The Black Friar
The Black Friar stood empty and unloved for almost 20 years before reopening in summer 2021 after a substantial renovation project. Now a modern British restaurant and a traditional pub, it has two distinct settings with menus to match.
Happily, they’ve kept the familiar frontage, albeit spruced up and restored. Step inside and you’re in the pub part of The Black Friar, which is all green tiling, worn rugs and wood-burning stoves.
Here the menu mixes global tapas-style grazing dishes such as fritto misto with king prawns and squid, with more substantial pub classics. Think Boddington’s battered fish and chips, posh ham and eggs or a classic chicken caesar salad. They don’t take bookings for the pub, and don’t be afraid to just turn up for a pint. It’s not all about eating here.
In the restaurant part of The Black Friar, the tone takes a more gastro turn. The light, airy setting, with its glass walls and marble tables, has a modern, European feel that’s well suited to the food offering. The Midsummer menu created by Head Chef, Ben Chaplin (20 Stories) is inspired by a Great British Summer with main dishes including truffle-stuffed chicken and baked vegetable ratatouille pie. For starters, try Creedy Carver cured duck, driftwood goats cheese mousse and truffle and honey popcorn.
There’s a big, well-tended beer garden, outdoor bar, and kitchen serving up wood-fired flatbreads – ideal for outdoor eating. Various spaces are available for private hire (with no hire fee), including the middle floor Sanctuary Room which can seat up to 30 guests.