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How to plan the perfect Christmas Party

It’s the most magical time of the year but can also be pretty hectic at times. Make sure your festive gathering goes without a glitch with our top tips for planning the perfect Christmas party:

  1. Send out your invites early – people’s diaries get booked up so quickly over the festive season so whether you’re planning a low key dinner or glamorous party, give your guests plenty of notice. We’d recommend aiming for at least four weeks before the event. There are so many ways to send out invitations, from text and email to a phone call or by post. For larger ‘dos, you can’t go wrong with a beautiful handwritten invite – it’ll stand out to your guests and adds a personal touch.
  1. Know your limits – don’t be too overly ambitious with your menu. If you’re hosting a dinner party with several courses, or providing tasty canapes for a cocktail party, stick to what you know or do a practice run! Even better, take the hassle out of cooking altogether and let the professionals take care of it – at The White Hart Hotel, we have three course Christmas party menus for both lunch and dinner. With dishes including traditional roast breast of Lincolnshire turkey and succulent grilled supreme of salmon, you can relax in the knowledge that your food will be delicious and you can spend more time with your guests instead of hidden away in the kitchen.
  1. Make a note of dietary requirements – from allergies and intolerances to vegetarian and vegan, make sure you check in with each of your guests to establish any special dietary requirements in advance. The last thing you want is to present a dish your guests can’t eat! We’re able to prepare meals to cater to a number of dietary requirements without compromising on taste – another reason to book your Christmas party with us!
  1. Plan, plan, plan – make a list of any decorations you need, an itinerary of when food will be served and any party activities or games. It’s good to have a rough idea of your timings to keep everything running smoothly. Give yourself at least one hour before your guests arrive to make sure everything is set up as you’d like it.
  1. Think about drinks – Don’t fall into the trap of playing bartender all night, you want to be able to spend time with your guests! Cocktail parties in particular can be time-consuming if you’re busy mixing a range of drinks. One option is to set up a self-service area to allow your guests to prepare their own drinks but for a truly sophisticated occasion, our expert team from Room Bar can help you host the ultimate festive cocktail party. Take a look at our cocktail menu for inspiration.
  1. Set the scene – Decorations are the perfect way to get your guests into the Christmas spirit – keep your colour scheme to a maximum of three complementary shades. Festive colours span far beyond the realm of classic red, green and gold – icy blues, white and silver are a stylish alternative.
  1. Let’s face the music – whether it’s background music for dinner or a disco to get everyone dancing, make sure you include the Christmas classics on your playlist. Bear in mind your guests may tire of an exclusively Christmas-themed music selection, so make sure you throw in other popular hits to keep the party atmosphere alive!
  1. Organise a Secret Santa – this is a great idea for office parties or small gatherings where your guests know each other. Be sure to let your guests know the budget so no-one overspends; £5 -£10 should be enough to get a little something special. It’s a lovely way to spread some festive cheer!
  1. Confirm the dress code – is your party a formal affair or more of a casual get together? Let your guests know the dress code when you invite them so no-one is left feeling over or under-dressed.
  1. Be a social butterfly – make time to chat to each of your guests. Introduce them to each other to facilitate conversation and stop anyone being left on the side lines. Then all that’s left for you to do is relax and enjoy yourself – it is a party after all!

People have been enjoying festive dinners and parties at our hotel for years and we’d be more than happy to help you play the perfect host with our range of Christmas party packages. We’re able to cater for parties with up to 100 guests, from a table in our Grille – Bar & Restaurant to private dining and after dinner dancing in one of our four event suites. Whatever your needs, we’d be more than happy to celebrate the festive season with you. Call our Christmas Coordinator on 01522 563 299. Take a look at our website for more Christmas information and pricing.

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Top Tips on Accessing the Best Rates

Want to get the best deals, book the most cost-effective rates and benefit from a host of complimentary extras at the White Hart hotel? Here’s how:

Book direct as early as you can

The most inexpensive way to book your stay is to do it through our website where we feature our best rates on every available room and suite. You won’t find these rates elsewhere and when you do book you’ll also get the added benefit of heaps of flexibility – you don’t need to pay a penny until you arrive and you can cancel at any time up to 24 hours in advance. Plus, because our handy booking system allows you to secure your room up to 365 days in advance you can act early and access the cheapest rates a year before your stay.

Stay on a Sunday

The best value night of the week is usually a Sunday. Plus, our ‘Sunday Night Delight’ offer means you can get breakfast and dinner for two along with your room for just £120.

Join our network

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to get news of special offers and discounts. We like to run exclusive competitions for our social media followers so make sure you keep an eye out to be in with the chance of winning some fantastic prizes.

Subscribe to our mailing list

Joining our mailing list won’t cost you a penny and yet it might help you make a massive saving on your stay! Our exclusive email only goes out to people who have signed up here and features special offers each month, such as 10% off dining at our award-winning Grille Restaurant & Bar and discount accommodation deals.

