Merry Christmas

All the team at the White Hart Hotel would like to wish our customers a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

It’s been an exciting year for us here at the White Hart, and we’re proud to have served you all throughout.

This year saw us refurbish and reopen the Grille restaurant, which looks fantastic with our new décor and has been praised for our sumptuous menu bursting with local ingredients and products. So much so in fact, that we were delighted to win Restaurant of the Year at the Select Lincolnshire Food, Drink and Hospitality Awards.

It’s not the only prestigious accolade we received either after scooping the Best Venue category as well. At the time, our general manager Ian Robinson said, ‘Winning Restaurant of the Year and Venue of the Year is a tremendous honour. We’re very proud that we’ve won awards two years in a row after winning Hotel of the Year in 2016 and we’d like to thank all the staff and team who have helped us achieve our goal of becoming Lincoln’s leading venue. We work hard to ensure all our customers experience unparalleled service and enjoy excellent food, so it’s great to get recognition for that with these prestigious awards.’

We’ve been lucky enough to host a variety of weddings through 2017 as well. It’s always a huge pleasure for us to see so many bright futures begin at our historic hotel.

It’s not over yet though, we have even more planned for next year as we continue to strive for excellence with our menus, both for food and cocktails, service, and more.

So, we’ll look forward to seeing you in 2018 but before that, have a fantastic Christmas full of fun and happiness, followed by a wonderful New Year.

From all the team at the White Hart Hotel.

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Not Long Until The Lincoln Christmas Market

We love the Lincoln Christmas Market, and not just because it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Our contemporary Cathedral city boasts more than 2,000 years of history and is the perfect place to visit over the festive period. The medieval square provides the perfect back drop for the Lincoln Christmas Market but more importantly, it’s right outside our doors.

From its small beginnings in 1982, the Christmas Market now includes more than 200 stalls and is expected to attract an incredible 250,000 visitors to Lincoln.

The market began when Lincoln twinned with Germany town Neustadt and the German link is still strong, with stall holders from our twinned-town bringing German crafts, food and drink to the market. The twinning relationship with Lincoln was formed in 1969 and is one of the oldest, strongest and most successful in the country. Although the first German Christmas Market didn’t take place until 1982, it was still one of the first in the country and today it’s one of the largest.

It’s the perfect place for anyone on the hunt for beautiful, hand-crafted presents that enable you to gift something truly unique. Visitors to the market will find a treasure trove of goodies and should expect to see jewellery, hand-poured candles, wooden toys, hand-painted glass, ceramics, photographs and locally-created art and fabulous fresh produce.

‘We really enjoy the Christmas Market coming to Lincoln each year,’ says White Hart Hotel general manager Ian Robinson. ‘It’s a massive event that we’re all very proud of in the city and is the perfect way to kick-start Christmas.’

The Lincoln Christmas Market starts on Thursday 7 December and runs until Sunday 10 December. Click here for more information.

If you are heading to the Christmas Market, don’t forget to pop in for one of our famous hot chocolates to enjoy as you rest your feet and warm your cockles.

Our Expert Guide to Making the Perfect Cocktail

Cocktails don’t have to be complicated. Essentially there are three elements to any cocktail; spirit, sweet and sour. But there is a reason for a recipe; you should be able to taste all the ingredients. This is referred to as ratio; 2:1:1 are the magic numbers. Two parts alcohol, one part sweet (syrup or triple sec) and one part sour (lemon or lime). However, there is one ingredient that is overlooked and is key to making a great cocktail. Ice.

Never overlook the quality of your ice. It needs to be large and deeply chilled (so it sticks to your finger). Ice can make or break a cocktail; it isn’t just to chill your drink, but to dilute it. Once the corners of the ice is rounded, the cocktail is ready.

 

The Equipment

You’ll need a few basic tools: a shaker, strainer, bar spoon and jigger. For homemade cocktails you can use the following kitchen items:

Measure/Jigger – Egg cup
Cocktail shaker – Thermos flask
Muddler – Small rolling pin/End of a wooden spoon
Juicer – Squeeze by hand
Mixing spoon – Long teaspoon/Fork handle
Strainer – Tea strainer

Presentation is key so a selection of glasses is essential. Traditional cocktail glasses are used for daiquiris and martinis –or any drink without ice. But long drinks like Long Island Iced Tea are served in a high ball glass.  A low ball glass is perfect for whiskey based drinks.

 

The Ingredients

It really depends on your spirit of choice. To save money, you could plan to make just two or three cocktails for your party and then buy what you need. However, a basic ‘cocktail bar’ would consist of:

  • Spirits – vodka, rum, gin, tequila, whiskey, brandy.
  • Liquors – triple sec, coffee liqueur, maraschino liqueur, crème de cassis and crème de cacao.
  • Bitters – Vermouth, Campari, angostura bitters.
  • Mixers – Grenadine, coke, sugar syrup, tonic, lemonade, fruit juice.
  • Garnishes – the following are the absolute essentials; lemons, limes, oranges and maraschino cherries.

 

Our Top Tips

  • Start with your mixer – then top it up with the alcohol. If you make a mistake it is far easier to throw away the cheaper juice than the expensive booze.
  • Do you know when to shake or stir? Citrus based cocktails are shaken and boozy drinks are stirred.
  • Do you know how to shake? Don’t be too vigorous or you’ll dilute the cocktail. Less is more. Shake in a circular motion so the contents are blended.
  • Follow a recipe – that way you’ll make the right amount and it’ll taste how it should.

 

In addition to our traditional cocktail menu our Bartender’s Choice cocktail menu is a selection of 12 exciting and unusual drinks. The ‘Original’ Lincoln Spice is made using Green Mark Vodka, Elderflower Cordial, Vanilla Syrup, Lime Juice, Honey and Fresh Chilli – for an unforgettable kick. For an indulgent drink that is perfect for the festive season our Banoffee Cheesecake cocktail is highly recommended: Thunder Toffee Vodka, Créme De Banana, Cream, Mascarpone Cheese, Banana, Chocolate…you might not need dessert afterwards!

At Room bar we cater extensively for all tastes. We offer a virgin cocktail menu which is just as exciting as our alcoholic options. Try our Ginger and Apple Mojito or Mixed Berry Blast. You won’t feel like you’re missing out!

To view the Room bar menu click here.

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.