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“Best food ever!!”
Review of Rose and Thistle

Rose and Thistle
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Bar, British, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Bar Scene, Child-friendly, Special Occasion Dining, Groups
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wine and Beer
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.
Level Contributor
44 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Best food ever!!”
Reviewed 9 August 2014 via mobile

This is the second time that we have eaten at the Rose and Thistle and I can honestly say that I have never had better food in any other pub. As a veggy there is always something different and tasty to order which is refreshing as normally veggy menus can be so very boring. Charming surroundings and honest, extremely tasty food, this is definitely my pub of choice. Thank you for such a wonderful evening!!

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank Sally D
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, 22 August 2014
Thanks Sally for another great review! I am so pleased you enjoyed yourself a second time and that I had the staff a bit more under control!! I am also really pleased you enjoy our veggie offering. Nigel our chef works hard to have more interesting dishes on for all diets. We look forward to seeing you again one day!
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476 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Christchurch, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Hidden Treasure”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

We have visited the Rose and Thistle many times, the food is faultless and the staff very friendly and welcoming. Weather your sitting inside the cosy pub on a cold winters day by the fire or in the lovely garden on a summers evening it never disappoints! If your a cider drinker I definitely recommend a pint of the Black Rat which they have on tap! This pub will always be a favourite of mine and I'll definitely be back again.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Ratrata
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, 8 August 2014
Ah a fellow Black Rat drinker!!! Its nice that the work put into the cider choice is as good as the food!!! Thanks for your lovely review - we are so pleased we are a favourite of yours and look forward to seeing you again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fordingbridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Delightful pub”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

Came here with some colleagues a couple of weeks ago. Staff were really welcoming, the food was plentiful and delicious and we had a great time.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Lucylasticated
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, 8 August 2014
We are really happy your self and your colleagues enjoyed your experience with us - hope to see you again very soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Romsey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“A very special place”
Reviewed 2 August 2014

We visited for lunch at last after promising ourselves a visit for what seems like years. Needless to say we are already planning a return visit after today. The food was beautifully presented and extremely tasty. The service was friendly and attentive . The building itself is full of character with a great atmosphere set in a picturesque village. Well done to everyone at the Rose and Thistle.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jane700
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, 8 August 2014
Thanks so much - myself and the team see The RAT as a special place and we are delighted that our customers feel the same. I am so happy you finally made the visit and hope its the start of many more!
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Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Simply stunning food”
Reviewed 1 August 2014

My word the food here is good. Such a great range, and you can tell that there is real pride in the menu setting, lots of seasonal stuff, as much local food as they can muster - in fact I do hear that one or too of the locals barter produce! But what makes it a joy for me (as a vegetarian), is that there is actually a choice, it's not just goats cheese/risotto/pasta (vegetarians will know what I mean), but a food choice that is just as imaginative as the meaties - best root and blue cheese tart, homily pie, fresh seasonal vegetables. And the puddings, wow! Do save room for them. The service is warm, welcoming and friendly, the ales are lovely, the only note of warning is that you do need to book, you may well be disappointed if you turn up on spec. This place is well worth a visit.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank DE47
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, 8 August 2014
Thanks so much "simply stunning food" as a title certainly makes us all very proud! Its also really gratifying to know that our vegetarian dishes - which we try to ensure are different from the norm do hit the spot! Also thanks for mentioning the need to book - its very difficult having to turn people away who do not!
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