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Lincolnshire Pride

Pride’s Review on the White Hart in Lincoln

The White Hart in Lincoln has always been a welcoming sight. After scaling Steep Hill or a day touring the area’s rich heritage – the Castle and Cathedral are next door to the Hotel – the White Hart’s revolving doors, cocktails on demand and warm, cosy lounge area has never been more inviting.

However, you’ll be wanting to visit the highly regarded Hotel for a different reason this month.

Its Grille Restaurant was given a huge refurbishment last year, creating an enticing atmosphere to match the Hotel’s grand entrance. The Restaurant has a superb reputation in the local area; it has won numerous rosettes and accolades from awarding bodies across the country. Therefore, Ian Robinson, the General Manager, felt the dining room needed to be consistent with these high standards.

A vegan option at the White Hart, featuring grilled cauliflower and an onion bhaji.
A vegan option at the White Hart, featuring grilled cauliflower and an onion bhaji.

“We wanted a luxury dining space to match the quality of the food we were serving,” says Ian. “Now we’ve updated the restaurant in keeping with the food, we’ve updated our level of service too. Too often is waitering not considered as a career. Our waiters, waitresses and bar staff go through rigorous training – some have the equivalent of a diploma in the subject – and try every dish on the menu to ensure our staff can offer the highest standards of service. There’s no point in having highly trained chefs in the kitchen if you don’t have highly trained representatives in the restaurant to take orders and serve the food.”

Ian is keen on offering the same service and quality as ‘anniversary places’ but without the expensive price tag. Many good quality restaurants are labelled as places to visit only on very special occasions because of its pricey menu.

“We want to be somewhere that’s considered a real treat at the weekend, a regular spot enjoyed by all, rather than a rare visit for birthdays and anniversaries.” The White Hart welcomes visitors and diners from all over the world; its location no doubt entices travellers coming to the area. However, a large part of their restaurant trade comes from local and regular diners.

A delicious fish dish we enjoyed on the visit.
A delicious fish dish we enjoyed on the visit.

“We support the local economy as much as possible,” says Ian. “We’re based right in the heart of Lincoln, we serve Lincolnshire people and tourists that want to experience what our area has to offer, so we think it’s invaluable that our menu reflects that too.”

The Grille Restaurant uses ingredients from over 20 local suppliers including Cote Hill in Market Rasen, Scaman’s Eggs in Louth, Redhill Farm in Gainsborough, Bateman’s Brewery in Wainfleet and Stokes in Lincoln to name just a few.

“If Kent is the garden of England, Lincolnshire is definitely the vegetable patch. It makes sense to use the superb suppliers that are right on our doorstep, supporting the local economy, reducing food miles but also utilising the best ingredients in the country.”

In addition to its hotel, bar and restaurant provisions, the White Hart also has an exceptional space for entertaining. Their self-contained room has space for 80-100 guests and has its own bar. It’s perfect for weddings, and is primarily used as a wedding venue, but the space can also be used for charity events and balls too. On our visit to the Grille Restaurant, we were able to try a wide range from the chefs as their new spring and summer menus were being tasted by the waitering team.

You'll particularly enjoy the fabulous cocktail bar at the White Hart!
You’ll particularly enjoy the fabulous cocktail bar at the White Hart!

As well as concentrating on local suppliers, the menus are seasonal too, offering something different for regular diners throughout the year. Our personal recommendations from the new spring and summer menu are the rolled loin of rabbit, the pan fried cod supreme and the hay smoked rump of lamb.

Every Thursday throughout the year, you can enjoy Steak Night. Choose from three cuts of meat – steak, lamb and chicken – two sides, a garnish and drink all for just £15. While you dine, you can also enjoy the live acoustic band that performs every Thursday included in the Steak Night price. Sunday Lunch is a very popular menu of course, but so too is the ‘Five of Harts.’ It’s the lunchtime menu with the choice of five mains, starters and desserts.

We take our hats off to the managers, chefs and waitering team at the Grille Restaurant. Their improvements have transformed dining in the Bail, and we can see these changes making the White Hart a hotspot for dining in the city.

Bright purple mash! Very Blumenthal-esque...
Bright purple mash! Very Blumenthal-esque…