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“Lovely location but let down by staff”

White Horse Hotel Bar
Attraction details
Reviewed 16 August 2017

I often take a walk to Rottingdean and like to sit outside the White horse with a drink overlooking the beach. I am sorry to say that on the last 3 occasions (during this summer) the service and staff have been very poor with team members preferring to chat on their phones while the queue at the bar builds up. Such a shame. The service used to be friendly and attentive.

Thank SelamCaroline
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 July 2017 via mobile

Lovely location to come and have a drink and great staff. But the only thing that lets place down is the beer tastes really off due to not cleaning the lines perhaps.

Thank Ncirkel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2017 via mobile

Cannot believe that I forgot to leave a review of this place, which I experienced for the very last time in November 2015...

I live in Rottingdean and have enjoyed many a summer day on the terrace of this pub. There are lots of pubs in the village, but for outdoor space and views, this one wins hands down. Service is generally poor, food rubbish and the inside tatty; we only visit in the summer to sit on the terrace and enjoy the views.

We were delighted when this place was taken over by Greene King and closed for refurb, thinking that we'd have a swanky new alternative to go to! We were also delighted that the hotel part of it was being refurbished - both our families live a long way from Brighton and we can't accommodate everyone when they come en masse occasionally.

One of these occasions was for a special wedding anniversary and 6 rooms were booked for an overnight stay at the White Horse. We'd checked the rooms out beforehand and they were very nice - new, fresh and nicely decorated, as was the pub and restaurant.

On the night in question, we'd enjoyed a lovely evening at a local French bistro in the village, which unfortunately does not have a late license to serve drinks. As this was a rare occasion for our whole family to be together, we decided we wanted a final drink and made the fatal mistake of going the White Horse, as that's where many of our party were staying.

As we arrived, the bell for last orders was ringing - it took 20 minutes to serve us. A band was also packing up and the pub busy.
The bar staff had insisted we all buy large drinks - pints of lemonade, lime and soda! Bottles of wine instead of a glass! Pints of larger and no halves! You get the picture, but we bought.

Within 5 minutes of the last drink being served to our party, the fire exits were opened. It was a cold, blowy November night, in a seafront pub, with elderly parents getting caught in the draught - we closed the doors. This then turned into a battle of the wills game with a bar man who after the third time very curtly told us to "drink up".

I decided to comment to a mature looking member of staff about the tone used by the bar man to which she replied - "yes, you all need to drink up, you're all drunk and need to leave!" Our party ranged in age from 11 to 81 - we were not drunk and I took exception to this comment and told her as such. I also explained that many of the party had rooms booked there. This fell on deaf ears.

The evening declined from this point. Despite having made us all buy large drinks, we were then not given time to drink them. Drinks were cleared when not finished, including my sister's soft drink which she had bought to take to bed with her. In asking for it back, a tray of half empty glasses was slammed down in front of her and she was told to find her drink.
She quite rightly refused and asked for a fresh one. This was refused by the lady I'd spoken who curtly told her to "go to bed"! We were gobsmacked - she spoke to us like we were drunken yobs.

My sister asked to speak to the manager - this lady was the manager! This quite frankly summed it up. The duty manager eventually sorted out a fresh glass of lemonade and we all dispersed - evening completely ruined family members angry and upset.

We met there for breakfast the following morning (only because that's where the family were staying) - the less said about that the better - orders forgotten, dried up cooked breakfast, mediocre service.

So upset was I by our experience that I wrote to the CEO of Greene King's Old English Inns and surprisingly got a personal response and an apology from manager Audrey. On speaking to other friends in the village since, it seems that her behaviour is the norm.

18 months on, I live by my refusal to go anywhere near the White Horse, even though I have a voucher from the CEO to use there. From reading recent reviews, it seems that Audrey may have finally moved on but things seem to have declined even further which is a great shame.

In summary - For a village, Rottingdean has a choice of really good pubs and places to eat. There are also a couple of small traditional B&Bs. Please don't waste your money in this one.

1  Thank JMHF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2017 via mobile

About 34 of us stopped here for a quick lunch stop on the way to a show in Brighton.
The food was served quickly and was GOOD
The staff were polite and very efficient
It was a lovely clear day so the view out to sea was beaufiful
We thank you all and will be back again!
Sarah (Go Paul Travel)

Thank sarah g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 29 December 2016

Boxing Day spread £24.99 per head – all meals booked in advanced and paid for so they knew how many were coming and at what time, to give them time to prepare (ha-ha).
This was without doubt the worse meal/customer service/presentation that I have experienced in my life (and I have eaten in some dives).
To start-Table set for the wrong amount of people, asked staff 3 times for knife/forks for 2 guests.
No crackers decorations or condiments on table
Starter’s arrive-All seemed ok but very small portions (alarm bells were starting to ring in my head now that this meal was going to be prepared to make the maximum amount of profit)
Mains-Half arrived-some had bits missing (roast potatoes /gravy) the other half arrived in dribs and drabs.
3 fish meals turned up cold-sent back to the kitchen to arrive back 5 minutes later still cold-sent back again to be re-presented totally nuked from the microwave.
My wife asked for tarter sauce from two members of staff, and it arrived when she had finish eating.
My traditional Xmas dinner was the worst presented/looking/tasting meal I have ever had, potatoes over done, pigs in blanket burnt/hand carved turkey looked like it had been cut with a spoon (blunt one) - (how can you Norse up a Xmas dinner)
The last meal for my son turned up so late that the rest of the party had finish eating
The waitress then cleared half the table, and then reappeared 10 minutes later to clear the rest.
Puddings –all turned up at the same time with only one wrong, again very small portions and not very nice.
I think that all this food was prepared by outside caterers and micro waved by White horse staff, I can’t believe there was a chef on site, if there was, he/she should hang their head in shame.
Drinks-Pre ordered two bottles of wine (one white one rose), but when we arrived, were recommended to have one bottle at a time as they did not have an available ice bucket to keep the bottles cold.
When we asked for new glasses for rose wine,was told we would have to keep the same ones, as no others glasses clean.
Ordered about 10 pints of larger for the group over the course of the meal and they were consistently presented flat in wrong glasses (this was due to glass washer being broken) and no one being capably of being able to wash them.
Spoke to the restaurant manager who seem a bit half hearted and blamed it on staff shortages (no one wants to work Boxing Day) my suggestion is don’t bother opening the restaurant next year.
The only positive to come out of this experience is I will not, and neither will any of my guests or their friends or families when they have been told of their experience, be eating here again,(spread the word) thus saving them having to endure this awful experience.
Please note, I have eaten and been for drinks in the White horse for 14 years now and had Boxing day meals here for the last 3 years for groups of people, but I would now give this piece of advice to anyone who is thinking of going here --Please do not eat or drink hear until the management have decided to put the customer first instead of profit.
I would be interested to hear if anyone went to the Christmas day Spread

2  Thank MrTonyBrighton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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