White Hart – Witley
The White Hart at Witley is an Elizabethan (16th Century) public house and is said to stand on the site of an Anglo-Saxon Inn. Thought to have been a Royal hunting lodge, the Grade II listed building is now a pub. It is said to have one of the oldest continuous licences of any pub in England. In fact, for those who like old pubs with plenty of history, this place is perfect!
As you walk through the door you are faced with a small reception area where you wait to be seated. Service was quick and efficient and we were soon seated. For me, the first thing I look at is the wine list and, happily here at the White Hart, it is well stocked with something for everyone. I was personally pleased to see a Rioja Reserva by the glass on the list. I generally prefer older Riojas so this hit the spot! The photo below is from November 2017 and wine lists and menus change over time so for up to date offerings see the link to the White Hart website at the bottom of the screen.
The pub, surprisingly and happily, specialises in Whisky and Craft beer. You can find Porters, Stouts I.P.A.s, lagers and more on offer as well as a great selection of whiskies, bourbons and gins. All the choices are on the menu so you don’t have to go up to the bar and peer over as you have to in some pubs.
We were walk-ins and hadn’t made a reservation but thankfully they found room to seat us. However, I think reserving a table would be the way to go so as to avoid disappointment. As we sat down we were certainly served quickly, with water and menus to peruse. I should mention the broadband here is surprisingly great, being out in ‘The Sticks’, with consistent speeds above 35 MB/S.
The decor is quirky and likeable, indeed, I love things to be a touch weird! From our table water being served in old Gin bottles, for instance, to the plastic deer heads wearing sunglasses, I find the out of the ordinary pleasing and welcoming in these days of conformity and the absence of individuality!
Food at the White Hart
In short, you won’t find the normal pub menu here. The White Hart is famed and rightfully so, for its real smoked BBQ meats. There are a couple of vegetarian options but, be prepared, it’s mainly meat it specialises in. And specialise, it well and truly does. The meats are smoked for up to 15hours following the ‘low and slow’ cooking ethos.
Tam, my S.O. ordered Macaroni Cheese. Tam wasn’t ravenous so wanted a lite bite. The Macaroni cheese was on the sides menu and indeed, turned out to be the perfect size for her. It was beautifully presented, of course, in a cast iron ramekin and very tasty to boot! It was very cheesy, unlike some that can be very floury and had a gorgeous parmesan and mustard crunchy top. Tam commented it was the best she’d tasted in a long time and as our resident cheese expert, she should know!
I went for a small portion (they come in 3 sizes) of the Award-Winning Jacobs Ladder Beef Rib and we had Triple Cooked Chips to share.
The ribs and other meats are cooked in the pub’s own wood-fired smoker, furthermore, it is smoked with sustainably sourced English Oak. The beef rib glaze was excellent and the meat, of course, was succulent and tender. In particular, it fell from the bone and melted in the mouth. I was especially amazed at just how good the beef ribs were, this is ‘ribs done right’. To accompany this I went for the Baron de Ebro Rioja Reserva. Smooth well balanced with plenty of fruit, it is, to be sure, a great accompaniment to the ribs.
The White Hart
By all means, I can thoroughly recommend this quaint old pub with its unique new twist on the BBQ. With this in mind, go there and be amazed! As always, this is not a paid review and to emphasize, all the staff were unaware of my purpose of being there. I spent my own money, and certainly, it was money well spent!
The White Hart
01428 683 695
Click on the map to get Google directions
Prices: Mains £9-£20
Mon – Thurs 12pm – 9pm
Fri – Sat 12pm – 9.30pm
Sun 12pm – 4pm
Yes, fast, over 35MB/s