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Review: The WHite Horse, Hertingfordbury

PUBLISHED: 18:19 05 April 2012 | UPDATED: 21:15 20 February 2013

Review: The WHite Horse, Hertingfordbury

Review: The WHite Horse, Hertingfordbury

Imaginative touches and good value make the White Horse a good bet, says food and drink editor Richard Cawthorne

Imaginative touches and good value make the White Horse a good bet, says food and drink editor Richard Cawthorne



About the restaurant


Tucked just off the main road outside Hertford and dating from the 15th century, The White Horse offers a classic country-pub design with the added benefits of a restaurant, hotel rooms and large garden added over the years and a recent major refurbishment.



Atmosphere and decor


Oak beams 400 years old are a big feature of The White Horses cosy interior; the Garden Room restaurant, while large, is a particularly welcoming area with thick carpeting and, for once, space at the table to breathe.



Service


For this visit I was part of a foursome, enough to justify the attentions of the deputy general manager as well as an efficient and friendly waitress. Our menu discussion also brought out newly-arrived chef Kevin Edwards to discuss the food, another good touch.



The menu


Snails among the starters, a separate chefs specials list and the rarely-seen epoisses on the cheese board were encouraging signs of imagination at work in the kitchen. Twelve starters and 12 mains, including the specials and featuring three substantial vegetarian options, covered most bases and there was some clever work among the accompaniments.



To start


Burgundy snails with garlic butter and bread (6.95) were delicate of flavour while still expertly seasoned. The bread was advertised as crusty and wasnt, but thats a minor quibble. Scallops wrapped in bacon with pea puree and honey glaze (6.95) were properly chunky and hailed across the table as among the best yet. Our companions also praised their tiger king prawns with coconut and sweet chilli sauce and the breaded whitebait with tartare sauce and lemon (both 5.95).



Main courses


The chefs special main course, seabass with lemon and lime cream sauce, fine ratatouille and new potatoes (13.95) was an instant hit with my companion, though the potatoes were considered a bit surplus. I went for Portuguese (ie peri-peri) style chicken with chargrilled polenta cake and wild rocket and parmesan salad (12.95). The meat was tasty enough but the bland polenta didnt really work.



Desserts


Poached pear in red wine (4.50), with one of Carole Maynards exotic ice creams, was an ideal finisher. No complaints were heard.



The experience


A satisfying and good-value meal all round save for a couple of small niggles which are likely to be dealt with in chef Edwards new menu being introduced in mid-April. We felt comfortable and well looked after in pleasant surroundings.


My share of the bill was 61.25 for two, including a bottle of crisp Pinot Grigio and one coffee. Service was extra.



BOOK A TABLE


The White Horse Hotel


Hertingfordbury Road


Hertingfordbury SG14 2LB


01992 586791


www.fairviewhotels.com



This is an independent review featuring a restaurant selected and experienced by our food and drink editor. The restaurant was not told it was being reviewed.

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