Give us a ring

Want to confirm you’ve found the best deal? Give us a call on 01522 526 222 and we’ll run through the particulars of your stay with you to guarantee that you’re making the most of your money. We can even add in a few extras, like a box of chocolates for those of you with a sweet tooth, or facilitate a late check out.

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Chef Profile – Myles Mumby

Meet our new chef, Myles Mumby….

How long have you been a Chef?
I’ve been a chef for fourteen years now.

How would you summarise your career highlights?
One of my favourite memories is winning an AA Rosette for the cooking I have been doing here at the White Hart. It was a wonderful moment and a great highlight to my career so far. 

What inspired you to become a Chef?
I watched my step mum cook a lot when I was younger, which was probably the first thing that got me interested in cooking as a career and inspired me to give it a try. Then I got a job as a pot washer and I watched the chefs building their dishes, using their creative talents and honing their craft in the kitchen– their skills really encouraged me to pursue cookery further.

What’s your signature dish?
I don’t have a signature dish but a key theme running through all of my cooking is that I like to use vibrant ingredients to give each dish that wow factor. 

Who’s your favourite celebrity Chef?
When I was training to be a chef I looked up to Marco Pierre White. Now I’d say that I admire Gordon Ramsay for all of his achievements and his focus on creating the very best food with ingredients that are fresh and in season. 

What’s the next ‘big thing’ in food?
I think being able to cater to every diner’s requirements is the next big thing, especially with the rise of ‘clean eating’ and the emphasis on unrefined, natural ingredients. It’s important for today’s chefs to be able to rustle something up for vegans, dairy-free and gluten-free diners.

 What three things couldn’t you do without in your kitchen?
My Rational oven, a serrated knife and coffee! 

Will you be introducing any new dishes to Grille?
Yes, we will. We’ll be using more local produce, like Alfred Enderby smoked haddock which will be served with saffron risotto and poached hens eggs, and adding to the menu in line with the changing seasons. 

What was your favourite dish growing up?
My favourite dish was also the first dish I ever made: Spanish tortilla.

…and now?
I think my palette has changed a bit now and I really enjoy the simplicity of lamb served with asparagus and jersey royal potatoes. They come together to make the perfect understated dish when everything is in season and fresh.

What is your most challenging dish to make?
Swiss Chard Lasagne can be tricky. Pieces of chard are used in place of traditional lasagne sheets, which means they have to be cut to size and layered up perfectly to stand up firmly and not collapse. 

What is the best thing about being a Chef in your opinion?
The positive feedback from people who’ve enjoyed eating what I’ve made is always a good feeling.

Finally, what’s your favourite dish on the menu and why?
The Duo of Red Hill Pork because it uses local produce and it was the dish that won The White Hart its AA rosette.

 

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The History of The White Hart Hotel

Situated in the historic Cathedral Quarter of Lincoln, The White Hart Hotel is over 600 years old. First opened in the 14th century as a coaching inn, the hotel sits between the Norman Castle and the city’s Medieval Cathedral, making it a fantastic location for visitors who are keen to experience Lincoln’s history and witness the beauty of Roman architecture and design.

The hotel is famous for being the meeting place for Sir William Tritton and Major W G Wilson in September 1915 – they together conceived of and created the first ever prototype military tank in what became known as the ‘Tank Room’, which is now a corporate boardroom on the first floor of the hotel. Thanks to their design skills the world’s first 200 tanks were manufactured in Lincoln.

An attractive mixture of old and new, the hotel is also known for its ghostly history and is synonymous with spirits and ghouls. The legend is that a highwayman was killed in the area of the hotel that used to be the stables many years ago and he now haunts the restaurant area, hiding his face with his cloak!

Lincoln Castle is just a short walk from the hotel entrance and is home to one of only four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, a Victorian prison and an archaeology exhibition. This year, a ceramic poppies sculpture will be exhibited at the castle until September to commemorate the Battle of the Somme. Originally a part of the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London in the autumn of 2014, the poppy sculpture (known as the Wave and Weeping Window) is just a short walk away from the Cathedral where visitors can inscribe and leave behind crosses with the names of their lost loved ones.

2016-05-03 - Why book direct

Why book direct?

Book your stay at The White Hart Hotel using our online booking system to benefit from the best rates – guaranteed, and a host of special offers and exclusive website-only packages that you won’t find elsewhere!

Booking direct through our website, instead of using other hotel booking sites, allows you to bypass booking fees and guarantees full access to all of our rooms. For example, our luxurious Four Poster suites – perfect for romantic getaways and anniversaries – are only available via direct booking.

Our secure online reservations system displays up-to-date information on all of our seasonal discounts as well as a selection of current pictures. Plus, you can talk to the hotel directly rather than using an intermediary, which means you’ll get a personalised service and an immediate answer to any of your queries.

Another advantage to booking directly is that you won’t have to pay a penny until you arrive at the hotel (unless specified clearly in the booking process). Better yet, when you book direct you’ll also benefit from full flexibility – you can modify your booking up until 24 hours before your stay for no additional cost.

