The White Horse is a quaint, idyllic and buzzing village pub that everyone should have the pleasure of experiencing once in their lifetime.
It’s always nice to visit somewhere for dinner and feel familiar with your surroundings. The White Horse, situated in Old, Northamptonshire (yes, that is the name of a village) will make you feel straight at home with it’s ‘at home’ decorations like the flowers in vases, tea lights in candle holders and plenty of other homely nik nak’s.
There were a lot of familiar touches inside that distinguished this as a Proper Pub Co pub, thanks to its unique and defined branding, colour scheme and decor.
Arriving, as it was a Friday night, we knew it would be busy, so we struggled to find parking on the first instance as the car park is full, but we managed to find a space on the right of the building which was perfectly safe to park in. As we walked in, it was incredibly busy which took us as a surprise but it was also nice to see a small village pub have such a buzzing atmosphere.
We were greeted by Emma Miller, Marketing Manager, happened to be working on this occasion, placed us in a cosy corner as far away as possible from the hustle and bustle. The dining area and the pub are pretty much situated together, apart from “The Snug” which is a private dining area which was taken up by a private event.
Usually, being sat somewhere amongst noisy pub drinkers when enjoying a meal would usually irritate me; but Josh and I both commented how we rather enjoyed the buzzing local atmosphere and it added to our evening - especially the cute chihuahua puppy that was greeting everyone - it’s nice to see somewhere that embraces being dog friendly!
The White Horse menu had variety and mixture of pub classics and specials with a twist. Our waitress was kind enough to come over and read the specials, seeing as the board was the other side compared to us and asked us if we wanted anything to drink.
As it was Josh’s turn to drive, I was straight in with ordering a Warner Edwards Rhubarb Gin and Tonic - I don’t venture outside of my comfort drinks!
I found starters to be my most difficult decision. However, after confirming what the soup of the day was (one of my two choices) I opted for a new vegan dish as part of their new Vegetarian and Vegan menu; the Roasted Cauliflower with caramelised onions and lemon zest, whilst Josh went for a classic of fishcakes with sweet chilli sauce.
Although I’m not normally one to choose something vegan, I would have my starter all over again! The Roasted cauliflower was light, fluffy and crumbled away as the knife cut into it. The addition of the caramelized onion brought all the flavours to life and the lemon curd was smooth to the texture but subtly delightful to the taste.
Josh’s crab cakes looked great presented on the platter, with enough chilli sauce to tingle your taste buds. Having a bite myself, it’s filling was bursting with intense flavour that was wrapped in a crispy coating that pulled everything back together - the chilli sauce was just right, not too spicy but not too weak!
The main course was a firm choice for me: I wanted a big, juicy steak from their Grill menu. It’s always nice when the waitress asks you how you like it cooked and they go and cook it EXACTLY to your liking (medium-rare in case anyone wants to know!) The steak was a generous cut of meat that was not chewy but was succulent and meaty.
The steak came with portobello mushroom which was big, juicy and went gloriously with the roast cherry vine tomatoes and the most perfect triple cooked chips I’ve tasted in a while. They were so big, however, that I did struggle to finish them all!
Josh recalled just how much he loved his pie back when we last dined at The Butchers Arms, so he went for the Proper homemade pie filled with Steak and Stilton which he commented on how crusty the outside pastry was, but when he bit inside, the filling made the pastry nice and moist; and in his words: “the filling was out of this world!” I wish I had a taste of his pie!
I’ll be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to fit a pudding in due to how full I was (no complaints!) But, of course, my eyes are bigger than my belly and I had to try their Cheesecake of the day which on this occasion, was the White Chocolate and Strawberry cheesecake.
After one bite; I was literally speechless. Josh witnessed me go into my own white chocolate cheesecake dreamland - I’ve tasted some fair few good cheesecakes in my time, but none quite like this one. I actually prefer the fact it had more topping than the biscuit because it was so smooth and creamy with each bite, the white chocolate made the whole cheesecake taste like one big chocolate bar, along with the swirls of strawberry which completed this dish.
Josh went for his usual favourite dessert; the Sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce and vanilla cream which he said how it wasn’t too overpowering, thanks to the vanilla ice cream and that it was the perfect end to his meal at the White Horse.
Overall, The White Horse is a truly unique pub that has character, charm and it’s ideal for any occasion; whether it be a quiet drink, dinner with friends or both that offers a lively atmosphere in a hidden village gem of Northamptonshire.
Although it's one of the smallest pubs, it's able to accommodate everyone and it didn't feel too overcrowded considering it was a busy Friday night. The staff were friendly and happy to assist with anything - we both felt really comfortable staying here for the majority of the evening and would come to visit again.
FYI: The Proper Pub Co have recently launched their new Vegetarian and Vegan menu (as mentioned in this review) and it’s available across all four pubs, including the White Horse.
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