London Larder was devised in 2012 to bring you the ultimate eating and drinking guide to London. It was borne out of a need for up-to-date, quantitative and whole-heartedly recommended places to eat and drink.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The White Horse


There are certain things that make being British undeniably awesome: music and film that is the envy of the world; Olympic success with rowing and cycling; and Sunday lunch with all the trimmings. Ah, the traditional Sunday roast. As British and as tasty as Kate Middleton. An institution that brings people together to partake in the sacred sacrament that is roast beef.

So, following a heavy Saturday night sampling the best of London’s pubs, we went in search of the quintessential Sunday roast, and dropped into The White Horse in Hampstead, taking with us the Sunday papers, to help us soldier through the inevitable hangover.

The White Horse itself is modern and well-appointed but on a beautiful sunny day, as it was when we arrived, it would be criminal not to make use of the small patio at the rear.
While we checkout the menu, we ordered a Bloody Mary to help us feel a little more human. The drink is served in a fishbowl sized glass, spiced with tabasco and Worcestershire sauce and the ubiquitous stick of celery. A great remedy, and certainly on a par with some of our favourite Bloody Marys that we’ve tried. Feeling a little more ready for food, we order the roast Dexter beef and the pork belly from a menu that offers all the classic Sunday roast meats. The term ‘gastropub’ is a cliché, but this venue certainly takes its food very seriously and likes to demonstrate creativity in its dishes.

Usually, we like our beef medium cooked, but we were not asked how we liked it, and the reason became apparent when it was served with rare, medium and well done slices all done together. This may not be to some people’s taste if you are particular, but we were impressed and the crunchy outer slices contrasted nicely with the soft pink inner slices. As one would expect from the Dexter breed, the marbling was magnificent giving it a deep, rich flavour. A special mention must go to the particularly good horseradish sauce, which tasted home-made and was creamy, fiery and just how we like it. The pork belly is a chunky, thick, square slab of meat served atop the same selection of vegetables as the beef, and both meals came with Yorkshire puddings, which definitely wins bonus points. The pork was perhaps a little too fatty but the portion size is very generous and made us glad that we had skipped the starters.

By this time, we were feeling back on top form. Perhaps gravy should be marketed as the latest cure for hangovers. Luckily we just had room for a dessert and opted to share the cheese board between the two of us; three wedges of dairy delights and plenty of crackers. It’s a question of personal taste of course, but we have yet to taste a sweet dessert that beats a creamy blue cheese after dinner. The meal was made also complemented by friendly and efficient service.

The White Horse is in a great area and reminds us that we really must spend more time in this part of town. As well as the beautiful Hampstead village, the pub is also located on the outskirts of Hampstead Heath, the perfect area to stretch our legs and go for a stroll as we digest our lunch around scenery that feels like the Great British countryside. Lovely pub, delicious food and a stroll in the country. It makes us proud to be British!

154 Fleet Road, NW3 2QX

Average price for main course: £15
Average price for glass of wine: £6
Food/Drink: 4/5
Value: 4/5
Service: 5/5


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