Restaurant Review: The White Horse, Welwyn

A country pub proves more than meets the eye as Clare Bourke discovers on a working weekday lunch

About the restaurantThe White Horse, formerly a 17th-century coaching inn, is essentially an English country pub but has a modern restaurant at the back and a large garden. It is nestled among pretty cottages in the heart of the village. Parking is a bit of a problem however and it took me several turns around the village before the owners finally decided I could double park in front of one of their vehicles.

First impressionsStepping inside this feels very much like a pub for enjoying a pint, not a plate of food. But after a warm welcome we were shown to the back of the pub which has been transformed into a modern restaurant.

Atmosphere and decorThe restaurant has a vaulted ceiling which makes it very light and airy with wooden floors and bare wooden tables. Furnishings are contemporary and the restaurant has a warm and cosy feel. The music was too loud on arrival but this was happily turned down on request.

ServiceThe waiter was efficient, prompt and smiling, and service was quick. After our meal the staff were more than happy for us to stay at our table so we could have a meeting, as this was a working lunch between colleagues.

The menuThere is a wide range of choices from healthy options to more hearty dishes. There were some light nice touches of spring about the menu.

To startMy colleague chose broccoli and stilton soup of the day (�4.95) to start which came served with plenty of crusty bread. She felt there was more stilton than broccoli but the soup was warming and hearty. I opted for the roasted portobello mushroom stuffed with peppers and tomato topped with brie (�5.95). It was served on a lovely bed of salad with red onions, spring onions, cucumber and leaves. The spring onion was a touch overpowering and I personally felt the dish did not need the separate pot of redcurrant sauce as it was delicious without it.

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For mainMy colleague opted for the steak and Guinness pie of the day (�9.95) which consisted of very tender meat in a rich gravy, very good chunky chips and some well cooked vegetables. I chose the fresh tuna steak, salad and olives with balsamic dressing (�11.95). This really did fit the bill as it was light, summery and fresh with its feta, black and green olives, peppers, cucumber and spring onions, which complemented the generously sized tuna steak.

To finishUnfortunately we had to admit defeat after two courses but desserts did sound tasty, with the likes of Belgian waffle with butterscotch and ice cream, chocolate pudding, bramley apple pie and profiteroles, all at �5.45.

Our experienceThe food was of a very good standard with a nice mix of choices and a very good dining atmosphere. At busy times, be prepared to find parking away from Mill Lane as the pub has limited spaces.

The cost of a two-course lunch for two was �41.80 including two diet cokes, a white wine spritzer and a lemonade.

The White Horse30 Mill LaneWelwyn AL6 9ET01438

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