In the saddle at the White Horse

one for the locals: the White Horse is beloved by its regular punters

HOW Soon Is Now? The question posed by The Smiths… and more specifically the belter of a tune sandwiched between two other Morrissey classics on arrival at The White Horse (Liverpool Street). But while the musical exploits of Messr Morrissey and company will not necessarily begin the gallop of hungry City goers to the Broadgate gastro, the pub’s menu just might.

Sitting in good company and set back away from the streets more tread by Capital tourists, The White Horse is definitely one for the City’s locals. Only open Monday to Friday, this is an establishment that knows its clientele; focusing on those who like to pay homage at the bar in the twilight between clocking off and clocking back in. In fact, the extensive wine list could lead visitors to think The White Horse only operate in liquids. But that doesn’t mean the staff – who leave punters singing about that Charming Man (or woman) – can’t satisfy hunger when it strikes.

Taking the rustic route the menu explores contemporary takes on English classics. The Barnsley lamb chop (£15.50) doesn’t come with mint sauce, but instead infuses that prized flavour combination into a jewelled couscous which is adorned with harrissa yoghurt and flatbread. Salmon and haddock fish cakes served on a bed of steamed spinach with a poached duck egg (£13.50) pays credit to the admirable portion sizes, but there will still be room enough to see off the peanut butter and chocolate fondant (speciality, £5.95) that tempts the tongue with strawberries and cream.

Try marrying it all to a vina torcida Rioja blanco (medium glass, £6.05); a zesty white that embodies the term ‘crisp’. As eluded to earlier, if that particular wine combo is not up to personal preference then there are plenty more pairings to try. Party vibes are all around and diners will often be reminded that The White Horse is first and foremost a watering hole – on Thursday and Friday nights the place is at capacity with quittingtime revellers. But that only means there is no need to saddle up and find a new venue in which to wash it all down. So, How Soon should you drop by the White Horse? Now.

The White Horse, Exchange Square, Appold St, London EC2M 2QA