The White Post in Rimpton - restaurant review
PUBLISHED: 10:14 16 November 2015 | UPDATED: 15:30 06 November 2017
When an establishment wins Gastro Pub of the Year in the Dorset Magazine Food, Drink & Farming Awards twice in a row, Helen Stiles wanted to peruse their menu
On a sunny autumn day I took my taste buds on a fact finding mission to find out what makes The White Post at Rimpton so special.
First there is the location, the county line runs plumb through the middle of the bar –they can pour drinks in Somerset and hand them to you in Dorset; then add stunning views and a talented chef who is passionate about sourcing locally. A large blackboard on the restaurant wall is a veritable roll call of honour of Dorset and Somerset suppliers. Being a Great Taste Award judge, you get the feeling that Brett possibly has the inside track on fabulous local ingredients, especially those coming from lesser known producers.
As Katharine (my dining companion) and I admired the view we realised that we could see many of the ingredients on the menu in the landscape – nettles for the nettle verde, elderberries for the pigeon dish, even sweetcorn for the spicy relish with homemade crisps.
For our starters we tucked into a White Post signature dish - Pig at the Post, a mouth-watering selection of piggy bits accompanied by a ginger and chilli cider shot. Who knew there were so many delicious ways to present a prize porker? Pig cheek fritter, slow cook hock with a spiced apple chutney, juicy pork belly, pork and cider sausage, chorizo, hogs pudding, and my favourite, a quail and pork scotch egg. We also had the potted partridge topped with homemade apple jelly, Bath Blue cheese, pear and caramelised walnuts - autumn served in a Kilner jar. The partridge comes from Mike Appleby at the Honeycomb Shoot, Sherborne. He also supplies Brett with pigeons, rabbit, fallow and roe deer, mallard and pheasant. This starter was a flavour-packed smasher - the balance of delicate partridge with orange zest, blue cheese and pear was well judged.
For our mains we chose the rump of Dorset lamb, which was beautifully cooked and came with a vibrant nettle verde, a nod towards Brett’s love of foraging. It was an inspired combination that counterbalanced the sweetness of the meat. Keeping with the game theme from our starter we also had the roasted wood pigeon, with a smoked chicken tortellini, heritage beetroots (very colourful) and an elderberry jus – another clever wild food touch. The dish was a tasty tapestry of fruity autumn flavours with a dash of smokiness that showed off the star of the dish - the plump, juicy Dorset wood pigeon, a vastly underrated wild game bird that should be on more local menus.
Dessert was like a trip to some glorious retro sweetshop: there was a sophisticated take on the rhubarb and custard sweets of childhood with a fragrant coconut and almond milk pannacotta, rhubarb and custard ice cream topped with a pretty pink disc of rhubarb glass. Katharine tucked into a chilled chocolate pave with an impressive popcorn tower, a wicked peanut butter mousse and popping candy. Before you could say ‘I couldn’t eat another morsel’ a mini treats box arrived with coffee - white chocolate and mint fudge, lemon curd meringue tart and coconut marshmallow. A delicious finishing touch.
What I love about The White Post is that the heartbeat of the seasons run through Brett’s menu. He takes thoughtfully sourced ingredients and does something amazing, unexpected and delightful with them - the mark of a true culinary alchemist. Why not go and see for yourself?
Starters from £6
• Crispy monkfish, curried cauliflower puree, golden raisins, tomato and nigella seed relish
• Ham hock, parsley and grain mustard scotch egg & caramlised apple sauce
Mains from £12.50
• Sea bass, bok choi, ponzu dressing, puffed rice & salt baked pineapple puree
• Feuille de bric pastry, wild mushrooms, artichokes, semi-dried tomatoes and baby spinach
Dessert from £6.50
• Apple, blackberry and Somerset brandy crumble & clotted cream ice cream
• Sticky date and toffee pudding, glazed banana and honeycomb ice cream
The White Post, Rimpton Open Tues – Sat 12 – 2pm/ 6.30 – 9pm. Sunday Lunch: 12 – 2.30pm (Winner of Dorset Magazine’s Best Dorset Roast); 01935 851525 | thewhitepost.com