns. Most of the mains seemed to be somewhere around the £10 mark, and I thought that my salmon fish cakes with a herb dip and mixed salad was a decent enough dish, and at £7.95 was the cheapest option on the menu. It may not have suited someone with a particularly hearty appetite however.

Beers on tap were Doom Bar and Broughton’s Merlin Ale. There was a third pump with the clip turned round. Ciders were both from Aspall’s with their Suffolk and Harrow Sparrow which is a new one on me – I had hoped for something a little more traditional, or at least not as cloyingly sweet as their Suffolk, but to be honest I thought it tasted pretty much the same.
Blackthorn - 24 Jul 2012 23:18
I don't quite understand the more recent reviews of this pub, maybe the management's changed since the last review or they've got their act together, but I had a lovely meal there on a relatively busy Saturday afternoon. Staff were friendly and attentive and even swapped one of our drinks for free after my partner didn't like it - nothing wrong with the actual drink, just not to her taste. Food was good too - fresh and locally sourced. My only tiny complaint was it was a little cold where we were sat, but it was a freezing cold winter's day and I think we were just unlucky with the table's location. Overall a lovely canal-side pub with a friendly atmosphere, good food and reasonable prices.
Sparkyvarcs - 4 Feb 2012 20:36
Thought i'd pop in and enjoy the chaos that this pub is,very entertaining to sit at bar and watch,much better than t.v.The poor staff almost run everywhere as there are not enough of them and barely keep the whole thing going and that is on a quiet night!! It's like watching a slow motion car crash! 2 real ales on until you ask for them and then get told they are off(be nice to turn clips aroud so as not to get excited).However after apologies the landlady put some more on and it was excellent(UBU Purity).I just wish the owners of this pub(M&B) would get their act together and allow the Landlady the money for staff before it all goes belly-up.
foodieman - 2 Sep 2011 21:41
This pub should be a cash machine for the brewery,fabulous location on the canal,lovely building,spot on in so many ways.However as i go there 3or4 times a month i can only say it seems to lurch from one crisis to another.Often i've sat there and watched customers give up waiting to be served drinks and walk out,also at lunchtimes customers have left the pub before their food order has been taken as they need to get back to work.The beer is pretty good and the food is not bad either but the staffing levels and organisation is a joke(you cannot get away with this in this day and age)In it's defence last week new staff appeared and things seem to have improved but it's happened before and after a short period the old rot sets in again.I had American relations over 2 weeks ago and would have loved to have taken them there but i did not want them going back home saying how lousy the service was so we spent the money elswhere.
foodieman - 14 Aug 2011 20:28
Spent the evening here on a warm sunny night and was very pleased and impressed. Drink selection was ok and would have prefered a more interesting ale choice but was what was there was in good nick. Had a ploughmans which was absolutly devine just needed a touch more pickle. lovely pub.
stewie2020 - 19 Apr 2011 07:23
Went there yesterday for Lunch ...pretty much same as last review posted ...had to wait 20 minutes for a drink ...45 minutes for a Starter and a further 30 minutes for the main course ....all of which were poorly presented. Staff are rushed off their feet ...manager had a disagreement with the Chef at the bar + other customers were complaining (some leaving) ....would not recommend this pub to anyone ...which is a real shame as could be a nice place to go if they sort their act out !!
MarkVNeve - 3 Apr 2011 14:34
We decided to give the Black Horse another chance and hoped that they would redeem themselves since our last visit in May - what a mistake! This time we had two friends who had just arrived from Australia; the Black Horse being nearby, seemed an attractive English setting for our meal. We had a table overlooking the canal - which was lovely. Upon arrival we were informed that due to shortage of kitchen staff there was a 45 minute wait for food. We made the point that as they had our phone number they could have contacted us and informed us; they should consider their customer first - people with special occasions to celebrate may not want such a long wait and decide to go elsewhere. As it was after 8pm we stayed and ordered wine. This eventually arrived - although because the waiter was flying all over the place - not completing one task at a time, meant it took a while for him to actually open our red wine! Through being persistent, we managed to place our order choosing items that were quicker to prepare. 10 minutes later we were informed that two of the main courses were no longer available! We reordered - and 10 mins later were told that one of those items was not available - in the end we asked what was available!

