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Latest venue reviews
Yet again we went to the White Hart for lunch. Wonderful friendly staff, iced cold white wine, and fab food! I am yet to be disappointed with this splendid pub. Absolutely nothing to grumble about, except running out of time! Perfection!
hippychic62 (DI User), 13/05/13
The White Hart looks lovely from the outside. Sadly this is where the sense of excitement ends.
ProperEllipsis (DI User), 16/04/13
Four of us went here on a Saturday lunchtime having booked a table. We concluded that it is a beautiful pub and its location with decent, there was good value food but the inconsistent service let the place down.
The waiter succeeded in making me feel like an inconvenience and not at all welcome which was a real shame because it would otherwise have been a really enjoyable afternoon in a lovely setting with good food. I had a tasty sausage & mash and my friends all enjoyed their food too, some basic customer service skills were all that we required.
jo_* (Unverified), 10/03/13
Location! Location! Location! It's perfect on a winters day with their big open fires!
Everytime we visit, the food and service have been just great.
It's sad to see some bad reviews of this place - perhaps people are getting their White Harts mixed up!
We will be visiting again soon.
oxfordking (Unverified), 22/01/13
This place is great! The food and service are perfect, and it is in a great location.
I will be visiting again very soon.
Janet (Unverified), 07/01/13
Four of us visited The White Hart, Wytham on Friday 14 December. The evening was like a sketch from 'Fawlty Towers' and we left feeling disappointed and angry.
My husband, who was looking forward to the 'Christmas Celebration Menu', was disappointed as this should have been pre-booked - something not mentioned in the newspaper advertisement.
We waited 50 minutes for the first course (after a reminder to staff). As it was past 9.00pm, we decided to stick it out and endured another long wait in a very smoky and cold room.
The staff were very apologetic and offered us all a free drink and placed an electric heater near us (in front of the old and very smoky wood-burner). It was little compensation. The heater leads trailed across the room so we placed a chair over leads to prevent an accident and ate the first part of the main course with our coats on.
All the food was of good quality but presentation was poor - venison with mash and parsnips - no colour. We were offered another meal as compensation but declined as we will not be visiting again.
Patsy (Unverified), 17/12/12
In very short notice we went on a Friday afternoon to the White Hart, and the beer garden in the sunny weather was just what we were looking for this occasion. With uncomplicated seating of our own choice, young and friendly serving and a good ale we started and could order as usual on the bar which gave us the privacy on the table we like. Personally I don't like to be interrupted every 5 min by waiters asking me if everything is alright and feeling permanently eyeballed. So this was just to our taste. The mains were good food on a higher than pub or inn level and imagine this... the young lads there been the first in a loooong time to firstly know that double espressos do exist on this world and secondly making one which tastes well and serving it without a big fuss.
Well done! We definitely come back to chill in the beer garden or for an espresso :). A definite 'like' (despite the other reviews here)!
Anna (Unverified), 27/07/12
Another not very special birthday meal for us too. First, a long wait at the bar to find out which table had been reserved for us, with two members of staff behind the bar seemingly doing nothing.
When we were finally shown to the table, somebody's kids were climbing on it and there were footprints which nobody came to wipe off. One waiter was very slick, efficient and charming but the other was dozy - we had to get our own cutlery, for example. The food was slow to arrive and nobody came to offer us more drinks. When it did eventually come, it was standard pub grub fayre and certainly didn't merit the prices charged.
There are other equally picturesque pubs in the vicinity which seem to offer far more for less money and I think these will be getting our business next time.
Wolvercotephile (Unverified), 13/05/12
After a refurbishment a couple of years ago, the service and food were fantastic. Great location, great menu, great welcome. HOWEVER: a new team then took over and it has been downhill all the way. We have tried it three times in the last year and it has been as bad or worse every time. Some sample offerings have included:
- a steak and kidney pie with gravy that was so salty it was inedible
It is a terrible shame that the staff, chef and management seem so incapable of running such a wonderfully located local pub. Maybe the good website brings more customers in, but from my perspective (and most of the other reviews here) the sooner a new team can be found to rescue the White Hart, the better.
