Dining Out: The White Bear, Stretton, near Alfreton

Two Way Lamb at the White Bear, Stretton.
Two Way Lamb at the White Bear, Stretton.

When your tummy is growling with hunger, there’s no better place to tame that inner beast than this delightful gastro pub.
If you’re looking to unwind after a stressful week at work or seeking the perfect place for a romantic meal, The White Bear ticks all the boxes.

From the moment you get out of the car you can feel all your tension ebbing away as you gaze across the magnificent vista at the back of the hostelry. Miles and miles of green fields roll out across a valley and the sun casts long shadows as it sets at the end of a summer’s day.

Customers can drink in the view on a terrace which is festooned with flowers.

The atmosphere is one of quintessential country pub - cosy rooms with stone walls, wood floors and bleached wooden table tops. Old paintings and dried flower arrangements add to the ambience.

The mains menu, which is chalked up on a board, isn’t vast which is good because it means everything is cooked to order.

My partner chose one of the two specials - kleftiko, a large lamb shank cooked in red wine from which the succulent meat fell off the bone.

Lamb was also my choice but I opted for the two ways version, a mini rack and small breast. This was the finest meat I have tasted, every mouthful of this beautifully flavoured dish was a delight.

Both main courses were accompanied by creamy mashed potato, delicately seasoned green cabbage, carrot batons and cauliflower florets.

The portions were plentiful but not so much that they didn’t allow room for home-made dessert.

A slice of white chocolate and Baileys cheesecake was heaven on a plate. The hint of alcohol added bite, the raspberry coulis gave it zing and the chocolate latticework and fresh strawberry set it off nicely. A scoop of vanilla ice cream was the perfect accompaniment.

A double espresso, a bottle of Italian red wine, a beer and a couple of orange juices took the bill to just over £63.

Highly commended in the Derbyshire Food and Drink Awards’ gastro pub of the year category, The White Bear gets a roar of approval from this satisfied diner.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Address: The White Bear, Stretton, near Alfreton, DE55 6ET

tel. 01246 863274