The White Horse, Haselbury Plucknett
Muddy says – village pub outside, Michelin Guide restaurant inside, with a chef from The Oxo Tower and Racine cooking up superb British/Mediterranean food
From the outside – and the inside, to be fair – The White Horse looks like your regular village pub: beams, dried hops, roaring log fires, wood and flag floors. And yes, the former 17th century coaching inn, in Haselbury Plucknett, not far from Crewkerne, is the village pub. It also happens to be a Michelin Guide restaurant.
Chef Richard and front of house wife Rebecca both come with experience in high end London restaurants and hotels including The Oxo Tower and The Dorchester. Their superb British/Mediterranean menus combine fine dining with classic pub food in a super relaxed, friendly atmosphere. No starched white table clothes, just honest wooden tables, chairs and some pews – and some beautiful rustic crockery.
Which brings me onto the food, seasonally changing menus with most ingredients coming from within a few miles of the pub.
We love their amazing prix fixe menus available for lunch from Wednesday to Saturday and in the evenings up until 7.30pm (except for Saturdays). Let me tickle your taste buds! How about chicken, smoked ham hock and prune terrine to start; slow roast belly of pork, braised lentils, vegetables and salsa verde to follow; and crème brulée to finish? Excellent value at £16.95 for two courses and £19.50 for three.
The A la carte menu is available for lunch and dinner from Wednesdays to Sundays, with starters like ‘Sicilian arancini’ crisp bolognaise and parmesan risotto, truffle and Madeira mayonnaise, mains including fillet of bream, orange glazed endive, curry oil, cashew nuts and raisins and if you’ve got the room, desserts such as Griottine cherry clafoutis, damson ripple ice cream.
Come on a Sunday and you’ve also got the choice of three different roasts – or hang it, choose a sharing board and have all three.
Even their bar snacks are special – a little dish of arancini, Bath blue cheese, pear and walnut, anyone?
Wash everything down with a good range of wine, cask ales and ciders. No need to leave the kids or dogs at home; both welcome here, inside by the fire or in the summer, outside in their tiny terraced rose garden.
Opening hours: Weds–Sat, lunch 12pm–2.30pm; dinner 6.30pm–close; Sunday lunch 12pm–3pm.