The White Horse

You know how sometimes you find a pub, and you think “that’s not where a pub should be”. Well, the White Horse in Emmer Green is like that. In fact there are two pubs opposite each other, The White Horse and The Black Horse. No other pubs for miles around, but two directly opposite each other. Quite how these two pub got their names, I don’t know. Was it some ancient rivalry? Perhaps there was once one pub, called simply The Horse, owned by two brothers who fell out, and each went their separate ways, vowing never to talk to each other ever again, each opening a rival pub. And Emmer Green locals would have to sneak between the two, pretending to the landlord that they hadn’t been near the other pub. However, since the web site for the Black Horse literally says “Insert history of the Black Horse here”, and the web site for the White Horse says view our menu, we’ll never know the truth. The White Horse is a Greene King pub, one of the larger pub chains in Britain. Greene King have made a roaring success out of out-Wetherspooning Wetherspoons. They have a cheap and cheerful menu (Yorkie Wraps and chips- £6.50, Burger and a pint – £8.50), and £3.40 for a pint. If you want a cheap and tasty burger, you could do a lot worse than this. And it’s not a restaurant – it’s a pub that will deep fry or microwave you a pub classic at a reasonable price if you want, or sell you beer if you don’t. So the price is good. But what about the quality and selection of the beer? There were 5 bitter pumps- a good start. The taps were just cider, the usual lagers (Fosters, Carlsberg, San Miguel etc.) and Guinness. No fancy IPAs by obscure craft breweries here.  I started off with a St Edmund’s Golden Beer. It looked nice in the tiny little jar in front of the tap (how do those never go cloudy or bad?), and according to untappd, it should be a nice beer. However it had a really nasty taste. I then went for a Doombar, which is served fine in about 50% of pubs up and down. It also had a funny taste. I have to assume that there’s something up with the pipes in there. It put me off trying the other beers on tap – the 6X and the Abbot Ale. Instead I moved on to bottles. For atmosphere, the White Horse makes a lot of its sports on TV, with football on every Saturday at the moment. It gets really busy and lively on a big match night, so it’s a good place to pop along to watch a game. There’s plenty of space to watch, with a number of different rooms, a beer garden (patio), and a large car park if you need to drive – although it’s more of a locals’ pub rather than a destination pub, so quite who is driving there I don’t know.
Beer Quality The beer didn’t taste good at all on my last visit.
Beer Selection An OK selection. Nothing too exciting, but nothing too bad.
Drink vs Food It’s all very ‘Spoons for food – a large menu of things that can be deep fried or microwaved.
Music More likely to have the TV on than the music.
Snacks The now all too familiar snacks in a wooden box on the bar.
Atmosphere Middle aged people having a good chat, or when the football is on a good shout.
Price Bargain prices – £3.40.
Space Plenty of tables in the pub, and a beer garden.
Score: 5.75 If you’re in the area and fancy watching football, it’s a good place to go. If you want a drink, my advice is to try a bottle. https://www.greeneking-pubs.co.uk/pubs/berkshire/white-horse/

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