Dining ~ White Horse Tavern, Newport

White Horse Tavern
26 Marlborough St.
Newport, Rhode Island

It's been more than a week since the Bear and I went to Newport, and I haven't written about it yet. We'll go somewhat backward, and start with our late lunch at White Horse Tavern.

White Horse Tavern

I'd heard about White Horse from a co-worker who also recently moved to the state. Like us, he enjoys historic settings, and the Tavern really fits the bill. It was built in 1652 as a private home, and converted to use as a tavern in 1673. City council members would often meet there for lunch, for which White Horse claims the title "birthplace of the businessman's lunch." Bear and I were excited to try it out, and went with high expectations.

The first thing we noticed when we went inside was the tangy scent of the fireplace. Lighting comes primarily from candles and electric candles, but since it was mid-afternoon, there was plenty of light. They've maintained the dining area just as you'd expect for the Colonial period.

White Horse Tavern            White Horse Tavern tablescape

Apparently they'd just come off a big rush, but the dining area only had two seated tables when we arrived. It took the staff awhile to realize we were there, but the hostess was very friendly when she led us to the table. The waitress, however, seemed to have other, more important duties elsewhere. It felt as though we were interrupting her. Bear noticed this as well.

The food was expensive (for us, anyway), and definitely a splurge. Bear ordered lobster mac and cheese, and I had the beef wellington. Both arrived beautifully presented.

White Horse Tavern        White Horse Tavern Beef Wellington
Bear really enjoyed her lunch, although she said she was still hungry after finishing. I found mine to be disappointing. The pastry was soggy and the meat was very undercooked and stringy. We did learn, however, that Bear loves pate.

After lunch I took a quick walk around the rest of the building. There is a second floor, much the same as the first, with a bar area and more dining.

White Horse Tavern Stairs

White Horse Tavern Upper room

Bear and I really enjoyed the atmosphere at White Horse Tavern, but we found the food and service to be less than we had expected. Perhaps we caught them on a bad day.

If I were to go back, it would be to enjoy the atmosphere with a drink at the bar. It's unlikely we'd stop in again for a meal.


  1. I have never been to the White Horse Tavern, though I've been meaning to go. Thanks for the tip. Maybe I'll skip the meal, too.


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