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Racehorse, Carshalton

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user reviews of the Racehorse, Carshalton

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Refurbed and re-opens under completely new management on March 4th. 3 cask Ales.
molyneux - 3 Mar 2015 12:10
Went there yesterday - or tried to......

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PorterAndStout - 25 Feb 2015 14:29
After visiting the Hope (just down the road), I was always going to be a little disappointed with the Racehorse. But it's a fairly decent pub in its own right. At least it's a free house and it was offering 4 ales - Sharps Doom Bar, Old Mill Blonde Bombshell, Greene King IPA & Brains The Rev James. Sunday lunch was being served and a handful of locals were present. There are 2 good sized rooms with plenty of seating. So this may be a good choice if you find the Hope too busy.
blue_scrumpy - 21 May 2013 20:02
I'm so happy we now have somewhere else to go on Thursdays instead of having to suffer the appalling manageress at The Woodman, The Karaoke here is fantastic and all the staff and customers are polite and appreciate our custom. We have heard the food here is fantastic as well, so we will be treating ourselves to a spot to eat over Christmas as well.
Beerman2000 - 6 Nov 2012 01:18
Has now changed back to the previous Management.Food is being revived and of excellant quality served most evenings too as is the choice of real ales now numbering 4.Ramblinden they even have the Harry Satcher Trio back this friday
Sam_vimes - 22 Oct 2012 23:48
I had the misfortune of deciding to have a drink in the Race Horse today (Sunday 23rd September 2012). The welcome could hardly have been described as welcoming. The only member of staff on duty was about to commence a meal with a party of two gentlemen so service was reluctant to say the least.

It happened that I recognised the member of staff from another pub in Sutton so asked her if she lived in the village as part of what I consider to general and polite conversation. It was unfortunate that a gentleman who claimed to be her boy-friend, and whom was lunching/dining with her took exception to my conversation. He explained his displeasure in the car-park where I was talking to a friend. His manner and stance was, in my opinion aggressive. Whilst I accept that conversing with a young woman otherwise attached in the presence of her partner maybe considered inappropriate, and perhaps unwise, in a night club or bar, I consider friendly chat with a member of bar staff to be the norm.

It goes without saying that I will not be drinking in the Race Horse as I am not comfortable in an aggressive environment. The purpose of this posting? Simply to state that I have an expectation of good service and safety in any public house where I choose to spend my money. The Race Horse failed to meet that expectation today

Likesabeer - 23 Sep 2012 18:16
Harry Satcher Trio were absolutely bloody fantastic on Sat 31st July. And a super pint of Doom Bar too.
RamblinDen - 2 Aug 2011 08:04
Went and saw Jinn house play here the other week. Had a great night. The band was everything you want out of a 'pub' band. Wll definitely go and see them again. The lager was very acceptable. The only downsides are the odd occasions of poor service and the uncertainty of the closing time. Seem to want to shut quickly if it is a quiet night, or spent too much time on their mobiles rather than serve
Barbeerian - 24 Jul 2011 15:17
Had another good quality and hearty portioned carvery with my family. Not sure what the cost per person was now as no menu but seemed to be roughly £10 for 2 courses. Fairly busy and from the way the Landlady greeted most all of the diners has a solid set of regulars eating there.
Still the awful old seating and the lick of paint given when the new management took over is looking as if it was never carried out in the first place. Really efficient staff and a friendly Landlady that makes you feel welcome and wanting to return.
yummummy - 20 Dec 2010 07:47
This is now the third time i have eaten a carvery dinner on a Sunday here and i have been fully satisfied everytime! I have tried every eatery in Carshalton and make no mistake this is by a country mile the best one. How they can afford to serve such an exquisite pate starter for a couple of pounds i know not. I will return here,looking forward to it already! Keep up the good work.
jsuggsola - 3 Oct 2010 12:53
This was the first time we had visited the Racehorse since it had been taken over by new management. We had an excellent meal there and have no hesitation in recommending the Racehorse as a place to have an enjoyable wholesome meal. Expect to pay £35 for a two course meal with coffee for two people (excluding drinks). However, the seating really does need some very urgent refurbishment work - they are really bad. Even a good scrub with a proprietery cleaner might make a difference. However, having said that the food more than made up for the shortcomings and we will make this restaurant one of our regular haunts.
rosiej - 2 Oct 2010 23:04
The Racehorse has improved a lot lately - good food and pleasant bar staff. They just need to refurb the main bar area and put some nice seating etc and this place would have a huge boost in customers. At present it is very drab and outdated.
carshalton - 7 Sep 2010 11:49
Can't comment on the food but I do like popping in to this place mid afternoon. It has improved from the point of view that it's not quite as gloomy and cluttered as it used to be but it does smell a bit musty around that rear entrance area which could easily be resolved with the aid of proper ventilation. I also wish they would replace the dreadful seating which has definitely seen better days.

