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The Fork & Furrow
Moorwood Moor, Derbyshire
01629 534888
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Sunday Lunch At The Fork & Furrow Restaurant, Moorwood Moor Near Alfreton

Published On Sunday 10 Mar 2024 by Sticky Beak
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Things have been a bit chaotic for The Flock recently; what with one thing and another (health-wise) it’s been a good month or so since we all got to go out for a Sunday roast together! Mummy said she felt well enough to have a foray into the wider world, and tasked His Nibs with booking a table for us, which he gladly did. We’ve been meaning to try the Fork and Furrow restaurant at The White Hart Inn at Moorwood Moor for yonks, so we were happy to snag a table for 4pm – especially since the dry weather meant we could do some gardening first to work up an appetite.

There is plenty of on-site parking at The White Hart, and several disabled spots too. Walking inside, the venue is open plan and the first thing you see is the large, well-stocked bar. The Man Bird counted 9 pumps on the bar, with a selection of lagers, ciders and ales; wine lovers are well catered for, as are those who like a short and/or mixer. 

Modern lighting adds a warm amber glow to the space and plentiful faux foliage makes things a bit cosier and is in keeping with the rural setting. The White Hart is a beautiful stone building with exposed brickwork and wooden beams inside, and it did have a wonderfully welcoming vibe to it. Dogs are welcome in the bar area with their trained humans, and the Fork and Furrow loves to have children dining with them.

As well as the usual Sunday Roast offerings, there were several other dishes to choose – handy if you have family members or friends that don’t fancy a full-on meat-n-vegetable meal. We all eschewed starters, thinking that we’d go for pudding if we had space after our mains; at home we’d have pudding as a second course rather than go for a starter, so we stuck to the usual routine. Our server was a lovely young lad and he told us straightaway that the Lamb was off the menu and also the Cauliflower Cheese. Given the fact that we were dining a bit later in the service period, we didn’t mind; if it’s that important to you then I’d advise you book to go earlier rather than later – hardly difficult to do, is it?!

I opted to have the dry-aged roast Derbyshire Beef, which clearly states that it is served pink. Now, I don’t mind my meat pink routinely but, for those of you who get a bit wobbly about it, let me just say that Chef rests the meat properly so that there is no oozing of anything red onto the plate or into the mash. His Nibs went for the Roast Crispy Belly Pork, and Mummy had the Fork and Furrow Burger; her dish was £15, and all the roasts are £17.50. To sup, The Man had a pint of Madri (£5.90), I had a 175ml Malbec (£7.75) and Mummy had a 175ml Pinot Grigio (£7.25).

When we published our check-in photos the Negative Normans and Debbie Downers all came out of the woodwork to put their tuppence-worth in about the portion size, so I’mma just address that elephant in the room, right now! Yes, there was only one slice of Beef on my plate...but what a bloody whopper it was: unfurled (that’s right folks, the slice was doubled over, so that probs explained why it looked smaller in the photo!) it covered 2/3 of the plate and was over half a centimetre thick. By anyone’s standard, this was a good amount of meat and I was going to know I was eating it for sure. His Nibs’ Belly Pork was also generous, size-wise, and you certainly couldn’t fault the size of the Burger.

All the meat was tender and juicy, and the burger was pleasingly dense in texture to give it an excellent chew-time - as with my Beef, it was pink in the middle, though thoroughly cooked and hot in temperature. Both the roasts came with homemade Yorkshire Puds, creamy Mashed Potato, herbed Roasties, roasted Carrot and Parsnip, and pan juices; then our server came over with a bowl of Baby Leeks, Broccoli, Mange Tout, Carrots and Cabbage in, and his colleague brought another bowl with Bacon-pimped Peas in.  We were asked if we wanted any sauces at this point, and I asked for some Horseradish (proper lip-tingling stuff it was, too!). All the vegetables were cooked to perfection, retaining a lovely bit of firmness to the bite. The Yorkie wasn’t the hugest I’ve ever clapped eyes on, but it was really tasty, nonetheless, and wasn’t soggy in the least.

The Man’s Belly Pork was beautifully creamy in the mouth, with a layer of fat that added an extra oomph of taste and richness. Chef had salted the skin, resulting in a fabulous layer of crisped crackling that I gladly accepted when it was passed over – call me basic, but I love munching on proper crackling.  Mummy Bird does too, but it was a case of ‘snooze you lose’ on this day and I wolfed it all down...with no guilt whatsoever!

Before you all go “aww, poor Mummy Bird”, let me just say that none of her chunky chips got offered around, though we were both told how marvellously tasty they were! The burger was housed in a toasted, seeded Pretzel bun that was slathered with Bacon Jam and Truffle Mayo, a fat slice of fresh Tomato and cool, crisp Lettuce. As well as chunky chips, there was gorgeously creamy Coleslaw to tuck into that came in a separate pot. When the dish had first been served, I wondered how on earth Mummy was going to finish it, and it turned out that she had to leave half of the Pretzel bun, it was that satiating.

The Fork and Furrow team came to check that we were happy with our food as we were chomping away, and the young lass was very happy to be taking a trio of (other than the half Pretzel bun!) of empty plates back to the kitchen. As she said, empty plates mean folks have enjoyed their food...something that makes Chef smile.

Although she’d been sorely tempted by the Fruit Crumble, Mummy declined a pudding, leaving His Nibs and I to soldier on! I chose to have the Vanilla Brulee with Berry Compote and Shortbread (£7.50), and The Man had Triple Chocolate Brownie with Salted Caramel, Honeycomb, Pecans, and Vanilla Ice Cream (also £7.50). It’s been a while since my ears have rejoiced at the ‘thwack’ that comes when the sugar top is broken by a dessert spoon, and I grinned contentedly as I heard it.

My Brulee certainly wasn’t lacking in Vanilla, its rounded notes washing over my palate. The texture of the crème was also superb: wickedly rich and creamy, and pleasingly thick enough to cling to the inside of my mouth and cheeks. Contrasting with the indulgence of the crème was a pot of sharp, tart Fruit Compote, and this brought a skilful balance to this dessert. For added crunch, a couple of rounds of Shortbread stepped into the breach, and their lavish butter content meant that they melted on my tongue – this was a marvellous conclusion to my meal.

From across the table came a sigh of joy and a grin that told me all I needed to know about His Nibs’ choice of dessert: it was mega chocolatey...and then some! The slice of Brownie was lovely and deep and generous to boot – what’s not to love already? Thankfully, it tasted every bit as superb as it looked, the cocoa hitting the brains’ pleasure centre with a delightful ‘whoosh’. To the side of this dark minx was a golden-toned quenelle of Salted Caramel, perfectly unctuous and sticky in the mouth, allowing it to be properly savoured by The Man’s taste buds. Crunchy Pecans and pieces of Honeycomb added a blast of texture, and the Vanilla Ice Cream brought a chill in the mouth to stimulate the senses further.

Throughout our visit, the team looked after us very well; they weren’t obtrusive, but seemed to just appear when we needed anything. Everything was done with a smile and we weren’t rushed in the least. Hot Wings given here; yes, it might seem a bit ‘spenny’ to some, but for the quality and quantity of the food, the surroundings, and the service, it’s worth it.

Visit the website www.thewhitehartmoorwoodmoor.co.uk to browse the menus, discover the cocktail club and bottomless brunches; you can also book a table by scrolling down and hitting the ‘book a table’ button. For groups of seven or more people, the team ask that you contact them directly on 01629 534888.

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