javbank.com

Design Focus: White Horse Oyster & Seafood Bar

December 12th, 2017 | Posted in: Features

When it comes to direction, Mark Fraser and Michael Spink of The Compass Group don’t seem to have any problem working out which way they are headed – and it’s very much on the up.

Hot on the heels of their popular Chop House Bar & Butchery brand – with two restaurants in Leith and Edinburgh’s Old Town already – comes their brilliant seafood offering, the White Horse Oyster & Seafood Bar, which is sure to be a recipe for success.

The venue is on the site of the original White Horse Bar, established in 1742 and the oldest inn on the capital’s iconic Royal Mile. Compass’s White Horse opened last month after a complete refurbishment of the building, which has created an intimate dining room, with additional covers in luxurious booth seating and more seating available in the bar area.

One of the key features is a spectacular lobster tank, recessed into the wall, which not only looks impressive but also means that diners can select their own fresh British lobster at varying weights. Customers can also enjoy fresh oysters and cocktails alongside an all-day menu of small dishes such as crab fries and sesame tuna at the bar.

The idea behind the interior design was to create a refined dining space that still had a casual, approachable feel to it – and that certainly comes through. The subtle colour palette, exposed brick-work and dark-stained wood brings a nautical quality to the space while the use of materials like velvet and leather on the seating bring a sense of luxury.

This is somewhere that customers can enjoy a dining experience focused on fresh seafood and shellfish – without feeling outside their comfort zone.

The bar is also something of a feature – the top was custom-made in green marble while the front of it has been covered in simple wooden cladding which has been stained grey. Behind it, the backdrop of the exposed brick wall lends warm, earthy tones. Bottles of wine, Champagne and spirits are stored neatly on timber shelves, also stained a dark colour and subtly backlit to showcase the contents.

It looks high-end but the natural tones make the space feel welcoming – and definitely not somewhere customers will feel like fish out of water.

The bar stools have a slightly industrial look but are topped with solid, contoured seats – built for comfort as much as style – and the bar-height table opposite is perfect for groups of friends.

The banquette seating, which was produced by local upholsterer Holster Edinburgh, combines a mixture of rich navy leather in the bar and booth areas before switching to a luxurious soft velvet in the dining room. Holster also upholstered the restaurant seats and bar stools, so they are completely bespoke and tie in with the rest of the interior. The polished concrete floor in the bar area bounces light back into the building and a clever roof light above the dining area to the rear of the restaurant also floods the space with natural light.

Classic Farrow & Ball paint tones have been used to create atmosphere while decorative effects, which include a pair of ancient-looking propellers on one wall, have been kept to a minimum, so the space feels very clean. Statement lighting from various independent suppliers – including four large glass ball-shaped lamps above the bar – adds to the sophisticated look of the restaurant. Parquet-style flooring in the dining room delineates the area and gives it a feeling of being slightly separate from the rest of the venue.

Wooden table tops have been etched with the WH logo and infilled with brass resin and the same green marble which is on the bar top has also been used on table tops in the dining room. Outside, the venue’s frontage has a distressed look to it – off-set beautifully by the bespoke oyster sign created by a local craftsman. He also made the exterior menu box and the mild steel oyster station that stands on the bar when you head inside.

Mark Fraser, Managing Director of The Compass Group, says it was all about going back to basics – as well as sourcing high quality ingredients. He says, “We wanted to go back to basics and create a classic and relaxed offering where the ingredients take centre stage, so sourcing the very best seafood is crucial for us at White Horse.”

Sharing platters of shellfish including lobsters, scallops and crab are a key part of the offering and a range of oysters from across the UK, including Lindisfarne, Carlingford, Loch Fyne and Caledonian, are also available – shucked on the bar in full view of the customers.

The menu is designed to showcase the best of British shellfish and seafood in a collection of dishes which can be shared by the whole table. In addition, a selection of stand-alone dishes like monkfish curry, lobster and fries, crab linguine and whole lemon sole are also available. Mark adds, “Shellfish is often considered a luxury ingredient and seafood restaurants as formal and expensive. Whilst the focus of White Horse will always be on the quality of the ingredients we source, we are very excited to introduce a new and relaxed way to enjoy seafood in the capital.” Their suppliers include Edinburgh-based Welch Fishmongers, Mara Seaweed and Cornish sustainable fishing specialists Wild Harbour.

The restaurant also offers a bespoke cocktail menu, drawing on classic influences. The list incorporates seasonal ingredients, boutique spirits and seaside influences to create a fresh, vibrant range of signature drinks. Restaurateurs Mark Fraser and Michael Spink formed their business partnership in 2004 and have established a reputation as one of the leading independent hospitality groups in Edinburgh. They launched the Chop House brand in Leith two years ago and opened a second offering last year at the New Waverley Arches development. The group also operates Monteiths, Sygn – the capital’s first independent style bar – and gastropub The WestRoom, all in Edinburgh.