Having said that it feels like a proper pub with the two bars and the beer is good. Excellent pint of Iron Horse.
lyeemoon - 17 Jul 2010 16:52
I could see the intention but not the delivery. The signage on the way in suggested a refurbished pub. The interior suggested something else! There was a musky, dirty smell in the pub which put me off ordering food. The place looked like it had not been cleaned for weeks.

After a few drinks my friend and I decided to risk some food. It was about 8.40pm (only!) and the staff did not look happy. To be fair to the bar staff, they did speak to the 'chef' and offered to take our order, but he waved his hands so much we felt he had little energy left to cook our meals, and left. Either that or we were concerned about what we would receive!

All in all, a disappointing experience. This is a good example of why the chain pubs do so well....
DonVin - 19 May 2010 23:38
Hve now been here for evening meal, Sunday lunch and snacks. Great value for money, nice staff and good food.

Chris.S - 19 May 2010 17:34
Pie mash and liquor nights back on Mondays with fish and chips. Trouble is which one to order?
Sam_vimes - 23 Mar 2010 12:38
re: wilf880. Beef Stew? check! Meat pie? check! Why didnt you bother to read the menu? £50 for 4 meals plus sides expensive? Pork belly not English? Not local produce? Country Harvest-high street Carshalton,local enough for you? Maybe you would be better off in 'the sun' where you can have such British treats as 'Quesadillas,Rissotto and paninis,time has moved on,i suggest you do the same!
mylo - 11 Mar 2010 08:43
Who is this wolf pratt. I've eaten many a meal there and if he can't tell the difference between home cooked and micro cooking then he probably eats at weatherspoons. I have contempt at these jokers.
Sam_vimes - 10 Mar 2010 20:58
The Racehorse once had a good reputation for food, then, like the Fox and Hounds, staff changes sent that reputation plunging. We visited on Saturday for lunch and what a disappointment. Yes the kitchen door was open,revealing 2 people inside, one was a washerupper, the other one wasn't. He must have been the microwave operative. We ordered lamb shank, pork belly and smoked haddock, the food duly arrived and first impressions weren't good. The meals were not prepared with someone with a passion for cooking, the food was dumped on oversize soup plates, it looked most unattractive and the side order of seasonal vegatables arrived in a tiny dish, maybe it was a redundant ashtray! This is not cheap pub grub, 4 main courses cost us £50, but that's not the point, in a country where pubs are closing at an alarming rate, only the best will survive.
An English pub, on a winters day, should be selling classic English dishes. Meat puddings, stew and dumplings, chops, liver and bacon, shepherds pie etc. cooked on the premises using local produce, the aroma of home cooking wafting out onto West St. would pull the customers in, it aint rocket science, my Mum did it for a large family for many years.
wilf880 - 10 Mar 2010 07:16
Visited last Sunday after seeing the sign for the very reasonably priced Sunday lunch. Last visit about 5 years ago and just didn't like the old fashioned and fusty atmosphere so thought we'd give it a go after management change, if the management do read this one thing I would say is that the constantly open kitchen door is what put us and our local friends off the most. Cooking and washing up can be seen from every table and makes the place seem like a greasy spoon cafe, the door still open and just as offputting. I wouldn't say the old fashioned interior has changed much except a lick of paint but the management and staff very welcoming.
3 courses for £10 so excellent value, beef extremely rare, almost to the point of still being alive due to oven problems and cheese platter, which was of excellent portion size and quality served with a tiny, albeit lovely homecooked eccles cake (could have done with crackers or bread). This includes all the negatives but the meal was really good on the whole and much better than expected. Although management really friendly is it that they don't have much experience of food servery due to the niggles? I may be wrong on that front but if so judging by the way in which things were handled they will soon learn.
Husband enjoyed his pint of Timothy Taylor and the wine list really good value for the quality of wines included.
Not at all the same vibe or interior as the newly refurbed and popular Sun but could definitely give it a run for it's money on a Sunday.
No card machine so a few people around us couldn't "afford" to order what they wanted due to lack of cash ( cheques were being accepted) on them and were a bit disgruntled but assume this is out of management's control so will be resolved soon.
Would definitely would try again as the problems did really seem to be easily resolved teething ones and were definitely outweighed by the good points.
yummummy - 2 Mar 2010 10:49
