The go-to site for what makes life worth living in and around Petersfield, Hampshire, and some other stuff too. For flaneurs, bon vivants, indeed boulevardiers of every complexion - why go anywhere else?
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
The Pub With No Name (The White Horse)
Priors Dean, 4 miles from Petersfield. Big old pub in remote, appealingly bleak spot high up on the downs. Its popular name derives from the empty pub sign which swings grimly out on the main road, a final challenge for anyone trying to find the place. Two bars and restaurant, lots of room outside and in. The two snug bars inside, candle-lit and cluttered with old furniture have a dark, Jacobean feel which, in winter, warmed by open fires, is wonderfully welcoming. Can seem a bit less so on a summer's day, but a big sprawling garden makes up for that. A brighter and lighter restaurant has been extended at the back. Food is traditional pub stuff but skilfully handled with excellent ingredients (Cornish scallops, Scottish mussels or O'Hagan's celebrated sausages) contributing to a good repertoire of standards backed by regularly changing specials. Excellent range of ales including its own No-Name bitter. Has plenty of fans, including the poet Edward Thomas who was a regular and made it the subject of 'Up in the Wind', and celebrated chef and food enthusiast Antonio Carluccio. Excellent beerfest every summer with food, bands and camping available for weekend revellers, and other events through the year. In short: highly recommended. Get there: west from Petersfield towards Steep, follow the road as it winds up Stoner Hill. A mile or so past the Trooper Inn, look for the empty sign at the roadside and turn right. The pub is up a track on the right after 100 yards or so. Priors Dean, Hampshire, 01420 588387 GMAP