Saturday, 3 August 2013

White Horse Inn, Washford, Somerset

This is the kind of place that should exist in Stratford, or even just around it. Somewhere rural, not touristy but not ignoring the fact that tourists exist; and local. You know what I mean: local. You sit in the dining area with your wine and sea bass and you can hear them at the bar sitting in vests and jogging bottoms, with a laugh that sounds like 'RAhahaha RAhahahar!'.

This place is textbook rural, but not because it has been set up that way. It really is that rural - low, squatting building, frontage obscured by all sorts of climbing plants, low ceilings, uneven steps, beams. The interior smelt beery, and was slightly dark and festooned with agricultural paraphernalia, in this case related to sheep, so shears, combs and funny looking hinged things with chains*. Carpets were red and gold, seating banquette style, or what appeared to be someone's kitchen chairs. Access was, of course, limited, if not impossible. There is a garden across the lane which has plenty of access, but food and drinks are not brought to the outside tables.

The food was superb. The menu was gastropub quality. We had the sea bass fishcakes with lime and ginger. Crunchy coating with a smooth texture and tangy aftertaste, subtle aroma of fish, small kick of lime in the back of the throat. Chips were fairly chunky, golden brown, piping hot, not especially crunchy but a generous portion. Large salad consisting of leaves, cubes of red and yellow peppers, about three quarters of a tomato and two or three red onion rings. All of which was heavily drizzled with a pungent French dressing. Drew had the scampi on our second visit which had the chips and salad and an eye-popping sixteen nuggets of scampi. Let's be honest - you don't get that around here.

Something else that does not happen around here - two generous meals, large glass of wine and water was a mere £21.

* I don't know. I'm not a farmer.

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