For a food blogger to be invited to a launch is always a good thing- A chance to check out what London has to offer and sample on some delicious food. So when I was asked by Alex Chatwin @TrufflePR to come along, I could not say no. This is how the place was described to me (and of course I would jump straight to what the food is all about!):
“…As well as focusing on the use of small-scale, local producers, the key principle behind the White Horse menu is to take traditional favourites and apply out-of-the-box thinking. They are breaking down the standard eating experience by placing a special emphasis on shared dining. By deconstructing the typical approach to gastro food they encourage customers to mix and match a number of small dishes, which is conducive to a relaxed, casual and inclusive atmosphere. Their new chef, Adam Wright, who hails from the award winning Purefoy Arms in Preston Candover, uses both provenance and originality as a base from which he can create quality, interesting and inventive seasonal dishes such as Skate and Potato Terrine, Chicken and Capers with Madeira and Octopus Stew with Scotch Bonnet. The dining experience is enhanced further with a specially selected drinks menu ranging through wine, beer and in-house pressed organic juices and cocktails which are matched specifically to the dishes on offer….”
When you think of a pub you always think more drinking than food. And even if the food’s not amazing you don’t expect much. But of late, quite a few places have been bringing their A-Game. White Horse is located right in the middle of Hampstead Heath. It is such a lovely place already so the location is perfect. This pub is easy to find. (Walk out of Hampstead Heath station and take a left. Keep on walking downhill and you’ll find it in front of you- A 3-5 min walk)
From the outside, the only inkling that a launch was happening here was a sign stating the place was closed for a private evening. When my friend and I entered, we were pleasantly surprised. High ceilings, chandeliers, warm, clear lighting and an easy access to the bar as compared to a dark place you walk into not knowing who or what you bump into.
WHeyyy! Let the party begin. It was good to see the key to the evening was understated yet visible elegance in terms of the decor but then the seating was more “pub-style” which gave the place a good well-rounded feel. There were free drinks to sample so needless to say my friend and trusty photographer of the night, Brittany, had an amazing night! We also had home-made chutney to take away along with the menu and a brief history of the place- which I think was a really good way to bid farewell to their guests.
Where I feel this pub is different from any other place is their focus on good quality food as well as the idea of sharing it. When I go to a new restaurant, I always want to order different dishes that I know I would not be able to finish but just sample them to see how they taste. White Horse is great because their menu is based on the idea of sharing so whatever you order will come with the thought that you would be sharing this with someone. If you’re really hungry may be you can skip the sharing bit :P I was in love with the Chicken and Capers with Madeira, their hand cut chips were oh-so-crunchy and the potted shrimp crumpet was yum!
The whole evening was about unlimited drinks and food that kept on coming through the kitchen. If the weather was any better, the seating outside was very well laid out considering they’re still busy making the finishing touches. Regardless, I can see it becoming a favourite for locals when the weather spares us!
All in all, it was a great evening that was well organised. The only criticism would be that not everyone got to try the fair share of food that was on offer. I had a couple of people sitting on the table next to me who had not had a chance and they continuously asked the people who were helping to see if they could try some. And then there were some tables that were continuously being ladled with food.
If I walked past White Horse not having been to the launch, I would not know about how good the food is or the service and interior. It’s great they did a re-launch to get the buzz going and I have definitely been recommending the place because I genuinely feel it is a great pub. I hope they keep up the quality and the service. It would be interesting to see how people who live locally respond to it and what White Horse will do to attract more people to come and visit them. But here’s wishing them all the luck because it’s a really nice place and one to watch out for. I will definitely be visiting again! xx