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White Horse, The
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
1-3 Parsons Green
United Kingdom (England)
phone: (020) 7736 2115
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vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 1 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
What a difference a few years makes. Decided to stop by here for a quick beer with BA RichLightWeight on my way to Heathrow after an excellent weekend in London.
The whole visit was laughable. Just after midday and we entered a quiet Sloaney Pony. Given that time was pressing I ordered a half of Roosters Yankee and Rich ordered an Echte Kriek ..this is where the fun started.
Our Server - I forget his name but Ill call him Kevin as it seems appropriate as he acted like one - was a cross between Mr. Magoo, Brains from Thunderbirds, looked like Elvis Costello and had the demeanor of Inspector Clouseau. He tried to pull an Echte Kriek for Richard from the completely wrong tap; it took Richard to point out the right one. But they were still cleaning the lines, rather shabby that, good Pubs typically do that before they open. Even so when it was pointed out by another dude behind the bar (one who knew what he was doing) that they were cleaning the lines, he still tried to pull an Echte Kriek from the tap Richard was pointing to go figure! OK, so he gave up on that and said it was being cleaned and then proceeded to tell Richard about other keg Lagers that they had WTF!? OK, so my turn, Ill take a half of Roosters Yankee, took him a while to find the right Handpump and then he grabbed a Pint glass, I reminded him that I wanted a half only duh! Finally after all that, we find that he has all the Mathematic skills of an Enron Accountant. He stood at the bar trying to work out the prices and then wanted some £5 odd for the two halves, both Richard and I reminded him that we had half Pints took another minute or too to figure that out ..I am thinking dude you have a cash register to add up for you ..but there in also lay trouble, he didnt seem to know how to use it, it took all of 5 minutes (no exaggeration) to get my change, at times I figured he had fallen asleep standing up at the cash register as he stared at it, thankfully the other dude came back and speeded things up a bit. I swear it took nearly 10 minutes overall and many, many reminders and corrections to get two quick halves. Utterly crap service. Totally Laughable.
Range is still good, when they are not cleaning the lines out during working hours, which did not impress me I have to say.
Quality was shit; the Roosters Yankee was flat, insipid and lifeless. Didnt have the heart to take it back after the length of time it took originally, so it was time to leave and head to the Airport where the quality of the Greene King World Cup beer and service at Heathrow T1 Wetherspoons was better than here!!
So I re-mark my original from below accordingly. Do I feel bad about marking it down? NO. Yes I know they can do better, but the whole point is that they did not.
Good range for sure, but the White Horse feels like it is resting on its Laurels and seems to employ them along with Hardy behind the bar.
Im in no hurry to come back here, if I will at all, too may better joints in London these days.
Last Visit: Monday 26th June, 2006
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LEGENDARY. And that is no understatement. Imposing looking building that was tidied up in 1999 with a sympathetic refurbishment. At the Northern end of Parsons Green (the nearby triangular park area). I had the best Pint of Draught Bass that I have ever had in my 18 years drinking here, as well as many of the special beers from the Bass Museum Brewery. Also sells Highgate Dark Mild on a regular basis. All of the other Handpumps sell a rotating, ever changing, choice of Guest Beers, which are a combination of some of the best beers the UK has to offer plus some newbies from independents - ALL in exceptionally good condition. Very friendly, welcoming atmosphere, I just love lounging around in the leather sofas - it is just like drinking at home. When the weather is nice you can sit outside and watch life in SW6 as it happens, but be prepared to fight for a seat. The high quality of the beverages also extends to the Food. I am unhealthy, and love the big English Fried Breakfast (ah, what the hell?!?), but the other food is wholesome and well made. Service is just superb. Also has a good range of Belgium and UK Bottled Beers plus a small selection from further a field. Frequently holds Beer Festivals, often themed (e.g. Milds, IPA's, etc.). Cask Marque accredited. Make the trip - it's worth it.
