The White Hart Inn, 51 Stockport Road, Lydgate, OL4 4JJ – Visit Now
The White Hart in Lydgate, an unassuming sleepy village in Oldham, is building a reputation as one of the region’s go-to places for wine buffs. If you’ve a taste for the grape, sign up for their events dedicated to the finest of earthly pleasures: wine and food. In particular, the recent Introduction To Bordeaux sounded too good to miss.
The trip to Lydgate isn’t easy, involving trains, buses and automobiles, but it’s worth the wait. The White Hart is a bustling, friendly place, with a jam-packed pub in one half of the building, and a more laid-back, but just as welcoming, restaurant at the other.
The atmosphere is no-nonsense, but with an eye on the finer things in life
Everyone’s favourite scientist (and ex-D:Ream member) Brian Cox is a regular here, but don’t let that fool you, the White Hart is about as far-removed from a starry-eyed celeb haunt as it gets. The atmosphere is no-nonsense, but with an eye on the finer things in life.
The evening is hosted by Ian Howard, a local lad and one of just two Manchester-based members of the Champagne Academy. He’s as likeable as you’d expect from someone who’s devoted his life to wine, and makes for an engaging host, never overstaying his welcome and always keen to dish out fascinating titbits.
If you’re a budding wino, or to use the proper term: an oenophile, these events at the White Hart are a must
But tonight isn’t all about wine, there are six courses of carefully-prepared high-end food, each of which comes with a paired glass of Bordeaux wine. We begin a salty-fresh sea scallop, alongside a bead of pureed parsnip and, with a nod to the theme of the evening, a spicy golden raisin.
From there, we journey through venison and beetroot, to foie gras and smoked onion, all hearty dishes that take on new heights when paired with wines such as the dark and spicy La Reserve d’Angludet 2011 and the fruity Chateau La Tourette 2000, both wines custom-designed to pair with meat dishes.
The Roquefort cheese with apple emulsion and mustard seed is a highlight, boasting strong, simple flavours, and enhanced no end by the buttery, honey tastes of the paired Chateau Grillon Sauternes 2009.
If you’re a budding wino, or to use the proper term: an oenophile, and want to meet the North’s wisest wine connoisseurs then these events at the White Hart are a must. You can expect excellent quality food, hosts with a wealth of knowledge – that never feels like teaching – and of course, wine. So much wine.
Photographs by Stephen Keates