<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Surrey Life today click here

The White Horse, The Street, Hascombe GU8 4JA - restaurant review

PUBLISHED: 09:31 06 September 2016 | UPDATED: 09:31 06 September 2016

The White Horse is enjoying a new lease of life

The White Horse is enjoying a new lease of life


Winner of Best Local Menu at the 2015 Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards, chef Daniel Britten has since made the move from Guildford town centre to a country pub in Hascombe. Matthew Williams visits The Dining Room at The White Horse to see if he’s maintaining his award-winning flair

Daniel's food concentrates on delicious simplicity Daniel's food concentrates on delicious simplicity

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine August 2016


Need to know

The White Horse

The Street, Hascombe GU8 4JA

Tel: 01483 208258 
Web: whitehorsepub.net

What we ate:

Three courses for £29.50


Ham hock bonbon, piccalilli and pea salad

Chargrilled mackerel, gooseberry compote and celeriac remoulade

Main courses

Pork fillet and jowl, coffee, black pudding and burnt apple

Roasted fillet of hake, samphire, lobster sauce, and capers


Warm chocolate fondant tart, caramel sauce and nut brittle

Pineapple carpaccio, rum caramel and coconut ice cream

Variety of English cheeses and accompaniments


Duc du Morny Picpoul de Pinet 2015 (Languedoc, France), £24.50


REVIEW: Found down the sort of country lanes where a fallen mushroom would cause a week-long tailback (at least if you follow our satnav…), you’ll discover one of the county’s most exciting chefs making a new home for himself. Most will know him for the synonymous Britten’s in Guildford, where the former MasterChef contestant and Tante Marie trained chef first realised his dream of running his own restaurant, but Daniel Britten has now made his escape to the country.

Since the first time Surrey Life reviewed this ambitious chef’s food, it was always very clear that he takes his sourcing as seriously as his cooking (like you should, of course) – which eventually led to him picking up the Best Local Menu gong at last year’s Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards at Foxhills. So, as soon as we heard he was setting up his country kitchen at The White Horse in Hascombe, we were intrigued by what we would find there.

As many readers will be well aware, Surrey is currently undergoing a major transformation in its pub-going offering – and while some perhaps long for the days of simple pub grub, there’s clearly a growing market for something a little more refined and this is the current mission of this particular village pub.

Grand ambitions

Arriving a little early, to take advantage of the sunny summer’s evening in the beautiful garden, we bump into affable manager Tom Baker before introductions have been made – he immediately comes across as hugely passionate about the place, when we mention that we’ve heard about some recent changes.

While the bar is very much old Surrey pub, the brand-new The Dining Room he points us towards (“feel free to have a look around the place”) has been so cleverly put together that it looks and feels as if it could have been there for years. One of those: “I don’t remember that being here, but it must have been…” places. It’s new, it’s of the current country pub style, but it also feels very much of the place.

Hidden away from general view, it’s all well-spaced tables, giant mirrors and, well, enormous pictures of dogs – it looks great and feels almost like a rural private members’ club.

Smartly-bound menus conceal a short (all the better to keep things fresh) run of tantalising dishes. It’s still early days, but they’ve got their own kitchen garden with plans to expand their ‘home-grown’ offering. The tempting wine list is compiled with the assistance of the Palmers Cross-based Taurus Wines – their name’s even on the wine glasses. It’s the little things, right?

We order a bottle of Picpoul de Pinet from the Languedoc, although other diners around us are happily sipping on pints from Surrey Hills Brewery and others. This place fits the bill of unpretentious but seriously foodie.

Moreish menu
Served by the lovely Nina, who has also made the short journey from Britten’s, our starters of ham hock and chargrilled mackerel both come from very different directions but hit the spot perfectly. First up is the ham hock, which is tweaked into a bonbon with piccalilli and pea salad to accompany. It’s a moreish little package that has my wife, Sylviane, claiming ‘victory’ in the first round. Having managed to pinch a little while she wasn’t looking, I can understand where she’s coming from. It’s a simple but flavour-packed dish.

My mackerel is a lovely bit of perfectly- cooked fish on a tasty bed of celeriac remoulade, but what pushes it up a level for me is the addition of a little gooseberry – a tart, seasonal delight that really helps the dish to sing far higher than I’d expected.

While I’m tempted by the rib of local beef (with braised short rib, black garlic, watercress sauce and caramelised onion), my intrigue at the pork dish wins through. I’ve eaten Daniel’s food a few times now, and my instinct is that this is the best thing I’ve had to date. It’s a big old portion of delicious textures and flavours, with the black pudding really helping to tie things together. Our wine complements it perfectly too, which is an added bonus.

Sylviane’s excellent hake comes with a deep and delicious lobster sauce, but as she’s started the battle of the courses, I make it 1-1.

To finish, we opt for a couple of desserts plus the cheeseboard – greedy, perhaps, but we really can’t resist. My warm chocolate fondant tart is a very pleasant way to end a great meal but it’s Sylviane’s pineapple carpaccio that has us both talking. While there might be some scope to rethink its presentation (there’s an overriding whiteness to things, which means it slightly blends into the plate like a polar bear in a snow storm), the flavours on show quickly put any doubts aside – and it transports us off to sun-drenched beaches and piña coladas. Surrey Life’s Official Cheese Taster™ is also suitably impressed with the selection brought forward to conclude things – and I make the most of the local Norbury Blue.

