Rural New Forest spot and part of a working farm; traditional rooms, log fires, seven real ales and simple lunchtime food
A favourite with so many of our readers, this brick and cob thatched pub remains as charming, unspoilt and welcoming as ever. Even when it's packed out with chatty locals, walkers, cyclists and families with dogs and children, the staff remain efficient and genuinely friendly. Three neatly kept black beamed rooms are straightforward but full of proper traditional character, with prints and pictures involving local characters on the white walls, restored panelling, antique wheelback, spindleback and other old chairs and stools with colourful seats around solid tables on the oak floors, and two roaring log fires. The back bar has quite a few books; darts and board games. Up to seven real ales are tapped from the cask including one named for the pub (from Bowman), Cottage Dragon Slayer, Flack Manor Double Drop, Milk Street Funky Monkey, Ringwood Best, Sunny Republic Beach Blonde and Weltons Topper Mild. Also, ten wines by the glass (mulled wine in winter), 14 country wines, local apple juice and a September beer festival. Summer barbecues may be held in the neatly kept big garden, which has a marquee for poor weather and a pétanque pitch. They are planning to have three shepherd's huts for overnight stays. This is a lovely spot right in the middle of the New Forest and part of a working farm, so there are ponies and pigs out on the green and plenty of livestock nearby.
Good Pub Guide Food
Good value, limited food - lunchtime only - consists of wholesome soup, a particularly good pork pie, ploughman' s, quiche and sausages.
Bar food times: 12 - 2.30 (3 weekends) ; not evenings
What a little gem. Genuinely friendly welcome from the staff and the best pork pies we have tasted in a long time. They get them in ready made from a local baker and then bake them on the premises to ensure they are really fresh. The pork filling is generous and well seasoned, the pastry lovely and crisp with not a soggy bottom to be seen. The beer is well looked after and the Dorset cider is good. Mind out for the perambulating bollards - otherwise known as donkeys and ponies - as none of them seem to have any road sense!
Sunday 19 September 2010 11:00:27 pm
I took Canadian relatives here as they wanted a Ploughmans lunch in the forest,I am so glad I chose The Royal Oak,the choice of Ploughmans was the best I have ever seen,stilton,local cheddar,mackeral,gammon three different types of bread in the bread basket along with pickles and chutney,we all thoroughly enjoyed the food and all went away full up!
The staff are all very friendly and I will definately be back!
Friday 05 February 2010 3:24:24 pm
This is better than good. Exactly what a pub should be. Food is not the main attraction here, it's very basic, but exactly right. A proper country" Local" and there aren't many of them left. Are there?
Thursday 23 October 2008 4:30:02 pm
Most certainly deserves award and can confirm hospitality and a fine selection of cask ales and two draft ciders what a choice the food is simlpe but suerb quality and local a great country bub!