RobsterLobster (Unverified), 08/05/12
We arrived at the White Hart at Wytham on Mothers Day 2012. No one stepped forward to show us to the table we had booked. We finally found a table ourselves, but felt we had to leave because of the extremely poor service.The day was ruined. Customer service training desperately needs to be put in place.
Shaide King (Unverified), 18/03/12
I live locally and have been to the pub a few times in the past few months - each time the service has been shocking.
I ordered a steak pie and when the pie arrived and I cut into it the meat was chicken - when I asked the waiter what had happened I was informed that they had run out of steak. I was surprised I hadn't been informed of this before the pie arrived, so that I could be given the option of choosing something else.
More recently we had to wait an hour for our food, when the pub was not too busy - by the time the food arrived we had finished our drinks. When we asked the waiter for more, I was told, quite abruptly, that I would have to go to the bar. So I duly went up to the bar and waited for 15 minutes to be served, meanwhile my food was getting cold back at the table.
The pub is in a stunning village and looks the part, the food is good quality and is better than the food at the nearby alternative - the consistently poor service lets the place down.
LocalFoodie (Unverified), 13/03/12
Four of us went for a meal last night (Monday) and we were all very disappointed. The service was awful, we waited at least 10 mins at our table for someone to take the order, in the end one of us went to the bar to enquire if we had to place orders at the bar, told no someone would be with us, another 10 mins passed before our order was taken.
We waited 25 mins for basic starter and then about 35 mins for main course. Pub was far from busy, but it seemed all tables were having to wait a very long time for their courses. Pub itself is beautiful, and would be a shame to lose trade but the staff really need to be more customer focused, helpful, courteous.
DL (Unverified), 28/02/12
We returned in trepidation to the White Hart with the in-laws for Sunday lunch today. Echoes of a rather farcical meal here a few years ago caused a little prickle of anxiety for all. We were very pleasantly surprised with the change in management. The pub itself is nicely presented, the ale is good and the service was great - even on a busy Sunday. Lovely roast beef, fish and risotto were enjoyed, sandwiched between some tasty starters (pint of prawns and a baked camembert) and delicious puds. Reasonable prices only served to sweeten the experience. We will be back. Yum.
Greedygoose (Unverified), 26/02/12
We had Christmas day lunch here and it was good but HUGE. Whopping crocks of delicious paté and portions so large only my six foot son finished it all. The rest of us had to take it home in doggy bags. I like the more appropriate decor and was glad to see it being used as a real pub again - people drinking without eating - even on Christmas day. Under the old regime non eaters were not usually welcome. It is run by keen young men who are still learning but trying so hard.
localwoman (Unverified), 29/12/11
Had a really bad experience here. The staff weren't polite and the food took 55 minutes to come out. At one point the waiter acted quite affronted when we asked for cutlery after the food had been on the table for 5 minutes.
Several of our party ordered the risotto and it was horrible. It was shockingly presented, really bland and very overcooked. Both dishes had to be sent back (particularly harsh for one of our group as this was the only vegetarian option on the menu) and we noticed a table near us complain about the same dish a few minutes later. They also forgot one of our meat dishes causing another wait while they sorted this out.
Have heard good things about this place previously but considering this experience I can't see any of our group coming back.
Paddy (Unverified), 28/12/11
I visited after having Sunday lunch the day before. I work around Oxford but travel from London and I have always used the Trout as my lunch stop until recently.
I was only stopping for a quick lunch, as the food was so delicious the day before, but despite being only there for a mere hour the young barman/waiter was a delight to talk to, and made conversation with both me and two women who were sitting close to me (we were the only people in the pub).
We all had a talking point: we were all animal lovers, with me and the two women having dogs with us at the time. He was very down to earth, but also on the ball, despite being so friendly to us he was constantly asking if he could get us another drink or anything else to eat.