On top of that we’ve created an array of web-only packages with fantastic extras, such as 10% off dining, free late check outs or a complimentary Classic Afternoon Tea*.

What are you waiting for? Book your next stay at the White Hart Hotel here!

 

*Offers are available at the hotel’s discretion and run for specific periods throughout the year. To ensure you hear about these offers when they become available, please sign up to our mailing list.

HIdden-Gems

Lincoln’s Hidden Gems – By Ian Robinson, GM at The White Hart Hotel

A historic city steeped in culture and charm, Lincoln is the perfect spot for sightseeing. Home to Lincoln Cathedral, this beautiful region also boasts an array of hidden gems from stunning walks and theatre shows to museums and boutiques. Here’s a local perspective on the best bits of Lincoln from Ian Robinson, the General Manager at the White Hart Hotel:

(1)  How long have you worked at The White Hart Hotel?

Five and a half years and the time has flown by! I love working with my colleagues here – you won’t find a friendlier team of people anywhere else.

 

(2)  What do you enjoy the most about your job and why?

The diversity of the job and meeting people is one of my favourite aspects. I also like hosting weddings at the hotel – there’s no greater satisfaction than seeing the smile on a bride’s face and knowing that I’ve contributed to her perfect day.

 

(3)  In your opinion, what makes The White Hart Hotel one of the top hotels in Lincoln?

The top-class service, the superb location in the heart of Lincoln (the historic Cathedral Quarter), a superb cocktail bar, and award-winning dining at Grille – Restaurant & Bar.

 

(4)  What do you like most about the city of Lincoln?

The city is big enough to matter, but still small enough to care. Community spirit still exists here!

 

(5)  What would you say are the ‘must-see’ spots of Lincoln?

Lincoln castle, where visitors can see the Magna Carta and go on a medieval walk around the historic walls, is a must-see as well as the stunning cathedral that attracts tourists from all over the world. The cathedral entrance is right at the top of Steep Hill – it’s fun to walk up the cobbled street simple because it’s so steep and there are lots of boutiques and speciality shops to visit along the way. The Guild Hall is a great place to visit too because it gives an insight into Lincoln’s fascinating history.

 

(6)  In terms of ‘hidden gems’; can you share any with us?

  • Not many people know that there’s a thriving night-time economy here in Lincoln. There’s always somewhere fun to go every evening and no two nights are ever the same.
  • The Bailgate shopping area has a plethora of independent traders, speciality food stores and clothing boutiques. It’s based in the Cathedral Quarter, one of the most historic parts of the city, so it has a quaint charm to it that shouldn’t be missed. Plus, it’s just a short stroll away from the hotel entrance.
  • You can use a downloadable app called Roman walk boundaries to help you find your way around the city’s historic perimeter. It makes for a fantastic walk and there are plenty of opportunities to take some eye catching photos.
  • For the most fantastic view of the Cathedral, our rooftop terrace is the perfect spot.

 

(7)  Finally, if you only had one day to spend in Lincoln, where would you go and what would you do?

  • Brunch at one of the little cafes on Steep Hill because there are so many interesting places to eat.
  • A ride on a tour bus because there’s always something new to be seen as well as the main stops at the Cathedral, Lincoln Castle and Cultural Quarter (ghost walks in the evening can also be great fun where you learn about the legends of the spirits that haunt Lincoln’s local attractions!).
  • Champagne Afternoon Tea at Room Bar, which comes with a chilled glass of champagne, fresh scone, clotted cream and homemade cakes, simply because it’s so lavish and delicious.
  • Drill Hall Theatre to see a performance – there are comedy, music, dance, film and children’s events all year round.
  • Room Bar for cocktails, a night cap to end the perfect day.
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How to Prepare for a Wedding Fayre

If you’re looking to tie the knot, a Wedding Fayre offers great inspiration. You’ll find lots of ideas on the best local venues, dress designs, jewellers and caterers as well as florists and photographers. 

With Bailgate Wedding Fayre just around the corner on Sunday 20th March, here are our tips on how a prospective bride and groom can prepare for a fun-filled day of wedding planning:

Register on the guest list

Some fayres require visitors to register online before the day. For the Bailgate Fayre you can register here (admission is free) and benefit from White Hart Hotel’s open-house – pop in without an appointment to view the function rooms and learn about our wedding packages that feature everything from intimate gatherings to banquet dinners.

Take cash

Keep some cash with you in case you’d like to buy anything that’s on offer or put a small deposit down with a hen party organiser or a hair stylist.

Arrive early!

The Wedding Fashion Show at the White Hart Hotel is free to attend but seats are limited so try to arrive as early as you can to secure a place (the show will run twice!). Arriving early to see exhibitors at the fayre will also give you a chance to have a good look around before things get busy.

Note down contact details

If a certain florist or photographer appeals to you then be sure to make a note of their contact details. Pick up business cards and write a small note on the back of each one to remind you of what you liked.

Take your time

Don’t feel like you have to rush through and see everything – focus on the things that are most important to you and take your time discussing your options regarding venue choices, menus and decorations.