The restaurant was not full - and there were enough waiting staff - but it seemed to us they had not been trained properly - e.g. only bringing part of our order - our food going cold whilst we waited for cutlery , forgetting to bring our salad etc - in the end I got up and found the manager (who had just come back from maternity leave - what an uphill task she has to sort this place out). The whole experience was like Fawlty Towers (our Australian friend's comments). When our deserts arrived with no cutlery we scouted around the restaurant and found our own from empty tables!! We were fascinated to understand why our ice cream had been served in very warm dishes - which meant it was a sloppy mess! We passed on coffee - deciding that we could have it at home! We need good restaurants in MK - what a shame - good location and building - this place should be thriving!
petal23 - 17 Jul 2010 09:36
having booked a table for six people earlier in the week we turned up 10 minutes early on Friday 9th July 2010 and there we stood like statues at the bar, after 15 minutes i grabbed a member of staff and explained that we had booked a table and would like to sit down, without asking our name the young man led us up the stairs , pointed and said there's your table [ which was set for eight ], so there we sat for fifteen minutes , finally the young man came back and asked if we would like drinks, when we gave our order we were told, sorry thats gone and that and that, after settling for drinks that were available we sat again for another ten minutes, then a family group turned up and said " you're sitting at our table, the girl downstairs said that thats ours, the next thing that happened was the guy who took our drinks order turned up minus drinks and proceeded to arrange tables to accomodate that party, a further ten minutes went by and still no drinks so we got up and left, after reading other comments about food orders i'm glad that we left, we might still be waiting ! would i recommend the Black Horse for food ? a resounding NO, the service is appalling, i dont blame the staff [ what few there was of them ] anyway we found a more accomodating restaurant, celebrated my daughters birthday in style happy in the knowledge that we had left the Black Horse without spending in excess of £200..... Landlord , get your act together pronto. There are other eateries !!
bobsungry - 10 Jul 2010 15:28
Lovely looking pub in an interestng setting.

Sadly I can't comment on the food as at 8pm on a Friday night they had apparently ran out due to a rush. Speaking of rushing, loads of staff runing back and forth however no-one serving at the bars and glasses/messy tables all over.

Even when we did finaly get served at the bar the staff seemed unable to find things and in near panic. Those on our table who had ordered their drinks from the table faired even worse as after wainting half an hour and asking several staff they had to go to the bar themselves, where they were told their order was just being done. When it arrived one of the drinks was wrong and two were missing.

Its a nice setting but I'm not sure I'll go back, maybe on a tuesday afternoon when its less busy and then they will maybe be able to cope.


DudleyC - 10 Jul 2010 10:25
Four of us booked for lunch - very polite and friendly staff, but something is clearly not working as the service was just awful - it took an hour for our main course to arrive - we had to ask 3 times before our order for wine to go with our main course arrived! Our poor waiter was working flat out! It was clear that other tables waited a long time for their food too - but people who wanted a meal were being turned away - if there was better management and more efficient service this pub would be doing even better business- what a shame that the management is so lacking. Good pub food in a good location and nice ambiance.
petal23 - 16 May 2010 18:42
Went for a meal today. Two of us chose different Sunday roasts. Both the roast lamb and the roast beef were extremely dried up and tough, to the point of curling up at the edges. Presumably it had been standing around for quite a long while then re-heated. When we mentioned it to our waiter he was very indifferent, although he said - unconvincingly- that he'd pass it on the the chef. The service was very slow indeed, and the staff seemed bored and inattentive.
On the table next to us I overheard complaints that the platter to share which had been ordered, was not as described when it arrived and the waiter's response was again dismissive.
On the other side of us, the waiter had come back to ask them to choose again as several dishes ordered were no longer available.
Would definitely not go back here.
Chris19 - 3 May 2010 03:56
Not eaten here yet, however, their choice of beers and ales is great! Friendly staff. I suggest those people with children take them elsewhere as it's not really a place i'd take a child, purely because the clientel tend to be professionals. Not really a pub for children to be running around and screaming. Infact, go to The Dove in Newport Pagnell instead!!! Perfect!
discodown68 - 9 Oct 2008 16:23
Went to this place last night. The food was ok, but the service was appalling. You need at least an hour between courses.
GrahamMW - 21 Sep 2008 18:27
I have just come back from the Black Horse, Gt Linford 1.9.08 18.41 it was the worse food I have been served for a very, very long time, the starter Mushrooms were clearly left over from Lunch and the Tuna was over cooked and over priced, wont be going back or recommending it.
poorfood - 1 Sep 2008 18:46
can't believe people don't find this pub to be a lot better now it is so much better than it used to be.

