Pub review: White Horse at Bridge

PUBLISHED: 08:38 25 June 2016 | UPDATED: 08:38 25 June 2016

The White Horse at Bridge

The White Horse at Bridge

Manu Palomeque 07977074797

Just outside Canterbury is the pretty village of Bridge, and right in its centre is the White Horse, offering a good choice of homely fare.

Dating back to the 16th century, The White Horse at Bridge was once a ‘baiting’ or halting house, not distant enough from Dover for a full stage but handy for a change of horses.

It seems fitting that the forge is right next door; shoeing the horses changed at the inn would be thirsty work and the pint of Kentish ale literally to hand would have meant both smith and innkeeper prospered through the centuries until the New Iron Age. Even today, all beer is drawn direct from the wood.

Inside signs of antiquity are all around, from the Tudor fireplace in the large bar with its moulded beams to the barely decipherable remains of a white horse painted long ago on the lintel of the great fireplace.

The front of the inn is Regency, or very early simple Victorian. Recently refurbished inside and out, the exterior paintwork is smart white with black detail while the carpeted restaurant section, where we ate, is painted in trendy dark grey with purple accents (water glasses, place mats and dried flower arrangements).

Black and white scenes of Bridge hang on the walls and seating (up to 45) is smart brown leather chairs at wooden tables.

Seasonal, locally sourced produce is used where possible by head chef David Kirton, see below (although this rule sadly doesn’t seem to extend to any local wines or juices), with ‘specials’ handwritten on a board supporting the different lunchtime and evening menus. The garden comes into its own in the summer, when barbecues and hog roasts are a feature.

My Dining Companion and I met for lunch, where the choice includes soups, light bites and baguettes, plus a children’s menu, three set menus and a good choice of pub classics such as battered fish and chips, Brogdale pork sausages and ham hock.

I opted for a blackboard special of tasty duck breast served with heritage potatoes, carrots, asparagus and a good rich gravy, while MDC thoroughly enjoyed her hearty beef brisket burger, served in a brioche bun with onion marmalade and “to die-for” chunky chips and a sprinkling of super-fresh pea shoots.

Our pudding choices were homely and well executed: a tasty apple and rhubarb crumble (but I would have loved a choice of custard, not just ice cream) and a rather hefty but nonetheless pleasant warm lemon sponge.

Service was friendly and we never felt hurried, the facilities are immaculate and I have made a mental note to return for dinner in the winter months and sit next to one of the roaring open fires. Truly a pub for all seasons.

THE ESSENTIALS

Where: The White Horse Inn

53 High Street, Bridge, Canterbury CT4 5LA

01227 833830 or info@whitehorsebridge.co.uk

www. whitehorsebridge.co.uk
What: 16th-century coaching inn

When: Restaurant: Mon-Sat 12 noon-3pm, 6pm-9pm, Sun 12 noon-5pm

How much: Ham hock terrine, £4.95, battered fish and chunky chips, £9.95, apple and rhubarb crumble, £4.95 w

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