The White Hart

Reviews about The White Hart at Flitton


The following is taken from Bedfordshire County Life magazine


Whenever I am asked to recommend a good restaurant in Bedfordshire I have no trouble
reeling off a couple of dozen where I have enjoyed great food. Suggesting one that also
boasts location, atmosphere, intimacy and lashings of personality from the host is limited to
a mere handful. The White Hart at Flitton is one such venue, which came to me via the personal recommendation of a well-respected, knowledgeable, accomplished, and time-served aficionado associated at one time with one of Bedfordshire’s premier hotels. I would also like to share my experience!

Flitton, one of Bedfordshire’s quiet and unassuming small villages, is off the beaten track.
TheWhite Hart is verymuch the centre of the village and nestles opposite the equally pretty thirteenth-century Church of St John The Baptist to one side and Flitton Moor to the other. Although described as a village pub, the White Hart’s website reveals so much more, including its popularity as a venue for private dining, weddings and special occasion
celebrations. More accurately, it has earned a reputation for its outstanding steaks - as I discovered, having carried out a little research prior to booking a table for an eveningmeal a fewweeks ago. 

The White Hart stands in its own grounds, and a large car park overlooks extensive gardens backing on to Flitton Moor. The bar area is a cosy affair - not 
overly large but spacious without losing that country pub feel - and benefits from views of the church. 

As a free house you can expect a choice selection of cask and speciality beers plus an even wider selection of world wines. Phil, and his partner Clare 
arrived at the White Heart a few years ago, bringing with them a wealth of experience. Phil, whose parents once owned respected restaurants in Sharnbrook and Harrold, works front of house, while Clare creates outstanding dishes in the kitchen with Head Chef Darren.

Menu considered, and Phil’s food and wine recommendations taken into consideration, our orders were taken and our wine swiftly delivered to our table. Two glasses of red: one, a memorable hearty and spicy Shiraz with a fine, deep and most intense flavour, chosen to complement the medium rare 8oz Aberdeen Angus fillet steak I had ordered; and the 
other an Australian Pinot Noir with its light - to medium-bodied appeal and a perfect match for the pan-roasted duck breast. 

Ben waited on our table and, with superb timing between courses, served our starters - a great precursor to what was to follow! My choice of home-made game terrine, toasted ciabatta and tomato and ginger chutney looked every bit as delicious as my palate later confirmed. The dish was a great marriage of colour, texture and taste - smooth 
and not overly rich. The salad was noticeably crispy and fresh; the tomato chutney’s vibrant deep colour set off against the pure white sparkling plate the dish was presented on! My partner had a brilliantly-presented poached pear, sliced and presented on a 
Gorgonzola and walnut salad. Both starters were a visual delight - both outstanding dishes - but our main courses were to be a reminder of the kitchen’s 
consistency and the accuracy of Phil’s enthusiastic description. Both main meals were fantastic - on a par with our starters - and hard to criticize in any respect. 

My Aberdeen Angus fillet steak, supplied by Ingle and Caves from Marston Moretaine, was a choice cut, soft and tender to the touch. Like a hot knife through butter, I cut every mouthful in awesome admiration of the chef’s abilities. A ‘wow’ of a steak: memorable, unforgettable and a ‘must experience again’ fillet, confirming the White Hart’s reputation 
for its excellent steaks! My partner’s pan-fried duck breast looked very tasty. The dish was served with braised red cabbage and a ‘smoked’ beetroot puree, which delivered a 
subtle and unbelievably great secondary taste. I wish I could have taken some home with me! This unique method of preparing an otherwise regular vegetable was a new experience for me. Flitton Hill Organic Farmsupply all the fresh seasonal vegetables. In fact, our salads were fresh, rich in colour and very tasty. A credible dish on their own in fact! 

One of Clare’s specialities is her desserts. Pannacotta is a true Italian example, and her vodka and pomegranate pannacotta is as good as it gets. Despite Phil’s warning that Clare was ambitious with her servings I chose white chocolate, raspberry and 
lavender bread and butter pudding. I was impressed to say the least. This dish is a voyage of discovery! The subtle taste of the lavender gives a perfectly-balanced after taste, offering a mere hint of lavender - sufficiently different for all the right reasons. 

Phil has a personality like a perfectly-cooked steak: he looks tough on the outside but is soft inside! He has a great personality, which revealed itself as the evening progressed. He is the perfect host, knowing when to interject and when to take his leave. Overall, he was a great complement to a superb evening! 

I am often asked how I select the restaurants I review. Mostly, I sniff them out. On rare occasions they come as a recommendation - as on this occasion from a trusted acquaintance who herself has a superb pedigree in the industry. 

There are far too many establishments in the county with pricier menus, serving far inferior food, accompanied by sloppy service. Not so at the White Hart at Flitton. Miss this one and you miss out! I have no hesitation in endorsing the recommendation to eat at the White Hart. I will return again, and will doubtless enjoy the experience: the perfect host; 
the perfect location; the perfect restaurant; the perfect package! One of Bedfordshire’s best! 

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