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Royal Oak, North Gorley

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user reviews of the Royal Oak, North Gorley

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

What a shame, a beautiful building but uninviting pub. Where are the pretty flowers, the tables in the back garden, the homely touch? Seems to be staffed by young kids who have no clue. The children's play area needs to go as parents don't seem to supervise their screaming kids. It could be such a lovely place in an unspoiled part of the forest watching the deer in the adjoining field. The menu is not very inspiring either. Despite visiting North Gorley quite regularly I won't be returning to the Royal Oak.
mrseagle - 30 Aug 2013 20:01
After my visit a year ago this pub has been taken upmarket, and not for the better in my opinion. We ate here one evening and I found the food over-priced for what it was. Its still a lovely place to sit outside on a hot day and anjoy the tranquillity and the animals nosing over the fence, but I dont think I will rush back to eat here.
happy_wanderer - 10 Sep 2012 15:25
We last visited this pub about 3 years ago. Recently I heard it had taken a turn for the better, so we gave it another try. The good points, excellent beer Doom Bar & Ringwood's on offer beautifully kept.
I like the area with the sofa's, that could be cosy on a winters night. But we were dining at Sunday lunchtime just to see if they could cope. The price of the food is not too high, though almost 10.00 for fish & chips was considered a little rich by one of our party as the fish portion was on the small side. The roast potatoes fell well short of my expectations but the roast Sirloin beef I had was excellent at 12.95. Where they really fell down was on the excruciatingly slow service. It took 50 mins from ordering until it arrived at the table. Later we ordered some coffee paid for at the bar. That took twenty mins to arrive after a couple of reminders to the waitress & then it reappeared on the final bill.

The pub is clean & with very good toilets 'if that is important to you'. But there is an atmosphere & in all honestly I would choose the Foresters at Frogham or the Coach & Horses at Woodgreen over this one any day. I give it a 7
John.T - 11 Mar 2012 21:17
Stumbled upon this pub by chance. One of the most picturesque pubs you will ever see, in a lovely little hamlet with ponies, donkeys and cattle coming right up to the fence. The food and beer were pretty good, and the staff were very friendly. I would go back without hesitation.
happy_wanderer - 15 Sep 2011 17:36
We had lunch at the Royal Oak today and the food was excellent and not over priced we could only manage 2 courses the service was good and the atmosphere nice with the log fire in the corner, we will go back in the summer
8 out 10 for this visit
aec470 - 2 Apr 2011 18:41
wow i vowed never to go back to this pub in june last year when i had a disgraceful experience however, i returned and was amazed at the transformation!
as i pulled up outside i could see that the outside was clean with new sturdy benches i walked in and was amazed it was clean and so much has been done to it, its amazing what a lick of paint can do.
the food was fantastic and the service was lovely, i didnt reckonise any of the staff so i can only imagine the old staff that let the pub down on my last visit have been replaced with people that didnt tut when i went to the bar for another drink.
overall experience of the royal oak was an a* and we will definatly be back more often.
theonlygirlintheworld - 15 Jan 2011 09:50
I suspect that the previous comment was made regarding Sunday August 1st. If that is the case the kitchen management have accepted total responsibility for the mayhem caused on that date and apologise for any upset caused. In their defence, they had only taken over the kitchen a week before and completely underestimated the demand. They had insufficient staff, and those they did have were relatively untrained. Staff recruitment and training has now become a priority. The menu has changed with many items being reduced in price. As a result of customer requests they are also organising a children's menu.
I feel that I should point out that I have no vested interest in the pub other than the fact that it is my local and I would like to see it survive. Any views posted here are my own personal opinions.
The owners have asked me to add the following statement.
The licensees of the Royal Oak respect and heed all comments made by their customers and will do their utmost to improve in any areas where they are lacking.