He even made conversation about if we were looking for Christmas parties or just somewhere to come eat around or on Christmas and managed to persuade me to bring my family possibly just to eat here which was some good salesmanship.
The chef who is also the manager apparently made delicious food- despite only a starter course that day, it is well worth the little bit of a premium price.
I would suggest you try the White Hart of Wytham as soon as you can.
Sarah (Unverified), 25/10/11
Visited twice recently to find excellent service and excellent food, both on Saturday night and for Sunday Lunch. My husband and I arrived pretty late on the Saturday night, but the young waiter was happy to seat us and looked after us very well.
The food was delicious and the service excellent, and we could not help but book a table for the next day, bringing our kids and other family members along. We were served by the same person who remembered us instantly and again looked after us superbly.
Make sure you book on Saturday night/Sunday lunch as they were very busy, and we were lucky to get a table for 6 people on Sunday. We will definitely be coming back, and reccommend it to anyone. Our friend (a regular) says it's back to its former days of glory! We had never been before, and it made a welcome change from the Trout.
If you're thinking of going to the Trout - think again! Carry on into Wytham!
Anne And Family
Tidbury Family! (Unverified), 17/10/11
Surly service spoiled my visit today, and although the food is still fine the place has lost its charm. Astonishingly, a large television dominated the once-gorgeous little bar room, broadcasting sport, and it was more like sitting in a low-end working man's pub than going to the lovely restaurant which the White Hart used to be. A lady asked for the television to be turned off, and the waiter sulkily did so, but pointed out loudly and resentfully that the lady had requested it. Not all the waiters are unfriendly but one bad apple is enough to spoil the barrel. Sad - this place is best looked at from outside these days, unless you like non-stop TV sport.
The Hawk (DI Reviewer), 11/09/11
We came across The White Hart by luck after being wrongly diverted by our satnav on the way to Evesham, we decided to stop off as we saw it and were going to be stopping at a service station soon anyway... it was moderately busy but the staff looked under control, though you could not tell who was meant to be in charge or who was working where.....
Lovely food, judging from what I had: to start the Ham Hock Terrine which was delicious, followed by the lamb shoulder which was simply divine. I did not have enough room for pudding but my wife had the sticky toffee pudding and said it was wonderful. The service was excellent too with a young chap mainly who was very attentive and very nice, he made time to speak to us which was also good to see despite the slightly busy atmosphere.
I would definitely come back here again.
Charles and Jane (Unverified), 19/07/11
Ate very well there a couple of nights ago... and planning to go back very soon. Excellent food. Relaxed atmosphere. Particular highlights were the warm camembert starter with roasted garlic and the raspberry creme brulee.
satisfied_diner (Unverified), 13/07/11
The White Hart is under new management and is beginning to show it. I recently stopped for a drink there. It is a quintessentially English pub in a beautiful, quintessentially English village. The new manager, a young, most personable man by the name of Justin, is raising standards. The menu looks excellent. Sitting out in the newly furnished outside area was a most enjoyable pleasure. I would recommend this place unreservedly to anybody wanting to enjoy a quiet relaxing meal or a drink (or two) in this lovely quiet pub in the heart of England.
Martin (Unverified), 20/05/11
I think that the re-opened White Hart at Wytham (after a slightly shaky start) has now hit its stride properly. I recognise some of the earlier criticisms on this site as valid from a dinner visit I made in March, but having visited there twice over the past three weeks (once for food and once just for drinks) I can positively say they have now got things just right. The menu has improved leaps and bounds - particularly the outstanding roasts - and the odd opening and serving hours have now gone. I think there is a new team of staff recently arrived who have pushed the whole thing up a notch or three. They were welcoming, attentive and jolly.
Food n' Wine Fan (Unverified), 10/05/11
Visited the White Hart for a sunday lunch as it is now under new management. The staff were very friendly and worked hard to please the customers. The food was very good and I would even go as far as saying probably one of the best roast dinner I have had. I would recommend this pub/restaurant to anyone. Will definitely be returning.
