The White Horse

The White HorseThe White Horse
The White HorseThe White Horse
Bar, Eatery

1-3 Parsons Green
London, England, SW6 4UL
United Kingdom

+44 20 7736 2115 | map

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Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 42 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

2.66/5  rDev -36.5%
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 I’ll 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, I’ll 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 didn’t 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. Didn’t 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.

I’m 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

** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **

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 newbie’s 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

Jul 08, 2006
More User Reviews:
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Shanex from France

4.36/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Jul 15, 2017
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VABA from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Aug 26, 2015
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RickyHolden from England

4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Very expensive even for London

Jun 10, 2015
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TNeedles from California

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Mar 26, 2015
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jshusc from South Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Mar 10, 2015
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CraigTravor from California

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Aug 19, 2014
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Dicers from Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Jul 21, 2014
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joelambic from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Jun 18, 2014
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acurtis from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Apr 17, 2014
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VelvetCesc from Virginia

4.15/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This pub is in a pretty posh part of London and when the weather is nice you can enjoy a Saturday BBQ and take your pint across the street to the green. It's not far from a tube station so it's easy to get to if you're coming from another part of the city.

No televisions means that you can bring something to occupy your time and still be able to think or you can saddle up to the bar or one of the community tables and enjoy the conversation.

When I was last there I talked with some of the staff. This place makes all the bar staff go through continuing education on a regular basis and they all seemed knowledgeable on the beers and ales they served.

What I especially liked was the wide range of abv available to fit the occasion.

Feb 12, 2014
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BeerResearcher from Massachusetts

4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

This is a smallish boozer tucked away out of the hustle and bustle.

The place is a tad worn, yet still comfy. The fireplace looked inviting on a cool, damp evening, but it wasn't lit.

The pints were served in the proper glasses with nearly the perfect pour (quite a bit just spilled over). The food passing by looked pretty good and plentiful, but we had already eaten.

The landlord was attentive and pleasant enough, although he appeared a bit worm himself. Who knows? Maybe he had some pressing thoughts on his mind at the moment.

A view of the Parsons can be had from the patio. The waitress had a thick Slavic accent, but she seemed to know which beer was what. And the selections were very decent!

We're glad to have ducked in out of a cool drizzle. It wasn't really listed in any of the beer beer guides a few years ago, but seems to be gaining some respect. It's a joint that if you lived nearby you might frequent pretty often.

Aug 17, 2012
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slowfade from Canada

4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Bustling spot in a rather posh area of London. Close to a subway stop. I was there in June 2011 and they had a barbecue food menu and a huge patio that was packed.

Inside it's a nice, typical looking pub. There seemed to be a more formal dining area in the back - possibly for their prix-fixe. I was with 3 others and we ate. Food was great - very British. Bangers and mash were delicious and every one was pleased. Had the summer pudding for dessert, however, and was disappointed. Small serving of an overly gelatinous, flavourless slice.

The beer selection is big. They have a large selection of cask beers and just as many gassed taps as well as a huge bottle list. Bottles ranged from moderately price to extremely expensive (something like 40 pounds for Sink the Bismarck!) but the selection was ridiculously large. Draught was decently priced, if a bit expensive. I had two pale ales of which I'd never heard. One porter. Everything was great. They also have a beer recommendation for every dish they serve which is nice for the under-educated.

The service was good for us. No problems.

Definitely recommend this spot, especially if you are in the area. I didn't get a chance to visit many beer-centric pubs in London but I am quite positive this would be one of the better ones.

Jul 13, 2011
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Trizzle from England

4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I drink here whenever I have the chance.

Always a pumping atmosphere, often a bit too crowded, but you can always get served. There are loads of trendy and wannabe types but I'm probably one of them so that doesn't concern me too much. I'm here for the beer.

I've had experience with brilliant and terrible service. Once being ordered to vacate a table that wasn't reserved for another hour, and another time forgetting to pay my bill and having to go back in the morning, hat in hand to pay it, just to enjoy some quality banter and another beer with the staff. (A souther tier 2xIPA from memory).

The quality is generally good. The cask ales are well looked after and served at appropriate temperatures. I don;t eat here often because its a touch expensive, but when I have, the food is good in both quality and portion size.

The price of beer here is really not too bad. I had a night out here a few months back with another beer nerd, and including dinner, I think it came to around £70 for the 2 of us.

This place is definitely in the list of places to hit when drinking beer in London.

EDIT: The beer festivals held here are excellent. I've been to a few now (US, Aussie and UK Winter Ales) and always get my fill.

Feb 16, 2011
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tchaos from Florida

4.4/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Stopped by a couple of times on a recent trip to London.

The White Horse is very easy to get to -- just off the Parsons Green tube stop. We were looking for someplace that had real ale and a solid selection of other beers. Since I was with my wife, I was also looking for more of a gastropub, so that she wouldn't feel like she was being dragged along to watch me quaff a few pints.

The White Horse came through on all fronts -- more than a dozen cask offerings; over a 1/2 dozen guest taps; a bottled list the size of a small phone book; excellent food.

Pints averaged 3 pounds for the cask items I had (plus real cider for my wife)...Espresso Oak-Aged Yeti plus Gonzo were on draft, too -- those were slightly higher. However, I couldn't justify the 30 pounds for a Westvleteren 12.