After having visited the Racehorse infrequently over the years i feared the worst at the suggestion of a meal with friends recently after the reopening. As i walked in my fears seemed to be confirmed as at 8pm on a thursday evening it was empty in the restaurant although a fair few drinkers were scattered around. Anyway we were greeted by a friendly warm hostess (we later found out it was the landlady) and were shown to a table. I chose the pork belly and 10-15 mins later was served with a well presented and i must say delicious meal,my wife ordered a chicken supreme with a roasted sweetcorn sauce and she too was impressed with the meal. Overall a combination of good food and service and we will be definately returning soon.
mylo - 2 Mar 2010 00:17
Just to confirm the situation, Enterprise are the brewery that own the pub but myself, Andy and David are now running it. We are well aware of what our customers want and will endeavour to keep things as they were ... albeit a lick of paint and a good clean!! There are now 4 beers on the pump, 2 of which are guest ales and are changed regularly with IPA and Best continuing. The menu has had a revamp, we have an A La Carte menu available Tues to Sat 7-9pm, a full lunch menu Mon to Sat 12-2pm and a Sunday carvery 12-4pm. We will be hosting regular events which if any of you are on Facebook will be posted on our page The Racehorse, Carshalton. Menus are also available to view. We hope you like the new set up ... please pop in and have a drink. We welcome your support, Mia, Andy and David XX
MissMia - 26 Feb 2010 18:04
Pub open and business as usual. Had a lick of paint and a good clean up. 4beers on pump will be the norm.
Sam_vimes - 25 Feb 2010 18:46
I loved this pub. It was a bit quirky but I often popped in there for the odd pint. It reminded me of how pubs used to be and really should be now as an icon for our whole way of life and tradition. Yes it needed a lot of tlc which hopefully it is now getting but when I saw the 'Enterprise' sign outside my heart sank. I really do hope they retain the old character with the saloon and public bars but I'm not holding my breath. Enterprise and Punch are just run by accountants who are nit in the least bit interested in people or tradition, just that bottom line. The jury will return its verdict shortly.
lyeemoon - 18 Feb 2010 20:23
Saw the new licensee today. Been bar manager for many years. Will be running as normal along with the chef and his girlfriend. The big rude lady has gone along with Julian the previous owner. Lots of work going on.Must see when finished. Should be open thus Wednesday.
Sam_vimes - 7 Feb 2010 00:09
My information (from someone closely involved) is that this pub has undergone a change of management and some staff have left. It was closed for redecoration yesterday, but is due to reopen today (Friday 5 February). I understand it will remain a gastropub.
harfarhs - 5 Feb 2010 12:10
the beer was a bit ngggya, food lovely though. always busy on the restaurant end on the weekend.
jimclark - 26 Nov 2009 19:37
Thursday night pie and mash night £3.95. Eels £1.50 extra. Lovely. Even had on cotleigh Nutcracker mild.
Sam_vimes - 25 Sep 2009 10:22
Two rooms, lounge style bar to the left on entry, and a saloon/vault to the right with a busy dartboard. The lounge has stucco white walls and dark timbers, a bit 70's really, beamed ceiling, and lots of small tables arranged in lines restaurant style. Food seems important, although no one eating at 4pm, the fish menu looks good. The high shelf around the room contains literally hundreds of beer bottles. A slightly raised area has a stand up piano. The fireplace has a row of books along its mantle, and the pub advertises a book exchange scheme, a nice idea. Loads of horse/racing pics as per the name.
4 handpumps, Bowman Quiver, Courage Best and GK IPA, one unused but according to the guv will generally have another guest.
Maldenman - 16 Apr 2009 20:52
Busy this morning. Smashing beer on. Mayfields "Auntie Myrtles" 4.5%. Food brilliant. Homemade Brawn and whole grilled plaice. Brilliant. Worth a visit.
Sam_vimes - 20 Mar 2009 16:13
Sadly declining and apparently in receivership, but still trading. You can safely go over the road now :)

molyneux - 7 Oct 2008 09:06
Smile on the outside as you hear the same people have the same conversations like the most tedious Groundhog Day ever imagined... Weep into your warm pint as you realise smugly that tears are better than blood which is what you would have lost in the pub over the road....
Doevski - 4 Jun 2008 21:03
Nice, friendly little local with a decent selection of ales and a first class food menu.
crabpaste - 14 Feb 2008 19:09
Always an interesting selection of ales (often some new and unheard of guest beers) and pleasant enough stop on a Carshalton pub crawl. Good food on a Sunday. Superfluous seating out the front and easy access to Chinese takeaway opposite. Mixed crowd, don't bother with the jazzed up bar on the right of the entrance despite tv attraction. Far better to head left, grab a seat and enjoy a few beers with friends.
stevosgloriosus - 10 Feb 2008 21:40
Great proper local with excellent Courage and proper pub lunches. Very busy early mid-week afternoon.
mtaylor40 - 1 Feb 2008 21:51
Consistently good pub and Sutton CAMRA's pub of the year.
I now visit roughly twice a week and there are always two rotating guest ales on. Many of which are from small micro breweries’.
Food is good quality and sandwiches are well made and very tasty.
Bar maids are also well made and very tasty ;)