Following things up, with those around us in the bustling room seemingly equally satisfied with their evenings, we take a moment to catch up with Daniel. It’s clear this is a big thing for him, but that it’s also only the start. There’s major ambitions and he’s smart enough to know there’s a learning curve to be worked through. Suffice to say, though, he doesn’t appear to be resting on his laurels and it seems that the rest of the team at The White Horse are all pulling in the same direction. I, for one, look forward to seeing how this place develops as it’s sure to create plenty of interest in this competitive pub market around Godalming, Cranleigh and Chiddingfold.

With satnav suitably corrected, we make our way off into the night (past the fairy light strewn garden) thinking that a chef and pub may have found their perfect partners.


3 more great foodie pubs

The Grantley Arms


It’s still early days for The Grantley Arms but all the signs point to a very exciting future ahead. This is the kind of place that proves a balance between village pub and fine dining can be found, and the results here are thrilling if that’s the sort of thing you’re looking for.

The Street, Wonersh GU5 0PE. Web: thegrantleyarms.co.uk

The Anchor


One of Ripley’s oldest and most historic pubs, The Anchor was bought by the owners of Drake’s restaurant in 2013. Since then, it has been transformed into a food-led pub restaurant, serving Steve Drake’s version of pub food, with a team led by manager Edit Farkas and head chef Michael Wall-Palmer.

High Street, Ripley GU23 6AE. Web: ripleyanchor.co.uk

The Swan Inn


Double Michelin star chef Claude Bosi recently acquired The Swan Inn, updating the place and so far largely sticking to serving classic pub and comfort-food favourites with a special extra touch. Surrey Life has yet to visit but there’s a lot of excited chatter coming from the area. One to keep an eye on.

2 Hare Lane, Esher KT10 9BS. Web: theswanesher.co.uk


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Surrey visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Surrey staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Surrey account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink


Jenna Elsby from Chapel Lane events talks us through this recipe for potted smoked trout with lemon, dill and toasted flatbreads - a perfect sharing dish for dinner party starters

Read more

Join Arlene Phillips and Strictly Come Dancing favourites Aljaz and Janette on this exclusive 8-day river cruise along the Danube

Read more
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

January 25 marks Burns Night; an evening celebration of the great late Scottish poet Robert Burns. Many venues in Surrey will be hosting an array of celebrations to mark this cultural tradition, with more than enough haggis to go around. We pick our top events taking place in 2018

Read more
Monday, January 15, 2018

Jenna Elsby from Chapel Lane events talks us through this recipe for Pink Peppercorn & Rosemary Crusted Fillet of Beef - a perfect dish for dinner parties with enough for leftovers.

Read more
Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Whether you enjoy a classic gin and tonic, a shaken not stirred martini or something altogether more adventurous, there’s never been a better time to be a lover of all things gin in Surrey. Here’s a selection of the best distilleries, from world conquering to exceedingly micro, on our doorstep

Read more
Monday, January 8, 2018

It’s been there or thereabouts on Surrey Life’s must-visit list for so long that the only surprise is what took us this long. Matthew Williams settles into Esher’s The Swan Inn, hot on the heels of their Tom Kerridge supper club

Read more
Tuesday, December 19, 2017

To many, building a kitchen in a glass box might be considered one of the first signs of madness. When Surrey Life caught up with super chef Steve Drake in January, however, that was exactly what he was planning. He got his wish. Matthew Williams grabs a table at his new restaurant, Sorrel

Read more
Monday, December 18, 2017

Gather your friends for a Moroccan inspired lunch

Read more
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Surrey’s oldest French restaurant, La Barbe in Reigate, celebrated its 35th anniversary this year. As part of the birthday celebrations, La Barbe has created this recipe for Marquise au Chocolat; a French classic perfect for celebration dinners

Read more
Friday, December 8, 2017

From ancient hostelries with roaring inglenook fireplaces to craft- beer bars and whisky havens with a twist, Surrey is blessed with some truly tantalising pubs for a cosy winter lunch or leisurely couple of drinks. We pick 29 of the best

Read more
Thursday, November 30, 2017

With the light falling just right, you can imagine yourself in Tuscany when at Beaverbrook. While the setting is European, their Dining Room whisks you to the Land of the Rising Sun. Matthew Williams visits

Read more
Monday, November 20, 2017

With the festive season fast approaching, in no particular order we pick 10 of the best butchers in Surrey to pick up your turkey this Christmas

Read more
Monday, November 6, 2017

We pick some of the best places in Surrey to enjoy a festive take on the quintessential English tradition of afternoon tea at Christmas

Read more
Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Dark and chilly winter evenings are perfect for huddling in the corner of a country pub with friends, catching up over beer and supper in front of a log fire. Surrey is home to cosy pubs a-plenty – here are ten of the top places to go…

Read more
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
Surrey Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Surrey's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Property Search