Local Wanted – White Horse, Brixton Hill

I’ve wasted my first few days at my new flat faffing around with useless tasks like unpacking and registering with a GP. Now it’s about time I moved onto the important stuff. I need a new local.

Step one on my tour of the local hostelries is the White Horse on Brixton Hill. It sits around a ten minute walk from Brixton station with the thought of beer spurring you on. Handily, it also sits just a short detour from my route home.

Inside, something feels quite odd. I spend a few minutes trying to figure it out: it’s not the unbearably trendy exposed brickwork or the freshly varnished wooden floors that make the interior look like a ten-pin bowling lane. Nor is it the tremendously hip paper foliage dangling from the ceiling, nor the DJ booth (currently unpopulated, but they play sets Friday through Sunday).

Then it hits me: the music. Not what they’re playing – though the mix of Italian swing, hip hop, and 90s pop is perhaps a little incoherent – it’s the volume. It’s reasonable. I can hear myself think. That shouldn’t be so unusual in a London boozer, but here we are.

It’s not completely bare brickwork: they’ve given the wall some shirts to keep warm

Buoyed by this realisation, I’m brought back down to earth when I check out the bar. Their cask selection extends to Tribute (don’t even bother) and Marston’s EPA, with only two of three pumps functioning. The draft situation is slightly better at least, with local favourite Brixton Reliance Pale, Beavertown Neck Oil, and Lagunitas Daytime on tap.

Beer review – Marston’s, EPA
Golden and, once it settles, perfectly clear. The aroma carries notes of sweetcorn and pale malt; it’s biscuity, but more like Nice biscuits than anything more substantial. There’s some darker malt on the palate, evolving to a baked apple fruity sweetness, and more biscuit on the finish. It’s not a bad session at 3.6%, but it’s not especially exciting either. 2/5

The flowers weren’t just on the ceiling

Food options look pretty reasonable: pub classics like steak and ale pie, fish cakes, burgers and the like at £10-12 for a main. I may pop back in when I don’t have dinner plans to try out the marrow and cauliflower curry special.

Beyond food and drink, there’s a pool table tucked away at the back of the pub and a selection of board games next to the bar. Back in the old days, pubs used to provide bar snacks to keep you drinking all day; now they let you play Monopoly. How times have changed.

The White Horse is a decent pub, with a pleasant, comfortable interior, reasonably priced if unimaginative beer, and mercifully moderate music. It’s a safe bet, the sort of place I’d take my mum, but not where I can see myself coming back night after night.

The hunt continues.

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