Recent research has shown that over 30 pubs a week are calling time on last orders with the closures worst in the rural areas of Britain. Without getting into the many reasons why this sad state of affairs continues it is encouraging when you come across a pub which is thriving in its local community during this difficult climate.
The White Horse can be found in the beautiful village of Welton which is located amongst the gently rolling limestone hills which characterise this part of the Northamptonshire Uplands. The village takes its name from the Old English meaning Well or spring and Ton the Saxon word for a village.
Welton village is located 2.6 miles (4.2 km) north of the nearest town Daventry. It is 13 miles (21 km) west-north west of Northampton, 9 miles (14 km) south east of Rugby and 78 miles (126 km) north-west of London. The village is 1 mile (1.6 km) off the A361 that runs between Daventry and Crick where the M1 junction 18 gives access to the national motorway network north and south.The Grand Union canal passes very close to the south side of the village and the The White Horse receives many visitors who have moored down on the canal.
The White Horse is located in the heart of the village nestled next to the 14th century Northamptonshire Iron stone parish church of St Martin`s. It is a friendly village pub with many colourful characters and attentive staff.
On entering the pub from the front entrance there are two bars to choose from. Go left and you will be in the small bar area which in the winter months has a coal burner and a couple of steps which takes you down to a small separate Northamptonshire Skittles and darts area. The pub has both a ladies and men`s skittles teams competing in local leagues. Every other Sunday evening there is also a very popular quiz which takes place throughout the pub.
Go right from the entrance and you pass through a small bar area before entering a much larger lounge bar which has an archway leading to the restaurant which seats about thirty diners. The restaurant has original floor flag stones and authentic wooden beams providing a warm comfortable setting to sit and enjoy a meal.
There is a wide variety of food available to suit any taste. Light bar snacks are available at lunchtime or evening menus are served between Wednesday and Saturday. There is also a traditional roast on Sunday. The restaurant can also be booked for private functions.
The White Horse serves a range of very good quality real ales. Visitors can choose from at least four good quality beers, several lagers and the usual range of spirits as well as an excellent collection of locally produced award winning ciders.
`The Vale of Welton` is a family run business who have been making cider in the village since 2005. Vale started with the original Poachers dry cider 7.5% (ABV) named in honour of the gentleman who helped plant the villages first orchards. Seven years later `Keepers` cider was introduced in 2012 and the stronger Black Jetty (4.8% ABV) soon afterwards.In 2015 Vale introduced a sweeter cider called Rose Hill. All of the ciders are available at the pub.
One of the most poular drinks is the Bishops Farewell (4.6% ABV) which is a stronger premium beer of structured quality, dominated by elaborate fruity hop notes, with a grainy background and dry finish.
My favourite tipple is Adnams Southwold Bitter (3.7% ABV) is a beautiful copper-coloured beer, late and dry-hopped with Fuggles for a distinctive, lingering hoppiness.
The pub also has a regular guest ale which is changed on a weekly basis. The pub encourages suggestions for new ales to be introduced.
Six years ago, like many village pubs The White Horse was threatened with closure until present landlady Margaret Elcock stepped in to save the pub for the village. Having worked in the pub trade for almost twenty – three years and having previously worked at the White Horse Margaret decided to take out the lease on the pub and has transformed its fortunes.
As well as building up a loyal and regular clientele Margaret has also opened up the large spacious newly refurbished beer Garden and outdoor patio areas for musical performances which have proven to be very popular.
Margaret is ably supported by partner and fully qualified licensee Simon Anderson who has now been at the pub for four years. Simon started life as general maintenance contractor at the pub but is now a regular face behind the bar. Simon has also gained his personal license and full qualifications within the industry. Olly and Holly are both experienced bar staff and always have a smile and a kind word for both regulars and new visitors.
I would fully recommend a visit to The White Horse for a meal or a drink if you are in Welton or visiting the area around Daventry. You will not be disappointed!
The White Horse – High Street, Welton, Northamptonshire, NN11 2JP, United Kingdom
Tel: 01327 702820
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