London – Westminster (Borough of) – White Horse

This isn’t a recent visit, I went to this Nicholson’s pub in Soho back in August, when things looked a little more hopeful for the hospitality industry…..

I like pubs which have signs explaining their history, including why so many pubs have the name ‘The White Horse’. Incidentally, there are lots of pubs called ‘The Black Horse’, many of which are named after Dick Turpin’s horse because of the mystery and intrigue that caused. In short, this pub was rebuilt in 1939, replacing the earlier 1718 pub of the same name, and the exterior of the new building has some Art Deco features.

Everything felt safe and there was a staff member at the front door welcoming customers and taking them to their seats. I visited in the early afternoon and it did get a little busier, although the outside seating area was always busier with customers people watching (on my visit I preferred sitting inside phone watching in case anything exciting was happening on social media).

I have to add here that Nicholson’s gave this pint away to me via a promotion on their app, so I can’t much complain about the range of drinks. But, there were no dark ales and another customer later asked for the same, we were both told that they had Guinness and that was it.

This was the Nicholson’s Pale Ale (made for the company by St. Austell Brewery), perhaps just a little unexciting, but drinkable with a depth of taste to it at least. Nicholson’s seem to have a habit of pushing drinks that aren’t beer, instead particularly advertising gins and other spirits, but they do have some marvellously historic pubs in their estate that are worth visiting in their own right.

As an irrelevant aside here, I’m moderately confused why the pub has this on the front page of their web-site:

“It’s only 12 minutes on foot from Bond Street Underground Station.”

It’s also only four minutes walk (according to Google) from Oxford Street underground station, which is on the same line and around the corner from the pub. Strange…

Anyway, most of the recent reviews are positive and the staff here were friendly and helpful. Food is a bit richly priced, but the White Horse focuses on their selection of pies which is part of the Nicholson’s aim to push a certain style of food in each of their pubs. I’m not entirely sure I’d return here as the beer selection isn’t really exciting enough (even before the current restrictions) in an area with plenty of competition.