At around 7pm on a cold, damp winter’s evening we arrived at The White Horse, Woolley Moor; the restaurant was already buzzing as people gathered before dining. The owner, David Boulby, greeted us on arrival and having provided us each with a menu, also pointed out the specials board which offers a selection of dishes that change on a regular basis. While we pondered over the wide selection of dishes, we enjoyed warm sundried tomato bread, brought to our table by our waitress. To accompany our meals we had ordered honey flavoured beer, made on the Chatsworth estate using honey from their own bees, which according to my husband Steve, ‘went down a treat’. I had decided on the house Rioja, a bright wine with clean, fresh nose. For our first course I chose the duck spring rolls with hoisin sauce, which was accompanied by an individual dish of side salad. The warm spring rolls just melted in your mouth, with very delicate flavours and the sauce, a traditional Chinese accompaniment, was not too overpowering. Steve’s starter was deep fried brie, served with a port and cranberry sauce and complemented with dressed salad leaves. By the time we had finished our starters, the restaurant had filled with lively chatter, as people began to sit down for their meals. We overheard the people on the next table commenting on how warm and inviting the restaurant décor was and that it was their second meal in a week at The White Horse (they were on a week’s walking break in Derbyshire). For our main course Steve was spoilt for choice and could not decide between sea bass or turbot but in the end David came to the rescue and recommended the turbot from the specials board. This turned out to be an excellent choice as the fish was beautifully cooked. A delicate vermouth sauce together with creamy mashed potatoes and fresh seasonal vegetables made this the perfect dish for any fish lover. I had finally decided on the barbary duck breast, which was accompanied by dauphinoise potatoes, redcurrant jus and again a selection of fresh vegetables. Not liking my duck too pink I asked if it could be cooked a little longer and
when my meal arrived it was perfect, the meat just fell apart, I would definitely order this again. Our evening at The White Horse was relaxed and enjoyable, nothing was rushed which allowed us time to look forward to our desserts. Steve had chosen jam roly poly with a raspberry glaze and I opted for apple tart. These were both served with warm custard, which triggered memories of our youth and our conversation soon took a reminiscent turn to our childhood and classic puddings. To finish our meal we ordered coffee and we were given the choice of staying in the restaurant or moving into the more intimate bar area. The warm, open fire made the decision very easy and as we sat in the soft glow of the fire we were joined by David and the chef, Craig. We chatted about future dishes and Craig explained that he likes to take advantage of seasonal ingredients and will alter the menu if an opportunity arises; the turbot my husband had enjoyed was a good example. Craig takes great pride in his work, not only creating delicious dishes, but presenting them with such attention to detail. It is very obvious that David, his wife Melanie, Craig and the rest of the team are dedicated to giving their customers a fine dining experience, from the warm, friendly surroundings to the beautifully presented meals. The White Horse may be a little off the beaten track in beautiful countryside, but once found it will surely become one of your firm favourites.