Regulars and new faces alike are enjoying the fresh new look and cosy atmosphere at The White Horse following its recent revamp, which has made the popular Harpenden pub an even lovelier place to enjoy good food and drink and good company.
The pub’s been constantly busy since being taken over by the award-winning Peach Pub Company eight years ago, with general manager Jon Waterhouse and his team working hard to ensure the food and atmosphere are always at their best. With so many guests beating a path through the doorway, the time had come to give the pub a new lease of life, as he explains.
“The White Horse is a really lovely, historic pub, that’s full of character and charm,” he says. “We definitely wanted to keep it that way so our new look has been carefully planned to bring out its best features whilst revitalising the interior and give it a stylish new look.
“There are lots of cosy spaces, especially the bar and the eatery beyond with its original rafters and stripped wooden flooring, so we’ve restored these and added elegant new furniture, furnishings, lighting and accessories to create a really smart but comfortable space,” he says.
The beautiful eatery has gorgeous sofa style seating in rich rusts and newly upholstered chairs in soft greys, rounded out by a vibrant yellow feature wall and full length curtains at one end. Natural wood and wicker give the place a warm glow, with clusters of smaller tables and one mid height table seating eight comfortably that’s already getting rapidly booked up for celebration dinners and special occasions.
The snug is decorated in rich reds and corals, with hand-printed wallpapers in nature prints softening the walls. As well as tub chairs covered in toning yellow and cream fabrics, there are new tall tables and stools in luxurious velvets creating perfect spots to sit and sip on a glass of something chilled.
The front bar, meanwhile, retains its traditional look with the wooden panelled walls painted in soft cream, the warm glow from copperware hung above the bar and from the original brick fireplace with its roaring fire, the perfect antidote to chillier days and evenings.
Tucked away upstairs the pub’s private dining room is freshly decorated and fitted with a new TV and laptop compatible presentation facilities, making it the ideal option for meetings and business lunches as well as for drinks and dinner parties for up to 14 guests.
Head chef Dan Kennie, who trained in Marco Pierre White restaurants, has come up with a choice of delectable new dishes for everything from light lunches to hearty suppers. Cornish Lamb Scrumpets, deliciously crisp on the outside with a filling of meltingly soft lamb inside and a punchy salsa verde make a great snack with a good pint of ale, as does potted native crab with toasted sourdough.
Mains vary from a filling free-range chicken and ham pie with silky buttered mash, greens and a rich jus to locally sourced Woburn venison haunch served with Boulangère potatoes, roasted carrots and a warming port and juniper jus. Vegan friendly Sri Lankan sweet potato and cashew curry accompanied by chapati, lime pickle and coconut sambal as well as grilled calves liver with smoked bacon, kale and mash are also going down well.
The White Horse keeps an excellent pint, like Sidepocket for a Toad from the Tring Brewery which goes with big spicy flavours as well as drinking well on its own. Seasonal guest ales make regular appearances on the bar, whilst Wolfpack Pilsner brewed by former Saracens rugby players Alistair Hargreaves and Chris Wyles is a permanent fixture.
The White Horse is also a magical place for Christmas celebrations. On the menu is bronze, free range turkey from Worcester, Cornish lamb, British beef and responsibly sourced fish. Spiced sweet potato and kale pie with spinach and wild mushrooms or fillet of sea bream with leeks, white beans, mussels and white wine make for deliciously different options alongside traditional roast turkey. With the big day less than a month away, book today and enjoy a proper feast. What’s more, for each guest who enjoys a Christmas meal, The White Horse will donate 25p to Shelter to help those affected by homelessness.
“We’re very pleased with our new look which has given the pub a new lease of life, but most importantly, so are our guests,” says Jon. “They are here with their friends and family enjoying what’s on offer and feeling right at home in our lovely, cosy pub, which is positively glowing!”
Come and pay us a visit at The White Horse soon – we look forward to welcoming you!