The White Hart, Roydon - 24th July 2011
It’s high summer, so where to go for lunch but to head south. Unfortunately not the south of France, but the very southern outreaches of Norfolk: to The White Hart at Roydon, near Diss. Before I start, two words of caution, if you go online to check this pub out, make sure you are not looking at The White Hart, Roydon, Essex. And if you consult the same map online that I did, it’s wrong.
The pub is right next to the church - which is visible for miles. We parked in the church car park which wasn’t easy on a Sunday with a Christening: we totally missed the pub’s extended car park tucked between pub and church. Good smells were coming from the pub and we were quickly seated at a generous sized scrubbed pine table on plush comfortable seats, and were handed a menu each.
As it was Sunday, a roast seemed to be the best choice although there is a fish dish and a vegetarian choice. My companions this time were my husband, and two other couples with whom we have been friends for over 40 years, most of us chose lamb; others pork. This is not a carvery, so the meals were brought to us with roast potatoes, and the largest and best Yorkshire pudding I have had for some time. I am sure mint sauce would have been provided had we asked for it, but it would have been better supplied as a matter of course. Each portion of vegetables was identical and brought on separate plates; I felt sorry for the washer-upper. The meal was delicious, the lamb tender and succulent; all six of us almost-war-babies cleared our plates entirely and ordered pud. I have never been tempted by sticky toffee pudding before, always thinking it sounded a bit sickly; I thought it was time to give it a try. Now I understand the expression ‘to die for’. There was also apple pie; meringue with banana (?), and cheesecake. I loved the last entry on the menu, ‘all of the above desserts served with cream, ice-cream or custard’ I nearly asked for that option! Hubby had a portion of well filled apple pie with ‘enough cream for once’ (his words).
One of the pub’s specialities is its regularly changed selection of real ales at affordable prices: the guest beer was £2 a pint. Adnams comes as standard, at £2.50. I had white wine and was offered a choice, it was a beautiful cool Chardonnay which is always just a tad sweeter – dry is fine, but I don't want to fight my wine. After pud, we ordered our teas and coffees, and were delighted to see that it was real leaf tea in its own strainer-pot. The coffee (for four) came in a large cafetière which held enough for a cup and a small top-up each.
I liked this pub very much; the atmosphere was warm and friendly, the place is spacious and looked well cared-for. It was busy, but it was Sunday and the Christening party was being held in the delightful large garden area at the back of the pub. The loos were clean and tidy; enhanced by fresh flowers of the more expensive kind. There were steps, but I was assured that they had ramps to enable access for wheelchairs.
I would go again; one of the attractions (for me) is that Blooms of Bressingham garden centre is less than a mile away on the same road – going towards Thetford. More on this in a later issue.
£14.95 my two courses
£14.95 Hubby’s two courses
£2.95 pot of tea
£2.95 coffee, per person.
£42.80. Booking essential!
The White Hart, High Road (A1066), Roydon near Diss, IP22 5RU; 01379 643597
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