The White Horse, Harrow

This Sunday was more about goodbyes than glory, and here I was, and still am, in Harrow – at The White Horse.

You may wonder if last week’s journey to The Red Lion & Sun in Highgate was so traumatic, that I decided to finally have a roast dinner within walking distance of home.

Well…tempting but no, that isn’t the reason to be at The White Horse in Harrow. And neither is it an ode to mysterious joys of ketamine, though tempting as it is also.

It is, somewhat, an ode to Harrow – and a goodbye note. I think it is goodbye, anyway. For when I was on holiday (same holiday where the flight there was cancelled, and the flight back was cancelled), I received an eviction notice, from Watford county court. I was on a train when I received it, of course.

So here I am, 9 days before eviction and 5 months after instructing solicitors on the property that I am still attempting to buy (stupid damn country that we live in), wondering where the hell I will be living in 10 days time.

My landlord insists it is being taken care of. “Don’t worry, I’m sorting it”. 9 days to go until bailiffs turn up…I might be willing to risk eating a roast dinner in Harrow, but I ain’t willing to risk being here when bailiffs are turning up.

Regretamine

Whenever I speak to people at work that know Harrow, Asian colleagues usually, they tell me how good Harrow is for Asian (not just Indian) food. I always want to mention the lack of a Dishoom in response, but never quite feel brave enough.

I love Harrow sign
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Harrow was only supposed to be temporary. My first job in web development was in Amersham, and Harrow was kind of living in London (at least compared to my previous home in *shudder* Bracknell) – and I could cope with the commute to Amersham.

And then that employer told me that I wouldn’t make it as a web developer (as we were then known, but with title inflation this is now software engineer) – some people also told me nobody would read a roast dinner blog, and, dear reader, look where we are. All 22 of you.

I then got a job in Old Street, so really I should have moved closer, but instead, on my generous wage of £25k a year, I decided against spending 80% of it on rent in Shoreditch, and remained in Harrow. And then spent 3-4 days a week moaning about the Met line.

Met line - not in service.
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Cue the pandemic. Still in Harrow. Still no friends in Harrow but it was still temporary so I didn’t want to make friends in Harrow.

Part of the reason (a very small part) why I started my roast dinner adventures was to find where I wanted to live in London, though I found too many places I liked, and none of them I could afford. So…Harrow I remained.

Then last year two friends moved to Croydon and told me I should move there. I laughed at them. Yet I’m now buying a flat there…supposedly buying a flat there anyway, except the management company are refusing to issue a certificate required under the Tories’ new Building Safety Act 2022, but the solicitors say the bank need it, and I’m about to be evicted in 9 days time. Yes I can actually blame the Tories for this shitty legislation that nobody understands. Appreciate this is about as much to do with roast dinners as…ooooh…Brexit but my blog, so…Harrow. Probably being evicted in 7 days time by time I post this.

Ketty Spaghetti

Anyway, vaguely coming around to the subject, I’ve eaten in two places in Harrow in 7 years. It was temporary – I was only living here for a few months, maybe a year or two.

The Castle – which was my second review, from the period when I was apparently not cut out to be a software engineer – ha – currently senior engineer, though I’m refusing to stack shelves for 7 days a year as part of understanding our customers, so how long this will last, who knows. Oh yeah, and the roast wasn’t very good.

And then I had tapas in somewhere about as Spanish as a Doncaster prostitute’s left nipple, as part of Eat Out To Help Out. Ahhh those were the days.

So here I am. My final days in Harrow (probably) and I’m having a roast dinner at The White Horse. My third ever meal out in Harrow. It was temporary. I eat out more often in the average week in London than I ever have in Harrow. Temporary ya.

The White Horse, Harrow, Roast Dinner menu
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There was quite the plethora of choice – garlic & rosemary chicken breast, pork loin, strip-lion of beef, leg of lamb, turkey – yes, turkey in October, a trio and a nut roast. Meat roasts priced between £18.95 and £22.95, or £24.95 for the trio – which to me is simply an unnecessary confusion of meats.

Besides, chicken came with chipolatas and pork stuffing – so I had three meats there, for the relative bargain of £18.95.

I’m Hungry For The Powder

I had actually been to The White Horse many years ago for a beer – the best they offered was Kronenbourg. I didn’t stay for a beer.

Since then, it looks like they have redecorated it to give it more gastro-pub vibes – as back then, at least in my memory of the 45 seconds that I spent there 6 years ago, it was a bit more basic pub. Now it was clean and modern-ish, avant-garde chill wisping from the speakers, young ladies offering wine menus – my memory doesn’t recall that from those 45 seconds.

