Daughter Date Night: The White Horse, Chester Racecourse
Monday night in half term and I got to do something that I’ve been waiting to do for the last 6 weeks; have date night with the pre-teen daughter.
I’m not sure where the weeks disappear to, but between busy family life, heavy homework loads, revision time, and her enviable social life (both on and offline!) the fact that we both make it to the same restaurant at the same time and without the rest of the family tagging along feels like a small victory in itself.
We chose The White Horse Chester Racecourse as the backdrop to our date night. We wanted a cosy environment to chat over dinner, somewhere that was a little bit different, The White Horse ticked all the boxes.
Firstly for a Chester city centre location, (the gastropub is positioned on the race course), to have free off street parking right outside is a great plus point. We pulled up literally outside the door and immediately both commented about how beautiful the façade of the restaurant was. With modern and contemporary planting, well-lit pathways and a huge welcoming entrance, we both already felt we’d backed a winner.
We received a warm welcome and we’re shown to our table. There was a lovely atmosphere with couples enjoying a glass of wine and a bite to eat after work, and families enjoying dinner together.
The interior is impressive. Beautiful exposed oak, warm tweed fabrics, leather sofas and cosy feature fireplaces, this is one of those places that’s so comfortable you could arrive for lunch and still find yourself snuggled in by dinner.
Our menus were presented by a very knowledgeable waiter who advises us that all the team try the new dishes whenever the menu changes (seasonally) so we felt comfortable asking lots of questions about the dishes!
There’s a vast choice of small plates such as stone baked flat breads, Warm haggis scotch egg, Hot & Spicy Korean Wings (you can choose 3 for £10), to an array of starters such as ‘Half pint’ of menai mussels, Smoked Haddock & Parmesan Frittata.
We opted for breaded cod cheek scampi served on a board with a delicious chunky tartare sauce, and a ‘Bit of soup’ which on the day we visited was a fresh butternut squash and chilli soup, as warming and delicious as it sounds.
Choosing our mains was no easy feat, there’s such a wide variety (which would perfectly suit all of our brood if visiting as a family) from Stone Baked Pizza, to traditional pub classics such as Pie of The Week, Award Winning Traditional Sausage & Mash and Beer Battered Haddock, as well as a Grill option too.
We wanted to try something different so opted for Confit Duck Cottage Pie, served with braised red cabbage, and my mini-me chose Pan Roasted Hake served with red pepper Romesco, butter beans, rocket and basil pesto. Presentation of both dishes was beautiful, portions are generous, and the food was served piping hot (tepid food it’s a particular pet hate of mine!).
The Confit Duck Cottage Pie, was as rich and very filling (and I admit I was defeated ¾ of the way through!), but it was truly delicious and extremely flavoursome. My daughter feasted over her dish of Pan Roasted Hake, again a hearty portion and she commented on how well the dish worked together with the butter beans and pesto.
Being so full from our mains we of course still opted for dessert (everyone does this, right?), we did however decide to share a dessert and on the recommendation of the waitress we ordered a chocolate brownie with orange ice-cream.
Dessert didn’t disappoint. The fruity citrus orange ice-cream was the perfect accompaniment to the rich warm chocolate brownie. It was very much a spoons-at-dawn situation as we raced (in a lady like manner of course) to finish ‘our side’ (I’ve started to notice how territorial my otherwise generous daughter becomes when we have share food!)
What made our evening so enjoyable, beyond the catch up on all things pre-teen, and the divine menu we’d enjoyed, was the impeccable, warm, and genuine service from the team serving that night. In my opinion service can make or break a dining out experience, and without question the team at The White Horse Chester made it a memorable evening for all the right reasons. There’s always a fine line between being friendly or too familiar, being attentive or too disruptive, but the guys here have great service down to fine art, and the loveliest thing about their approach was their sincerity.
A wonderful place to visit with the whole family (or as in our case as smaller breakaway family faction).
In addition to a children’s menu, The White Horse Chester Racecourse also has an amazing outdoor play area, perfect for those early spring and summer evenings to enjoy dinner and then a glass of wine or two whilst the little ones play. #HurryUpSpring
Thank you to The White Horse, Chester Racecourse. We’ll be back.
For reservations call 01244 304650