This review is of the Restaurant ONLY 19 August 2008.
We booked for dinner at The White Horse, arrived 30 minutes early and had a drink in the bar which was lacking character and dimly lit before dinner.
We had heard The White Horse had a good reputation for food and I had booked a table in the restaurant (they apparently have 3 dining areas - bar/casual/restaurant) The food was ok - we had bruschetta and a salad with risotto for main followed by cheese and bread and butter pudding. The wine was excellent (a white from Lanquedoc) and the bill with water came to 69 pounds. Food came out reasonably quickly (no long wait in between courses almost too fast)
The dining room was lacking character, not much atmosphere (maybe some soft jazz music would have been lovely) although it was lit nicely with tealights and not too much heavy halogen.
Our problem was with the service, we were served by a younger girl with flip flops and jeans who was polite but she was on her own rushing in and out of the restaurant which when we had requested the restaurant out of the bar/casual area we didn’t expect to be served by someone on roller skates with no bedside manner. The rushing did not lend itself to a relaxing evening - it was as though they were rushing us to finish - in fact at 9.45pm we heard the extractor in the kitchen being turned off and when we left at 9.50pm there was no one else in either the restaurant or the casual dining area next to the bar - we just heard voices from the bar. This was a Tuesday night in August the week before the bank holiday. My suspicion is that she was waitressing for all 3 areas which is not acceptable given the prices in the restaurant. We did see 2 other waitresses so there were definitely more staff around.
What was even more confusing was earlier at aprox 8pm we had been sat in the bar having a drink before dinner and 2 sets of separate couples had come into the bar and asked if they could have dinner at the White Horse that night - they were told they were fully booked and they left - LOST CUSTOMERS!, but when we were seated in the restaurant 30 minutes later at 8.30pm only 3 of the 12 tables had anyone sat at them, and this was the case ALL NIGHT as we were the last ones to leave at 9.50pm! So we had a bizarre experience - customers being turned away when there were lots of empty tables and a waitress who rushed around even though there were only 3 of the 12 tables occupied all night!!! Does this make sense? If it does I am a banana! Tomorrow night we are going to The Wiverton Bell followed by The Anchor at nearby Morston on Thursday - we certainly won’t be going back to the White Horse unless we want trapped wind or indigestion (as my wife has as I write this upon getting back to the place we are staying) from watching young staff running round like they had been set on fire with no passion, character or rapore. The food was OK but nothing outstanding and it's such a shame as they have a captive Blakeney audience with not much choice in the nearby area so they should be cleaning up. We came to The Blakeney White Horse expecting discerning standards but we might as well have been back home in Nando’s in Hackney - Its not just about the food - service and character are just as important to the complete enjoyment of a civilised dinner, sorry to rant but they need to pull up their standards if they are pitching themselves in the ‘quality’ marketplace as we were led to believe - they need to go back to basics and manage their team in a more focused manner (where was any evidence of management all night??!!) rather than having ‘surf kids’ running around like an blind one-legged ostrich on amphetamines. If you have a restaurant within your hotel that has a different menu/standards than the pub/casual area then give service levels that reflect this or deserve to disappoint customers by misleading them.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.