Original Scores: 4.5 / 5.0 / 4.5 / 4.5 / 4.5 = 4.65
07-08-2006 07:46:38 |
More by TheLongBeachBum
United Kingdom (England)
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4
The legendary "Sloan Pony". One of the most famous pubs in Britain. It's big and comfortable with excellent food. The atmosphere is rather bland - rather like that of a Wetherpoon's pub. It's clean and tidy and soulless. The beer is famous for often being dry-hopped, but that isn't always a good thing. In fact, the quality of the beer is below average for a decent pub, and certainly below the standards of any Wetherpoon. The range is not exciting, and doesn't change that often.
But, hey, it's famous, go and make up your own mind.
08-19-2003 12:44:16 |
More by SteveP
United Kingdom (England)
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | $$$
This is a well known pub to any London beer geek, and it is not hard to see why. The first thing that strikes you when you enter is the selection of beers on tap, most notably Duchesse De Bourgogne, and two trappist beer from St. Bernardus - trappist ales on tap in Britain is somewhat of a rarity.
The selection of bottles is without doubt the best you will get in London at any bar, if not the whole country. The beauty of the bottle list is that they will hold pretty much every single bottle on the list in stock at all times, which a lot of places don't do, not mentioning any names...*cough* Porterhouse.
Unfortunately, the atmosphere was a big let down, and I know I am not the only person who has found this. In London it is know as the Sloany Pony, and this is due to the high proportion of posh money-flashing knobheads that seem to like to frequent the place. Normally this doesn't bother me at all but if you visit you will get what I mean.
Service wasn't great, may have been that I just kept getting the disinterest bar staff but they weren't that knowledgeable or helpful really...shame.
Having said all that, it is somewhere that I will definitely go back to, with the range of beer they have I will not be able to resist.
10-14-2009 19:08:45 |
More by PartyBear
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
A bit out of the way for many people (and on an annoying Tube line), this pub is a good place to find craft beer in London.
It has a nice classic English pub atmosphere, though perhaps a bit too classic when I went as a Chelsea match was on on the same night, so when I get there it was packed with Chelsea fans grabbing a beer before the game. It cleared out quickly just before kick-off, though.
The service was good, though it took some time to get food and beer when the bar was busy.
There were loads of cask ales as well as international and local craft beers on tap, and an extensive bottle list. The quality of beers available was generally good, too.
The food was reasonable and came in big portions.
As mentioned, it's a bit out of the way, but for what you get it's worth the trip.
01-23-2011 15:19:18 |
More by headlessclown
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$$
I was in London for four days, and I dont go often, so as much as possible I wanted to check out what Id heard was a thriving specialty beer scene. Honestly, my sense is that the craft beer movement in London is about 10 or so years behind the U.S. not intended as a criticism, just my (admittedly limited) assessment of the situation. With that context in mind, the White Horse is a very good place, but its not on par yet with the best beer bars in the U.S.
Its a big place as much a restaurant as a pub (and the food was therefore a cut above most good pub food). The atmosphere is classic English pub, a little more genteel than the down-to-earth bars that make up most of my American favorites, but comfortable anyway. The selection is very large and generally pretty good (Brooklyn Chocolate Stout!), but to be honest, I was put off by some of the more obscure beers I tried there. In particular, a Russian Imperial Stout (that I wont name) tasted like soy sauce. They had a fairly good selection of Belgians, but not as many as youd find in a good U.S. craft-oriented bar. It turned out that one of the bartenders was from Chicago, so when I verified his credentials by confirming that hed spent time at the Map Room, I asked him for a recommendation. He immediately poured us a George Gales Old Ale, and he was right it was a great beer.
The management and at least this one bartender were knowledgable and enthusiastic, so Id love the chance to come back in a couple years and see what the White Horse is like then. Im betting itll only get better.
