Having seen that The White Hart at Hackleton had a new chef, we immediately booked in for the opening weekend, having previously been incredibly impressed by his food. Without ruining the review, the food was amazing.
For those who are unaware of The White Hart, it is a traditional British pub in a beautiful Northamptonshire village. Steeped in history, the building is split into two sections, the traditional bar area and the restaurant lounge. We visited on Sunday specifically for the Sunday Lunch. The pub has large car park at the rear and there was plenty of parking available when we arrived. The bar area had a nice vibe too it and was quite busy.
We were greeted and shown to our table at the rear of the lounge, the lounge is quite dated but not overly so, given the age of the building and the village. The tables were well spaced out and well dressed. We were asked for our drinks order and given the new menu to sample, and, as we had visited as a family, the children were offered colouring pads to keep them entertained so we could have think before ordering. What impressed me about the menus was the variety and choice. There were three different menus: the main offering, children’s and then a separate vegan and vegetarian menu. I liked this because if I had dietary requirements, I didn’t have to skim through the menu to find my choices.
We kicked off with starters, whitebait and pan-fried mushrooms accompanied by some chicken goujons for the kids. It is difficult to make whitebait particularly attractive, but it was well presented, and the harissa mayo was very tasty. The mushrooms looked amazing when they arrived and tasted great, the only word of warning here was they were quite heavy with the amount of toast that accompanied them.
I blinked and the children’s chicken goujons disappeared, so we assumed they enjoyed them!
Next up, the main event! We had both opted for the Sunday roast, one blackgate rump of beef and one mixed roast. The menu offered two size options with the roasts but only a large with the mixed which suited us fine. Both roasts arrived upon a full plate and were nice and hot, and were followed by vegetables and cauliflower cheese for the table. I mention this because the vegetables and cauliflower cheese because they were included in the meal price rather than extras which, in our opinion, showed real value for money.
The roasts were colourful, tasty and covered in gravy, a little grumble that we had to wait for someone to ask if needed any further sauces but this did eventually happen. The children both opted for spaghetti and, if I am honest, there was probably far too much in each bowl but then I suppose this was better than not having enough. For anyone on a budget I would suggest a bowl could be shared between two younger children.
We had saved a bit of room for dessert but were made to wait for both ordering and then their arrival. An Eton Mess was joined by a sticky toffee pudding, and both were incredible! The toffee pudding was served with custard and there was plenty of it.
The main takeaway from this visit and review is the food is amazing for not only taste and presentation but also value for money. At a time when everything is increasing in cost or reducing in size The White Hart is still serving full plates for great value. It was almost a nostalgic throwback to a traditional British pub visit where you left full and happy with the cost.
The service, however, didn’t quite match the food, but this should not put you off visiting. In the lounge they were a member of staff down and the two servers did an OK job but were limited in their interaction with their guests and clearing of tables maybe took too long. We were made to wait 30 minutes for the dessert to arrive but soon forgot this when we tucking in. Given that it was the first weekend of a new menu with a new chef, we may be being a little too harsh on the service team and it would not put us off visiting again as you can see for certain that The White Hart will only get better as the team settle in with each other and their confidence grows. A solid 7 out of 10 but it could have easily been a 9 if the service matched the food.
Enjoy our video review here
This visit was booked anonymously and the food and drink was paid for by the writer. – To make your reservation, visit thewhiteharthackleton.co.uk