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Review | Black Venus Inn, Challacombe

Across the table, Becky’s Duck Breast with a Port & Thyme Jus was akin to a work of art on a plate, describing it as ‘succulent and tender with a beautiful, crusty edge.’ Hmmm, sounds great to me! It was attended by perfectly cooked green beans, and the dish was a simple masterpiece in terms of taste and appearance.


The finale came in the form of a homemade chocolate torte. I was not in any way disappointed. The torte was a luxuriant, chocolate sensation – and very moreish. It was accompanied by locally sourced ice cream, sitting on a bed of broken wafers. A smattering of icing sugar and a rich chocolate sauce completed this superb dessert.

Becky’s Lemon cheesecake was a lovely, tangy foil for all the preceding richness of the evening, guaranteed to cleanse the palette in the best way possible. Created by Darren and his team, it made a refreshing change on the pub dessert landscape.

Marc, Liz, Darren & Louise really are running a tidy ship here and fully deserve recognition on the culinary scene. In my opinion, and I don’t think this is overstating the case, but the food served that night was near perfect. It was tasty, plentiful, hot, well presented, good value for money and came with great service. And the simple English pub, homey atmosphere of The Black Venus is just great.

6 things you never knew about The Black Venus Inn

  • The building itself dates back to the 16th Century
  • It is believed that this is the only Pub in Great Britain called The Black Venus.
  • The Black Venus was named after an extinct breed of sheep that was good for meat but not for wool.
  • The hill opposite the pub is called Black Venus Hill.
  • In 1882 the name was changed to the Ring of Bells to commemorate the new bells at the church.
  • The name was changed back to Black Venus in mid-1960’s as too many pubs were called the Ring of Bells!

Review by John Raby, independent restaurant reviewer

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