ChapmanP (Unverified), 01/05/11
The White Hart has reopened without any fanfare; it is clean, and while the decor is a bit tacky, there are some really lovely touches. However, our first visit there was on a Sunday in early March at about 3pm and we waited half an hour for 3 cups of tea. The doors were then locked at 4pm and the pub shut.
Having had a peek in the separate rooms, the pub was not busy at all, and yet we were not allowed to have food. The second visit was on a Wednesday afternoon for a quick drink - again at about 3pm - only to find the pub was closed. It seems the emphasis is being placed more on the drinks than the food (the opposite of what it used to be), and while I can appreciate pubs needing to move with the times, the White Hart used to be a destination venue and it has the potential to be so again, but it just doesn't even begin to compete with any of the surrounding pubs.
Visits to the White Hart in the past were always pleasant, the staff were friendly and welcoming and even if they didn't get it right every time, we were made to feel like part of the family. The food was delicious, the wines carefully chosen from a local and excellent supplier, and the staff were happy. We always left full of smiles.
Memories of long, lazy sunny afternoons in the sweet garden, candle-lit dinners (unintended, due to faulty electrics, but lovely all the same!), the food, the wine, the homely atmosphere and lovely, relaxed staff are in the past now. The White Hart is a beautiful building in a beautiful location, but it has lost its sparkle and its magic.
WythamBluebell (Unverified), 04/04/11
The White Hart is open again. However, I would not bother to pay it a visit. I have been a couple of times - to give it a fair 'trial' as it were. The first time I received a pie that was bone dry with tough meat inside and the second time we arrived at 8.15pm and were told by the landlord in quite a brisk manner that they wouldn't be serving any more food that evening. It was 8.15pm on a Saturday night and they had plenty of tables free. We were quite surprised that a landlord, particularly in this economic climate, was happy to turn 4 diners away.
OxfordDiner (Unverified), 04/04/11
Hopefully the last reviews comments are being heeded - the pub is closed for 3 months to the beginning of December 2010 for a refurbishment under new management. Let's hope they put some effective heating in!
John Gale (DI User), 13/09/10
We were nearly put off going because of the previous reviews, but so pleased we did go. The place, the food and the service was modern, mouth-watering and relaxed. The platter of starters was a great beginning and the mains were perfectly cooked. The waiters were young and appropriately cheeky. We were surprisingly impressed!
Cam (Unverified), 11/09/10
A lovely venue, spoiled by consistent poor service. Food is adequate to good, and the setting delightful, but three visits over the past three months have all been badly affected by surly/sulky service from a young, seemingly untrained and unmanaged brigade. It's a pity, because it could so easily be a destination venue - but not with the current ownership/management in place.
Treefriend (Unverified), 19/07/10
Had a family meal here recently, Satuday evening, 8 people, and I have to say that it couldn't really be faulted. As is often the way these days, the staff are young and perhaps a little inexperienced, but they worked hard and were very pleasant. The food was well prepared and tasty. I wouldn't call it cheap, but given the style and location, it was what I would expect to pay. I'd read that this place had gone down hill but on recent evidence it was worth the visit.
SRC (Unverified), 04/07/10
Went for a walk in Wytham Woods and then stopped for a drink and perhaps a snack at this pub. Received a lacklusture welcome and wasn't allowed to sit indoors where it was cool. Service: we were looking at the selection of drinks behind the bar and the girl behind the bar asked us twice what we wanted, the second time as if we were hard of hearing. Menu looked fussy and over prepared. Shame - expected better as this used to be one of the best pubs in the area.
Ginagee (DI User), 24/05/10
Had previously eaten really good food here, but today was utter rubbish. My Dad's wine was corked. Our bread and dips didn't turn up. When our food finally arrived, the starters were fine but the main courses were awful. My crab salad was only some raw veg with crab on top, and was doused in shallot vinegar so it was impossible to taste anything else! My dad's lamb shank was in a sauce that tasted like tin. Never going back. What's worse is that we really aren't difficult customers, I've never written a review like this, ever.
