Eating out is one of life’s little luxuries, but it doesn’t mean your health has to suffer. In this series of blogs, I will take a look at local restaurant’s menus and give you some tips on how to make tasty choices that are less terrible for our waistlines and our overall health.
This time round I visit The White Horse, Beaconsfield. Its doors reopened in November, after a dramatic transformation to reinstate it as a pub. Unsurprisingly for Beaconsfield Old Town, this is definitely more ‘gastro’ than ‘old man’ pub, with lots of space to sit down and enjoy their something off their tasty menu.
Following the trend of other Beaconsfield pubs (namely, the Swan), there is a comprehensive gin menu (four A4 pages of the stuff). Mixed with slimline tonic, gin is a lower calorie option than wine and beer…obviously, that doesn’t make it healthy, and moderation is still recommended, but at around 50 calories a pop (for a single) you can treat yourself to one or two on a special occasion (note, gin liqueurs can contain lots of sugar, so try to steer clear of these).
To start, I would recommend either the smoked trout with samphire, horseradish crème fraîche and beetroot jelly, or the tomato and red pepper hummus with toasted ciabatta.
From the mains, your healthiest option is the duck breast…but it needs a little tweaking. Fondant potatoes are heavy in butter so the healthier option would be to swap them for un-buttered new potatoes or, better still, a side of steamed veggies (again without butter). You can also cut down on fat by leaving the duck skin. Alternatively, again with some alterations, you could go for the 10oz ribeye (which comes with Dijon and tarragon butter, Portabello mushrooms, tomato and chips). To give it a healthier makeover, you want to ask for it without the butter, swap to chips for a salad (with the dressing on the side, so you can choose how much you have…or swap it for a bit of fat-free balsamic). And when it arrives, trim off the fat.
There is also a ‘light bites’ section, which offers some healthier options for those with a less ravenous appetite. I would go for either the salmon and smoked haddock fishcake with poached egg with chive and caper sauce; the cauliflower and chickpea falafels with a mint, chilli and cucumber salad, coriander yoghurt and toasted croute; or the king prawn linguine with garlic, chilli and rocket leaves. You can make these meals bigger by ordering a side of steamed veg (without butter) or an ‘undressed’ salad.
Desserts are always a bit tricky when it comes to picking a healthy option. In this case, if you need to round off your meal with something sweet, I would suggest a single scoop of one sorbet or ice cream…there may be no health attributes, but Salcombe Dairy sure do make delicious flavours (the cherry and amaretto is worth a try – it has all the flavour of a Bakewell pie without the calorie and fat-rich pastry).
Following your meal, why not go for a walk? Beaconsfield old town is a beautiful place for a stroll (and knowing what the parking is like in Beaconsfield, you’ll have to go some distance to your car at least!).
I hope you found this blog useful. If you would like me to take a look at your favourite Beaconsfield, Gerrards Cross or other local restaurant, just email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.