The White Horse is an icon of Parsons Green which I frequent at least bi-weekly particularly in the summer. It’s a bloody reliable pub with a fantastic beer garden overlooking the green; you always get service with a smile and there’s never any drama from ill-behaved customers – it’s a happy pub. The White Horse pride themselves on an impressive list of ales for the crowds of lads. It’s a sweaty beer-drinking sporty pub during the week, yet fast forward to the weekend and it's sprinkled with a blond harem of pretty girls delicately sipping on Pino Grigio politely awaiting Spencer Matthews. When the White Horse say they 'strive to create an environment that everyone can enjoy’, you’ll see for yourself that they have achieved it.
Last Sunday a group of friends and myself headed over for lunch. The traditionally designed mahogany cladded front area was full, as was the entire outside area (where they host barbecue’s all summer) so we were sat in the delightful (very small) dining room right at the back.
If I’m honest, you wouldn’t want to sit in the front half of the pub to eat lunch or dinner unless you’re close to one of the two open doors, because for as long as I’ve been going there it’s smelt like a combination unwashed socks and the inside of a moldy old beer barrel. Still, I keep coming back so I am not complaining.
We skipped starters and went straight in for mains. I’ve eaten in the garden a couple of times previously and (I’m not insane, but), on my last visit after a bottle of Chardonnay I ordered the Nut Roast and it was absolutely delicious, I was chuffed! So this time made a repeat order, whilst others ordered duck, fish, gnocchi and beef, all the time ridiculing me for ordering a nut roast – ‘Rosie you left your leather sandals and incense at home’, ‘Rosie why did the tofu cross the road?’… Shut up, I am not a hippie, or a lesbian, or a vegan. I’m just partial to the odd nut roast. LET me enjoy it.
As I was happily tucking into my food trying to work out what exactly was in it, I came across something shocking. A thick black hair was suddenly STARING me in the face. Here come the jokes again… back the dish goes, without a single morsel of an apology from the waiter. Then TWENTYFIVE minutes later, after watching everyone tuck into their hairless lunches I was bought (what I hope was) a fresh nut roast, and there I sat, eating my tainted roast alone. What a miserable, miserable sight. (fresh dish pictured below).
As for my hilarious friends, they ordered a good mix of the menu and their feedback along with photos was as follows:
2. From the Roast 28-day dry aged rib eye of beef diner (£17.50): ‘cooked well, but the quality of meat was rather poor. The veg was good. It filled a hole’ – that last sentence – ouch! But quoted i’m afraid, and as Emily Bronte said ‘honest people don’t hide their deeds’
3. From the Confit of duck leg with bacon, cider & pickled onion diner (£18): ‘I thoroughly enjoyed my duck, it was succulent and fell off the bone. The mash was creamy and delicious’ – hoorah! A happy customer.
We washed it down with a couple of couple of bottles of Malbec – Alamos (24.25) which was smoothly spiced & full of flavour. The wines are generally reliable.
Perhaps it’s not a destination point for great food, but for a local pub the atmosphere is brilliant, the drinks menu is well respected and the staff are tolerant, considering the harmless but raucous behaviour I’ve seen by the young crowds in the past. It’s unbeatable in the summer sunshine on a Saturday afternoon which is why myself and many of my friends make a b-line for it so often. Admittedly if I’m too intoxicated to move locations – the overpriced & overpromised menu will do, to ‘fill a hole’.
My advice should you wish to consider it: drink at The White Horse and be merry, then pop over to Boma Green for some proper food.
P.S. I must mention that I was not charged for my meal, and was given a complimentary cheese board which was much appreciated.