B1234 (Unverified), 24/04/10
I was informed that, ''those days were gone'' when I asked to have a drink in the bar beforehand and was told by the same waitress that ''drinks are served at your table''.
The food was acceptable, but over priced for what it was and delivered at fast food pace. We were actually checking the place out for a larger special occasion but will certainly not be returning.
Concerned of Kennington (Unverified), 17/02/10
Very good time had by all this Christmas day. Welcoming service, log fires and excellent food. I just wish those giant tomatoes would get lost though. Did the owner paint them himself?
I mean what is actually wrong with horse brasses and olde worlde ambience? it's not as if it can be faux in a genuinely old pub is it?
art lover (Unverified), 05/01/10
I've had some excellent food at the White Hart. Last night however I found myself leaving without finishing my food or paying for it (legally you can do this if you leave your name and address. You should of course make it clear why you are doing so before you do it).
We were walk-up customers, and it may be that pre-booked customers get a higher level of service (and true, Wednesday is not known as the top dining out night of the week) - but these allowances aside, to be left alone and drinkless/attentionless for a long period of time (we then ordered drinks and olives, only to have to ask for them again 10 minutes later after they didn't arrive) and then to be presented with bland, partially cooked meals was rather surprising. My vegetarian dish was a pretty much raw courgette with a boiling hot, bland lentil filling, topped with a burnt, sand-textured, flavourless gratin, accompanied by a shredded raw onion and carrot salad and a spoonful of plain rice. Whilst I hate waste, I decided that given that the dish cost more than £10 I would rather leave immediately than force myself to eat it. I am glad I did, and also that the restaurant handled this with aplomb (for which, all credit to them). I hope I will never have to do this again.
Su Jordan (DI Staff), 20/08/09
This quirky little restaurant comes packed with atmosphere, from the layout, to the lighting, to the superb staff. It's been a long time since I last visited the White Hart, but after last night's meal I cannot understand why. Not far from town, it's a joy to see it has managed to escape being exploited like the pub down the road. A hidden little gem, this place is well worth a visit. 5 stars.
Johnathan (Unverified), 19/08/09
Went there for lunch on Sunday and the service and food were all excellent. The trout was amazing and the steak cooked to perfection. The atmosphere in the pub is also really nice and the staff were helpful and friendly. I'd definitely recommend it.
Jonathan (Unverified), 18/05/09
I was impressed. Friendly, helpful staff, excellent food and beer. It is on the expensive side, but you get good value for money. Reccomended.
Mike (Unverified), 04/05/09
Having frequented this pub in the past quite a lot we have always been very impressed with the food - not this time. We had lunch today at the White Hart and were thoroughly disappointed. The calamari: rubbery and over-fried (makes me think it was frozen pre-prepared). The beetroot risotto: good - the only good part of the meal. The fillet steak: overpriced for a piece of leathery badly-presented steak, with a side of stodgy potato rosti. The pork roast: not tender and grizzly, with poor quality vegetables (overcooked) and an undercooked Yorkshire pudding.
It’s such a pity as we had recommended this restaurant to many people but today was our last visit. What happened?
Disappointed (Unverified), 22/02/09
Fantastic! In every sense of the word. We went there for dinner a couple of Saturdays ago with 2 other couples and had the most enjoyable evening. Delicious food, excellent wine and wonderful service from a lovely, friendly waitress and the other staff... we will definitely be back!
roger (Unverified), 28/01/09
I went to the White Hart myself on xmas day with my family and had an amazing time. The staff were friendly - they gave us champagne and kept coming back checking on us. Food was definitely good quality and I loved the xmas pudding. The place was warm, I mean it had three fires on in three different rooms. This was the best xmas ever and I think I will go back there very soon.
john (Unverified), 06/01/09
I am surprised by the earlier review - we were fitted in at the last moment for Christmas lunch and thoroughly enjoyed our meal there. The menu had clearly had a lot of effort put into it and the food was delicious. The service could do with some attention, however I do think that people who work on Christmas Day should be commended and anyway Christmas Day is supposed to be a relaxed day - something which many people tend to forget! The staff were extremely busy with a full restaurant, but were constantly smiling and made us (and the other diners around us) feel welcome and comfortable, despite the pressure.
