Open Sun–Wed 9.30am–11.30pm; Thu–Sat 9.30am–midnight
The style & the crowd:
The White Horse, or as it may be better known, The Sloaney Pony, has had a facelift. The downstairs still has the large tables, comfy chairs strewn around the venue, centrally located pillars to drink/chat around and the clientele remains largely the same. As always there is a mixed bag of patrons; from your Hackett t-shirt blokes, to ale aficionados, to older regulars, to stragglers (I would be the latter).
The main make-over can be seen in the upstairs dining area. The cosy private dining room is a welcome change, and by cosy I don’t mean in the estate agent’s sense of small; the blend of heavy wood and beautiful chandeliers lends itself to an intimate dining experience with close friends. With this refurb, The White Horse has become more of an all-seasons pub; its vast beer garden is heaving in the summer but now it’s also a great winter pub.
The restaurant area is pleasant, relaxing and unassuming. With no music, they run the risk of the atmosphere being cold, uncomfortable and stiff – it was none of these.
I’m not sure if the White Horse is known for its food and after my visit I’m almost certain it’s for the selection of ales and the overall character. Don’t mistake this for a bad review – the food is ok, it’s just not incredible. I had the scallops (£15) to start but wouldn’t recommend them – they were cold and the sauce was uninspired. My friend opted for the meat board (£15) giving me serious food envy. Luckily, the portion was huge so I tucked in. My advice, particularly for girls, is to share the meat platter.
For the main I had the rib eye steak (£24), which was average. My friend had the cod (£18) which again was well cooked but nothing to boast about. The saving grace was desert; a hearty brandy bread and butter pudding with a generous dollop of clotted cream (£7). This was winter comfort eating to a T. We came to the conclusion that the meat platter and puddings were the best part of the meal. The mains were forgettable. Overall, the food was decent enough, but I’ve had better.
I’m a wine lover so this pub was slightly wasted on me. It’s all about the ale and if you’re partial to it then you are in for a treat. It is clear there is a serious passion for ales here, shared by those behind and in front of the bar. In short, this is a pub for the boys, and if you are a girl that likes the Chelsea look, then follow the boys down to The White Horse and bag yourself a beer swigging Sloane. All in all, a conveniently located watering hole to check out.