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Eat My Words: We review The White Hart in Ufford





I’ve got a confession to make – I am not a foodie.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy food and I’m more comfortable sitting at a dining room table than I am standing over a hot stove, but I am just as happy with a beige buffet than a meal worthy of a mention in the Michelin guide. Food is food and if it tastes good I’m happy to try anything.

So when I was invited to try the fine and country menu at The White Hart in Ufford for our Eat My Words reviews, I was excited but, admittedly, a little apprehensive. Surely only foodies should be invited to try a menu where – and I quote the manager here – “our chefs get to show off some excellent, elevated cooking”?

The White Hart in Ufford
The White Hart in Ufford
Kerry Coupe at The White Hart in Ufford
Kerry Coupe at The White Hart in Ufford

It was the day after Valentine’s Day that my husband and I arrived at this quiet and unassuming country inn, just outside Stamford. Outside it looks like it’s been dropped straight from an idyllic Christmas card scene and all that was missing was the snow over the sign. Inside it’s no different.

We declined the offer to enjoy a drink in the bar area and were led through a snug into a conservatory-style room but, on closer inspection, it was a roof joining two 17th century buildings. It was cosy, yet clean which you sometimes don’t find in older buildings that are hard to dust and become a haven for spiders and not just for visitors looking for a delicious meal or drink.

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With rooms to stay in, many of those dining appeared to be staying over – perhaps visiting the area – and it was busy, but not heaving. Of course it was a wet and dark February night but I would have liked to see it bustling with diners, such was the quality of the meal that followed.

Ox tail croquette at The White Hart in Ufford
Ox tail croquette at The White Hart in Ufford
Ham hock and partridge terrine at The White Hart in Ufford
Ham hock and partridge terrine at The White Hart in Ufford

Red roses adorned the table and the beams above but, this being our first visit, I don’t know if that was to mark the day before or a regular feature. Either way, it was a nice touch.

Our server, Chris, didn’t judge me when I asked for a white wine and replied ‘any’ – I am no wine connoisseur either – and happily informed me the house white was lovely. I took her word for it, and duly ordered a large glass. She definitely wasn’t wrong. So much so that my offer to drive home was very quickly rescinded. I photographed the menu and will definitely be tracking down the Portuguese Cintila in the future. My husband Richard was left to drink Diet Coke. We were also given a board with spongey focaccia with balsamic and olive oil dip – which we happily tucked into while considering the menu.

As well as the fine and country menu, there’s an à la carte offering featuring dishes such as ox cheek and truffle risotto. There’s also a pub classics menu with three different types of burger, pie of the day and fish and chips.

But we kept our focus on the fine and country menu, which helpfully suggests an accompanying wine to each of the main courses to help you along. I opted for the ox tail croquette, followed by rack of lamb; while Richard chose ham hock and partridge terrine and veal osso-bucco. These were unusual choices for both of us – I would normally choose a fish dish in a restaurant given that Rich doesn’t tend to like fish but he’d considerately cooked me salmon the night before; and he would usually choose lamb but was intrigued by the veal dish and we were keen to sample as many dishes as possible.

I noted from the menu that the ham, ox and lamb were all from nearby Willowbrook Farm – keeping those food miles down.

The rack of lamb at The White Hart in Ufford
The rack of lamb at The White Hart in Ufford
The Veal Osso-Bucco at The White Hart in Ufford
The Veal Osso-Bucco at The White Hart in Ufford

My ox tail croquette was served on a creamy celeriac and onion puree and was absolutely beautiful, the meat being soft and tender inside the crispy shell. It had what the menu informed me was a potato crisp on the top of it – but I wasn’t overly sold on its texture.

Richard’s ham hock and “locally shot” partridge terrine was served on “our brioche” and, while he enjoyed it, he scraped some of the accompanying mustard cream off, finding it a tad too strong.

Neither of us could find anything to complain about with our main courses. My herb crusted lamb was perfectly cooked and was served with potato dauphinoise – surely the best way to cook potato – carrots and green beans and softly cooked baby onions and tomatoes, all with a bone marrow gravy.

The fine and country menu at The White Hart in Ufford
The fine and country menu at The White Hart in Ufford

Our lack of foodie knowledge came to the fore when Rich had selected his veal dish – veal shin steak braised in a vegetable stew with fried polenta and gremolata. “What’s gremolata?” he whispered. “A sauce?” I replied. Even so, his plate was quickly cleared, with a comment about how beautifully all the meat had been cooked.

As someone who looks at the dessert menu ahead of the mains, I’d already mentally chosen what I was having – brulee lemon cheesecake - well before Chris asked if we’d like to see the dessert menu. The menu read caramel flame but it hadn’t occurred to me this was an actual flame until I spotted it arriving at a neighbouring table. I was still enamoured by it and determined to capture it on camera for Instagram. It came with a raspberry sorbet that was sweet rather than sharp and the cheesecake was perfect. I would visit again just for this dessert and if you go along, I highly recommend it.

Richard chose the sticky toffee pudding which came with a caramel sauce and ice cream. He would have liked another spoonful of the sauce but said it was delicious and polished it off before I could even have a bite.

Sticky toffee pudding at The White Hart in Ufford
Sticky toffee pudding at The White Hart in Ufford
Eat My Words, a review
Eat My Words, a review

At the end of the meal, we were satisfied and happy and so, thanks to these Eat My Word reviews, we have found another food haunt. If I keep having meals like these, perhaps I will soon be able to call myself a proper foodie after all.

Out of five:

Food: Any complaints would be nitpicking. Delicious food and delicious presentation *****

Drink: I was impressed with my house white and will be looking it up to buy again *****

Decor: Cosy and warm, and I enjoyed the references to stags throughout the restaurant to match the logo ****

Staff: Chris was lovely and I liked how she kept a respectful distance to make sure you’d swallowed a mouthful before she approached, during every course, to ask if everything was OK. She was also efficient and friendly *****

Price: As we were invited, our meal was complimentary but the fine and country menu is £28 for three courses Tuesday to Thursday and I would happily pay that for the quality of food we got. Pub classics and dishes on the a la carte menu start from £15 for a main *****

Have you had a great meal? Share your own Eat My Words reviews or tell us where to try by emailing: news@lincsonline.co.uk



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