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“Average hotel, lovely building, overpriced food.” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Black Horse Inn

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The Black Horse Inn
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Thurnham
Certificate of Excellence
Guildford
Level Contributor
82 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Average hotel, lovely building, overpriced food.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2013 via mobile

Our stay at the Black Horse Inn was completely mixed, I was going to write two reviews, one for the hotel and one for the restaurant, but decided to merge them into one.

First, the hotel. The room was fine, we quite liked the little huts, but the night we were there the inn was putting on a wedding reception. This meant that finding a parking space was not easy and the very steep access road which our room was next to was constantly in use. Also, the bass of the music was a constant thud until around 11:15pm, I guess it's just luck if you'll be staying when an event was on, but it meant winding down wasn't easy. The room was clean, the shower was weak but acceptable and in the morning the breakfast was ok, but not stand out. For £100 for the night, I'd give it 3 stars.

We arrived around 2pm and couldn't check in straight away, so popped in for a light lunch. I had a ploughmans and my partner had a chicken and bacon mayo baguette. They were out of ham and replaced it with beef and pâté which although a strange combination was appreciated. However, the chicken and bacon mayo was 90% mayo and my partner could barely eat it, so I gave her some of my ploughmans.

After the hit and miss lunch we arranged to have dinner there and turned up in the evening. I ordered the special, a lamb shank with pea mash, baby beet root and baby carrots (£18)whereas my partner ordered the steak, chips, and onion rings with a side of peppercorn sauce(£21+£2).

These weren't cheap dishes, around £4-£8 more than other well reviewed pubs we have been to before, but after looking on trip advisor, we expected something good.

When the dishes turned up, I was disappointed. The steak was quite small, 7oz I think, and the lamb shank was slightly overcooked with little gravy and sitting on a thin layer of pea mash, barely a couple of tablespoons worth. Also, the baby beet roots had morphed into asparagus. After tasting my first mouthful of lamb shank however, it had a good flavour, but it was then I realised the bone was around 80% of the dish. Obviously I have had lamb shank before and realise that there is a large bone in the middle, but in this case there was a lot less meat than I expected.

My partner was very impressed with the flavour of the steak, but the chips were very average. However, the real disappointment came in the shape of the onion rings and peppercorn sauce. The rings were soggy, reheated from frozen, and although it came in a small jug, the peppercorn sauce barely covered the bottom, meaning when poured out it didn't cover the surface of the steak.

Frankly, we felt pretty ripped off. These two main courses in total cost just under £45 and although the meat tasted good, even for £15 less I think we would have overpaid. We did order a single dessert to share, a chocolate brownie which was very nice, but again at £7, it was £2 more than I'd expect for a decent pub dessert.

Overall, the light lunch, plus a dinner of two mains and a dessert came to around £85 including a few drinks, which felt really expensive for what we got. Although the meat and dessert quality were good, the price drops the experience to a low 2 stars.

A few more general points to finish with. The staff were generally excellent, very helpful, and being English, we didn't really feel like complaining about the price or amount of food. The pub itself is one of the prettiest I've ever visited, lovely just to pop in and feel the atmosphere. However, every time we sat in the pub, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner it was far too hot. In fact for breakfast I took a 5 min break to cool down.

It feels as if they are cashing in on the fact the building is beautiful and that reviewers on tripadvisor probably don't want to be seen to complain about price or portion size. Even though my sister lives around 5 minutes away, I don't think we'll be back which is a shame.

Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Gothnak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
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English first
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2013

Spent a weekend here, was absolutely delighted - very pleased indeed!. Beautiful setting, lovely rooms, staff were fantastic, breakfast was very nice, amazing food, staff were nothing but polite & helpful. Pub had a great atmosphere & was beautifully quaint. Would most certainly recommend & return to.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SnGF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2013

Just back from a weekend at the Black Horse Inn for my husbands birthday. All I can say is what a great time we had. The staff are extremely friendly,food superb, accommodation and surroundings excellent!!! We will be back before the year is out!.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 702Muldoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
101 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2013 via mobile

This is a lovely inn close to many beautiful country footpaths and not too far from Down House, the home of Charles Darwin. We were visiting this heritage sit and could have stayed closer, but The Black Horse is so nicely tucked away from everything, that we felt it was worth the drive. The day of check-in we arrived much, much earlier than we had anticipated, and the kind lady at reception had a room for us. We had only wanted to wander around the property but she was gracious enough to find a room that had not been occupied the previous night. This worked out perfectly for us as we were able to unload our luggage then head off for a day at English Heritage Down House.
The rooms are not large, but they are clean and well appointed. The property and outdoor areas are well maintained.
We did have dinner at the pub restaurant, and while it was okay, it was not outstanding. Prices are steep and the service was slow although there were many staff hanging about. I would certainly try the restaurant again, however. Breakfast was very well presented and the food was delicious and plentiful. We would definitely recommend visitors in the area to give this place ago.

Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Kwazycanucks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wotton Under Edge
Level Contributor
117 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2013

Searching engines to find a good place to stay near Maidstone resulted in the Black Horse in Thurnham popping up all over the place. The good reviews were deserved. Many establishments would do well to send their staff there to see how running a small hotel should be done.
Good accommodation, food and friendly, helpful staff make life easy for visitors. There is a nice terrace to sit on of an evening and you can get married in the garden there if it takes your fancy.

Its a little remote from the main road, but in a fascinating corner of Kent along the Pilgrims Way . Take time to explore the hill behind and the Church below the Hotel. There is a castle ruin on top with amazing views and the church, though Closed when I was there, has a peaceful charm in its setting.....now there's a place to get Married (fab photographs -flashbangwallop! wot a picture) and have the reception at the Hotel of course.

Room Tip: The rooms are external to the main building and some lower down on a slope. All beautifully kept but...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JandJWottonunderEdge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
burton upon trent
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2013

just stayed at this pub/restaurant/hotel for the second time and will definitely be back again in a few weeks. The staff are all extremely helpful and jolly and the food is of a very high standard .
It is way above what I expected from a country pub in both quality, presentation and variety. I really can,t fault it. The rooms are fairly basic but clean and well presented. A fridge in the room would be a welcome addition but for £85/night B & B it is a bargain coming with a dam good breakfast as well. As my wife is recovering from a knee replacement we needed a room with easy access.We backed up to the door parked the car there for the night and walked the whole 3 yds to the door . A wet room with seat under shower was perfect. I reccomend it to anyone .

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank skipBurtonUponTrent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sutton Coldfield
Level Contributor
236 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2013

We just keep coming back to this gem. Everything was top notch as usual. We drove to the top of the hill where the North Downs way has had a brilliant make over, check it out.

The food was stunning although for me there are not enough fish dishes. A fancy named vegetarian dish was a few bits of veg under a puff pastry topping.

The breakfasts are a strong reason to return here and the service is excellent.

Room Tip: Try the ones near the top which are designed for the disabled. They have wet rooms.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank John1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Black Horse Inn

Property: The Black Horse Inn
Address: Pilgrims Way, Thurnham, Maidstone ME14 3LD, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Kent > Maidstone > Thurnham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Thurnham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — The Black Horse Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
17th Century Pub / Restaurant with beams, hops and open fireplaces serving real ales and country wine. 27 beautiful en-suite rooms in the grounds provide a peaceful haven around the duck pond. Ideal for business or tourists. Close to Leeds Castle and only a 50 minute train journey to London. Lovely gardens and outside dining area. Also licensed for Civil Marriage Ceremonies.Fully equiped air conditioned business centre ideal for conferences, meetings and training seating up to 80 delegates ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Black Horse Hotel Maidstone
Black Horse Maidstone

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