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White Horse Inn, The Square, CLUN, SY7 8JA [Map]
This pub's immediately gone into my guide. A proper pub, with a walk welcome, friendly chatty atmosphere and excellent beer. It's an 18th Century coaching inn in one of the most charming towns in England. It's bang in the centre of town in the old market square a few yards from the town museum and a short stroll from the castle. The landlord was particularly welcoming and when we turned up (about a dozen of us) one Friday evening he came over and pointed out a couple of tables that we could move. Service was quick and efficient though obviously inevitably slowed a little as the pub rapidly filled with a wide mix of locals.
The interior is reasonably large and the landlord has plans to knock through the wall to the building next door and perhaps build a restaurant at some point in the future. The existing bar is L-shaped with a reasonably large carpeted bar, a nice beamed ceiling, an inglenook and wood burning stove with plenty of games stacked on the shelf in the corner for added entertainment. We obviously jumped in and had a good game of dominos to get the evening going.
Mainly older locals towards the front of the bar with some well behaved children quietly playing a few games. A group of teenagers were towards the rear enjoying a few beers, some dance music and a game of pool. I do like pubs where you get a healthy mix of ages and everyone's having a good time
Onto the real ale. What can I say. What a fantastic range of real ales. Clearly a local bias with beers from Hobsons, Woods, Salopian, Three Tuns and Wye Valley during my latest visit (October 2005) perfectly served and unusually for these days in oversized glasses so that you always get what you ask for, a whole pint! It's shocking but true, a full 568ml and all at a very very reasonable price. I can quickly understand why the local CAMRA branch has seen fit to give this pub several awards in recent years. To complement the beer is a real cider on handpump from Westons. They also serve a good range of very good reasonably priced food, with several 'deals' available for having two or three course meals. The lamb hotpot looked particularly good, although they'd just run out of it by the time I ordered some food.
If the weather's good there are some seats out the front on the pavement and a garden tucked away at the back. If there's no space around the corner at the Youth Hostel where we stayed, why not stay at the pub. I hear that the accommodation is excellent too! Good walking in the area, perhaps east to explore Bury Ditches recommended by a local lady who I got chatting to in the bar. Good café down the hill by the bridge and two excellent butchers shops. Oh yes, the pub's got their own website at http://www.whi-clun.co.uk/ if you want more information about the pub. What a fantastic proper pub! One to remember for a long time…. And it only gets a brief mention in the Good Pub Guide?