06-07-2007 19:06:05 |
More by Flyer
United Kingdom (England)
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4
Quite like this place, a legendary pub in beers circles. Good selection of beers, bottles and tapped. Beers i can remember having there were, Rodenbach Grand Cru, Liefmans Goudenband, Draught Chimay White, Draught Liefmans Kriekbier, J.W Lees Harvest Ale, Anchor Our Special Ale, Cantillon etc, so they have definitely got some nice beers. The food is great and the aamotsphere is good aswell, in the summers they allow you to take your beer out on the green which is nice, i remember doing this a couple of times on hot days. A legendary pub, but still not my favourite!! An enjoyable place to have a beer.
09-13-2003 01:34:09 |
More by rastaman
United Kingdom (England)
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
I visit London fairly regular and I always try and pop in here if I can. It can get really busy, so the outside drinking area is a real bonus when the weather is fine. They have Bar-B-Q's on the area sometimes too.
Inside people from all walks of life can be found enjoying the vast choice (for London) of beers. The range is always changing with good quality cask ales and continental beers dispensed through fonts. I have never tried the bottle selection, I prefer draught beers when out.
The service can let the place down, but it does get busy, as I have said already, but some of the staff haven't a clue about what they are selling, or how to add up.
The food is good and well cooked, a little expensive, even for London, but there is a good chippy close to the tube station if you are on a budget.
I have taken a lot of people here over the years for their first visit, many have returned and everyone has been impressed with the beer, food and the pub in general.
It is well away from the normal tourist areas of London, but with a day pass on the transport system and being so close to the tube line, it is easy to find and get too.
08-16-2006 09:21:59 |
More by BlackHaddock
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
"Sorry, I'm from California," I told the bartender at the White Horse to explain my inability to understand her accent.
"We don't have any California beers," she said. They actually did have Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on tap, but that's not what we came for. Harvey's Best Bitter, Thornbridge Lord Marples, Adnam's Broadside, and Godfather's Bitter on cask suited us just fine.
From the food menu the panfried duck and fish & chips were decent. The service was chilly, or was this just typical British reserve? In any case they weren't encouraging. The only downside of the visit.
From my vantage point I spied two pensioners by the door. Disheveled men, shabbily dressed, whose hands were never free of a pint. Us from the future, basically.
04-11-2010 10:25:41 |
More by alfrantzell
Trinidad & Tobago
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$$
The White Horse is by far one of my favourite London pubs for numerous reasons. Firstly, the beer. There are at least a dozen different taps, many of which rotate and the cellar probably has at least 100.
The taps tend to be focussed on real ale, with a few continental choices in between, and the bottled selection is made up mostly of belgians/dutch/german ale. There is an annual ale festival as well, so there is the opportunity to try some rare pints now and then.
Food is good, albeit a bit expensive (much like the beer frankly), and it is a great spot for an afternoon pint before the afterwork crowd arrives. Especially as it's located right on parson's green and is just fantastic on a summer day.
The service can really be a bit hit or miss, and is my only real gripe. Some staff members really know their stuff, but it is a quite trendy place, especially on weekends, and there seem to be loads of part time staff who have no idea what's on tap/or in bottles. Sometime you're left waiting 10 minutes until the bartender can figure out what beer you're asking for and where it's being stocked. But, in the end it's just a minor complain of what is probably the best beer pub in the city.
10-05-2010 03:06:18 |
More by belias
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
I went with 2 friends on a Thursday night, around 8:00pm, and the place appeared to be packed. There was some seating out front, beer garden style, that was crammed full of people. Walking into the pub, we found a standing-room only crowd filled with what looked like financial types just getting off work. We snaked through the crowd with little hope of finding a place to sit, and to our surprise we found a quiet room in back set up for restaurant service. Seating for about 20 in this room, all at tables with benches and chairs.
The taps list is great but not worth traveling across town, lots of cask offerings but you can find these in many other places in London. For me the real draw is the food. Pricy but very very good.
The beers were mainly UK, with some American craft beer thrown in. I'm not sure how many casks, but I guess around 10 or more. Excellent quality, but not worth travelling for if you don't want to be walled in by yuppies (or posh-tossers if I correctly guess a previous reviewer's meaning).
04-26-2010 01:05:35 |
More by TurdFurgison
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White Horse, The in London, United Kingdom (England)