The White Horse in Brancaster has a seafood platter for two that costs £65* on their menu. I saw a picture of this dish on Instagram and knew I had to try it. Would it live up to the hype?
Find out in our review of the famous seafood platter at the Brancaster White Horse. Is it worth it?
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About the White Horse Brancaster
The White Horse in Brancaster Staithe is an award winning inn by the sea in Norfolk, only a short drive (less than 20 minutes) from Wells-Next-the-Sea, with 15 bedrooms and a restaurant featuring local seafood with expansive views over the saltmarshes to Scolt Head Island and the sea beyond.
In March 2022, they earned a 4-star rating from AA. It won the Good Hotel Guide Seaside Hotel of the year and Editor’s Choice award three years running. They were ranked No. 34 in the 2023 Top 50 UK Gastropub Awards.
With recent distinctions like The Good Food Guide 2020, The Good Hotel Guide 2020 Editor’s Choice Rooms, and the Good Hotel Guide Editor’s Choice 2023 for Walking, you can see why it is considered one of the best places to dine or stay in the area.
Cliff Nye, the chairman of the family-run business Anglian Country Inns that owns the White Horse, fell in love with the North Norfolk Coast during the summer holidays he spent here as a child. When he first saw the White Horse it was a run down old pub, but he saw the opportunity to create something special.
While the pub was built in 1934, it has been refurbished in a modern nautical style that makes the most of its coastal setting. If you want to dine al fresco, the restaurant has a terrace where you can enjoy spectacular sunsets and sunrises.
The head chef at the White Horse, Fran, has been working in their kitchen since 2005. Previously, she spent a number of years cooking in the US. The menu shows her creativity, passion for seasonality, and love of local ingredients.
Anglian Country Inns also owns other pubs including The Fox in the Hertfordshire village of Willian, The Jolly Sailors just down the road in Brancaster Staithe, Hermitage Rd in Hitchin, Water Lane in Bishop Stortford, The Cricketers in Weston, and The Kings Head in Letheringsett. Additionally, they run a microbrewery called Brancaster Brewery, sister interiors shop Hermitage Rd & Co, a Post Office, and village store.
The White Horse Brancaster Seafood Platter
We love all kinds of seafood and sometimes it’s hard to decide what to order. The seafood platter at the White Horse solves that problem – it pretty much has everything.
Let’s go over each component (note that what makes up the seafood platter may vary at times).
Oysters – The British Rock oysters are served raw on the half shell with shallot vinegar. Since Russell doesn’t like oysters, I was happy to get all four of these good-sized oysters to myself.
Lobster – You get half a North Sea lobster served in the shell, slightly chilled. It came out of its shell easily and had a slightly sweet taste.
Cockles – The saffron pickled cockles are presented in a jar with a cocktail stick. While the cockles are small, there were quite a few in the jar.
Smoked Salmon – The slices of smoked salmon were rich and buttery with a subtle smoky flavour. It didn’t need anything extra (i.e. capers, chives, or cream cheese) as it was delicious on its own.
Smoked Mackerel – While I enjoyed the smoked salmon, the smoked mackerel was even better. The taste of the fish combined with the smoke essence was perfection.
Shrimp Salad – I think it was a mayonnaise-based salad with a bit of fresh herbs. The shrimps were the real stars. It worked well on a piece of the sourdough bread.
Shrimp – There wasn’t anything fancy about the shrimp, but you could tell it was quality. The effort it takes to remove the shell (and head) is well-worth it.
Fried Calamari – Served in a separate bowl from the rest of the platter since it is hot. The calamari was lightly breaded, and not greasy or chewy.
Sourdough Bread – Sourdough may be my favourite type of bread and this one lived up to my expectations. It had a crisp crust and just the right bit of tang.
It was all delicious. I should mention that we did also order the gremolata chips as a side dish. While you couldn’t ask for better chips, I am not sure we needed any more food.
Other Menu Options
The Seafood Platter is not the only thing they serve at the White Horse. While their menu changes periodically and they also offer daily specials, I can give you an idea of what to expect based on the menu used in November 2021.
There were other seafood dishes such as Fish & Chips, Brancaster Bay Mussels, and Pan Roasted Hake. Meat lovers can try a Sirloin Steak, Burger, or Beef Carpaccio. You could also try the Duck Breast and Pigeon dishes.
They also had some vegetarian options (like Mushroom Risotto or Chargrilled Aubergine). There is a separate vegan menu too.
The White Horse also always has daily specials. The day we had the seafood platter we were also enticed by the crab fritter starter that was on the special menu.
I should also mention that they had a tempting dessert menu too, but we were too full to try any. It’s definitely on the list for next time.
Overall Review of the Brancaster White Horse
It’s easy to see why the White Horse has won many awards. The food is top-quality and the menu is creative. They provide excellent service in an upscale and trendy atmosphere.
When it’s dark it can be quite romantic. During the day when the sun is out, you can enjoy spectacular views over the saltmarshes.
We will definitely be visiting the Brancaster White Horse again soon. It’s the type of place worthy of a special occasion.
Read more reviews on Tripadvisor here.
Book a reservation on OpenTable here.
Is the Seafood Platter at the White Horse Brancaster Worth it?
Yes. It’s not cheap but when you look at all the seafood platter includes (i.e. lobster, oysters, prawns, etc.), it’s not overpriced either. This unique platter is full of fresh, high-quality seafood that will easily feed two people.
When you visit the White Horse in Brancaster, you also get a lovely atmosphere, excellent service, and fantastic views of the North Norfolk coast. If you are a seafood lover, this platter at the White Horse is a must!
If you think the White Horse seafood platter is too expensive, you could try the seafood platter at the Maltsters in Ranworth in the Norfolk Broads or the Coastal Platter at The Globe in Wells-Next-the-Sea.
White Horse Brancaster FAQs
Yes, the restaurant (where you can enjoy the Seafood Platter) is regularly booked weeks/months in advance especially during the summer. You can make a booking through Open Table here.
The Brancaster White Horse is located on the A149 coast road in Brancaster Staithe. You can drive as they offer free parking or the Coasthopper bus has a stop nearby.
There is a small car park by the Brancaster White Horse that customers can use.
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