In a bid to cover more of the foodie options available to the gastrohub readership in Portsmouth, we thought it time to take a look at The White Horse. This is a pub which has been on our radar for some time, a source of much frustration I am sure to the foodie public, AKA, THE FUBLIC. So with the minimum of silliness, let us get on with the real business.
Ideally situated, near the common, a stone's throw from Castle road, and a slingshot from the sea, The White Horse has an expansive area out front, which greets you like a pair of open pub garden arms. There is plentiful seating, and I can vouch from personal experience that this is a wonderful place to be in the Summer months. However, this certainly wasn't Summer, so it was through the front door and inside for us.
There was a nice, light feel to the pub, with music in plain earshot, and a general warmth which was most welcome after the chill outside. As is our habit when visiting a pub, we took our drinks to a table and sat down to explore the menu's. There was a good range of food on offer, including a selection of Asian choices, but what really caught our eye, were the prices. There are many meals to be had here for under £10, a rare treat indeed these days. Being near the seaside had its usual effect, drawing me to the fish and chips. My greedy side was also nudged by the, "Moby Dick", naming of said fish. Dad went for the Winter classic, steak and kidney pudding with mash, which came in at a bargaintastic £9.
The pub absorbed more punters as we waited for our food, helping to create a pleasant atmosphere. We were starting to think that we may have happened across a most rare beast, in a good pub that not only sells good food, but sells it at a very good price. We didn't have to wait long to find out. My fish was indeed of a good size, the chips were delicious and the mushy peas were perfect. Even more impressive was Dad's order. The mash was wonderful, but the steak and kidney pudding was, "Amazing". Dad even added that it may very well be the best steak and kidney pudding he's ever had, and all for under a tenner.
There was simply nothing to dislike about our trip to The White Horse. The fundamentals were all present and correct. The food and service were all good, but the biggest and most unexpected of bonuses, was the price you pay for that good food. We were always going to rate this pub highly after our visit, but we were put in an unusual position. Most of our top rated pubs are there because there food is outstanding, and often you have to pay a bit more for that. Here however, the food might not be quite so refined, but it is very good, and we are left mightily impressed with the value. A pub is not just marked on its food, but the whole experience, including the bill. Would we come back here? Without a doubt. Although it would certainly be much harder to get a table when the sun is out.