The White Horse review: A welcome return to the City for this well-loved gastro-boozer

Steve Hogarty
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A traditional and rural looking pub that’s seemingly been airlifted from somewhere deep in the Sussex countryside and then dropped into a leafy square near Liverpool Street, the White Horse reopened earlier in the year after a full refurbishment.

The new look sheds some of its rustic-chic charm in favour of clean, modern lines and a breezy open terrace. Giant windows now overlook the adjacent courtyard and flood this airy lunchtime spot with glorious autumnal light.

WHERE? 2 Exchange Square, EC3M 2QA. On the northern corner of Liverpool Street Station, around Broadgate. For fans of maps, you’ll be dining within metres of the boundary of the City of London, which officially extends as far as Appold Street. If you’re sitting in the garden, why not bet your colleagues that you can hurl a bread roll clear out of the City?

WHO? The White Horse is one of a collection of 33 pubs run by Geronimo Inns, whose flagship boozer, The Chelsea Ram, opened in Chelsea in 1995. Young’s purchased the group in 2010 for £60m.

I wasn't going to include this picture, but then I noticed it was of the exact seat I was sitting in and got excited.

ORDER THIS... You’re in firm beer-and-a-burger territory here, and The White Horse has four to choose from, including melting beef patties slathered in a beer and bacon jam, and a sweet potato and chickpea patty with pesto mayo. If you’d rather not slip into a booze-and-food induced coma at your desk, the leafy smoked salmon salad with horseradish dressing is a lighter dish that’s well accompanied by a glass of something from the extensive wine menu.

BUSINESS OR PLEASURE? The White Horse is the kind of place you end up when somebody in the office says “pub?” around noon, rather than somewhere you’d take your mother for her birthday. Book the place out and avail yourself of the conference facilities (ie. a big telly and some speakers) for more productive gatherings.

NEED TO BOOK? Open from 7:30am to 11:00pm during the week, The White Horse welcomes bookings for tables of four or more. They’re closed at the weekends, but the pub can be booked out as a venue for parties, wedding receptions and (I quote) “sophisticated hen-dos”. No inflatable dolls, then.

THE VERDICT… A welcome return to the City for a well-loved gastro-boozer.

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