And The White Horse was busy too – almost all the tables were taken up, with the usual kind of Harrow mixture of families – some keen Irish accents in one excitable corner, Asian family groups elsewhere, totally zero hipsters. Harrow is a nice place to have a family. Alas, that isn’t quite my lifestyle – and Harrow doesn’t really provide much for single, ex-wannabe hipsters. Harrow. Goodbye.

The White Horse, Harrow, Roast Dinner Chicken
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5 types of vegetable, two types of potato, three types of meat and one type of overcooked crispy stuff. Well…as usual I’ll start with the carrots.

The carrots, swede and parsnips all seem to have been roasted together – the carrots were the pick of the bunch, but all were pleasing – my parsnips were just a tad chewy, though my accomplice’s were joyfully crispy. All were heavily peppered – which is to my joy.

Not much I can say about the two bits of broccoli, though they had a bit of crunch to them. Instead do you want to play a game of how many of the takeaway places near my house have I eaten from? Chicken Lover, Dominos, KFC, Chicken Cottage, Cheatmeals, Tops Pizza, Pizza Inn, Pizza Hut and Fab’s Peri Peri Chicken & Pizza.

Have You Seen Kevin Spacey?

Finally for the vegetables we had creamed cabbage, which was creamy as you might imagine, with a hint of leek and plenty of seasoning once more – it tasted a lot more delightful than it looked.

The White Horse, Harrow, Roast Potatoes

Crispy roast potatoes, for two weeks in a row? Just about, certainly some crispiness on the outside, quite fluffy on the inside though also a tad stale. My accomplice lucked out on the lottery even more – and was gushing in praise.

Only two roasties – but this was outweighed by a rather large portion of creamy mashed potato, smooth as a double glazing salesman, totally joyful with the gravy.

The Yorkshire pudding was arguably the most, and only disappointing part of the meal – it was crispy and had spent a little time under a heat lamp. Yet was still edible – with enough gravy, it would have been verging on decent. And it wasn’t burnt – small mercies in 2023.

The White Horse, Harrow, Chicken Sunday Roast

The chicken breast was glorious – resounding in garlic, studded with rosemary and we also thought thyme too. If you were being picky, you could tell that the chicken was cooked a little earlier, but not much.

What can you say about chipolatas? They were small and sausagey – of respectable quality. And the stuffing had a slight golden crunch to it, and seemingly some herbs infused, though there wasn’t quite enough of it to impact my memory.

Finally, the gravy. Yep, it was good gravy – though it could have done to have been thicker. Yeah, it could always do to be thicker to me. Props to the young lady serving us who realised that we’d run out and offered to bring us more without us asking. It was a meat stock gravy, fairly light on flavour – but much of the roast was heavily peppered, so I’m not sure you’d notice even if it was strongly flavoured.

Ride The White Horse.

So. Maybe Harrow is actually great for eating out. Oops.

My third and last meal out in Harrow, unless for some reason I dare brave the Metropolitan line back to these north-western shores in some kind of retrospective look back in some future year, was pretty excellent. Who knows, maybe someone will recommend a roast dinner elsewhere in Harrow that I have to add to my to-do list.

I loved the garlic flavoured chicken, all the peppered vegetables, the gravy was good, the mash was smooth – the only thing I considered complaining about was the yorkie, which was too crispy and a little heat-lamped.

My accomplice’s score was an 8.35 (slightly higher than she rated The Red Lion & Sun the week before), and my score is a pretty excellent 8.23 out of 10. I did really enjoy this roast – it felt like a proper northerner’s kind of roast dinner, a proper home-cooked roast dinner.

Do add it to your list…if you can cope with the idea of going all the way to Harrow.

I should be back next week, though given the impending chaos in my life, I make no promises and have made no plans. And then…who knows? Time for Roast Dinners Around The World? Oh, and Chicken Cottage is the only takeaway I’ve eaten from around here. Albeit far, far too many times.

No ketamine was consumed in production of this roast dinner review.

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Summary:

The White Horse, Harrow

Station: Harrow-On-The-Hill

Tube Lines: Metropolitan Line

Fare Zone: Zone 5

Price: £18.95

Rating: 8.23

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https://www.whitehorseharrow.co.uk/

Instagrim

Loved & Loathed

Loved: Proper amounts of seasoning, especially pepper, good gravy, creamy mashed potato. Proper homemade style roast dinner.

Loathed: Yorkie was too crispy but I've had far worse.

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