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Yorkshire Life Luncheon - The Fat Badger, White Hart Hotel, Harrogate

PUBLISHED: 16:24 28 November 2011 | UPDATED: 20:03 02 November 2015

Yorkshire Life Luncheon - The Fat Badger, White Hart Hotel, Harrogate

Yorkshire Life Luncheon - The Fat Badger, White Hart Hotel, Harrogate

There was a celebratory mood in the bar as guests were welcomed by the winners of the Yorkshire Life Food & Drink Awards Newcomer of the Year Photography by Andy Bulmer

Yorkshire Life December 2011Yorkshire Life December 2011

There was a buzz in the bar of the Fat Badger as guests arrived for the last Yorkshire Life lunch of the year. Everyone was in the mood to congratulate a brave new hospitality venture in North Yorkshire.


The 53-room White Hart Hotel, one of Harrogate’s landmark hotels, at the bottom of Cold Bath Road, has just completed a major refurbishment and the hugely successful opening of its Fat Badger bar and brasserie.

‘We have been shocked at how busy we have become and how successful the concept has been,’ said general manager John Millburn. Its success was duly noted by our food and wine awards judges who, in October, named the bar and brasserie Newcomer of the Year.

The White Hart Hotel is the largest of the acquisitions made by owner Phil Barker who has other pubs and restaurants including the Balmoral Hotel in Harrogate. He gathered together a team led by John to bring this 200-year-old building back to life.

‘We decided to create a traditional pub on the side of the building and a brasserie with a tea room especially for locals,’ said John. ‘We wanted a relaxed atmosphere, where everyone could feel at home. There is no music or television – this is a place for conversation and to socialise.


There was a buzz in the bar of the Fat Badger as guests arrived for the last Yorkshire Life lunch of the year. Everyone was in the mood to congratulate a brave new hospitality venture in North Yorkshire.

The 53-room White Hart Hotel, one of Harrogate’s landmark hotels, at the bottom of Cold Bath Road, has just completed a major refurbishment and the hugely successful opening of its Fat Badger bar and brasserie.

‘We have been shocked at how busy we have become and how successful the concept has been,’ said general manager John Millburn. Its success was duly noted by our food and wine awards judges who, in October, named the bar and brasserie Newcomer of the Year.The White Hart Hotel is the largest of the acquisitions made by owner Phil Barker who has other pubs and restaurants including the Balmoral Hotel in Harrogate.

Emma Bell, Ellie RoachEmma Bell, Ellie Roach

He gathered together a team led by John to bring this 200-year-old building back to life.‘We decided to create a traditional pub on the side of the building and a brasserie with a tea room especially for locals,’ said John. ‘We wanted a relaxed atmosphere, where everyone could feel at home. There is no music or television – this is a place for conversation and to socialise.




‘It’s the place to be seen and to meet friends and then go on to other places. We are attracting a good mix of people and the welcome is friendly and anyone arriving alone will soon end up chatting to people.

Women especially feel comfortable meeting their friends here. The Fat Badger has livened up this part of town which has been welcomed by other businesses.’ The bar has a range of cask ales, three of which are changed monthly, added John who is very much a hands-on general manager.

It was John who discovered executive chef Mark Hill who comes from Thirsk.

Liz and Paul JacksonLiz and Paul Jackson

’No matter how many covers – and it can be up to 300 across the Fat Badger and the restaurant – the food will be of a consistently high standard,’ said John. The menu, he added, is seasonal created with local produce whenever possible.

Mark proved more than his worth producing a lunch of simple but stylish dishes including carpaccio of octopus spiced with Yorkshire Chorizo. He has a light touch which allows individual flavours to come through.

Every course earned appreciation but the highlight for many was the main course with melt-in-the mouth Yorkshire beef fillet supplied by R&J Waterford Farmers and Butchers from Kirkby Malzeard.





Our food and wine consultant Annie Stirk congratulated the White Hart Hotel team on their success. ‘The refurbishment is beautiful and lunch has been superb. We do it really well here in Yorkshire, don’t we?’ she said.

Ben Nami, Philip BarkerBen Nami, Philip Barker

She also thanked John Moorhouse from Hallgarten Duritt, leading wine merchants, who matched the day’s menu with carefully selected wines.

After lunch guests were invited to tour the newly refurbished hotel which is also fast becoming an appealing venue for weddings, yet another success the White Hart Hotel team can chalk up.

The Fat Badger Bar & Brasserie
White Hart Hotel, 2 Cold Bath Road, Harrogate North Yorkshire. HG2 0NA
01423 505681. thefatbadger.co.uk
whitehart.net

Hallgarten Druitt Importer of Fine Wines, 01582 722538
Hallgartendruitt.co.uk


Pete HobamPete Hobam

Menu

Yorkshire Game Broth with pancetta tortellini

Carpaccio of Octopus and Yorkshire Chorizo with fennel and horseradish cream

R&J Waterford Farm signature Yorkshire Beef Fillet with tomatoand courgette and white onion and pepper foam

Scott Henderson, Lizzie HallScott Henderson, Lizzie Hall

Roasted Plum in Port withsloe gin jelly, plum mousseand goat’s Yorkshire ice cream




Wine notes
by John Moorhouse, Hallgarten Druitt, who supplied the wines for lunch

Gibele Zibibbo 2010 produced by Duca di Castelmonte The Duca di Castelmonte label is given to the still wines of the Carlo Pellegrino, the world famous Sicilian Marsala producer. In the 1970s the company was the first to market a range of wines produced from native grape varietals and they have continued to seek the individualism and character of the true wines of Sicily. Zibbo is the Sicilian name for Moscato. The taste is dry, fresh and aromatic with an intense and persistent bouquet reminiscent of citrus fruits, peaches and jasmine.

Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2008 produced by Perez Cruz This is from a family owned, eco friendly winery in the superior Alto-Maipo region of Chile, earmarked as a key area for developing the country’s leading premium wines. The 140 acres of vines sit in the foothills of the Andes, the highest area above sea level at which grapes can be grown and the unique winery building with its wooden roof and natural light make Perez Cruz one of the leading boutique estates in the world. The taste is of intense blackcurrants and eucalyptus on the nose, jammy fruits on the palate, velvety smooth tannins with a long intense finish.



Annie Stirk, Mark HarrisAnnie Stirk, Mark Harris

 

The print version of this article appeared in the December 2011 issue of Yorkshire Life 

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