The White Hart, Chipstead
Combining traditional country charm with a contemporary vibe, great local Surrey ales, a no-fuss honest, friendly ambience and lovely walks in the surrounding North Downs, The White Hart has it all.
We were greeted by friendly staff and shown into the lofty panelled dining room, which welcomes visitors with a large open fire. A starter of English asparagus with a soft-boiled hen’s egg, herb salad and a Hollandaise mouselline was fresh and delicate, and the roasted tomato, courgette and basil soup, served with crusty bread and butter, was deliciously wholesome. Tempting main courses included lots of classic seasonal English dishes and plenty of vegetarian options. From the traditional steak and ale pie (made with the Brunning & Price Original Bitter) to the harissa halloumi salad with chargrilled aubergine, spiced chickpeas, almonds and apricots, there is something for everyone. The menu is heavily influenced by the kitchen team, as demonstrated by the filling and aromatic Sri Lankan fi sh curry, which was inspired by head chef Mark’s recent honeymoon.
A custardy crème brûlée with buttery shortbread biscuit, and a lip-smacking black forest trifle with dark chocolate and cherries topped with cream was the perfect end to a stunning meal. The White Hart has a welcoming bar with a vast selection of wine, gin and whisky if you just fancy a drink, but I urge you to visit for a meal – the food is simply wonderful.