The Reverend Eats … The White Horse in Blakeney
As part of a weekend away to see the seals, we had to find somewhere to eat in a little village called Blakeney. It didn’t have any restaurants but it did have a number of lovely little pubs and this is one we stopped at for lunch.
Blakeney is a small village on the Norfolk coast and is easy to get to by car. It has lots of similar villages near it however it is THE place to stay if you are wanting to go out on a seal boat. The White Horse in Blakeney is situated on the High Street and does have a small car park, however they do have rooms for rent so the car park can be full with people staying.
Outside the White Horse
It is on the High Street but it isn’t the most commercial of High Streets! There are a splattering of shops but most of the properties are residential (not sure if actual lived in homes or holiday lets). The Car park is just before the pub and the pub manages to blend in so it is quite easy to miss!
Inside the White Horse in Blakeney
Inside it has a very contemporary feel. The pub is a bit bigger than you imagine so you should be able to find somewhere to sit. Importantly, for when you’ve just got back from a long walk, it does have a wood burning stove you can warm yourself up with!
Although we didn’t make use of their rooms, they do have a dog friendly bedroom if you want to bring your four-legged friend.
It was a very relaxed menu at the White Horse in Blakeney. Not overly busy and not trying to do a million different items to cater for every taste. Here the menu is saying, “This is what I can offer, and I’m sure you’ll be able to find something you like.” And it was right!
The White Horse in Blakeney is also an Adnams pub so you can see a few of the real ales making their way into some of the dishes. The final thing of note is that they do have something for vegans on the menu. Its not much but certainly a start and makes sure that vegans can also enjoy a meal there.
As you can imagine, being this close to the sea there are more than the usual amount of seafood dishes – plenty for you to try, if that is your bag.
Where to begin! The menu had plenty to tempts us with but we went for a solid cheese starter. Baked Camembert and a portion of Halloumi Fries. We could have shared just the Camembert but I fancied trying their halloumi fries. I have had some pretty good Halloumi fries so I wanted to see how they compared.
For the main courses we went for the braised brisket and a fish pie. Up until the waiter took our order I was having the lamb shoulder. It sounded lovely and I don’t eat lamb very often. However, when it came to me ordering the main course the words “Braised Brisket” came out of my mouth! Particularly strange in that I’ve been very disappointed by the brisket I’ve had in other places so I really don’t order it any more.
The starters arrived quite quickly and soon we were tucking into them. The Halloumi fries were a trio of fries served with a salsa and a small salad. Not a starter on the menu, but one of their small bites for while you are waiting. They were larger than a fish-finger in size and very tasty. The salsa complemented them well and usually I’d be annoyed at the small number of actual ‘fries’ however with the rest of the meal to come, I was happy there weren’t hundreds of them!
The baked Camembert was the the winner of the two starters. It included a pot of onion chutney which is something a lot of restaurants leave off their baked Camembert offerings. The sweetness of the onion chutney really does cut through the savouryness (is that even a word?) of the cheese. Plated it up it looked really good!
From this picture you can INSTANTLY see what the issue is – not enough bread. The onion and fennel bread was lovely there just wasn’t enough of it! Thankfully they did bring us some more bread when we asked for it and so the Camembert was enjoyed to the MAX! The only thing that could have improved this was it being a bigger Camembert. You can see from the pics that it was more a mini-camembert.
The Mains Event
Its time for THE MAINS EVENT!
In the Red Corner, weighing in at pretty hefty, is the Braised Brisket!
Ale & treacle marinated brisket, served with horseradish mash, red cabbage, broccoli, topped with crispy onions. Stacked on the plate I could tell this was going to be a massive meal. The chunk of brisket was immense, sitting on the mash for extra height. I wasn’t sure if the crispy onions would complement the meal but I can assure you they did!
Although I’m not a fan of ‘mulled’ flavouring, the red cabbage went well with the dish and the tender-stem broccoli gave some much needed greens to the plate. It could have had a bit more gravy, but really I’d struggling to find faults with it.
In the Blue Corner, weighing in at ‘hearty’, is the Fish Pie!
This fish pie contained a trio of fish, smoked haddock, salmon and hake. On the side were Chantenay carrots, tender-stem broccoli and some kale. Compared to the beef it didn’t look as impressive but I’m assured that it was very tasty.
The potato topping of the pie was of a good depth, sometimes fish pies can have a disappointing amount of mash on top of them but this was perfect.
Veg wise, the carrots and broccoli/kale added some much needed colour to the plate. They were also a flavour combo that complemented the pie. There could have been a little more of the carrots but, once again, this would be a nic-pic of the dish.
You would think after a meal like this we’d be too full for a dessert. You would be wrong! It was an early lunch so we wanted to make sure we were full until the evening. After clearing our main courses away the waiter asked whether we wanted to see the dessert menu. Of course we did!
It looked lovely, even to me. I’m not a fan of Sticky Toffee Pudding so went for one of my usual desserts, vanilla ice-cream. Well, two scoops of vanilla and one of salted caramel. It also came with a caramel/toffee sauce! MORE SUGAR!
We had 3 courses and a couple of drinks. There wasn’t much change from £90 including the tip. Quite expensive for a lunch but very nice and we weren’t rushed or crowded in the pub. If we went back it would probably be for just a main course each and this would save about £40, but even £50 for 2 main courses and some drinks is a little high.
Its a captive market in Blakeney and I think that the high prices reflect the seal-related market. The menu is displayed outside so you can see what the costs are before you decide to eat there.
The Reverend’s Final Thought
A bit of a niche review this one. An expensive pub lunch for sure but we both decided that we wanted to eat there so the cost was the cost. The waiting/bar staff weren’t pushy and we managed to have a relaxing meal in a great environment that was seconds from where we were staying.
We would happily go back however maybe not for 3 courses and would definitely pop in for a pint when we come back to Blakeney!