By MARYELLEN FILLO October 1, 2009
Looking for a new place to eat on one of those leaf-peeping rides? A place to cozy up by the fire as cooler weather arrives? A chance for one last al fresco dining experience on the occasional warm day? Head out to Washington's White Horse Country Pub, the newest endeavor of well-known contractor/developer John Harris. "The building business was down, and the place was in need of some major work," said Harris, a transplanted Brit who saw potential in the ailing former Marbledale Pub on Route 202. He closed it for six months, ripped the walls down to the studs and created a new space that offers an eclectic and affordable menu and quaint, historical d cor. Woodwork with copper detailing, hardwood floors, a new fireplace, repurposed barn wood, an outdoor deck overlooking a stream and waterfall, a hand-crafted bar and antique lighting set the stage for the "everyone knows your name" feel of the place.
For history buffs, it is quite a ride. A 1920 Indian Scout motorcycle is mounted smack dab in the center of the wall above the bar. In the dining room, there's a 16th-century tavern table. In the foyer, an intricately carved 400-year-old Elizabethan chest. Hanging over it, a 1597 manuscript with the great seal of Queen Elizabeth I. There is more, including an 1840 sign from the original White Horse Pub in Mayfair, England, and hundreds of antique horse brasses, once used to decorate bridles and harnesses of the Shire horses. Then there is the creative menu. Steakhouse shepherd's pie, clams casino, fish and chips, Eggs Benedict, chicken crepes and White Horse Tipsy Cake " a real English trifle " are just a sampling of the lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch offerings. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Information: www.whitehorsecountrypub.com or 860-868-1496. Hartford Courant Story about The White Horse