Nestled amongst the idyllic hills and mountains of the Dyfi Valley lies a cosy countryside pub named The Black Lion Inn. Situated in Derwenlas, Machynlleth, the pub is easily accessible from the A487.
Owned and run by Colin and Cheryl Jones for over ten years, The Black Lion Inn boasts a traditional pub atmosphere, a mouthwatering food menu and pre-bookable B&B.
A Grade II listed building built within the 16th century, the pub still retains much of its original character. The walls and low-beamed ceilings are made from black and white timber whilst rustic wooden bar stools, tables and cushioned chairs offer both diners and drinkers alike a comfortable experience. To the left of the pub a large, old-fashioned log fire sits inside a grey, cobbled fireplace set back into the wall, casting a warm glow
over the room.
Upon entering, my guest and I are welcomed inside by a friendly lady who introduces herself as Cheryl and politely escorts us to a table in a corner of the pub, well-positioned so that we can admire the whole of the bar and dining area as we dine. We got lost on the way here and so we have arrived half an hour late, but we are made to feel very welcome nonetheless.
I am visiting The Black Lion Inn on a Sunday, which can only mean one thing – roast dinner! The menu is etched onto a blackboard and features a tantalising selection of starters, mains and desserts:
I’ve heard the portions are very generous here, and so my guest and I decide to skip starters (£3.75 each) and head
straight for the main course (£8.95 each). As a lover of Welsh lamb I already know what I want to order, and as The Black Lion Inn pride themselves upon providing quality Welsh food, my expectations are pretty high.
And I’m not disappointed! Our main courses arrive within around ten minutes, and I’m very impressed by the lamb – it’s probably the most tender I’ve ever tasted, delicately seasoned and best of all, there’s lots of it. Cheryl tells us that the pub tries to use local produce wherever possible, sourcing the lamb from a farmer in nearby Anglesey.
The roast potatoes and parsnips are a perfect golden-brown and the mash is flavoursome and creamy. I particularly like the idea of presenting the gravy boat on the plate, and I like being able to pour the gravy over my plate myself. It has a rich, meaty taste which complements all of the flavours of the dish, especially so when allowed to soaked into the Yorkshire pudding.
My guest is vegetarian and upon asking for the vegetarian choice of the day, she is presented with a list of appetising, meat-free dishes. She opts for the Glamorgan sausages, served with a homemade red onion relish, mashed potato, roast potato and parsnips. Glamorgan sausages are one of my favourite Welsh dishes and so I am delighted to be offered to try some. A crisp breadcrumb coating surrounds a combination of fragrant leeks and tangy cheese – the best Glamorgan sausages I have ever tasted!
In addition to our main courses we are brought a bowl of steamed broccoli, carrots and red cabbage to share. The vegetables are cooked to perfection, with the carrots crunchy, the broccoli full of texture and the red cabbage soaked in spices and herbs.
Having polished off our mains we are feeling fairly full, but the desserts sound too good to resist. Torn between chocolate and praline torte and lemon meringue pie, I have a sudden change of mind and go for the blackcurrant cheesecake (all desserts are priced at £3.75).
Again, I am very pleased with my choice of dish. At first glance what really gives this cheesecake the edge is the way in which the juicy, whole blackcurrants have been dolloped onto the top of the cheesecake, spilling over onto the plate. The ice cream, which is also locally sourced, is the ideal accompaniment.
My guest opts for the banoffee fondant – a rich, banana sponge with toffee sauce in the centre. I don’t get round to tasting this myself (I have no room left!) but my guest polishes it off within a few minutes.
The food menu features a range of favourite Welsh dishes alongside popular choices from the grill, light meals
and snacks. Children are well catered for with a specialist menu, whilst vegetarians can choose from several daily specials. You can view the full menu on The Black Lion Inn’s website.
If you’re looking for a lighter lunch or snack in Machynlleth visit Y Cegin Fach, a cafe on the high street – I haven’t been there myself but it’s run by Colin and Cheryl ,which can only be a good thing!
I was invited to The Black Lion Inn as a guest and our food and drinks were complimentary.