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Bestselling author Milly Johnson decided to sample some of Yorkshire’s afternoon tea delights for inspiration for her latest book. She searched high and low for her perfect Afternoon Tea. To find the most succulent sandwich, the dreamiest cream scone, the perfect cuppa. Here Milly shares her findings:

“Now the White Heart at Penistone is locally renowned for its afternoon tea offering and so I dragged along yet another willing accomplice. Okay so it’s a pub but it’s such a pretty place it doesn’t matter. And what is it about china cups and plates that make the food taste so much better? This afternoon tea started with a home-made carrot and coriander soup with a kick of chilli – just the thing to have with a glass of Prosecco, for we had a ‘sparkling afternoon tea’. Beautiful. The finger sandwiches were fat and fabulous – egg mayo (my fave) cheese and onion, Yorkshire ham.”

Milly Johnson, Yorkshire Food & Drink, Yorkshire Post, 22 July 2015

"The menu is equally as artistic as the artwork on the walls"

Susan Hampshire and her colleague Val recently visited The White Heart for a taste of the fabulous new modern look and a good old catch up. The report is below.

‘During out conversational catch-up, we ordered two glasses of the house red wine along with a bottle of sparking water to study the menu. The menu is equally as artistic as the artwork which is on the walls of the restaurant, which offers not a vast menu, but a good choice.

The dishes we both chose were really tasty, to start Ravioli stuffed with Feta cheese and the Leek and Stilton Quiche, to follow with sea bass and the chicken skewers. Although there is plenty on the plate, the portions size’s are sensible and don’t over face. Quality, in this instance, is definitely preferable to quantity. To finish, we could manage a ‘boozy’ Tiramisu to share with a coffee for one.

The White Heart is certainly a pub and restaurant to offer bar meals, summer barbecues, special events, a meal out for a couple or family and friends. Once The White Heart gets a little more established and its reputation grows, it’s sure to be in great demand!’

A return visit? They answered; 'Absolutely'

Susan Hampshire, Weekend, Huddersfield Examiner

"It's definitely to be recommended!"

Recently published in the ‘Around Barnsley Magazine’ by Geraldine May in the ‘Dining Out ’ section, a report on The White Heart was completed and below is just a sample of what was included. She visited the restaurant on an evening in a party of three, dining on the evening menu.

"Once on the table, we were stunned at the presentation but equally stunned at the taste of the three staters which were all different in choice. All three staters were delicious and soon disappeared under a sea of ooh's and aah's, as we all sang the praises of our individual choices.With three different mains to one another, and time for a pudding, two of the party shared a very 'boozy' tiramisu, and one managed an Affogato al cafe, (ice cream in a tall glass served with a shot of espresso and a homemade biscuit).

Would we come back for more? Absolutely, but remembering that a lot of people already do, so booking is essential.

Yes, we'll certainly come back and recommend it too. Chris and Gill are doing a great job with help from their team, and for them, long may it continue!"

Geraldine May, Dining Out, Around Town Magazine

"I went for the fillet steak.... It was superb."

Walking into the warmth of the populous bar area of the White Heart Restaurant from a rain-soaked large barriered car park, I was greeted into the friendly atmosphere by Sam Briggs, the manager of the White Heart. She told me, "We get a lot of people who travel here from Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds, it's quite central to that area."

The White Heart has started having some live entertainment on a weekend. Friday nights they have last meal orders at 9 o'clock and then there is a disco. A piano/singing duo, Natalie and Hailey, were entertaining on the Saturday I was there as a one-off, but they are going to be appearing every Thursday. They sung oldies and classics but with an original style of their own.

I was soon seated in the restaurant area having perused the menu. Ten starters put my taste buds on alert, including two soups, two fish courses and three for vegetarians. I chose the Peking Duck, infused with Chinese spices, stir fried with oriental noodles and topped off with crispy seaweed. Indeed the crispness of the seaweed blended admirably with the soft texture of the duck and noodles and prepared me adequately for what was to follow.

The downstairs part of the White Heart can cater for around twenty customers, but there is a mezzanine floor too. Sam told me a little bit about that. "We opened three years ago this Boxing Day. It was originally an old coaching inn, but it has been completely revamped. Walls were knocked down, but when the ceiling came down the real ceiling was very high, so Gill and Chris Ward, the owners, decided to put a mezzanine floor in. It's nice for private parties and seats about twelve, or sixteen on one long table."