Having eaten at the White Hart on a couple of other occasions, I am always impressed by the food, particularly the Sunday roasts, and the friendly, inviting staff, even if some staff training would be helpful. The wine list is not fantastic, but there are some good wines on it, and anyway, I was informed this is in the process of being changed.
Hopefully 2009 will be a good year for this charming little pub, and it will go from strength to strength under new ownership and management!
Penny (Unverified), 06/01/09
I went to the White Hart on Sunday the 21st and loved the whole experience. Very enjoyable tasty meal, the kids where given a more appropriate portion and we had a great table by the fire in the main room. All in all I enjoyed the experience and its much better than general pub food. The old chef is back and the place is busy and lively.
Grindlay (Unverified), 27/12/08
Well, we planned a Christmas lunch out this year and visited the White Hart at Wytham to make our booking. We spoke to the new owner and the manager, and chose our table by the fire. Our booking for 4 people was taken. On checking a couple of days before Christmas Day however we found that our reservation was for only 2 people, on a small table, in a different room and no fire. This was rectified on the phone, but lucky we thought to check in advance...
Our promised 'glass of champagne on arrival' came too long after our arrival. The ambiance was pretty unwelcoming and non existent. Our order was taken and we were then left on our own - for an hour. We had to get up to find someone to ask for some wine, about our food, to remind them we were still there... we felt rather flattened by now. Our table was bare, no nibbles, no explanation, no service. No warmth, no smiles. The fire went out. We put another log on. After an hour our starters arrived. By the time our main course arrived we had been in the restaurant for one and a half hours.
We had had enough. We had spent a large part of our Christmas Day sitting at a bare wooden table in a place where our presence seemed a matter of complete indifference to the manageress of the day and the staff. Just one word, one smile, one apology? We now felt bad about being there. The chef was also let down by the staff as the food was excellent but by the time we got it we no longer cared, we just wanted to get out of there. We left before the Christmas pudding and tea/coffee. In recognition of our bad experience we were charged the cost of one full meal instead of 4 part meals - at least they got that right. Our spirits lifted as soon as we left and headed for home to finish our meal there. Never again, neither during the week nor at Christmas.
maddy (DI User), 26/12/08
Took a visitor from abroad along for a drink on what for the White Hart was clearly a quiet Thursday night. Just before 10:45 they started wiping the tables, leaving the kitchen door open and generally made our stay so unpleasant that we drank up hastily and left. Clearly the White Hart team saw a chance to knock off early and didn’t care about the long term reputation of the place. My visitor found it amusing that a venue that advertises opening hours until midnight can be so unprofessional but frankly I was embarrassed. Avoid.
Continental (Unverified), 24/10/08
Wonderful, delicious Xmas lunch, sweet and helpful staff, lovely log fire.
But please find somewhere else for the modern art. Why not do up the barn as an art gallery - it would be the right size for the massive oil painting of Mega tomatoes stuck over the log fire and dominating the small 17th century room. Art needs appropriate context and a cosy old inn ain't the right place for big art which demands space.
Art Lover (Unverified), 28/12/07
We went to the White Hart for the first time this weekend, and have to say how wonderful it was, and we can't wait to go back. The roast rib of beef was divine, by far the best Sunday roast in Oxford. The staff were attentive and friendly, and the service not too slow for a very busy sunday lunch time. All in all everything was perfect, we couldn't have asked for better.
the burrows (Unverified), 03/12/07
I'v been a customer at The White Hart for several years now and the reason I keep coming back is because of its cosy rooms and good food, the only thing I would say needs improvement are the current staff, personally I don't ever feel that I'm made very welcome which is a great shame as I do love this place.
sue (Unverified), 21/11/07
The White Hart is a fabulous place, and never disappoints. Delicious food, attentive and friendly staff, and of late, the best sunday roast around. If you've not sampled this I would recommend it - don't forget to book though!
