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“Outstanding atmosphere with stunning food to match!!”
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 May 1, 2014 via mobile

Cannot recommend highly enough!! The RaT burger, the pork belly and the sticky toffee pudding are must haves!! Thank you Kerry and Nige for yet another incredible evening!

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Thank HannahWhitney
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 May 28, 2014

Thanks for the review Hannah - its so nice to have "Salisbury locals" who make the drive to enjoy our pub and restaurant! I hope we continue to be one of your favourite spots!

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Reviews (513)
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328 - 332 of 513 reviews

Reviewed May 1, 2014

We booked a table for 13 in the main bar on Saturday lunch time for a 70th birthday meal - the service was excellent, taking the time to make arrangements for children's food, and people with food allergies. Despite what we'd read about it not being child-friendly, this couldn't have been further from the truth. There was enough choice of food, lovely specials, and excellent service from start to finish. Everyone came away agreeing that it was a lovely spot for the birthday meal.

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Thank jamesr_richards
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 May 28, 2014

thanks for your lovely review - it was a pleasure to accommodate your family for your celebration and I am really pleased you all - including the children enjoyed your meal. As you say we may not have a children's menu but we are happy to alter dishes to make children feel welcome. If you are ever back down this way we hope to see you again.

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Reviewed April 22, 2014

Such a cute little pub in the most charming of English villages I have ever visited. As you walk in to the left is the epitome of everything an English country pub should be. But to the right is without doubt the most fantastic restaurant I have ever eaten in and I did not develop this belly by eating my own food!

The menu arrived and we were both stuck. How could they make us choose between such lovely sounding things...in the end I went for the scandanavian smoked fish platter but I still wonder what the sweet potato and chorizo croquettes would have been like. For my main i could not overlook the confit pork belly. My three favourite words. Melty delicious meaty heaven.

The was the sticky toffee pudding which I am afraid I am unable to describe. Eating is believing. Go here...now!

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Thank James K
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 May 28, 2014

Thank you James for writing such a great review - myself and the team are delighted that you enjoyed our food so much - especially the belly pork which is a labour of love for our chef! Hopefully we will see you again soon.

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Reviewed April 20, 2014 via mobile

Ate there (table for 7) with friends as we were spending the Easter holiday weekend near Fordingbridge. Found it on Tripadvisor and were attracted by the very positive reviews. We were definitely not disappointed.

Pub was busy but not unpleasantly so. Staff were very friendly and accommodating. Food - all courses - was first rate. Menu quite small but I see that as a good thing. Large menus often mean compromises on quality or freshness.

Our choices included paté, crevettes and a mixed smoked fish starters and all were first rate. Most of us opted for the roast beef main course and this was one of the best I've had. Nice pink beef and a great individual dish of perfectly cooked mixed veg. Roast spuds and rosemary Yorkshire puds were particularly good.

Dessert also great. Queen of puddings went down well as did gypsy tart and home made ices.

We were the last group in there by far but were not rushed in any way and enjoyed the chat and banter with the manageress / owner.

All in all a faultless experience. My only disappointment was that the flirtatious staff (see earlier negative review - pah!) seem to have been re-trained to desist from the practice.


Seriously though - Well done to the staff and thanks for making our Easter Sunday special.

Thank hattonjohnp
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 April 23, 2014

Thanks for taking the time to write such a great review - it was a pleasure to meet you all on Sunday and I am so pleased you enjoyed your experience! Our Sunday roast is a classic and its great it was so well received! If you are in the area again I hope to see you - I may even let the flirtatious waitress out!

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Reviewed April 20, 2014

Our recent Sunday lunch here was faultless. Charming staff, excellent food beautifully cooked with a memorable Lebonese Red. It just doesn't get any better.

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Thank Peter C
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 April 22, 2014

Thanks for the lovely review Peter, I'm so pleased you enjoyed your Lunch here. We'll see you soon I'm sure!

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