Arrived at 8.20 on a Sunday eve, after a making an awkward point of looking at the clock for too long the frosty abrupt bar lady (landlady I assumed) agreed we could buy food! For a moment I wondered if it was her doing us a favour rather than us as patrons in a struggling industry - they were hardly busy. From the nearby background a scruffy fed up looking young woman (landlady's daughter I would guess) gave the landlady a verbal list of what was unavailable on the menu, this was then unapologetically relayed to us (no need - we clearly heard the grumbling kitchen staff member who was desperate to be somewhere else). We ordered nachos to start, this was £6.95 and consisted of tortilla chips scantilly covered with half handful of melted cheese and a tiny ramikin of 'long life' bland tasting salsa. It wasn't listed on the menu but no sign of soured cream or jalapenos which would have made this uninspired unimaginitive dish half acceptable. 25 minutes later our mains arrived, ham eggs and chips - ham was rubbery, slimy and shiny, cut a long time ago, it is not too much to ask for fresh cut ham. Only 1 of the three mustards I asked for hadn't 'run out'. The other main was 'pie of the day' - steak in gravy (ok) in a dish with a lid of badly made over cooked pastry which would have broken your toe if dropped. Veg was roasted new pots (ok) and a few overcooked beetroot with scrawny carrots which had seen better days (a few times). Then the Foster's 'ran out'. Before our mains were finished the lights had been turned off in what looked like the dining area of the pub, everyone had gone and we were left feeling rather alone and unwelcome. We had a constant distraction though, a stereo speaker above our table which was in a poor state of repair but still managing to produce audible crackling and creepy outdated claustrophobic dreary 'music'. I was not surprised when we were not asked whether we would like desserts, come to mention it we weren't asked anything throughout! I visited the ladies loo and was met with tiles falling off the wall, flaking unfinished paintwork and an offensive 'air freshener' staring you in the face with its inners hanging out like a botched medical procedure. When I returned to the bar area an elderly couple had arrived and bought a drink, they were smartly dressed and well spoken, the kitchen lady was behind the bar talking to them and the landlady in a loud, disturbing, false, over pronounced cringe making gentry accent, when she spoke to us she had clearly not attended a finishing school! The place had hints of a 'contemporary' food pub, spoiled by poor taste and disillusionment. When I felt compelled to write this I had a brief look at the pub's website, it speaks volumes that it is littered with spelling mistakes and poor grammar. The final insult was the bill - £40 (incl 3.5 pints lager), I think the food just about reached the standard of 'average', but certainly did not exceed that, the welcome was curt and unobliging, the atmosphere was such that we were keen to leave! I believe that I have a good grasp of what makes a decent pub, for one I have frequented many and also my family (not including me) run a very successful award winning country pub in West Sussex which is a far cry from The White Hart Inn at Wilmington
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The White Hart Inn is a pet friendly, family run pub. Situated in Wilmington on the A35, this is a great stop off for any traveler, for an over night stay or just a bite to eat. Our menu consists of tasty, popular homemade food. We also offer beer gardens and a kiddies play area. Our accommodation consists of three double en suite letting rooms. Come have a drink and relax in the heart of Devon. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The White Hart Hotel Wilmington