The food was excellent -- one of the best meals we ate in London. The White Horse had traditional pub fare (fish n chips, ploughmans, etc), but also had raspberry/mushroom/goat cheese tart with a chestnut salad, gnocchi, and foie gras. Potato wedges with sweet chili sauce and sour cream made for excellent munchies while downing a few watching Six Nations Rugby one afternoon.

Service was fantastic -- although we had a primary waiter for food, no fewer than 4 front-of-house folks checked in on us. Additionally, you can easily head to the bar to order and cash out.

If you find yourself in London, The White House at Parsons Green is definitely worth a visit.

Feb 14, 2011
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headlessclown from Australia

3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

Jan 23, 2011
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belias from Trinidad & Tobago

4/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Oct 05, 2010
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thepeter from England

4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Been there a few times over the past 2 months and left very happy each time. The Atmosphere is pretty typical most of the time. Can be pretty loud and crowded at times which is OK but unfortunately a good proportion of the crowd is what i would consider to be a bunch of douche bags. When it is empty there is not a quaintness to it that can be enjoyed like many smaller pubs in the city. There are a lot of great beers at the WH, quite a few on cask and a good selection from all over the world on both draft and in the bottle. The service is okay, typical London pub service which is not necessarily a good thing. I have been there for Sunday Roast and for dinner. Both were fairly priced and very tasty. The Cheese plate with a 2002 vintage JW Lee's Barley Wine was a fantastic way to end any night! I also hope that they have more special release nights as they did with the Brewdog Abstakt a few weeks ago. Good Times

May 09, 2010
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TurdFurgison from Ohio

4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
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).

Apr 26, 2010
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alfrantzell from California

3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Apr 11, 2010
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Newsman from New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Say what you will about "posh tossers" and the like, this is an excellent place. Sure, it doesn't have that salt-of-the-earth quality, and it had it's fair share of yuppies, but it had a half dozen casks available, another dozen taps, and a global bottle selection that would be the envy of any beer bar in the world, save maybe a dozen or so.

Plus, the food is excellent, a real "foodie" take on traditional pub fare. A bit pricier than a typical London pub, but not overly so and still a good value for the money. And kid-friendly too.

Finally, the staff is quite knowledgeable. The menu suggests a beer pairing for each dish, including starters and desserts, but I challenged my server to find a different beer for my bangers and mash, since I had already tried the suggested cask ale earlier in the evening. He came back with another cask-conditioned ale which paired brilliantly.

A must-see for any London visitor.

And thank you to the poster below for their colorful English homebrew bitter will now be called the "Posh Tosser."

Dec 29, 2009
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PartyBear from England

3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

Oct 14, 2009
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DerBayer from Germany

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

The atmosphere is OK but always overcrowded so that s a big let down and they re mainly posh tossers and wankers with big attitudes and no clue of beer...

The quality of drink food and service is good though - the bar staff are chatty and friendly

The selection of on-tap and bottled beer is briiliant best in all of London remotely challenged only by the Rake

It is a bit expensive though like everywhere in London but the selection and quality do justify the prices - I wish it were less crowded and a different crowd though

Sep 30, 2009
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Antilochus from Canada

4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Visited 1/8/08, 3/8/08.

I learned here that the Bernardus monk is the same bloke as the Westvleteren one. 'Nuff said.

A charming little place on Parsons Green itself, stuffed with big comfy chairs, bench tables, and beer memorabilia. All wood, no tvs or electronic stuff here.

Bottles are well represented for this part of the world, from Belgians to Brits (with some Americans thrown in).

I counted at least 30 taps/pumps, covering some standard UK brewers (Harveys, Adnams, Oakam, etc.), Belgians (Westmalle, Duchesse de Bourgogne), Germans (Hacker-Pschorr, Schneider, Rothaus), and even Americans (SN, Anchor). Everything I had was fresh, no problems there. Also glasses to match most of their breweries. Value is good for the city and the area, pints are between £2.40 and £7 depending what you order, with most between £2.40 and £4. Bottles range in price as they stock some rare and vintage English stuff.

I looked at the Westvleteren glasses longingly but they didn't seem to have any in stock. What I've had here:

- 1/8/08 - SNPA (£4)
- 3/8/08 - Dark Star HopHead (£2.40)
- 3/8/08 - Old Slug Porter (£2.90)

All the pint glasses fit the hand well and have weighted bottoms. Washed prior to pumping and filled to the top with an experts touch.

Good mix of clientele from young people to middle aged, drinking a mix of cask, lager, wine, and mixed drinks (that looked really good...). Staff are friendly and quick to serve.

In my opinion the best drinking establishment in London, hands down.

Highly recommended.

Aug 03, 2008
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Flyer from Wisconsin

3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I was in London for four days, and I don’t go often, so as much as possible I wanted to check out what I’d 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 it’s not on par yet with the best beer bars in the U.S.

It’s 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 won’t name) tasted like soy sauce. They had a fairly good selection of Belgians, but not as many as you’d 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 he’d spent time at the Map Room, I asked him for a recommendation. He immediately poured us a George Gale’s Old Ale, and he was right – it was a great beer.

The management and at least this one bartender were knowledgable and enthusiastic, so I’d love the chance to come back in a couple years and see what the White Horse is like then. I’m betting it’ll only get better.

Jun 07, 2007
The White Horse in London, GB2, United Kingdom
Place rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 42 ratings