Time after time we make a return to the Mill House.
The Blackfell pub and restaurant has become a mainstay when it comes to somewhere to eat when I and a group of friends meet up for a meal after work every few months.
We’re always keen to try somewhere new and come up with a venue which doesn’t add too much of a journey to the end of the day as we head from various locations across the region.
But it’s this place that often wins our vote based on its good hearty food, warm welcome, good service and value.
Our latest visit proved that once again.
We’ve often taken advantage of various deals, but this time round decided to head straight for a main course.
It’s this place that often wins our vote based on its good hearty food, warm welcome, good service and value.
It was just as well – the servings were huge.
Three of our party picked the chicken Cajun burger, the chef’s special burger of the day (£12).
A large board filled with chips, coleslaw, chutneys and salad, as well as the massive burger, was served – most opted for their knife and fork to make their way through it all.
Meanwhile one of the others and I tried the chef’s signature dish of braised featherblade of beef (£15), served with a savoy cabbage leaf stuffed with black pudding, onions, Stilton and bacon and a hefty serving of horseradish mash and red wine jus – that’s gravy to most of us.
While there were a lot of strong flavours, none overtook the another, but we were beyond full before we reached the end of the dish.
One of the main draws over the years has been the steaks.
It seems the days of its soup and a steak deal are gone, but you’ll still never go wrong, with sirloin and rump (£17 and £14 respectively), along with chicken supreme (£12), on the menu when we called.
All are served with roast tomato, caramelised red onion, thyme, garlic mushrooms and chunky chips, with sauces extra.
The fish and seafood served up has always gained nods of approval – Lindisfarne oysters, sea bream, mussels, tiger prawns, mackerel pate and fish and chips were on offer recently, while haggis, chicken liver and calf’s liver were also on the menu.
There are also a host of tapas dishes, which can been seen behind the hot counter at the bar, and there is always a run of specials.
Puddings are also chalked up on the board, which come in at around £5.
Banoffee pie, chocolate brownie, cheesecake, tiramisu, along with a cheese board (£9) and a selection of ice creams (£2.95) were listed that night – not dainty, but good, sweet, satisfying stuff.
It’s location, just off the roundabout for the A1231 from Washington and a short distance from the A1, means most diners reach it by car and there is ample parking, but there is a bus stop just outside for those who try out the pub’s real ales, wines and more.
For more details – including a run down of its Wise Guys pizza and pasta restaurant out the back of the building – visit www.millhousebarrestaurant.com/
The menus haven’t been updated since last year, but I’m pleased to see there’s a vegetarian menu, along with a few vegan options, listed and it gives you a good idea of what to expect.
We spotted its Christmas menu on the way out.
It includes two courses for £15.95 and three for £18.95 – we’ve already booked.