The White Horse in Ruddington has recently been refurbished and re-launched as The White Horse Inn and Kitchen, a ‘family gastro pub’ . I had not been into the old White Horse that much in the past, but when I had frequented it I would have described it as ‘comfortably scruffy’ and ‘somewhere to get a decent pint’. In past years, it had been known for having been pivotal in organising the annual Ruddington Beer and Cider Festival.
I had heard rumours for a while that someone new was taking over the reigns and had read a little bit about that in the Nottingham Post (original article here) at the back end of 2013 in November.
In that article the new guys, Andy and Abbie Hunt, had been quoted as saying “We are family people so we want to run a family pub. The ideal would be to have a three or four-generation pub where you have grandads and children under the same roof – a real community pub.”
This all sounded good to me so I made a mental note to pop along and try them out
I had checked out their menu online and saw enough possibilities on there to make sure that I paid them a visit for lunch this week. On that menu and on the board outside the Inn they were advertising the Early Bird Menu offering 2 courses for £10, or 3 courses for £12.50 between 12-7pm. This looked good value but I didn’t really have the time or the capacity to eat that much for lunch on a midweek outing.
If I had partaken then I would most probably have opted for the ‘Homemade soup of the day’ (can’t go far wrong with the soup), followed by the ‘Pork Rib eye, with fries, fried egg & a mixed leaf salad’, and possibly if there was room (and having just had soup there may have been) I may have been tempted to try the ‘Sticky toffee pudding, with toffee sauce & vanilla ice cream’ for pudding or dessert.
I will be honest and say that I had already planned (for several days) that I was going to be ordering the Homemade burger for £8 which was to come with ‘tomato, gem lettuce, toasted focaccia bun, coleslaw, and fries’. Having said that while I sat in my prime position in the dining room I was almost swayed into trying one of the other options that caught my eye. On the larger plate I might have had the ‘Handmade steak & stilton pie, buttered mash, vegetables & onion gravy’ for £10 on the lighter side of things I could have gone for the ‘Mushrooms in white wine on toasted focaccia’ for £5.
Beyond that there were plenty of sandwich options including what I was hoping was a grown up version of a favourite kids sandwich ‘Fish finger, white bloomer, little gem & tartar sauce’ at £6. To be fair though I would have just liked a few birds-eye fish fingers stuffed between two slice of cheap white bread with some ketchup (the reality of that probably doesn’t match my childhood or student memories).
If I was having a sandwich I would have chosen the pick of the menu which for myself would have been the ‘Meatball sub,’ which essentially seems to be a sandwich of ‘spicy meatballs, tomato sauce & melted cheese’ probably in a submarine style roll for £6.50.
I didn’t do any of that though and I probably spent as much time contemplating all that as it just took me to relate my pontification over the menu while waiting for my cooked to order ‘homemade burger’ (about 10 mins – I typed quickly)
I took the option to add Cheese to my burger to make it a Cheese burger and that seemed to work out as a good choice. This is a really well crafted and tasty burger. The burger patty is nice and meaty, it is not at all greasy and you can tell that it is an unfrozen hand formed effort. My only slight criticism is that it was just a little bit well done for my taste, I like my burger cooked medium and when it made freshly that should be no problems I know that it is not as popular in England where people are suspicious if their burgers are not half cremated, but people are learning and places are starting to cook them that way if you ask, perhaps I should have asked? but they often do ask these days.
I had some concern that the foccacio style bun would be a bit hard (It sometimes can be) but it wasn’t the case it, in fact it was a nice light airy bun with a soft bite. The additional bonus enjoyment came from the light hint of rosemary from the lightly herbed roll. You could just see a couple of flecks in top bun slice. The fillings of tomato and lettuce were simple and that was all the burger needed. I would have preferred a herb leaf or rocket leaf instead of the Cos lettuce leaf that I had in there but that is just my personal preference.
My only minor gripe, which I didn’t have until I left and pondered, was that the whole meal came on another one of those wooden bread boards and the chips came in a small metal bin. Who decided that we cant have our food on a plate anymore? It always seems to be on a board or a slate. There must be some ‘Dummies guide to Gastro Pub Food presentation’ out there to blame. It used to be original but now it is getting mildy annoying. I have probably been swayed listening to the critic on last weeks BBC Masterchef who moaned that he just wanted a round white plate. I know how he feels sometimes, well I am a grumpy so and so on occasion 🙂
OK that wasn’t a real gripe and is no reflection on the standard of the food that I ate at the White Horse Inn, no the food was excellent and I really enjoyed my burger, and would eat another one again quite happily. Although I now have my thoughts on the Meatball Sub (mmm Meatball Sub).
The White Horse is located at 60 Church St in Ruddington, Check out the full menus and a list of upcoming events and offers on their website. Follow them on their Twitter Feed and see what they are up to on their Facebook Page as well.
They have a Steak and Burger Night every Wed between 5pm and 9pm which I feel was the night that I should have gone to instead of eating my burger all alone. I heard on the burger vine that they may have more exotic options that night such as kangaroo and crocodile. Um perhaps I shall try that out!