Oily_Rag - 16 Aug 2010 18:20
Live otherside of new forest, visited this pub most summers over past few years. This year it was dreadful, it has lost it's character and any quality of service. We tired lunch and evening on 2 separate visits just to give it a chance as it used to be really good. menu very limited for children, food overpriced, food wait so excessive people were asking for refunds and walking out. Bar service was laughable, so slow it beggered belief. I would not recommend a visit. Shame as it is a lovely village.
chloe999 - 8 Aug 2010 12:56
I am one of the 'not so well heeled' locals who drinks in The Royal Oak and I am pleased to inform that the bar has been cleaned up and painted. A lot of the old clutter has gone, which to my mind has destroyed a bit of it's character. The beers currently on offer are Sharp's Doombar, Adnam's Broadside, Ringwood Best and Ringwood Fortyniner, all of which are usually in very good condition. Not being a Pinot Grigio, cider, or fizzy lager drinker I can't comment on the rest of the offerings. They have new chef, and the Thai food concept has been replaced with a more acceptable pub grub menu. Please don't rate this pub on it's past performance (or lack of), come & check it out for yourself. The pub is dog friendly and is popular with walking & cycling groups. The natives are generally friendly too.
Oily_Rag - 19 May 2010 15:50
Notwithstanding the wrath of the last commentator - which may or may not be a fair representation of this pub's food offering - on a recent visit I fond it to be thriving, with a reasonably well-heeled set of locals who mostly were not dining but drinking. Sadly there didn't seem to be much of an appreciation of the ale side of things, with most folk quaffing by-numbers Pinot Grigio or mass-produced over-priced lager. Up to 4 cask beers are available, and presumably in good order due to its GBG 2010 entry (which was responsible for me rooting this one out). However, I hit it at an awkward time when only a couple were on, and these were ubiquitous choices which I wouldn't have driven so far to reach had I known. All the same, the 49er was on reasonable form.

In summary, a pleasant buzz and a warm atmosphere should greet one at this pub, but the ale variety and, should the preceding commentary be at all indicative of a general trend, the food quality may disappoint. I should say on the matter of food that the pub has employed a couple who specialise in "Thai and Tapas", owing to his Mediterranean experience and his wife's from Thailand. The quality of their victuals may be high I don't know, although one has to question whether mixing the two usually-discrete concepts of Thai food with Mediterranean ("tapas" presumably only means Spanish anyway and not Italian or French?) is wise or indeed necessary. I suppose it could be a "USP" but if they are aiming to combine these two disparate areas on one menu, I would be cautious.

TWG - 28 Jan 2010 12:35
We have just been to The Royal Oak in North Gorley for Sunday Lunch......NEVER AGAIN! While we were sat waiting for our meal I couldnt help notice how dirty the place was, there are cobwebs hanging from the ceiling and all around the windows, which was offputting! When the food arrived I was so upset to find the beef totally raw! I know beef should be a bit pink but this was raw! We couldnt cut through it with the knife supplied as the veins that ran through it were stringy and the meat was dark red. I had 3 small potatoes and a tiny side dish with veg along with a yorkshire pudding and some stuffing?? We also had some Horseradish Sauce which (after I had eaten some) I realised was out of date! This has upset me as i work hard for my money and this was inedible!! At 9 a meal it was also well overpriced, I did tell the waitress and she apologised but that was all!! AVOID THIS PLACE!! We went on to The Alice Lisle and had a wonderful meal, it really makes you never want to try somewhere different, which is a real shame!
Jax2007 - 3 Jan 2010 14:01
Pub has new tables and chairs since I last visited, plus the toilets have new ceramics and are being painted - not before time! On the handle were London Pride, Doom Bar and Silent Slasher from the Piddle Brewery - I had the Doom Bar and it was very good. My baguette arrived quickly - it was huge and had chips and salad as well - very filling and delicious! This is a genuine country pub with copper kettles and other artefacts suspended from the ceiling, the locals bring their dogs here. Good to see a trditional country pub thriving.
Feed - 21 Oct 2009 22:38
Disappointed. The pub's own website clearly says food served all day in summer. I planned walk around the pub and on arriving at 2.35 was told food stopped at 2.30. Mentioned that website was clearly in error and that we'd not used a nearby pub 30 minutes earlier because of this and there was no attempt to offer anything but merely - 'we'll get the website changed'.
ColinB - 11 Aug 2006 07:57
The woman at the bar seemed a bit rude - perhaps she was having an off day. Spent most of the time she was meant to be serving us chatting to her mates gathered at the bar - she didn't seem to like people who weren't local.
brionyot - 18 Apr 2005 15:51
Things have now improved. The term 'country pub' is now more appropriate than it has been over the previous six months. Drink prices now seem in kelter with nearby pubs. Food is not exceptional, still a bit dear
anonymous - 15 Apr 2005 00:10
Over the last eighteen months prices have rocketed on both food and beer. This has resulted in a significant migration of the customer base. An overspend on 'improvements' has rather killed off trade and enthusiasm, the business plan has obviously hit rocks.


anonymous - 28 Sep 2004 11:59
Country inn, nicely decorated with open fires, two bars, but one is more of a non-smoking dining area these days.
Well kept draught beer, reasonably priced attractive home-made food, one games machine, child and pet friendly with a new play area at the end of the large beer garden. Occasional live music - sometimes impromptu!
Beware of the uneven path caused by the oak roots. Open all day. Fold your cars mirros in - the horses and donkies like a good rubbing post
Ian - Ian_S@beerintheevening.com - 14 Mar 2004 22:21

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