Faced with a variety of main courses, as chef Paul Taylor put it, " You've got 2 sorts of steaks, 3 different fish, a vegetarian, a pork dish, 2 lamb dishes, a classic round here - the Barnsley Chop, plus duck and chicken. There's something for everybody on our menus," I went for the fillet steak and along with Paul's recommendation that it should not be well done. It was superb. At medium rare it was tender and juicy, a testament, no doubt, to local butcher, Brindon Addy. The lyonnaise potatoes bed, and especially the mushroom and stilton crust, adding that twist of gastronomic style.

Classy, contemporary decor make for a cosy feel to the White Heart, and with artworks on the walls, which are Gill’s very own work, it is a feature which gives the restaurant its own stunningly unique style.

To finish off my stylish meal I selected the chocoloate pudding, but with cinnamon ice cream. Paul told me they have an ice cream maker in the kitchen and can put together anything from a brown bread pudding ice cream to a Bloody Mary sorbet. The hot pudding and the cool ice cream slid down beautifully with the help of a large cappuccino.

The pudding was home made and Paul readily explained to me how it had been done. He is a young man who has a well-founded culinary pedigree and a wealth of ideas. "What I try and do here is keep things nice and simple and add twists. It's good to have my own kitchen, my own team, to do my own rotas. I sit down with my other chefs and decide on a new menu every two months or so."

Sam said that Wednesday to Saturday are their busiest nights. They do a different menu on a Monday and a Tuesday - a set menu of three courses, and on Sundays they do a Sunday lunch menu with a set price, a traditional roast dinner.

The final words concerning a lovely meal in a charming environment goes to the chef. Paul said, "When you come to our restaurant I believe there's something for everybody on our menus. I find it hard to believe that someone can come in here for a meal and struggle to find something that they wouldn't like."

I totally agree.

Sam McQueen, Around Town Magazine

"This new venue is a tribute to its owners and a great addition to dining out in the area"

Recently published in the ‘Around Barnsley Magazine’ by Jack Spratt in the ‘Drive and Dine’ section, a report on The White Heart was completed and below is just a sample of what was included. He visited the restaurant on an evening with his partner (and Around Barnsley Magazine), dining on the evening menu.

“If you are looking for a symbol for a revitalised, more modern looking, smart Penistone then The White Heart is most certainly it. Combining style, comfort, great lounge facilities and excellent food, this new venue is a tribute to its owners and a great addition to dining out in the area.

Just recently opened, The White Heart is a totally refurbishment of the former ‘White Hart’ pub at Bridge End, and the brain-child and pride and joy of a local business-people Gillian and Chris Ward.

Inside the cool décor predominantly beige, cream, brown and maroon/burgundy is very effective and remarkably relaxing with the atmosphere greatly enhanced by superb lighting. You are made most welcome as you enjoy a quiet drink and looking over the menu in the restaurant which can accommodate up to fifty, with also an upstairs area that seats around sixteen which is ideal for a medium sized group eating all together.

The appetizing menu includes a variety of meals of which the reporter had chosen Sea Bass. In his own words; ‘ The Sea Bass was large, light and simply served with a little herb butter. All too often chefs ‘mess about’ with fish and spoil it with unnecessary additions. There was none of that here and the result was a delight.’ The meal was rounded of with some excellent Italian blended coffee and that again demonstrates the White Heart’s attention to detail. An extensive restaurant wine list demonstrates the eclectic range of high quality old and new world wines on offer available by the 75cl bottle or two sizes of glass.

The reporter and partner had the opportunity after completing their meal to talk with Gillian and Chris Ward, but also with the chef Paul Taylor. Paul comes to the White Heart with a well-established reputation and a host of ideas. He is looking to innovate but recognises that he has to take his clientele with him all the way, so expect the old and new with classy twists to more standard items. Here at the White Heart, style is of the essence, with a base of carefully selected locally – sourced produce, smart unobtrusive service and some quite outstanding table-ware, the scene is set for the production of mouth-watering food. On the evidence of the visit to the White Heart, this chef is more than capable of meeting the requirements of even the most discerning client.

The overall ambience is very good, once you have got over the mild shock of realising that you are entering what once was a very traditional drinkers pub and finding yourself in a brassiere-style establishment that somehow creates a combination of chic and warmth that is both welcoming and relaxing.

Jack Spratt, Drive & Dine Section, Around Town Magazine


The White Heart, Bridge Street, Penistone, South Yorkshire S36 7AH Tel: 01226 762843 Email: info@thewhiteheart.co.uk