If you like quintessential pubs, then you’ll like The White Hart in Chipstead, a Surrey Village, full of quaint rural charm on the cusp of suburbia. You probably wouldn’t have heard of it, neither did I until my brother introduced us to it. It turned into a reliable pit stop for the starving crowd who had a whole day of car gawping and driving at the London to Brighton Classic Car run. We were fed only on mediocre chips throughout the day on a sunny Brighton Pier that were given away mostly to the seagulls. Inside, it’s all the large characterful beams, wood panelled walls, open fires and art work entrenched in the pubs past. You can come here to drink cask ales with your sausage and mash or drink Japanese whisky with your tempura salmon with soba noodles. I’m pleased to see it’s good for a traditional Sunday roast as that’s what everyone seems to be ordering – it’s the very essence of culinary Britishness, the universally popular country boozer.
I tried the braised shoulder of lamb £16.25, a slow cooked fibrous thing with fork tender strands of meat that soak up the rich gravy. With it came roast spuds that were mostly soft with crisp edges and were incredibly satisfying for it. Seasonal veg came in the form of shredded cabbage, pickled red cabbage and mashed root vegetables. It’s not boundary pushing stuff, it doesn’t need to be, to be as rewarding and satisfying when it lands in the bottom of my empty belly.
The boss got the roast chicken £14.50 with all the trimmings, that means a disc of stuffing, the same vegetables and gravy. It looked the part, but the bird was slightly over-cooked meaning that the elements didn’t retain all of their virtues. A chalky breast was it’s downfall, but the rest was delightful.
Sticky toffee pudding £6.25 came with toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream obviously. A cliche choice but one that is unbeatable on its day. This one wasn’t on it’s day though, the centre was still freezer cold so had to be returned. A replacement ripping hot one didn’t take too long to come though, it was delectably squidgy and didn’t last long.
Glazed clementine tart £6.25 with orange sorbet and a good smear of chocolate sauce was top notch too.
Hot Belgian waffle £5.95 came with two dollops of phasing honeycomb ice cream and butterscotch sauce. All tasted homemade and slipped down nicely. The kids seemed to love it too.
When did I go? June 2018
The damage: Expect to pay £20/30 per head with drinks
The good: The White Hart in Chipstead is a pleasing village pub full of the delightfully simple pleasures cooked with what tasted like good quality ingredients. I’d definitely swing by again if I was in the area.
The bad: Aside from the freezer cold sticky toffee pudding, there was nothing else to complain about.
Would I go again? Yes
Address: Hazelwood Ln, Chipstead, Coulsdon CR5 3QW