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“Dont waste your time nor money !”

The White Horse Harpenden
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Ranked #17 of 78 Restaurants in Harpenden
Cuisines: Bar, British, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Families with children, Kids, Large groups, Bar scene, Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Harpenden, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Dont waste your time nor money !”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2013 via mobile

Went here for a "roast sunday lunch". We wanted a better quality roast and stupidly thought this was the place to go. What a MASSIVE let down. Potatoes were very dry and hard, almost empty inside. The meat was the thin school dinner frozen meat you get ! The yorkshire puddings were large but burnt, there were 7 of us and every single yorkshire was burnt ??
However the veg was lovely....
Staff were undertrained and clumbsy. I will never go here again or reccomend it. There are plenty other places in Harpenden......go elsewhere.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Clare444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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436 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Good food but slow service”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 15, 2013

Nice food, menus are not particularly clear, waited half an hour for starter, food good when it eventually came. Mains nice, would be helpful to have a kids menu (the wicked lady in wheathampstead has recently introduced this rather than offering half portions). Staff a little annoying at leaving dirty plates on the table whilst standing by the kitchen having a chat!! We did though, all come away agreeing it was nice. The staff need to be on the ball a bit more and perhaps warning diners there may be a wait for the food would be better. The Wicked Lady is much better than this. A shame.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank beachgirl018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
130 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Needs to get a better focus!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2013 via mobile

What a shame. We went to meet family at this lovely old pub in Harpenden with great expectations. Unfortunately, the kitchen and some of the servers let us down - severely! We showed up for brunch on a Sunday morning and found the pub basically empty other than a few folk sitting in the bar area with us. We ordered two full English and one eggs Benedict. The full English showed up but the eggs Benedict did not. I asked three different servers what had happened and no on came back to tell me anything. When the Andrew, the barman (who had been great) came off break he was able to tell me within minutes that the kitchen had missed it. He apologized and indicated the kitchen was making it now and it would be up out soon. Sadly, when it came out the eggs were over cooked and the ham was actually cold. Clearly, the kitchen had begun its shift to the afternoon dinner menu and had put the brunch fixings away. Rather than admit the mistake, the kitchen tried to pull a Benedict together as if I had never had one before. The cold ham should have been a clue for them. While management took the underwhelming dish off our bill, the service, or lack there of, and the kitchen attempted to pull a fast one makes it unlikely we will return for the food. Go for drinks but not for the food.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Richard L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harpenden, United Kingdom
1 review
“Can be great, but...”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 7, 2013

I've used this restaurant around ten times in the last two years. The best way to sum it up is very inconsistent, hence the poor review. I've had two great evenings at the restaurant, but 7 or 8 very poor experiences. Unfortunately today's was one of the latter. A rack of lamb so rare that it was cold to touch in the middle, very slow service, and despite asking for the cheese board to arrive with the coffee and dessert wine, twenty minutes after the drinks arrived, we were told that it would be at least another ten minutes before the cheese would make it to the table. So, we gave up. To their credit, the starters were excellent (mini scallop salad was well prepared and presented), but didn't set a precedent for the rest of the experience.

Some of the staff are brilliant. The waitress who started serving us was fab, very attentive without being overly so, and a real asset to the establishment. Some of the others were much more mediocre, and didn't encourage any positive atmosphere at all.

It's a great shame. I've found that this place has suffered from a similar inconsistency, from pre-Novelli days, right the way through until the present ownership. It could be truly great - look at the Black Horse in Ireland (near Bedford!) for a view of what potential exists in a similar establishment - but for the time being, I won't be back, and I would struggle to recommend it.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank DrJayP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“What a waste”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 7, 2013

There was great excitement in Harpenden when The White Horse was taken over and revamped as a gastropub. My first few visits were enjoyable and refreshing. However I had been warned about a major decline in service standards and food quality. Last night I realised this was a warning I should not have ignored.

Very slow service left us sitting down at 7.15 and leaving after 9.30 with no desserts or coffee involved.All wine ordered was fully consumed during the glacial period between starters and main course. One steak ordered medium, arrived rare, was reheated and came back rare. A salad ordered without anchovies or croutons for a gluten intolerant member of our party arrived smothered in anchovies and when returned was covered in croutons. Real communications issues here. Roast pork chosen by two others, including myself ,tasted as if it had been taken off the joint in the morning and stuck on reheat for the rest of the day.

Staff clearly realised they had an issue and sliced £30 off our drinks bill, but still felt it appropriate to charge for the two ruined dishes. Further extended negotiation followed - well they felt we had all night, obviously. No sign of any senior management, however, and I felt sorry for the juniors left undermanned in the front line.

The White Horse enjoys a terrific location and on a sunny day remains a lovely place to finish a walk off with a drink, but do no eat here. You have been warned now, as I was. Take heed.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank PDK7071
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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