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“Potential to be spectacular” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Black Bull Inn

Black Bull Inn
Ranked #18 of 99 Restaurants in Livingston
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Scottish, Bar, British, Grill, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Cheap Eats, Bar Scene, Child-friendly
Dining options: Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Drinks, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Buffet, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Television, Waitstaff, Wine and Beer
Description: Established in the small village of Mid Calder in 1747, this pub is one of the busiest meeting places in the area. The Black Bull Inn is at the heart of the community, and enjoys a prime location, sitting snugly in the shadow of its new town neighbour, Livingston, close to nearby rail links. Though it has been under new private ownership since August 2009, the Black Bull Inn has retained some of its period features; a real coal fire crackles in the cosy lounge bar in winter, drawing visitors in from the cold.This pub has traditional values, and this is obvious as soon as you set foot inside. A welcoming atmosphere with a friendly smile awaits you at the Black Bull Inn, as well as good food and great cask-conditioned ales. Local brew Caledonian Deuchars IPA is a permanent fixture, but there are always guest beers available on tap, and the varied wine list offers great value for money. The lounge bar serves food daily from midday until 9pm, with classic pub favourites featuring on the menu alongside lighter lunch options like baguettes, sandwiches and baked potatoes. Be sure to check the specials blackboard for something a little different.There is an unmistakable buzz when you enter the Black Bull Inn; this may have something to do with the busy calendar of events, which includes domino flyers and quiz nights and zumba and salsa classes. A function room is available to hire at the rear of the pub, which is ideal for meetings or functions.
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Potential to be spectacular”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 March 2014

We recently moved to the area and have been trying out local eateries and last Sunday it was the turn of the Black Bull. Based on the reviews we arrived with high expectations further fuelled by the level of reserved tables.

Food is served next to the bar area and the football was on which didn't bother as the atmosphere not rowdy. The welcome could have been warmer and more inviting, bar fell silent when we walked in, awkward. A customer told us where to sit and the staff had trouble locating the kids menu, so not the best start.

We were first in so the food arrived quickly. I had the Sunday roast, Yorkshire pudding, gravy, carrots, broccoli, roast and mashed potato. Shame the mash was made with a waxy potato so was not light a fluffy as mash should be but overall great value for £9.95. My partner had the fish which he said was okay. The portions were huge. My son had the burger and chips. It was a good burger but the dish was very plain, there was no cheese, relish, salad, veg. My daughter had the macaroni, it was homemade but it did taste strange. Was like some other kind of cheese had been used instead of cheddar, it was served with garlic bread. Had we known there was no veg or salad with the kids meals we would have ordered a side for them so that was a bit disappointing as they ended up sharing our vegs.

Dessert we has the sticky toffee pudding with ice cream which was a big hit.

The bar was busy with people eating when we left so it’s clearly popular. It was good and we will probably will be back. With little competition in the area it could be spectacular. Just a few tweaks to the service, menu and a little more attention to detail with the food.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank zippymum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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103 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    47
    34
    13
    6
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“A very nice place.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 January 2014

I was very taken by the Black Bull. Nice atmosphere as soon as you enter. Not sure if it was the owner who spoke to us but he was very enthusiastic and went through the menu. There was nothing to fault in the Black Bull. The bar was busy and the staff were efficient. The meals were excellent and every bit as good as we were told they would be. Everything was very fresh and tasted fantastic. The prices were reasonable and the whole experience was very relaxing. I would say top marks all round. The owner has certainly set the correct tone for a place like this. I wish them well and hope to visit again soon. The toilets were clean and tidy and well cared for.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Papongo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Livingston, UK
Level Contributor
71 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Big group, pre booked - delish!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 January 2014 via mobile

Big group of us 20+ booked and pre ordered. Wasnt expecting anything special but all the food was fab, service excellent, and great value. Thanks to the whole team!

  • Visited January 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Jebidiah-69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland
Level Contributor
27 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Awesome”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 November 2013

Even before winning the Forth radio awards for the best Pub Resteraunt this is the. Best place, atmosphere friendly folk, great food and I love my local. Xxx

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank catherine51956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GB
Level Contributor
39 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“GOOD PUB FOOD”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 November 2013

Full of atmosphere and very friendly. We stopped here for a meal and was very impressed with the service and the meal.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Hollbez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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