Over the last decade or so public interest in cookery has grown and grown and our perception of good food has changed with it. Where we were once happy to go out for steak and frozen chips, most of us now demand more from both the fine dining experience and the country pub.
So to come across somewhere whose focus is to produce everything on the premises from the bread roll your home made burger is served on to an exquisite dessert menu, is a real find. Add to this a beautiful rural location a stone’s throw from Wingfield Manor, a comfortable outside terraced seating area, plenty of parking and an interior tastefully redesigned with stone flag floors, ambient lighting and all the integrity and character of a traditional English pub and you have it: The White Hart at Moorwood Moor.
Now though to the important question of the menu and our choice of food on the Tuesday evening when we dined. What struck me about the menu was that it contained some traditional favourites but also some more unusual dishes. For example my husband chose the chorizo and tomato fondue, which definitely had more than just a hint of Spain about it even down to the terracotta bowl it was served in. Topped with a warm duck egg, cooked to perfection and coated in a fine crispy crumb which sat on a fondue of sweet tomato with chunks of chorizo, flanked by toasted ciabatta and deep fried basil leaves, it reminded us of the rustic flavour of rural Spain.
My tempura prawns were a simpler dish but nevertheless tasty, a very light batter contrasting with the heat of the chilli sauce.
For my main course I was brought a traditional steak with a good flavour and lovely battered onion rings made by the chef, a large flat mushroom and roasted tomato alongside hand cut chips making this most enjoyable. From a selection of sauces I chose the blue cheese which didn’t stint on the stilton. Surprisingly my husband chose the pan fried salmon, I think it was the bed of parmesan and basil mash which swayed his decision. With a salad garnish and Provençal vegetables it was surrounded by a drizzle of basil oil. This was a light meal perfect for a summer’s evening. Lamb, chicken, pork and duck were also on the menu so truly something for everyone.
The desserts really were to die for, all made in the White Hart kitchen, the portions were generous and the presentation was great. I missed out on the citrus tart my husband ordered, I thought it may have too much pastry but I’ll know better next time, it was deep, fresh, zingy lemon on a thin base, served with clotted cream; my perfect dessert. However my two dark chocolate fondants , warm with a soft and indulgent dark chocolate middle were complemented by a crispy and buttery brandy snap basket filled with milk ice cream, a dessert also hard to beat.
High on the list of priorities at the White Hart is their determination to use fresh local produce where everything is prepared in the kitchen, an unhurried dining experience where the table is yours for the night and a selection of themed evenings where you can be more adventurous and sample new dishes.
The atmosphere is relaxed with efficient and friendly waitresses always on hand and alert without being intrusive. There’s always a good selection of beers available at the bar alongside a comprehensive wine list.
For us the White Hart is pretty much on our doorstep so we are grateful to the owners who have worked so hard to create this lovely local, but if you are a little further away I hope I have tempted you to try it, I would just suggest that you always put a call in to reserve a table first as it’s popularity will only increase.