Restaurant review - The White Horse, The Racecourse, Chester
PUBLISHED: 00:00 09 April 2018
Rebekka O’Grady visits the White Horse in Chester, a gastro-pub very much ‘on course’ for success
Situated in a prime position at Chester Racecourse overlooking the pre-parade ring, on a race day I couldn’t imagine a better place to enjoy a glass of champagne while watching the horses preparing in their saddling boxes. But that’s the beauty of The White Horse; it’s as perfect a dining destination outside of racing events. Relaxed and very family friendly, the gastro-pub is effortlessly charming – tartan fabrics and roaring log fires providing a welcome retreat from the city centre streets.
After being seated on a rustic wooden table next to one of the toasty fires, a welcome respite from the freezing temperatures of Storm Emma, we ordered our drinks and browsed the menu. It was lovely to see that where possible, all of the ingredients are sourced locally or from artisan producers. We began with a crusty bread selection – the homemade soda bread was a particular highlight – which was served with Charlie’s Cheshire butter and Bennett and Dunn rapeseed oil and apple vinegar (£4).
Our starters then arrived; my carpaccio of moreish treacle seared Welsh beef brisket was complimented beautifully by a subtle heat from the horseradish cream cheese and peppered carrots (£6.75). My partner’s Bury black pudding and pearl barley Scotch egg was served with a delicious runny yolk, and the apple and cider brandy chutney (£6.50) added a bite to the rich flavours.
For the main course I opted for the slow braised shoulder of Welsh lamb (£16.50), cooked so tender that it fell off the bone. Boulangere potatoes, tenderstem broccoli and roasted chantenay carrots were the perfect accompaniment, all drizzled with a rosemary jus. Over the table was a succulent looking dry aged char-grilled 10oz Welsh sirloin (£21.50). The meat cut like butter and was cooked faultlessly rare; juicy flavours bursting from each bite. Of course I had to pinch a few of the twice cooked chips which were served on the side along with a watercress, caper and cornichon salad.
Trying to select a pudding from the dessert menu was difficult, as with my sweet tooth, each of the dishes sounded just as tempting as the next. Our waitress suggested we share the salted caramel ‘dulce de leche’ ice cream sundae (£6.50). Served in a mammoth glass bowl with heavenly broken brownie, marshmallows and raspberry compote, we felt like old romantics sharing this retro dessert with two spoons.
We sat finishing our drinks next to the fire, trying to persuade ourselves it was time to leave the comforting arms of the White Horse for the freezing temperatures outside. However I knew it wouldn’t be the last time we would be saying goodbye.
The White Horse, The Racecourse, Chester, CH1 2LY.
01244 304650, www.thewhitehorsechester.co.uk.