Harry (Unverified), 13/11/07
The White Hart has always been a particular favourite of mine and remains so - the negative reviews come as such a surprise?! My friends and I love the place and always appreciate the attentive service, relish the fabulous food and partake perhaps a little too much in terms of the extensive wine selection! It certainly has our vote.
Attractive surroundings and we sat in the dark pink painted dining room which had a real log fire. Food good but not outstanding - but unfortunately the start of the evening was spoilt by a bad welcome. I arrived with my 86 year old mother and we had to stand around waiting while the waitress at the front desk took a telephone call and then went away to serve. The only other visible waitress seemed very flustered. We had to ask to be shown to our table and also had to ask if we could order drinks whilst waiting for our friends. What could have been a relaxing evening was spoilt by service which was far from calm. Are they understaffed?
Willow (Unverified), 06/11/07
VERY BAD...SLOW service.
That's all I can say really!
Food was fairly average.... though great creme brulee.
We saw the couple next to us wait 40 minutes before the dessert order was taken. I got up and asked. We asked for our coffee with desserts... we'd almost finished by the time it finally arrived.
We won't bother again. Conservatory seating horrid and cold - and we got this despite a booking!
arch (Unverified), 09/10/07
The White Hart has always provided excellent food. I have been a customer there for a few years now and have seen it under several different managers. In recent times I have noticed a decline in custom. Maybe this, Roo, is what people are writing about on this page.
Lucy (Unverified), 10/09/07
I have no idea what the critics are talking about here. I've twice been fitted in when booking for a couple at short notice (same day, even same evening); the food, on each occasion - even the options which looked doubtful on the menu (pea and bean tart as your veggie option, anyone?) - was in every case exceptionally good. Even my side salad was remarkable - and I'm not joking. My dining partner's calves liver with morel mushroom mash and juniper berries was cooked to perfection, and our chocolate and hazelnut fondant dessert nearly made us faint. The wine list is also good, and just what you'd expect of a proper eaterie where the chef and sommelier know their stuff (and you will thus be paying appropriate, rather than country pub, prices). On neither visit was the service noticeably lacking in any way; in fact the staff seemed more charming than in your average Oxford restaurant, despite the heavy workload. For foodies everywhere, this out-of-the-way place is a must-visit.
Roo (DI Reviewer), 16/07/07
After much hype regarding the quality of the White Hart I finally went there on 2/6/2007. I wish I'd read this website beforehand as the comments regarding inattentive staff were absolutely correct. The food was on the most part fine, but not amazing. In particular the vanilla panna cotta with raspberries was an absolute horror - it didn't mention on the menu that it was flavoured with grappa (an acquired taste at the best of times and definitely has no place in a cream-based dessert)!!! Hence the pudding tasted somewhat like nail varnish remover. Really unimpressed, there are much better restaurants of equivalent or lower pricing, better ambience and higher quality of service to be found in and around Oxford.
SI (Unverified), 05/06/07
The food really is superb. The Oxford Blue Lasagne was particularly nice. The pub itself is set in a delightful oxfordshire village with thatched-roof houses. The only complaint is the service was very slow, but it's well worth the wait.
I must agree with the comment in the review about the steak but the problem the White Hart has is the staff. Myself and three friends went for a lovely meal on the evening of 17th March, no complaints with the food but we all agreed that we were very disappointed with the way we were treated by (I think) the management. The waitress was a little more pleasant but not very attentive, too busy chatting to management! What a shame: with such unpleasant staff we definitely won't be back.
disappointed (Unverified), 18/03/07
You need no steak knife at this place – the Abedeen Angus fillet was divine. One of the best steaks I've had in ages, and beautifully presented too, with wild mushroom and tapanade on top. The peppercorn sauce is world beating. Highly recommended.
