Originally built in 1788, the building that would become the White Hart carries plenty of history in it’s local Lydgate area. Nowadays serving as a food and drink venue that can accommodate weddings and conferences, The White Hart has seen much modernisation since it’s inception. Known locally for a standout menu, it seemed fitting to pay a visit and review the a la carte menu for ourselves.
Inside the restaurant
The interior is both cosy and inviting, making use of scatter cushions and wooden furnishings as added detailing to make you feel instantly welcome. As you enter the dining area, there is a homely feel to the decor through the inclusion of original stone fireplaces that are decorated with a rustic style of wood. Copper, retro lampshades and further accessories add to this old meets new agenda, producing an aesthetic that works well.
There are a few split rooms to dine in, this allows a little more intimacy and a more cosy experience. You can choose to dine on tables or back benches, with the latter being decorated with cute embroidered cushions for further comfort.
After placing our order, a selection of bread was passed round to nibble on as we awaited our starters. There was a good variety to choose from, ideal if for saving if you opted for the soup. The speciality soup of the day was pea, which came served with a breaded bantam egg yolk ball on a skewer. The addition of the breaded ball made for nice presentation and overall this starter was appetising, with the soup providing a watery base for the skinned Jersey Royals hidden below the surface.
The second option to try was the Morecambe Bay shrimps, sourced from the local tourist spot. The shrimp came scattered around a toasted muffin centrepiece and was garnished with sorrel and brown crab butter. This was a nice, light starter that focused on delivering excellent flavour.
For the first main we opted for the homely shepherd’s pie, this featured minced lamb and carrot in gravy that was topped with a delicious light yet fluffy serving of mash. We would have preferred a little more veg in this dish, but on the whole it was well received and lived up to the expectation of being a classic dish with a home-cooked feel.
Second choice was the Sirloin steak, which came as requested and cooked medium to well done. Very juicy and flavoursome, the steak came without too much fat and was not overly chewy, just what we wanted. The red wine sauce we ordered to accompany the steak was truly delicious, the perfect addition to this dish.
As sides weren’t included, we split a portion of chips between us. Home-cooked, the chips were crisp on the outside but soft inside. For the £3.50 price, the quality was great value.
The desserts menu was calling to us and offered a brilliant array of choices that made it hard to decide, but we eventually settled on the sticky toffee pudding and the creme brulee. Sticky toffee pudding is a classic pub dessert that many restaurants include, so it can be hard to stand out against the competition, but The White Hart measured up to the challenge and offered a gorgeously sweet pudding. On the side was a serving of banana ice cream that went extremely well, melting into the toffee sauce to produce a morishly good dish.
The final choice was the creme brulee, this came served alongside a peach sorbet and had beautiful presentation. A little dense in texture, the brulee offered a generous portion that is sure to satisfy your appetite. The added peach sauce was a nice touch also, adding something different to yet another traditional pub classic.
The White Hart makes for a lovely drive out, set in picturesque landscapes in Lydgate. The food is way above your average pub standard, the price reflects this but it’s an ideal choice for a family get together. The menu is very fish-focused but there are other options to satisfy those who prefer other dishes (as our choices reflect).