Soaking up the History along with the Beer
Higgledy-piggledy, olde worlde, and full of character are all phrases that spring to mind in the virtual tour of The White Horse pub in Westbury-on-Trym. This wonderful rugged-walled, stone-floored and wooden-beamed building is a historical treat.
Parts of it feel like something out of Dickensian times, with others taking you back in time even further over its 300-year coaching inn past. The pub underwent significant renovations earlier this year by new owners Garth and Katie, who also own the nearby Swan Hotel in Almondsbury.
Mind your head
Duck your head as you enter the low front door and allow yourself to be enveloped by the warm and welcoming atmosphere. Time it right and you could also find yourself being greeted by the delicious aroma of freshly baked bread and muffins from the kitchen. Take the left doorway and you're straight inside the cosy snug. With the decor of a traditional library room, the timber ceiling, log burner fireplace, armchairs and 'book-case' wallpaper make you want to tuck your feet up with a drink and a good book.
Take a right instead and find yourself face-to-face with the roar of another fireplace, this time accompanied by church pew seating and what feels like your own private alcove where you can order drinks away from the main bar. The row of beer barrels you can spy lined up in the ancient cellar behind suggests your drinks won't be long in coming.
Weaving your way around the corner you can soak up the dusky, underground ambiance of the roomy bar. This part of the pub is clearly very old, with its stone walls and floors, dark wood panelling, and an impressive archway and pillars proudly holding the low-lying ceiling in its place. Said Garth, "We believe either the bar and/or the cellar were used as air raid shelters in the 2nd world war."
From here you can take a few steps up to the wooden-floored and wide-windowed dining area, with another staircase snaking up to yet another level where a colourful antique rocking horse peeks through the bannisters at diners below.
Eating is at the heart of The White Horse, with Garth and Katie committed to offering great quality seasonal dishes at sensible prices. Not only do they bake their own bread and cakes, they also butcher their own meat, make their own ice cream and source much of their produce from local suppliers.
Bar snacks, lunches and a la carte dining; all sizes of appetites are catered for here. For drinkers there are real ales which are still poured using the age-old method of directly from the cask. Along with wines and cocktails, The White Horse offers over 30 different gins. Customers are invited to try something new, such as a 'Bathtub Gin with a Twist', made with juniper, orange peel, cinnamon cloves, coriander and cardamom botanicals, and served garnished with juniper berries and a twist of orange.
For drinks that you're unlikely to find in most other High Street pubs, accompanied by fine food and surroundings steeped in the history of its enduring past, perhaps it's time you paid a visit to The White Horse.
You can find The White Horse at 24 High Street, Westbury on Trym, Bristol BS9 3DZ. Look them up on their website
Date: 01 May 2015
Author: The 360 Company