Derek Adams (Unverified), 19/02/07
I took my parents to the White Hart for their anniversary, on the recommendation of some friends, and we all had a fantastic evening. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming, and we had the most enjoyable evening. The service was excellent, the food incredible (the antipasti plate of starters is excellent, and the tri of puds to share a must!!) and the staff helpful and friendly. We are already planning our next visit, and can't wait to go back.
Sara and Mike (Unverified), 23/10/06
I am also surprised by these negative reviews. I went with friends recently, and had a wonderful time. Despite it being a busy Sunday lunch time, and we hadn't booked, we were fitted in, and although the place was packed the service was good, and the staff very helpful and friendly. The food was wonderful, and although more expensive than I'd usually pay, worth every penny - the pork loin was to die for, I would highly recommend it! This was my first visit to the White Hart, and I will be going back for sure!
Gemma (Unverified), 17/10/06
Went for Sunday lunch but they don't do "Sunday Roasts" only their normal (expensive) menu. Food not bad but service (after initial O.T.T. greeting) was erratic and all-up it didn't justify considerable bill. The beer is good but again costly and for those just wanting a drink there is that feeling that one is having a pint in a restuarant that would rather you were eating instead of just drinking.
Although potentially a great alternative to the over-hyped and "we've got more business than we can cope with so we couldn't give a toss" attitude of the nearby Trout, the White Hart fails to convince.
Notes to management: Attend to detail. Train waitresses. Knock down conservatory. Do traditional Sunday Lunches. Charge less!
Johnginlondon (DI User), 12/09/06
Myself and 3 friends Arrived at 12 noon on Sunday, didn't have reservations. We wanted to sit outside, but the only seating left was two 2-person tables. I immediately suggested putting the tables together so we could all sit together. The waiter replied that these seats were for walk-in customers only. I insisted that that was what we were and that it made no difference if it were 4 as a group or two couples that sat at those tables. He still insisted that the tables were for other people (!!!???) We sat in the conservatory and looked a the expensive menu, then decided if we were to pay these prices then we would at least like to sit outdoors in the sun. We asked one more time to be seated outside, and the manager came down and let us go outside, what a palava!! We sat at the two tables and ordered the rabbit twice, the steak and fishcakes.
I needed a steak knife for the steak as it was quite hard to cut with a normal unserrated knife. I went and asked the manager for a steak knife who replied "I can get you a steak knife, but you won't need it as the steaks are THAT good!!", I stared at her, she stared back and she then said "shall I go and get you one?" and I replied "Please!".
Unbelievable, it's up to me if I want to cut my steak with a steak knife or not.
5 minutes later, a waitress came up to our table and said "Actually we don't have any steak knives."
As for the food, the chips were very very greasy and tasted of old oil, the fishcakes were 95% potato, the steak was tasteless (couldn't taste the meat, only the black griddle marks). and the sauce accompanying the rabbit was bland and salty and had whole unstoned olives in it...very fiddly.
Just left feeling a bit abused and ripped off.
Not going back........
Eucam4 (Unverified), 11/09/06
I'm surprised by the negative reviews. I've been to the White Hart three times recently and each time the food has been fantastic, the staff courteous and the price reasonable. Its always packed too: so I guess lots of people like it!
We visited the White Hart for a birthday gathering. We waited nearly 40 minutes to have our drink order taken and another 30 minutes for the said drinks to arrive at our table. The conservatory area where we were seated was lacklustre to say the least. The food? Well, had we been seated in an area with some ambiance it might have tasted better. All in all, not what we'd hoped. The food was pricey, the conservatory seating horrific, the staff extremely pleasant but none-too-prompt. I'd like to give it the benefit of the doubt and try it again but our first experience was not great.
I have used the White Hart several times since one of my daughters started university in Oxford. It has always been fine. I went to Oxford on Monday evening 6 February 2006 and took her to dinner there. The service was poor, the staff could not get the log fire to light - it was therefore distinctly cool - the food was OK but not special and quite pricey, and I thought the beer (Timothy Taylor) was expensive at £3.20.
With so many good places to eat, I am not sure I want to risk this one again.
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