CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe for £25 today CLICK HERE

Pub review: The White Horse, Bearsted

PUBLISHED: 17:33 11 November 2013 | UPDATED: 17:33 11 November 2013

The White Horse, Bearsted

The White Horse, Bearsted

Manu Palomeque

Country setting for a leisurely Sunday lunch

Sunday lunch at The White Horse in Bearsted, near Maidstone, is a lively affair. We arrived to find an overflowing car park, a bar and restaurant brimming with families, and an army of waiting staff.

The building, which dates back to the 17th century, is a traditional whitewashed inn with uninterrupted views over the village green. Inside it’s a nice mix of authentic and contemporary. The bar 
and lounge areas are atmospheric, with exposed beams, stone floors, and logs 
piled in wicker caskets for a crackling fire.

The restaurant winds up through 
three levels, from a low-lit ground floor 
to a bright and lofty mid-level dining 
area (the village hall in days gone by) 
and up into a cosy attic space.

Sunday lunch is not just busy, it’s an all-day event, with orders taken from noon to 9pm. So when my husband, toddler and I settled down at around 3.30pm it didn’t feel like we were too late to the party.

Alongside traditional roasts, we found 
an exciting selection of starters and desserts on the Sunday menu, such as Black Pearl scallops with butternut squash purée and chorizo, and chocolate marquise with caramelised hazelnuts and chocolate gelato.

The à la carte menu (British mixed with Mediterranean) was also available, with offerings like fish pie and wood-fired pizzas, as well as some specials of the day.

We didn’t order a separate dish for our 14-month-old, but the children’s menu looked way above average.

The selection, all at £5.95, included a 
Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Applewood cheddar sauce, pumpkin seeds and pangrattato.

Our starters were arancini balls with 
red peppers and chilli mayo (from the à la carte), and spiced monkfish tail on crushed potatoes and olives (Sunday menu). Both arrived artistically dressed on black slates.

The arancini were outwardly crisp and inwardly gooey with mozzarella. The monkfish was juicy and nicely dusted with spice. We were off to a very good start.

My husband opted for lamb rump marinated in roast garlic and rosemary. The meat and trimmings, such as the honey and thyme carrots, were cooked just so, but the flavour of the meat marinade didn’t come through, which left the dish feeling a little plain. However, we were cheered by the presence of a large Yorkshire pudding, which should never just be the preserve of the beef eaters. My à la carte order was the spit-roast chicken with fries, Asian slaw and a piri piri sauce, delightfully presented on a wooden board, fries in a wire basket, sauce in a jug. It was clearly all home made, and both my toddler and I approved.

Desserts were hard to resist. We had a perfectly wobbly pannacotta with mint and strawberries and a French lemon curd and almond sponge with vanilla gelato that was tart and sweet, and satisfying.

The White Horse is part of Mitchells 
& Butlers’ empire of 1600 managed pubs, bars and restaurants, including familiar brands like Harvester, O’Neill’s and Browns. The White Horse falls under the Premium Country Dining Group but still feels reassuringly individual.

Part of that might be down to its energetic manager, who’s been at the helm for just over a year. Simon Hagen is intent on fostering a real community spirit at the pub.

It’s undoubtedly a premium offering, with prices to match. High staffing levels did ensure we got very attentive service while we were there, and Simon tells me there’s a team of nine chefs, all trained by HQ. We would definitely visit again. n

Read Julie Cramer’s blogs at Life and Chai (www.lifeandchai.wordpress.com)

More from Food & Drink

Tue, 08:02

'Kent, sir, everyone knows Kent. Apples, cherries, hops and women,' proclaims a character in Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers. We have gathered some traditional dishes from around the county that were borne of the fruitful orchards and seas of Kent

Read more

One of the many things we excel at is afternoon tea, and in Kent there are few finer settings than Eastwell Manor

Read more

The story of Chapter One continues to evolve under the expert touch of executive chef-patron Andrew McLeish

Read more

Meet the young man determined to take his family's fruit and cobnut farm into the future

Read more
Thursday, October 24, 2019

After a long nomination and judging process we can reveal the finalists for the Kent Life Food & Drink Awards 2019 taking place at the Ashford International Hotel on November 28

Read more
Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Wine Garden of England Festival is taking place at Rochester Cathedral in November, in celebration of the fact that some of the finest tipples can be found right here in Kent

Read more
Thursday, October 10, 2019

The chef-patron of Chapter One, Andy McLeish, on an old family favourite, pumpkin pie

Read more

The Best Western combines Victorian detail with modern convenience and offers a cracking steak house too

Read more
Tuesday, September 17, 2019

From Creole-inspired seafood to rustic Italian dishes, Margate is rapidly becoming one of Kent's top places to eat. We've gathered 10 of the best places to eat in the town

Read more
Friday, August 30, 2019

No Sunday is complete without a roast dinner, and in the glorious county of Kent you'll be spoilt for choice with fantastic places to go. We have picked 12 great places where you can indulge in a roast with all the trimmings

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life