I miss eating out A LOT, so when I spotted The White Hart in Wytham’s At Home Gourmet Box menu on Instagram I was sold – I needed that twice baked goat’s cheese and cheddar soufflé in my life!
The White Hart is a country pub and restaurant located in a cute village on the outskirts of Oxford called Wytham (about a 20 minutes drive from Bicester). Like most pubs and restaurants at the moment, The White Hart have had to get innovative to survive and lockdown 3.0 has been no exception!
The White Hart have created their At Home Boxes to bring restaurant quality food to the comfort and safety of their customer’s homes. Whether it’s to celebrate a special occasion in lockdown or to settle that craving for a dining out experience (I hear ya), these boxes are the perfect remedy.
Here’s everything you need to know about The White Hart at Home Boxes!
About The White Hart At Home Boxes
The White Hart launched their At Home boxes mid January and are now on their second menu (they seem to change every couple of weeks)! We ordered from the Gourmet menu (see below), which was available on 15th and 22nd January. They have now switched to menu Gourmand, which you can get your mitts on this Friday before they switch to their Valentine’s menu (for the most up to date menus click here).
The menus tend to have 3 starters, 4 mains and 3 desserts to choose from (2 courses for £25/3 courses for £30 + £25 supplement for the Cote de Boeuf – please note: the Valentine’s menu cost is slightly higher), which can easily be ordered by popping over an email to the owner Baz. They offer free delivery within a 10 mile radius of Oxford and will deliver your box to your doorstep between 4.30pm – 7pm on the Friday of your choice. Just like a dine in experience, payment doesn’t need to be made until after you’ve enjoyed your meal!
The boxes have been designed to be as stress free, easy and quick to cook as possible. The Head Chef, Andrew does all of the hard work for you, so all you have to do is heat a few bits up or finish them off in the oven – you definitely don’t need to be an avid cook to make the most of this experience! The box also comes with instructions of how to finish off each dish and you can find plating up videos on their Instagram and YouTube channel (what a cool idea)!
We loveddddd our 3 course meal from The White Hart (even more so as we’d all been dieting since the New Year) and enjoyed having some fun with the plating up!
Right, it’s about time I talked about the food now isn’t it!? I thought so…
The White Hart At Home Boxes Experience
Our box was delivered at around 5.30pm on Friday and was decorated with their logo, hand painted hearts and a satin ribbon – they even gifted us a mini bottle of prosecco, which was very sweet and unexpected!
We quickly delved into our box and found a lovely letter from the owner and his team, instructions on how to assemble each dish and all of the labelled ingredients we needed to make our masterpieces.
For starters we all opted for something different so were able to sample all starter dishes on the menu.
Harvey went for the scallop, squid ink and prawn ravioli in a lemongrass and ginger lobster bisque. This dish was nice and easy to finish off – the ravioli needed a couple of minutes in boiling water and the bisque just needed heating through.
This dish looked just as beautiful as it sounds – the vast contrast of the black ravioli with the vibrant bisque was a delight on the eye and the smells coming from the dish were amazing. The ravioli was very soft and the scallop and prawn flavours came through in abundance whilst the bisque was packed full of zingy Asian flavours.
Liz opted for the home cured Oxfordshire beef served with a Jerusalem artichoke and Dijon emulsion, Oxford blue, rocket, artichoke crisps, crispy capers and a confit egg yolk. Nothing on this dish required cooking or heating up, so it was straight on the plate as prettily as possible.
Liz said the dish was subtle in flavour but each component worked beautifully together and the added texture of the artichoke crisps bought it all together really well.
I went for the twice baked goat’s cheese and cheddar soufflé with a poached pear, watercress, chicory and walnut salad. The soufflé arrived ‘half baked’ in a gooey cheesy sauce and just needed to be put into the oven for 10 minutes to finish it off. The soufflé was fluffy and cheesy and was complimented wonderfully by the sweet and savoury notes in the salad. My only feedback was that I couldn’t taste the goat’s cheese in the dish – I’m a HUGE lover of a pungent goat’s cheese, so it was a shame this didn’t come through but I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless.
For main Lizzie and Harvey both went for the slow cooked confit duck leg served with puy lentils, celeriac, kale, root vegetable pan haggery and a foie gras and red wine sauce. Again, each element just needed heating up and the duck needed 15 minutes in the oven to crisp up the skin.
Lizzie and Harvey both loved this dish! They said the root vegetable pan haggerty was sweet, creamy and rich, the kale and lentils were a nice variation of texture to the dish and the star of the show, the duck, was perfectly pink, tender and pulled away from the bone just as a confit deck leg should.
I had the black truffle arancini with celeriac remoulade, celeriac puree and pickled celeriac finished off with a sprinkle of parmesan shavings and white truffle oil. The arancini balls were soft on the inside and crisp on the outside and the different textures of celeriac complimented the dish perfectly.
The pickled celeriac was a spark of genius – it bought a sharpness to the dish that it really needed to cut through the creaminess and the drizzle of truffle oil elevated the truffle flavour in the arancini.
To finish off, Liz and I went for two of their puddings – the dark chocolate delice with crème fraiche (check out my sub par quenelle), blackberries, chocolate crackling and a blackberry sorbet. This was very indulgent, rich and chocolatey (as to be expected) but the crème fraiche and sorbet relieved the richness really well so it wasn’t tooo sickly.
The second dessert was the vegan cashew and coconut cheesecake with pineapple salsa and mango sorbet sprinkled with crisp candied pumpkin seeds and pistachio. This cheesecake hugely surpassed my expectations! It looked like it had a bit of a gelatiney texture however, once I delved in it was soooo creamy and the cashew nut element added a really delicious deep flavour.
We loved our night in with our White Hart At Home Box – the food was the perfect balance of novel decadence and home-style cooking and the ingredients were fresh, delicious and different to what you’d usually whip together in the kitchen on a Friday night at home! These boxes are ideal if you are celebrating a special occasion during lockdown (check out their special Valentine’s menu here) or, are just in desperate need of a restaurant style meal.
I think it’s great that the menu changes every couple of weeks as it means you can order more than once and have a different experience each time! The dishes are so easy to heat up/finish off and you can get dressed up, set the table and enjoy excellent quality food for minimal effort at a very reasonable price. Cheers to that!
If you’d like to reserve yourself a box, head over to their website now, check out the upcoming menus and pop your order over to Baz. Enjoy!