We sent Shekha to the Spotted Horse in Putney which has recently launched brunch and a brand new look. Strong flavours and a beautiful interior make for a pleasant weekend spot.
Locals, sports fans, ‘botanical enthusiasts’. Ladies (and gentlemen) who lunch
In a Word
Young’s pub, Spotted Horse looks stunning. The relatively recent refurb has paved the way for a new roof terrace and an interior that looks more like an exclusive members club or a boutique hotel than a neighbourhood pub. The dark wooden floors and grey walls provide a perfect backdrop for the statement mustard and teal chairs and sofas – while floral upholstery adds a quirky and chic feature. Botanical accents are rife with artwork, cushions and a multitude of plants adding a lush ambience to
Botanical accents are rife with artwork, cushions and a multitude of plants adding a lush ambience to the space. Tables boasting different coloured tiles adding to the opulent vibe and are reminiscent of Mediterranean holidays. The industrial style lightbulbs lift the space and give it a more modern twist among all the cosy furniture.
The Saturday afternoon we visited was quiet, though we hear during days when sports are on, things can get a little rowdy. The pub thrummed with gentle conversation among family and friends. While the pub was not busy, service was incredibly slow, mostly as there was only one girl who was looking after the tables.
It would have been nice if she had had a bit of support as we ended up waiting around half an hour to order, then another half an hour for our meal to actually arrive. One would hope that this was not indicative of regular service days as it would definitely then be an issue that needed addressing.
The main menu on the weekend offers a selection of smaller starters and sharers which were all interesting and looked very good, including buttermilk chicken wings with a chilli and lemongrass dip and a baked camembert with truffled honey to share. A brunch menu is also available which features a variety of sandwiches, full English breakfast and bacon and crumpets.
Having been invited to review the food by the venue, there was some confusion in what we could order which ended up being less than we expected on arrival. I’ll add a disclaimer now that I don’t feel two mains and two cocktails are enough to really test the overall standard of the food – however, we were happy with the dishes served, if not the speed in which they were brought out.
We started with an Old Fashioned and an Espresso Martini. The Old Fashioned was good with a nice citrusy kick oozing from the orange peel garnish. The Espresso Martini had a good, classic flavour, but texturally I would have liked a velvetier consistency.
The chicken and waffle main was really delicious. Three golden waffles came on the plate crowned with two large chicken breasts. The lightly crumbed chicken had a wonderful lemon crust redolent with herbs and spices, while the breast was moist and moreish. The waffles were texturally perfect, pillowy and bouncy, a superb accompaniment to the chicken. The gravy lifted the dish with its savoury flavour, offering just a strain of sweetness – together with the gentle heat from the chilli garnish – this was really enjoyable.
My companion’s steak was solid, medium-rare with a nice char on the outside. The chips were also good, just right, golden armour yielding to a wonderful fluffy filling. The béarnaise was decent, but could have been slightly more flavourful, while the accompanying salad was surprisingly good, fresh young leaves tempered by the sweetness of tomatoes and a balsamic dressing.
Locals will love this place for its beautiful interior, tasty food, and variety of events throughout the week, as well as sports showing at the weekend – however that does make it busy. It is also an ideal stopover for those visiting Putney and need a cosy place to eat.
Personally, while the food was enjoyable, for me the restaurant seemed to be experiencing a difficult day – staff shortages led to delays and stress in the kitchen, as well as confusion about what we could, and couldn’t order to review. I know other diners had similar experiences with delays for their meals. I’d be happy to write this off as a one-time hiccup but I think a fairer verdict would be made with another visit.
122 Putney High Street, Putney, SW15 1RG
0208 788 0246