The White Hart at Duffield is an historic village gastro-pub which has recently undergone a mini-makeover.
So it seemed the perfect time to try out the Town Street venue’s new menu and see if it still lived up to its excellent reputation in the Amber Valley area.
The pub was packed when we arrived one Saturday evening recently - which is rarely a bad sign.
What struck me was the range of people dining or enjoying a drink. There were families, young couples, pensioners and everything in between, which made for a pleasant atmosphere.
There was a short delay before we were shown to our seats so we ordered a glass of Pinot Grigio for my partner and a pint of Asahi lager for me.
The friendly waitress brought our menus and the variety of the food on offer was impressive.
My partner chose the beetroot and chilli hummus with artisan bread for her starter and the Shanghai barbecue chicken burger as a main.
I opted for the salt and pepper crispy squid and the steak and ale pie to follow. The well-presented starters soon arrived and the squid with spring onion, chilli and lime mayonnaise was deliciously spicy – a perfect appetiser.
There was quite a long delay for our mains to arrive, but the waitress kept us posted and the atmosphere in the pub meant it wasn’t an unpleasant wait.
When my pie arrived it was certainly worth the wait; beautifully tender meat surrounded by soft butter pastry.
The accompanying buttered mash, root vegetables and gravy helped add to a fabulous hearty meal.
My partner also enjoyed her chicken burger, commenting on how tender the chicken was and how the skinny fries were crispy to perfection. Her only complaint was the sauce which she said did not taste of barbecue. Apart from the delay for the main course, I was very impressed with the White Hart.
It offers high quality pub food at a reasonable price and in a pleasant atmosphere for families and couples alike.
Our rating 9/10