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“Great Food, Great Service”
Review of Rose and Thistle

Rose and Thistle
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Delivery, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
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.
Reviewed September 28, 2013

Had dinner at the Rose and Thistle today, and it was delicious. The starters, dinner and desert were polished off like we'd never eaten before. No plate was left unemptied. Thanks for a superb meal.

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Thank Tony L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
roseandthistle2011, Owner at Rose and Thistle, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2013

Thank you so much for writing such a lovely review - the team and myself really do appreciate great feedback like this as it makes all our hard work worth while! Hope to see you again soon!

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387 - 391 of 529 reviews

Reviewed September 26, 2013

I read all the negative reviews and therefore booked in plenty of time and went mid-week in Sept. The replies by the owners to the negative reviews were not a whinge. The service was very good and timed very well. The food was enjoyed without exception by all four of us and the price including 2+ bottles of wine(med range) ,three courses each,a round of drinks and also coffees was £170.The village itself is worth a look anyway.We were there for 3 hours without feeling at any stage that we had overstayed our welcome. We will be going again.

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Thank jerryhardy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
roseandthistle2011, Owner at Rose and Thistle, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2013

Thank you so much for taking the time to write sucha a nice review - myself and the team really appreciate great feedback. I am so pleased you enjoyed your meal and will look forward to welcoming you back soon.

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Reviewed September 24, 2013

Please note I did read quite a few of the negative comments and am very saddened by them as they are so far from the truth. The pub is not the most modem and indeed a bit rustic and unchanged which for my family held a huge charm!)

I had not ever visited this pub/restaurant before but am so glad we did. We luckily had booked and were made very welcome indeed on the night. It was my wedding anniversary and I was joined by two relatives as well. Two very lovely young ladies waited on the tables and were faultless. The menu is not the most extensive but again catered for a range of tastes and we all had different starters and mains. We each had a bit of each others and were very impressed with the quality. We had two bottles of quality champagne and a great rose from a well stocked cellar.
As several reviewers have stated its not cheap but believe me when I say it is certainly not expensive. I thought the price was good considering the quality and quantity.

Too easy to moan these days and I for one would certainly return and rate this as five star! A real gem!!!

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Thank DesPowell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
roseandthistle2011, Owner at Rose and Thistle, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2013

On behalf of myself and the team I would like to thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely review. We all work very hard to ensure that everyone enjoys their experiences with us and are very pleased you found us - hopefully you will visit again!

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Reviewed September 22, 2013

Planned a 14 mile walk in New Forest today with the idea of stopping for food at Rose and Thistle. We arrived (2 of us) at 12.45 ordered drinks and asked if we could see a menu, girl behind the bar said there may be a bit of a wait, as they only had 2 chefs on, which we were quite happy about, she checked with a girl looking after the kitchen to see what sort of wait there would be and we were told that they were full. We asked if there was any food at all they could serve us, and were told very abruptly 'no' by the kitchen person. The girl serving us was obviously embarassed as she had already asked us if we wanted a tab set up. This all appeared rather odd as looking around the inside area, there were only 4 tables with people sat at, and outside out of approximately 12 tables only 3 were occupied with people only eating at 2. We finished our drinks by about 1.10 during which time only 3 other people arrived at the pub!

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2  Thank oonHampshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
roseandthistle2011, Manager at Rose and Thistle, responded to this reviewResponded September 23, 2013

Thank you for your review and I am very sorry that we were unable to accommodate your group for Sunday Lunch yesterday.
The RAT team work really hard to maintain high standards in Service and Food quality so we have to prioritise parties that have booked ahead of time. Yesterday, we were fully booked about a week ago.
I am truly sorry you were not happy with your experience. Due to the size of our kitchen we can only serve those people who have booked ahead to protect the integrity of their experience. Going forward, I will request that we make this clearer on our website to avoid the same situation.

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Reviewed September 13, 2013

YUM, YUM, YUM! Three yums because each course was as good as the others. Fantastic wholemeal seeded bread and the tastiest olives we have had outside of Spain set us up for the rest of the meal and what a meal it was. The warm salad with the purple potatoes and roasted artichoke was superb. The duck melted in the mouth (best ever had), steak and kidney pudding very good (apart from too much fat on beef for my liking). And then for dessert....by then we could only manage one between the two of us......sticky toffee and date pudding, lashings of sauce and homemade ice cream, very naughty,but oh so nice. We will definitely will be returning. A word of warning: make sure you book at the weekend as it gets very busy........

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Thank ChrisandHilary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
roseandthistle2011, Manager at Rose and Thistle, responded to this reviewResponded September 16, 2013

Three 'Yums'!!! Thank you very much indeed! We are really pleased you enjoyed our Food and look forward to seeing you both again. I have printed your lovely comments out for the team.
See you soon.

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