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“Fantastic” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rose and Thistle

Rose and Thistle
Rockbourne, New Forest National Park, Fordingbridge SP6 3NL, England
+44 1725 518236
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Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Outdoor seating, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Description: The Rose and Thistle a beautiful 16th Century thatched pub is nestled in the picture postcard village of Rockbourne on the outskirts of the New Forest. Outside is a lovely cottage garden to while away sunny days and watch the world go by. Inside is the perfect place to spend any time of year with the traditional interior of beamed ceilings, carved wooden benches and cosy log fires in the winter. Colin Beck our head chef works with local suppliers to create a traditional menu sourced locally and seasonally where possible. Our beef and pork come from the New Forest and our game is from the village, with Manor farm pheasant, pigeon and rabbit together with venison from the local game keeper. Fish is delivered directly from the south coast and vegetables are from local suppliers. The menu changes regularly but always includes favourites such as our famous home made steak and kidney pudding and slow cooked pork belly along side seasonal specials. We also offer a good range of bar snacks and lighter meals including Welsh Rarebit, Sausage and Mash as well as The Rose and Thistle sandwiches including rare roast beef, smoked salmon with watercress and the famous RAT burger with smoked bacon, emmental and hand cut chips! The Rose and Thistle, built around 1580, was originally 3 cottages and became a bakers which then later started to retail liquor. The first listed landlord was Richard Pope in the early 1890's whose photo can still be found on the gentleman's toilet door. The pub has had several colourful landlords over the years one of whom is rumoured to still haunt the building. In the 1970's the place was made famous for its seafood by Pete and Pam Reid and people flocked from all around to taste the lobster. A consortium of villagers then purchased the pub who later sold to Tim Norfolk all who maintained the places great reputation for food over the last 20 years. Tim retired in June 2008 when Kerry arrived, taking the pub from strength to strength. In late 2014 Chris took over the reins, with his friendly attitude and fantastic team you can always be guaranteed a warm welcome and delicious freshly prepared food.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Fantastic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012 via mobile

What a wonderful find. The food was magnificent, a very well stocked bar and wine list. The staff were welcoming, friendly and went above and beyond to make us welcome. The pub itself is lovely- - a perfect meal out using plenty of local produce. It really doesn't get much better than this. We will definitely return.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
roseandthistle2011, Owner at Rose and Thistle, responded to this review, October 31, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write such a kind review - I am so pleased that you enjoyed your time with us and appreciated the food and atmosphere - we look forward to welcoming you back soon!
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236 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    193
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Cosy pub”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012 via mobile

When you first walk in you feel a little strange but that soon disappears with t cheerful locals that run this pub. The food is fantastic. In t summer it has lovely garden and when t fire is on it has everything you would want from a nice glass of wine and great food in t winter. We have been a few times and each time it has been lovely.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
roseandthistle2011, Owner at Rose and Thistle, responded to this review, October 31, 2012
Thanks for review - I am pleased that you have enjoyed your visits to us enough to write us such a lovely review on TA. Hopefully we will see you gain soon.
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Aveley, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Really great food. Lived up to expectations”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

Staying at Sandy Balls for a few days. I googled places to eat in advance and the Rose and Thistle came out on top.

Booked on the day. Just me and my wife on a Monday evening so it was pretty quiet. The wood fire was burning in the restaurant which made it warn and cosy. The staff were very polite and happy. The food came out quickly and was very very nice.

I had the beetroot tarté tatin and the veal liver for main. My wife had soup and the pork belly (which I also sampled from her plate ;-) ). All of the food was delicious and there are no complaints at all. I just wish we had room in our bellies for a cheese board.

Would definitely go back before we venture back home.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
roseandthistle2011, Owner at Rose and Thistle, responded to this review, October 25, 2012
Thanks for such a lovely review I am very pleased you enjoyed your experience with us and that we lived up to your expectations. Hopefully we will see you again during your stay so that you can sample our cheeses!
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Hastings, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Birthday meal”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

Even though this was a wet tuesday evening the restaurant was busy. Testament to the standards they deliver. We had the Pork Belly and it was perfect.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
roseandthistle2011, Owner at Rose and Thistle, responded to this review, October 11, 2012
Thank you for your kind review I am very pleased that you enjoyed your birthday meal with us and that the pork belly hit the spot!
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Poole
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Idyllic English Country Pub with great food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

This was our third visit and possibly the best yet. We called in on a lovely September day on our return from a local walk and were lucky enough to be 'fitted in' for lunch. They were busy but not overwhelmed and we didn't have to wait too long for our 'famous' pork belly with lentils main course. In the meantime we enjoyed an excellent half of Timothy Taylor. Couldn't fault the pork or the accompaniments - all beautifully cooked and full of flavour and very crackly crackling. If I was being picky I would say that the Panna Cotta wasn't quite up to scratch being a bit sticky. Friendly and efficient service as well. Wish it was our local.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
roseandthistle2011, Owner at Rose and Thistle, responded to this review, October 6, 2012
Thank you for visiting us and taking the time to write such a lovely review about your experience. I am very pleased you enjoyed the pork so much - it is one of our more famed dishes! Sorry you were not so keen on the pannacotta - the menu is changing this week so hopefully the new version will be better! We look forward to seeing you again in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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