A few weekends ago, craving a change of scenery and some fresh country air, my boyfriend and I headed to the periphery of the Cotswold countryside for a relaxing weekend away. We opted for the pretty little village of Kings Sutton located in the valley of the River Cherwell just 22 miles north of Oxford.
When booking our ‘home’ for the weekend, a little cottage come converted chapel, the AirBnb hosts highly recommended a place up the road for dinner called The White Horse, which is apparently famed in the local area for serving exquisite food. Needless to say, we were keen to try the place out for ourselves and see what all the fuss was about!
Entering the restaurant, it was immediately obvious that this was the place to go in the village on a Friday night. Locals were enjoying drinks at the bar catching up with family, friends and neighbours after another week at work! The bar area was cosy with plenty of seats and a roaring fire in the corner. Waiting by the bar, we were soon greeted by a friendly waitress who guided us into the restaurant and to our seats. Once sat down, we were brought over the menus along with a complimentary jug water and asked what we would like in it. Lemon, lime, orange, mint, cucumber; the list was extensive and really added value to the service.
After a short perusal of the menu, we were ready to order and very promptly, the friendly waitress took our requests. I opted for the wonderful combo of Breast of Cotswold White Chicken, Crispy Wing & Smoked Bacon Stuffing with Parsnips, Perigold Truffle, Boulangere Potatoes & Chicken Jus, whereas my boyfriend Jack went for Fish & Chips with Pea Puree & Tartar Sauce; a classic in its own right. Before the main course however, we decided to get some wine in. Although we both ordered a house white, we were given a glass of merlot, and even though it was a mistake, it was a welcome addition. The wine was exceptionally fruity and did not have a strong aftertaste, making it a lovely drink. We had only just begun trying the wine, when we were pleasantly interrupted by the chef, holding complimentary basket of whitebait and a selection of fresh breads including rye and sourdough. It was served on a wooden board, with the butter in its own wooden bowl decorated with a large wooden knife over it. The whitebait was accompanied by a simple prawn-cocktail-like sauce, which really added a wonderful flavour. Being greeted by such a dish truly made all the difference, and it’s a shame so many places now don’t do this. The bread and butter, albeit simple, was splendid and it was such a shame when it when ran out… which was in no time at all what with our appetites!!
We had just finished our complimentary starter, when our mains arrived. When my plate was placed in front of me, I was offered firstly truffle to be grated over my dish and then a rich chicken jus. Once I cut into the chicken, I realised how succulent it was, and the taste was incredible. The stuffing and the potatoes, decorated in a wonderful spiral shape, truly packed a punch, and made it a 5-star meal. On the other side, we had Jack’s classic fish and chips. I can’t say how that was, but Jack claims that it was the best fish and chips he’s ever had. I did pinch one of his chips, which is in a way my duty as girlfriend, and I can concur that it was a very good chip.
Once full to the brim, we decided we couldn’t fit in any dessert and so asked for the bill. For what we had, we were pleasantly surprised at how reasonable it was, especially for a Michelin-Star worthy meal. I would highly recommend The White Horse place, as it was arguably one of the nicest restaurants I’ve been to in Britain – a full 10/10. This was cut short however when Jack accidentally set the receipt alight, and we took this as our cue for no more wine…!