It feels like care in the community but there were also two of the most professional fruit machine players I’ve ever seen and the nicest, most upbeat and fun waitress I’ve encountered.

Staff at the White Horse are dressed all in black and at first I thought I’d walked in on a funeral, well God’s waiting room at least.

But then I realised it was more like a special place at lunch time for old folk to get a decent meal and a nice bit of chat.

Parking is the first challenge. You face a multitude of warning signs so there’s no excuses, but I was warned the attendants are on you like a rat up a drainpipe. I coughed up £1.50 and got it back against my pint.

I went for Britannia by Welsh brewer Evans Evans. It tasted stronger than 4.6 per cent and produced quite an aftertaste. The lass who served me was well turned out and efficient but didn’t allow herself to crack a smile. I added a jacket potato with tuna mayo for £5.39 to my order and said I’d brave the wind and sit outside.

However, for an instant, my attention was taken by the metronomic concentration displayed by a woman cemented to a fruit machine. Her mate, on a stick, monopolised the iPub Casino slots machine and was a dab hand too, but she didn’t have the same steely gaze and rhythmic hand action on the button.

This is fruit machine mania at its height – her eyes never moved, she didn’t even shift on her stool. At one point, rubbing her right arm and shoulder, she declared she might have to pause for a couple of seconds to take painkillers.

These were clearly to numb the pain from the RBP (repetitive button pushing). There’s no doubt, this was a pro in action.

I was so fascinated for two minutes and 40 seconds I watched her in awe – which is how I know this is the length of time it took for my jacket to be delivered.

This came via a lovely blonde lady with more of a smile than the rest of the pub put together.

The tuna mayo filling was generous and it included a fresh green salad and nice-enough coleslaw. The potato had undergone a few re-heatings and was a leathery beast on the outside with solid slabs of tatty inside – but OK for institutional food.

I’d entered through the hotel reception and this is a massive place, on warm days it must make a bundle. It’s got high ceilings and huge dirty windows. I’ve no idea how many tables there are but I was offered number 66 and I spotted 104 outside.

Then, in among the calm, there was panic as one of the fruit machines froze. There was immediate expert IT advice from non-smiler with a bun: “Switch it off and on again.”

There aren’t many places where I bring the average age down as much as I did here but the music was my era and was played at a decent level.

Kieron behind the bar was good with the oldies but he didn’t have the gentle, caring touch of his slightly older blond colleague – busy as she was, she had time for everyone and you could tell she really cared.

The bar’s well stocked – Stella, San Miguel, Kronie, Brittania, Abbot, Peroni, IPA Speckled Hen, Guinness, Fosters, Koppaberg, Aspall Cider to name but a few.

Dogs are welcomed inside and out and there’s a full menu daily.

There’s a cash machine, a couple of screens in the centre of the pub and a collection box for guide dogs. In fact, without looking up, the fruitie pro described it perfectly: “It’s like a slightly upmarket Spoons for wrinklies”.

So, to sum up, it must be brilliant place for a pint outside in the sunshine overlooking the beach. It has two of the most committed fruit machine devotees I’ve seen and offers welcome respite to older members of our community. The blonde waitress is an absolute delight and it’s worth visiting The White Horse just to meet her.


Decor: ★★★☆☆

Maybe a little tired in places, but comfortable enough

Drink: ★★★☆☆

Stacks on offer, all well served

Price: ★★★★☆

Remarkably good value at £3.79 a pint, particularly with sea views

Atmosphere: ★☆☆☆☆

It felt like an old people’s home

Staff: ★☆☆☆☆ 

For most of them but five stars plus, best ever mark, for blondie

Food: ★★☆☆☆

A jacket with too many re-heatings, but the extras were fresh