The pub occupies a fine old building which stands in the former market area of the village (where, hard to believe now, there was also a dock for barges using the local waterway). The public bar is the oldest room and is an absolute classic with its polished floor tiles, beamed ceiling, wood-panelling and elevated fireplace. In later years, the pub expanded into adjoining buildings, adding a lounge bar with dining area, pool room and function room. There's also a large garden with play equipment.
Will is very proud of his real ales and there's always an interesting selection to greet you. On my last visit for instance I could choose between Woodforde's Wherry, Elgood's rather odd chocolate beer, The Feelgood Factor, and the truly delicious Rutterkin from Brewster's of Leicestershire, one of Will's favourite breweries. I was pleased to hear cask ale now outsells lager. If malt whisky is your thing, then over 80 different examples are on offer.
Coming up soon, 1st to 4th May in fact, is the 9th annual Beer Festival with loads of exotic ales plus musical and other entertainments. On the Sunday you can watch the Barrell Rolling in Market Street Green. George Breakfast and his band will open proceedings on Friday while Chumbucket and Steve Lockwood/Chris Newman will appear on Sunday.
Will and Pat are, naturally, delighted with the POTY award, if somewhat gobsmacked, being very modest about their achievements. Will reckons that the secret of success with a rural pub like this is being able to tune into village life and understand how your customers tick - made easier for him because he's a Swavesey lad. He did however have an interesting career in the music business before returning to the village, starting off as a drummer in various bands before becoming a sound engineer, including a five year stint with Slade.
The White Horse has other attractions, such as the home-made food (snack menu at lunchtimes, daily specials in the evening and a Sunday roast - a fish and chips takeaway service has also just started and is proving very popular). Pub games are also a feature, with bar billiards and darts in the public, along with a vintage pinball machine - the pub hosts an annual meet of pinball enthusiasts.
Congratulations then to Will and Pat on ten years of excellence - here's to the next ten.