Saturday, 12 September 2015

THE WHITE HART - Hambledon Road, Denmead

My Dad couldn't come out to play this week, so I was joined by able deputy, my brother Tom. The sun was out so I thought it would be nice to get out in to the country. To the best of my knowledge I have been to all the pubs in Denmead, but haven't reviewed any of them yet, so we aimed for The White Hart and set forth.

I remember this pub being refurbished several years back, but unlike allot of pubs I've been to after a "Refurb", this one made a significant difference. It's beautifully done out, managing to fuse country pub with contemporary class. I also know the food has always been pretty good and it has a beer garden.
We followed the usual routine of drinks, menus, find a seat, in this case outside, we were even given a little basket containing cutlery, condiments and a wooden spoon. The first thing to say about the menu at The White Hart, is that it is the best sounding menu I've seen for a while. You have your pub standards, but there are also more unique meals on offer, including good vegetarian options, I was tempted by the vegetable and stilton crumble. One thing on the menu interested me above all else, they have started selling freshly made pizza's. Me and Dad have often discussed why more pubs have never got in to pizza. Everyone loves them and the mark up is huge.

When it came to ordering, me and Tom were finding it tricky to choose, so I made a suggestion which broke the first rule of manly food etiquette, we shared. I was curious to find out how good their pizza was, but I'm always up for as many different things as I can fit on one plate, two if necessary. We finally decided on BBQ chicken pizza with added pineapple and sweet corn, and a chicken burger with chips, salad and coleslaw. When the food arrived we got very excited. The menu didn't specify the size of the pizza, but we had no need to worry. The portions were good. When it came to splitting, it was easier than we had anticipated. The pizza was already sliced, and the burger was made up of two chicken breasts. My brother simply cut the ample bun in half and then there were two.

As I said, I remember the food being pretty good here, but this was right up there with the best. The pizza was brilliant, loads of topping and plenty of cheese. Now I know this may upset some people, but I think Domino's are rubbish, absolutely crap. The King of Domino should take a trip to The White Hart and see what a pizza should be like. You might not be able to get it delivered, but it's nearly half the price and a hundred times better. I'd rather pay £9 and go out for a quality pizza than pay £16 to get a crap one delivered.

The burger was also impressive in taste and stature. A big old bun held two chicken breasts, both cheesed up, garnished with lettuce and onion, we were both delighted to note no tomato. At first glance, we thought the prices may have been one or two pounds over the odds, but after seeing the quality and size of the food they may be well within the margins. Most of the mains seemed to be just under £11, although the pizza's were between £8 and £9, very reasonable indeed.

This pub is a real jewel in the Denmead countryside. A beautiful looking pub serving top quality food. A nice place for a few drinks or for a good meal. The White Hart has shot up in my estimation and I won't hesitate to put it up there with the best pubs I've visited.

Atmosphere  9
Service        8
Food            9
Value           8

Verdict:         5*

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