If the success of other Compass Group venues is anything to go by, the White Horse should be right on the money.

The following two tabs change content below.

DRAM News Team

Editor at DRAM Magazine
DRAM magazine is Scotland’s leading monthly licensed trade magazine. It has been dedicated exclusively to the on-trade in Scotland for the past 23 years. It is independently owned, edited and published in Scotland. The DRAM is innovative, creative and original. First with the news, and the people in the news. Covering all the latest information on pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants and hotels in Scotland.


Diageo and Pernod Ricard pledge to phase out plastic straws and stirrers

Mon 15th January 2018

Both Diageo and Pernod Ricard have confirmed they are supporting the environment by phasing out the use of all plastic straws and stirrers i... Read more.

AUCHRANNIE BECOMES EMPLOYEE-OWNED

Mon 8th January 2018

Luxury resort Auchrannie, on the Isle of Arran, has announced it has completed its transition to become Scotland’s latest employee-owned b... Read more.

Molson Coors buys Aspall Cyder

Mon 8th January 2018

Molson Coors Brewing Company has revealed it has acquired cider company Aspall Cyder Limited which operates from a single site in Aspall, S... Read more.

Fire Tragedy at Cameron House claims two lives

Mon 18th December 2017

Police Scotland have confirmed that two people have died at Cameron House Hotel following a blaze this morning at the five-star hotel. A Pol... Read more.

Whyte & Mackay team up with Boni for new campaign

Mon 18th December 2017

Whyte & Mackay whisky has launched the 2017 phase of its Stay Smooth campaign, featuring the photography of Scottish photographer, David... Read more.

Dunnet Bay Distillery launches winter edition Rock Rose Gin

Tue 12th December 2017

Dunnet Bay Distillery, the UK’s most northerly mainland distillery, has revealed its final seasonal release of the year, Winter Edition Ro... Read more.

Nacho Novo opens NN10

Tue 12th December 2017

Rangers legend Nacho Novo is to open his own bar in Glasgow’s Paisley Road West. Situated on the site of the old Angels bar, NN10 – Nach... Read more.

Mediterranean move for Sloan and Gizzi

Tue 12th December 2017

Paul Sloan and Mario Gizzi have opened Mezzidakia, a new Mediterranean fusion restaurant next to Chaakoo in Glasgow’s St. Vincent Street. ... Read more.

Gaucho opens in Scotland

Tue 12th December 2017

Gaucho Group has opened its first Scottish branch of the Argentinian-steak house brand in Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s Square. The £1.5 mill... Read more.

Design Focus: White Horse Oyster & Seafood Bar

Tue 12th December 2017

When it comes to direction, Mark Fraser and Michael Spink of The Compass Group don’t seem to have any problem working out which way they a... Read more.

Licensee Interview: Michael Kilkie and Neil Connolly

Tue 12th December 2017

Chef Michael Kilkie and bar operator Neil Connolly are no strangers to winning awards, and the two slick operators are going for gold with t... Read more.

Design Focus: Inn Deep

Fri 8th December 2017

Inn Deep, which is situated right beside the River Kelvin in Glasgow’s West End, is a real labour of love for managers Amy Williams, H... Read more.

Admiral Taverns deal completes

Fri 8th December 2017

C&C Group and Proprium Capital Partners have finalised their investment deal with Admiral Taverns, in partnership with Admiral Taverns&#... Read more.

Nam Tuk Tram Stop

Fri 8th December 2017

Nam Tuk Tram Stop is a quirky pan-Asian restaurant which has just opened at the foot of Byres Road in Glasgow. This new restaurant – t... Read more.

Design Focus: Drum & Monkey

Fri 8th December 2017

The problem with refurbishing a classic pub like Glasgow’s Drum and Monkey is, how do you keep its charm but bring it up to date and g... Read more.

Design Focus: Diablo Loco

Fri 8th December 2017

If you want a bit of cheering up, the newest venue from The Signature Pub Group could be just the thing. Diablo Loco is a bright and cheerfu... Read more.

Heineken signs deal for Cruzcampo with LWC

Wed 6th December 2017

Heineken has signed a new, exclusive Brand Agency import contract with LWC for Cruzcampo in the UK. Neil Williamson, Head of Sales for Expor... Read more.

Balvenie releases Compendium Chapter 3

Wed 6th December 2017

The Balvenie DCS Compendium Chapter 3: Secrets of the Stock Model has been released. Comprised of five extremely rare single cask single mal... Read more.

A winning team – David & Kirstie Stein

Tue 5th December 2017

Business is in David Stein and his sister Kirstie’s blood – the brother and sister team not only run an award-winning butchers, David St... Read more.

10 Dollar Shake mixes it up with Salt & Sauce and Melt for new oil & gas events

Tue 5th December 2017

Aberdeen-based drinks company 10 Dollar Shake, has teamed up with caterer, Salt & Sauce, and a local grilled cheese toastie shop, Melt, ... Read more.


healthlibr.com