Sporting a stunning new image and impressively refurbished from floor to ceiling in every room – including the cellar – The White Horse pub in South End Green, Hampstead, London, offers something different, combining relaxed English hospitality with a Lebanese twist.
New owner, English/Lebanese Sacha Kardar, who bought the lease in conjunction with her brother and sister-in-law, said: “All the pubs in the area serve pub food, but with our Lebanese menu, we are giving people something different.
“We spent a lot of money – around £400,000 – on refurbishment to give the venue a modern facelift and create a lounge feeling.”
Sacha lived in London a long time ago and is now re-establishing herself there, having run her own pub in Beirut for four years some time ago. “I look forward to a favourable future in my new venture,” she said.
Kerry O’Connell, who managed the pub under its previous owners, said: “We have started from scratch. It’s a new challenge, a new adventure.”
The two and a half month refurbishment was carried out by main contractors Minuu, with the interior design undertakn by Magdalena Diab, who is based in Paris and well known in Lebanon.
“Minuu did a very good job, we are very happy with it,” said Sacha Kardar.
She added: “We refurbished absolutely everything – even the cellar. All the interior woodwork including the wall panelling and staircase was stripped down and refurbished; the original beautiful copper bar was re-polished, and we installed a complete new catering kitchen with all new appliances in the cellar, which also incorporates staff and wine and spirits storage areas. In addition, we completely transformed the toilets in a new contemporary style.”
In addition the building’s heating, air conditioning and audio systems were repaired and refurbished, and the venue was completely re-wired and re-decorated.
New open plan lounge areas were created around the building’s two fireplaces and all new furniture was installed including high bar stools and tables, armchairs, dining chairs, sofas and six new dining tables.
A section of original beautifully tiled flooring dating back to 1900 was retained and new parquet flooring was laid.
The interior design palette includes tasteful shades of grey and aubergine, complemented by elegant new chandeliers, further new feature lighting and the building’s original ornate plaster ceiling featuring wood latticing, which has been retained.
External works included re-polishing previously blackened copper panelling on the building’s exterior to restore its original appearance. In addition a new landscaped garden area complete with chairs and tables was created to the rear of the building.
Wines champagne and cocktails are prominently featured at the White Horse, as well as beers, with the menu offering a wide variety of Lebanese cuisine, including mezzes, shawarma, falafel and halloumi, with a different Lebanese home cooked ‘special’ every day.
Magdalena Diab carries out projects in Lebanon, other parts of the Middle East and Europe. Her designs focus on originality and creating special, unique pieces. Her projects include those in restaurants, nightclubs, offices, corporate headquarters, private palaces, villas, boats and gardens.
Minuu Contractors are general building contractors, specialising in a broad array of building works for high-end residential and commercial projects. The company has been in operation since 2002 and over the past 13 years has built up an excellent reputation for delivering high quality work to satisfied customers.
Over the years, Minuu has worked on a range of projects, from new build houses to office schemes and more. These projects have included basement constructions and swimming pools.
Most recently, Minuu Contractors was appointed as the main contractor on The White Horse, where the contractor was responsible for delivering a stunning refurbishment.
Maroun Ghosn, Managing Director of Minuu Construction, said:
“We made sure we delivered the job on time and dealt with all the works, liaising with all subcontractors so that the client was dealing with one person.”
“We pride ourselves on our high level of client satisfaction and most importantly, the quality of our work.”