Apologies to my readers who don’t live near me, this is a post about a local eatery, The White Horse, that has been refurbished. Its been beautifully done and Hertford is a lovely old market town to visit – plus there are seven bedrooms opening at The White Horse in the next week, so please read on as it would make a lovely weekend pilgramage!
So anyway, The White Horse. Set in the pretty little rural village of Hertingfordbury (or Hertingfordburie as its called in the Domesday book), just outside the county town of Hertford, The White Horse is a 15th century Georgian fronted building. It has been a hotel and restaurant for as long as I can remember; when I was a teenager (many moons ago….) my grandparents often used to take us to the restaurant for Sunday lunch. It was a smart affair, white table clothes and silver service (to be honest I found it a bit boring but the food was always good and it was very popular with the adults, especially my grandmother who always enjoyed the sherry).
Sadly it went downhill – a cheap motel like extension was added to the Georgian building and it became known as a bit of an OAP destination with its overcooked vegetables and soggy yorkshire puddings. Although I drive past it most days, it was never a place we’d frequent, which was a shame as its a pretty spot with a great history.
So I was delighted when I found out a year ago that the building had been sold to a local independent restaurant company and development plans were underway. After extensive refurbishment (that hideous 70s style motel extension has gone, as has the 80s conservatory), The White Horse reopened just a few weeks ago and its looking like it could very quickly become our local. We have yet to eat there for dinner or Sunday lunch (fully booked most weekends) but we popped down for the most delicious brunch and were more than pleasantly surprised by the elegant light filled dining room and modern brasserie style brunch menu.
The chic interiors are fantastically photographable, with lush indoor plant features and a hanging garden that adds a touch of exoticism. I love the blue banquette seating and patterned fabrics, plus the decorative wooden floors, which offer an industrial contemporary touch – very refreshing in an area where most pubs are cosy and quaint.
Its not just a pretty face though, the food stacks up too. As a party of six, we tried out the American style pancakes (with cinammon butter), Eggs florentine on homemade scones and brioche breakfast butties. All received an enthusiastic seal of approval (apart from the 7 and 9 year olds who found some of the ingredients too adult – note to The White Horse, could you add some simpler options for the little ones).
The coffee was better than average – not the best flat white ever (that award goes to LuLu’s coffee in the neighbouring town of Ware), but it wasn’t far off the mark. I was tempted to try one of the breakfast cocktails – will report back after my next visit!
Ingredients are locally sourced from round the county and the food was fresh and delicious. I loved the slight twists on the menu – the handmade scones with the Eggs Florentine made a welcome change from muffins. Service was good too, we had a charming bearded waiter (if you’ve seen my post mentioning our Mixologist in Tuscany, you’ll notice a theme developing here…. !) who was knowledgeable about the menu and ingredients.Theres a pub at the front of the building which is slightly more traditional and cosy, plus a good sized paved terrace at the back which has yet to take shape – still early days.
I took a look at the dinner menu and was impressed with the options, which include a decent range of vegan and vegetarian meals and a good choice of Gluten Free alternatives (including fish and chips).
No website as yet but theres a Facebook page here. I’ll report back when I’ve been for dinner and sampled a few cocktails (and maybe even a sherry….)!