Kemsing - 13 Dec 2007 15:17
Quite good. Had some interesting ale on - Full Steam Ahead - and the menu looked good. One of the better pubs in the vicinity.
AleKing - 20 Aug 2007 11:26
Have not been in there for a while, they do nice door step sandwiches and the engineering company from over the road go in there! very entertaining then, just watch their antics and laugh.
anonymous - 25 Jun 2007 01:18
Nice clean traditional Victorian 2 bar pub, the public bar has a dartboard and TV, the saloon bar/restaurant has a stage for music performances on certain evenings otherwise the pub is quiet and friendly.

The real ales were in very good condition when i visited last night. As well as the current regulars of Courage Best and Greene King IPA there are usually two guest ales on.

At £2.70 a pint Lodden Hoppit 3.5% was a tad on the expensive side but you can get a 4 pint jug for the price of 3 pints (Guinness and John Smiths Smooth excluded), so take a friend!

The restaurant has a high quality menu and there are also more basic bar food meals available.

They have an extensive wine list and there is a book exchange - bring in a book and take another one away.

All in all a good pub and well worth a visit.
Tom_Cat - 17 Apr 2007 12:42
Making a real effort to improve the beer range- some very interesting micro brewery beers have appeared- usually two on alongside Greede King and Courage. Becoming a Carshalton destination for the beer drinker- if only they would stop sticking theose irritating RERSERVED signs on the tables when they think foodies might come in..
Beerwulf - 31 Mar 2007 23:54
Range of beers increased, and keeping them well!
molyneux - 11 Sep 2006 12:34
Amazing! Went for a meal and didn't want to leave!The food was amazing and the waiting staff were very friendly and attractive (always a bonus!) The locals seemed very nice, although if i am to keep a trim waistline i should limit the amount of visits! I will eat here again without a doubt!
anonymous - 2 Dec 2005 00:02
Excellent pub and restaurant, the Old Speckled Hen is superb.
Don't agree about the prices being too expensive, but the portions are generous and the bread great, but filling.
The steaks are worth having and the wine list is good.
By far the best pub in the area.
colston - 16 May 2005 17:56
I loved this pub, albeit that it is very cliquey at lunch time, until Alan sold out. The staff are, in the main, the same as before, and many have been there for yonks, and are extremely nice. Many of the clients have also been there for many years, and I understand that drinkers from the Hope (yuk!)are moving over to the Racehorse! The food is excellent, although Julian's cooking does not have the flair of Lauren's (spelling?), who was the French chef a few years' ago. The food is too expensive, too high-calorie, and too high volume, and we do need a landlord like Alan on our side of the bar. Another major problem is that the bread, bought from a local baker in Carshalton, is too good and moreish for those of us trying to lose weight. And the not-that-good wine, and the non-alcoholic drinks are far too expensive. When will pubs learn to differentiate between the needs of their daytime and their night-time clients?
anonymous - 15 Mar 2005 16:18
Don't know what Mike is talking about. Presumably he would rather The Racehorse was gutted and modernised, had its soul ripped out and was made to look like a Weatherspoon? The Greyhound is okay (well the Swan Bar is actually excellent - the rest of the place feels very much like a hotel lounge....).

Where The Racehorse beats all others in the viccinity is the attention to providing good beers, superior food, and staff that are friendly and actually seem to care.
samslatter - 16 Nov 2004 10:24
No, tell people about the ‘good food’ and ‘good service’, but only if you don’t like them, and then maybe The Greyhound wouldn’t be so busy all the time. Go to any other pub in the area, except the shocking Windsor castle. This is truly an awful pub, the staff are particularly unfriendly, and the landlord worse, he is bitter about something, best to take it out on the customers then, that will help business won’t it? I wonder why the rest of the staff are so bad, hmmm. The layout of place is terrible, move the bar, and get a decorator in, the place is falling apart.
Mike - 21 Mar 2004 21:40
excellant waiting staff! can't be beaten!
anonymous - 3 Mar 2004 16:36
Outstanding food and a good wine list (but don't tell anyone otherwise I won't get a table).
Paul - 7 Oct 2003 17:08
Customer service and friendliness appear to have nosedived in the past six months according to anecdotal evidence from friends in the area.
lad_newton - 24 Apr 2003 16:22

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