The White Horse Inn at Bridge dates back to the 16th century as an old coaching inn, and its traditional feel is apparent in the beamed cosy bar area containing a huge open Tudor fireplace. However, there was nothing medieval about the dining experience we had in the adjoining restaurant area, which has been stylishly updated and reflects the contemporary nature of this imaginative menu.
From its concise, yet appealing menu, it was difficult to know what to choose, but I opted for the exotic-sounding mackerel escabeche – which the helpful chef was very happy to describe to us (a piquant combination of fish with raisins, pine nuts and chilli), while my husband selected a starter of warm mozzarella. This provided a very promising start to our meal.
For the mains, we opted for the risotto of Gorgonzola, which was rich and creamy (£12.50), and the special of a slow roasted belly of lamb with mashed potato and red cabbage (£16) that was beautifully tender and flavoursome.
Desserts range from traditional apple and rhubarb crumble to more adventurous creations; we chose the chocolate brownie with orange gel and the chef’s special of creme fraiche ganache with plum parfait and choc and rum babas. There’s also a well-stocked bar that includes independent cask ales, ciders and an extensive wine list.
While there may well be more budget-conscious dining options out there, this proved a quality experience that was underlined by the attention to detail and attitude of the venue’s friendly staff. The large garden out the back is also a real bonus.
• Pop into The White Horse Inn, 53 High Street, Bridge, Canterbury CT4 5LA, call 01227 833830 or visit www.whitehorsebridge.co.uk