Celebrating 25 Years At The Black Horse!

Darren and the Team are so proud to be celebrating their 25th anniversary at The Black Horse at Ireland!


Whilst the original building itself dates back to the 17th century, The Black Horse was purchased by the Campbell family in 1999.  Since then The Black Horse has been lovingly updated over the 25 years, yet still retains much of its original features such as its inglenook fireplaces and exposed beams.

The original bar used to be located on the right as you walked in through the front door, with the ladies and gents toilets directly in front of you.  The “garden room” restaurant was accessed through a doorway at the end of the bar on the right and was just a long narrow room. In 2003 the first major renovation took place, which involved the extension to the garden room; the upper dining area with it’s vaulted ceiling and full width patio doors leading onto a new patio for alfresco dining and the garden.  The kitchen was also extended and updated.

The second renovation took place in 2007 which reconfigured the layout of the bar, moving it directly in front (as it is today) and opening up the garden room to the right with an informal seating area/coffee lounge and the ladies toilets.  The bar and “front restaurant” had the original beams sandblasted to remove the old lacquer and reveal the natural wood beneath, which gave a feeling of light and airiness to what was quite a dark and dingy room.  The gents and new disabled toilets were added to the left of the fireplace in a smaller extension.

The “courtyard room” at the back also underwent major renovation at this time.  What was once another dark room with low ceilings and artex walls was now transformed into a larger, modern, open space with stunning atrium sky lights and large folding doors onto a pretty courtyard.

Keeping Up-To-Date

The restaurant industry has changed so much over the past 25 years and The Black Horse has had to adjust and adapt to keep up and stay relevant in a competitive market.

Back in 1999 reservations were made over the telephone and hand written in paper diaries!  Since then we’ve introduced our website page and online booking system and in 2013 (with the help of the local independent design agency Union 10 Design) rebranded and introduced our new logo and company image, unifying our sister site The Birch (managed by Mark Campbell) and The Black Horse.

We have also had to navigate unforeseen circumstances to keep our restaurant running.  When Covid-19 hit the UK in 2020 it’s no secret that restaurants (along with many other businesses) had to endure so much change and undergo so many legislation to stay open.  Introducing distancing measures and strict sanitising regimes were imperative and helped make our customers feel safe and secure when they visited The Black Horse.

Rising environmental concerns has also led us to implement energy and planet saving schemes like recycling all our food, glass and cardboard waste, sourcing local and responsibly sourced ingredients/produce and in 2018 we invested in solar panels.  Darren and his Team continue to look at ways to improve our carbon footprint helping towards a cleaner future.

Food for Thought

Food also has trends and over the years our menus have adapted to reflect what diners want from their dining experience.  From hearty home cooked “pub grub” such as pies and stews to healthy lighter dishes with textures and flavours reflecting the season, the talented chefs at The Black Horse have always offered the best of these food fashions.  However we’ve always been passionate about the food we serve and although we’ve kept up with these trends, we’ve always tried to stay innovative by offering a little something extra, such as introducing dishes or ingredients that were not so well known, so that our diners could experience something new and exciting as well.

The Black Horse has always championed fresh local produce and have worked with local farms and estates to procure the freshest ingredients Bedfordshire and it’s neighbouring counties has to offer and we will continue to support independent suppliers in the area for years to come.

Secret to Success

We have been so fortunate to be blessed with wonderful talented chefs and friendly hard-working front of house team that have helped The Black Horse earn it’s fantastic reputation in the area.

But the real secret as to how we have survived these past 25 years is because of the support from you, our loyal customers.  Without you The Black Horse wouldn’t be the successful restaurant it is today.  We have loved sharing all your special occasions, family meals and social get togethers with you over the years and proud to have helped make memories that last a lifetime.

Thank you!



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For more details of our accommodation, or to check out our fresh food menus and book a table, just click on the links above.  We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have, just pick up the phone and give us a call, or contact us via email.