Really good fresh food and a good range of beers and real ale in the way of TT landlords one of the best pints i have had in a long time. The staff friendy and make you feel welcom.

Best of all is that it is now fully no smoking - great move.

Yes, it is a bit more expensive than before but you can go to a Vintage Inn in mk and pay 50p less for a pie that is out of a bag!

good food cooked great will be in ther with my familey
for 3rd time this month.
thanks guys

ccswilson1 - 12 Mar 2008 00:19
I have just eaten at The Black Horse in Great LInford and was very disappointed with the meal. The chicken was very dry and tough which was not suitable for my two year old daugther. My wife ordered a butternut squash pancake which contained no butternut squash and was filled with roasted carrot instead. The green salad consisted of watercrest which had been placed under the hot plate.

Very disappointing and needless to say I will not be dining there in the future.
pormerod - 1 Feb 2008 19:18
Went to this place about a year ago and found it very smokey. I much prefer it now. Ate here with the wife a couple of weeks ago and loved the food and service. Decor is nice and it's no smoking. Taking friends back there this weekend
keyser_soze - 10 May 2007 19:21
Cannot recommend this place. Sorry. Did not like staff attitude. Pricey and no proper beer. Prefered it before.
SPB - 24 Jan 2007 21:24
Been there a couple of times since it changed hands. Thought it was going to be better but very disapointing! They appear to have a 'no football shirts' policy which isn't published and my 13 year old son was not allowed to stay - even in the garden!

Tried it again recently and they had no real ale although several freezing cold and insipid 'creamflows'. When I asked when the real ale would be back on the reply was 'probably tomorrow'!

All in all decidedly average - and expensive!
Grumpy_Old_Man - 21 Jan 2007 12:05
Visited on New Year's Day for lunch. Have not been for a few months, and were unaware of the change of owner. What used to be a busy thriving pub/restaurant, always full, always good food and excellent service under Vintage Inns, has changed completely. Food was overpriced, poor selection, average quality, service ok. One good point is that it's non-smoking.

Overall very disappointing. and we won't be going there again. Such a pity as it has an unrivalled location right by the canal, and has been a popular venue for family get-togethers over the last couple of years.
anonymous - 1 Jan 2007 19:43
can't believe people don't this pub, it is so much better than it used to be.

Really nice food and a good range of beers. The staff are alot friendlier than before.

Best thing is that it is now fully no smoking - great move.

Yes, it is a bit more expensive than before but you get what you pay for in life!

Top pub
anonymous - 22 Nov 2006 12:50
The pub is now once again called the Black Horse. Owners have tried to give it a more modern feel and have changed the food and beer. I've only been once simce the change and as I am off the booze at the moment, I only had soft drinks so i will leave it up to others to comment there. I can say that the new poncey crisps are horrible though - bring back good ol' Walkers!
blue - 2 Aug 2006 07:13
Why did they change its name from the Black Horse?

Had a pint or two here, but some of the customers seemed a bit weird.


twm_sion_cati - 26 Jul 2006 16:03
It's being renovated, and looks as though it's gong back to its former name of Black Horse!!
grayguy - 14 Jul 2006 16:59
Still known by many as the Black Horse this is now an eaterie sitting beside/below the Grand Union canal.
Had a pint of 6X in the garden but signage suggests that food is far more important here than the beer
lout_from_the_lane - 6 Jun 2006 15:16

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