October 19, 2019 by Laura Winters
Nestled in the center of the charming town of Hingham, Norfolk, you will find the White Hart Hotel and Pub. The pub, the only such establishment for miles, can easily be considered the heart of the small town. Young and old, posh and poor; the entire community gathers in the pub throughout the day and evening to enjoy a pint and catch up on either the big match (rugby!) or the local gossip.
As word quickly circulated through the pubs that Americans from “new Hingham” were visiting, we had the pleasure of meeting the townspeople who greeted us with warm smiles and cold beers. (So, so many beers)
The ambience would remind you of the Tavern portion of Scarlet Oak. Wooden beams on the ceiling, rustic décor, a fireplace and two separate rooms connected by one bar in the middle. If Scarlet Oak Tavern and The Snug Pub had a baby with a British accent, it would resemble the White Hart Pub. `
In an effort to sample as many options as possible (and also because we had skipped lunch) we tried the pork tenderloin with fingerling potatoes and charred cabbage in a lemon cream sauce, a cheeseburger (because we are unapologetically American), chocolate chip scones with clotted cream, (because we felt guilty for being so American), and parmesan truffle hand cut chips/fries (because…beer). Every item on the menu was cooked to perfection, creatively seasoned, and just plain delicious.
Breakfast featured a HUGE English Breakfast and favorites like eggs benedict. Freshly baked scones, croissants and pastries rounded it out nicely. Finally, for lunch before leaving, we enjoyed the most beautiful Mediterranean platter you've ever seen along with French Onion soup and grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. The hummus was the BEST we've ever had. Seriously, the hummus alone is nearly worth the trip.
Our experience at the pub was one of making new friends, sharing a lot of laughs, and dining on the delicious fare provided by the talented young chefs in the kitchen. (we were stunned at the end of the evening when the chefs emerged from the kitchen and we learned that the talented chefs were mere teenagers!)
We did notice some interesting geographical differences in the preferences for mixed drinks. For example, while you can never have too much vodka and Sauvignon Blanc on hand in Hingham, MA, the ladies in ‘old Hingham” prefer pink gin and lemonade with juniper berries (which was pretty delicious). According to two of our new friends, gin is a popular choice in England currently which was mirrored by the large gin selection outlined on a chalkboard above the bar for quick reference.
Above the pub are the five elegantly styled rooms that make up Hingham’s only hotel.
During our stay, we had the opportunity to get to know Katie and Matthew, the White Hart’s proprietors. Katie and Matthew are the type of people that you meet and instantly feel as though you have known them forever. By the end of the first evening, we were planning trips for them to come visit us in the U.S. and talking about which rooms we wanted to stay in on our next visit to the Inn. These two are kind, beautiful, funny, smart and a huge asset to Hingham.
One final word to the Katie, Matthew, Carol Harris (the head of the Historical Society and our lovely tour guide) and all of the fine people of Hingham (Sam, Eve, Collin, Mike, Vic, John, Allison, Alfred, Sam, Angela, Molly, Mark, Phil, Diana, Louise, Susan, Tony, the “posh boys,” Simon, Neil Young, Keira and everyone else who was so kind and welcoming to us)…THANK YOU. You made our brief stay a trip that may be hard to remember, but one that we will never, ever forget. You will always have a place in our hearts and are welcome in our homes should you ever decide to cross the pond and visit us in “new Hingham.”