When you are working with horses all day, the last thing you want to see once you’ve escaped from your breeches, rectified your hat hair and eventually managed to head out for dinner, is a saddle or a stable. But it’s a different story when you’re reluctantly tied to London and longing for mud and fields — you’ll take any equestrian fix going.
How to get an equestrian fix in London
1. The Riding House Café (pictured above)
What is it? An all-day brasserie.
What’s the horsey twist? Take your seat in an original stable that sits up to 14 for private dining — ideal for gathering your horsey friends for a Christmas outing. Not a skip or wheelbarrow in sight.
Where is it? 43-51 Great Titchfield Street, London, W1W 7PQ
2. The Whip
What is it? An equestrian-themed cocktail bar above The Running Horse Pub.
What’s the horsey twist? It’s a toss up whether to order the Seabiscuit Flip, the Red Rum Julep or the Pina Pony — all identified by different racing silks on the menu. Sit back and sip, surrounded by comforting horse memorabilia.
Where is it? 1st Floor, 50 Davies Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 5JE
3. Stables Bar
What is it? The Stables Bar is attached to The Milestone, a Grade II-listed boutique hotel.
What’s the horsey twist? Enjoy your favourite tipple, a savoury snack or light meal while you sit in what was originally a carriage house, admiring the selection of equestrian paintings that adorn the walls.
Where is it? The Milestone Hotel, 1 Kensington Court, London, W8 5DL
4. Steam & Rye bar
What is it? An American-themed late night bar and restaurant in the City with live music, where the glamour of the Great Gatsby meets the Wild West.
What’s the horsey twist? Possibly not quite what you had in mind when you dreamt of getting the thrill of riding in London, but at the Steam & Rye you can be legged up onto the bucking rodeo bull to put your lower leg position and seat to the test. Expect rowdy spectators who are desperate for you to fall off and are irritated by your Andrew Nicholson-esque stickability. And the best part? You can relive your ride thanks to the GoPro camera in the bull’s head.
Where is it? 147 Leadenhall Street, London, EC3V 4QT
5. The London Riding Club
What is it? A private members club in London that sources quality riding in the UK and abroad — as well as providing a social network for like-mined equestrians, with access to exclusive venues and events.
What’s the horsey twist? Go the whole hog and become a member — not just to get access to fabulous riding in and around London — but to fill your social calendar with equestrian themed events. ‘Canapes with the cavalry’ gives you a taste of the treats awaiting you.
Where is it? The Clubhouse, 11-14 Grafton Street, London W1S 4EW
Can you recommend a bar or restaurant with a quirky equestrian twist? Let us know below