The White Hart is just across the East Sussex border from Northiam, literally the first pub in Kent after crossing the river. Hadn’t been there in a few years and it has been opened up and seems a lot more light and airy. It used to feel pretty dark.
There was some confusion on our part as to whether we could eat, as they had a large party lunching in the garden.
I was somewhat surprised that a member of the bar team didn’t know what Perrier is. I chose Pimm’s over sparkling Strathmore. Strawberries in the Pimm’s was a nice touch, as was the stripey paper straw.
I chose Devilled Whitebait as a starter, which came with a tiny portion of mayo. It’s a favourite of mine since I was a child and not something which is easy to find. Some of the whitebait seemed too oily, like they hadn’t been cooked at a high enough temperature, but the fish tasted good.
The Husband had the Butcher’s ham, eggs and chips. This came with something which could have been chutney. As he has to eat gluten-free, he didn’t risk it. He declared the ham, eggs and chips to be excellent.
My mother had a vegetable moussaka, which came with garlic bread. It looked bubbly, like a thicker version of a poppadum. No photos because the Kindle couldn’t decide where to focus. She loved it.
I plumped for a Halloumi salad with a side of coleslaw. The cheese was warm, but it was disconcerting, to find a warm plate under the frisée. The portion size it has to be said, was generous, in total and there was a good amount of non-squeaky Halloumi.
The chick peas, baby corn, capers, olives, cherry tomatoes, spring onions and sweetcorn were tiny. There were also some snippets of a herb, which were tough – possibly parsley stalks. The salad didn’t come with a dressing and I wasn’t offered any. Luckily, there was that teeny pot of coleslaw. This included mustard seeds which made it unusual and there was a hint of possibly horseradish. I did enjoy the salad but to me it needs less frisée, bigger ingredient sizes and some dressing.
My seat had the view of Grade II listed St Peter’s church.
The chefs could be seen working in the kitchen and they did a very creditable job, considering that they had a party of 25 to deal with and other lunch customers.
I did spot one chef with a big beard and that concerns me, because when I worked as a chef that would never have been allowed in any kitchen that I worked in. Plus, in a factory producing food, he would be required to wear some sort of net or mask and it didn’t look like he was wearing one.
As someone who contracted e.coli 0157 from dinner at a pub in Folkestone and spent 8 days on an isolation ward, scrupulous hygiene is important to me !
Service and presentation were good, it’s not a bad pub and I enjoyed my food, albeit with reservations.