Dining Out at The White Horse
This month we’re backing a winner with a visit to The White Horse in Baston… and we’re not the only ones!
We’re backing a winner this month, and we’re not the only ones. As we turn up to The White Horse in Baston it’s a lovely sunny day, with happy diners just finishing their lunch before heading off to enjoy an afternoon lazing about in the garden.
It’s nice and relaxed… at least… until the horses in the Queen Mary stakes – the 2.30pm fixture at Ascot – are off. Front of House Manager Danny Steward reckons he’s got an eye for a good horse, and sure enough, having put a bet on The Ridler and Wallbank to each place first or second, canny Danny is £250 up. He’s a happy man.
His winnings are more than enough to fund a good night out at a nice restaurant with a really decent bottle of wine. Mind you, Danny would struggle to find somewhere with food as delicious as Baston’s White Horse, even if it might be a bit of a busman’s holiday to dine in the place you work.
Created in the 1700s, The White Horse was originally a village pub called The Spinning Wheel. Its name was changed prior to 1840 and it continued to operate until October 2012 when, unfortunately, the place went the same way as many village pubs.
Industry magazine The Morning Advertiser reports that still in 2021, we were losing about 37 British pubs a month, which means that only the best survive, and that’s probably why The White Horse has been in good health since it reopened following a restoration in July 2013.
Today it’s owned by Jo Richardson and family, who are also local arable farmers producing cereals and potatoes about a mile down the road from the pub. Jo, Danny at front of house, Executive Chef Ben Clark and Head Chef Adam Childs recognise that to be a really successful pub these days, you need to offer a warm welcome, a great setting and really good food.
Happily The White Horse delivers on each of the above criteria, and comes highly recommended following our visit.
I really do wish The White Horse was my local, as there’s such a lovely feel when you walk in. Danny is keen to point out that the team is really grateful to the locals who all support the place, aside from welcoming in diners from a radius of about an hour.
There’s a proper traditional bar, which can accommodate diners, as well as the main restaurant with 34 covers, a snug with space for 16 people, also featuring a wood burner for the cooler months, and an outdoor terrace with its own bar which was a wonderfully sunny space during our visit. The White Horse also has a first floor dining room which can be used for private dining parties.
Lunchtime service provides eight options from a traditional – but nicely executed – fish ‘n’ chip dish, plus a hand made burger with all of the accoutrements from pickles to skinny fries, as well as a few gourmet sandwiches from a ‘posh’ fish finger option and a bavette steak offering. Sunday lunch has its own menu with sirloin of beef and roasted loin of pork presented with all the traditional trimmings.
There’s a ‘Nosebag’ bar menu, too, with snacks, and a children’s menu as well… but it’s to the à la carte menu that we direct you most of all.
Ben’s evening menu comprises three starters, eight main courses including two grill options a daily-changing ‘catch of the day’ and two vegetarian options. Ben reckons there’s
always plenty on offer for those with gluten-intolerance, too. We think the menu is sufficiently succinct to demonstrate Ben’s ability to create people-pleasing dishes without spread-betting across loads of dishes.
Fewer dishes means he’s more well-versed in creating each one, too, and that he can carry fewer – and by extension, fresher – ingredients, which in turn has a really positive impact on each dish.
Fish is delivered directly from Grimsby docks each morning by Moorcroft and Ritter, butchery is provided by Bourne’s Alec Day, and fruit and veg suppliers are Colins and Freshdrop. A keen kitchen gardener, Ben has also established a kitchen garden on Jo’s farm and will soon be growing as much of his own produce as possible.
Ben bakes his own speciality bread, creates his own ice creams and sorbets, and makes all sauces and desserts from scratch. It shows, too.
Dishes are beautifully presented, simply enough to let a really good ingredient come to the fore, but still inventive with real skill and creativity invested. The White Horse may look and feel like a village pub, but like Danny’s horse… it’s a real winner!
On the Menu
Soup of the day with freshly baked bread £7.
Handmade bao buns, crispy pork shoulder, handmade kimchi, sirracha mayo £8.
Goat’s cheese with rhubarb and lightly curried granola £7.
Hand-made tagliatelle, roasted artichoke, smoked cheddar, herb dressing £14.
Crispy lamb shoulder, chickpea tagine, lemon and herb dressing £18.
Pan-fried chicken supreme with potato rösti, leeks and pickled shittake £17.
Beer-battered fish with triple-cooked chips, tartare sauce, curry sauce and mushy peas £14.
White chocolate panna cotta with Yorkshire rhubarb and ginger crumble £7.
Banana bread with honey Chantilly cream caramelised banana and salted caramel ripple
ice cream £7.
Warm rum baba, with raspberry, and crème Chantilly £7.
Dining Out at The White Horse:
Location: Baston, near Bourne.
The Pitch: 18th century country inn nestled between Bourne and Market Deeping providing really satisfying quality pub restaurant dining,
Opening Times: Tues & Wednesday 5pm to 10pm; Thursday 12pm to 10pm; Friday & Saturday 12pm to 11pm; Sunday 12pm to 10:30pm.
The White Horse, Church Street, Baston, Peterborough PE6 9PE. Call 01778 560923 or see