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Red Shoot Inn, Linwood

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user reviews of the Red Shoot Inn, Linwood

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

I've been here at least three times, and I thought I had left a review at least once., but it appears I haven't.

My first visit was in 2004 during a holiday in the New Forest with Chrissie. We were both charmed by the place which seems to appear magically out of nowhere, surrounded by trees and moorland. Inside it was lively and buzzing with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. I had two of the pub's home brewed beers then, Tom's Tipple and Forest Gold. I recall that the pub had just recently been bought by Wadworth, and there was some speculation that the Red Shoot beers were being brewed at the Wadworth plant in Wiltshire. I checked, and the pub's brewery was still in place, and still brewing. I described the beers as "sweaty", "damp", and "oaky", yet found them quite delightful.

In 2015 my sister's family were planning a birthday party, and I suggested this pub, because our memories of it were so positive. My suggestion was turned down because of recent reviews in Trip Advisor. Chrissie and I, and one of my daughters, came back to check it out. Most of the charm had gone from the place. It looked worn out, uncared for, and disorganised. It appeared to have been refurbished in a rather ubiquitous "family pub" style, and gave the feel of a cheap holiday camp pub. The pub were aware of the issues, and said they were addressing them.

Yesterday after a delightful walk deer spotting in Bolderwood, we thought we'd check it out again to see if the management had sorted out their problems. Well, it's not as scruffy and disorganised as it was in 2015, but there's still no charm or character here. The walls have been painted magnolia, which simply gives an empty, characterless feel to the place. The food is in the style of a Green King Hungry Horse, lots of stodge, with no finesse. We weren't looking for much, just a warm me up veggie snack after the walk. We selected the pizza, onion rings, and cheesy chips. None of it was tasty as such, merely edible. It was served on wooden platters with no plates. On asking for plates we given three cold side plates. Not a big issue, but reflective of the lack of care, attention, and knowledge of the staff. I don't serve hot food onto cold plates at home, so I don't expect it when paying professionals to serve me food. On this visit and in 2015 I found the beers to be "musty", "crude", and "unattractive". I suspect the beers have been pretty much the same on each visit, but my enjoyment of them was a reflection of my enjoyment of the pub experience in general.

The building was originally a farm, and at various times has been a village shop, a post office, a private club, and a petrol station, before becoming a pub around 1964. Brewing in the pub started in 1998 by the then owner Paul Adams. Wadworth had acquired the pub by 2004, and brewing was being done by the neighbouring campsite owner John Sherwood by 2009.

It's an interesting pub with great potential, but with so many great pubs in the New Forest I'm not in a rush to try this one again until reviews start to become consistently more positive.
SilkTork - 15 Jan 2017 09:39
Last week there was a beer festival here. Lots of good beers.

A week later and the same beers are all still on the pumps - all vinegar to a greater or lesser extent

Now drinking bottles.

k0536006 - 7 Oct 2016 21:52
Okay sort of pub, with the Red Shoot Brewery on site ( visible from inside the pub ) . My wife said I should try the beer they had made especially for me, so I did, and the Forest Grump was very decent.
philanders - 11 Nov 2013 16:01
Visited lunchtime in early September just as it was starting to get busy.Friendly and efficient service,decent pub grub at a reasonable price and a nice pint of Tom's Tipple make this a good place to stop if you're out for a walk in the New Forest.
jdb1 - 11 Sep 2012 12:59
At the Red Shoot at the weekend and the place was HEAVING. Despite that, service was fast and pleasent. The staff were efficient when it was busy and chatty when it got quiet after lunch. Food was excellant in both quantity and quality. The beer - unfortunatly I was driving so only had a half of the 'Corvus' stout - Om nom nom. Definately would recommend.
Penguinsanity - 14 May 2012 15:48
Used to be a friendly pub, but has gone downhill. We used to go regularly, but eventually lost count of the times an essential ingredient for some menu item was missing or we had food that had to be returned due to e.g. gritty lettuce (waitress insisted it couldn't be), a supposedly blue steak that was medium, or some other issue. Lots of different staff; some are friendly (and one at least had the decency to be horribly embarrassed about the exorbitant price they charge for soda water), but one or two are downright rude: we had one barman who refused to take a food order at the till we usually ordered it at; a few weeks later, having queued at the one he'd directed us to on the previous occasion, he directed us to the one he'd refuse to serve us at previously.

We've stopped going.
Tetenterre - 26 Oct 2011 13:30
Missing a sign that should say "Hungry Horse" above the pub name - thats what it felt like at my recent visit (20.12.10)
Penguintoo - 23 Dec 2010 06:12
Excellent pub, good food, excellent walking nearby. Children and dog friendly. Would definate;y recommend.
chloe999 - 8 Aug 2010 13:05
It is a fair while since our walking group visited the Red Shoot. Today we returned and it is better than ever. OK if you are expecting two Sunday roasts for a tenner you have come to the wrong place. But then I don't mind paying a bit extra for quality. And that is what we got. My wife & I ordered sirloin steaks 'rare', they came to the table sizzling on individual hot plates & cooked to perfection. Cost 13.00 each but worth it. The rest of our party had venison 15.00 & the comment was 'almost as good as the Five Bells at Buriton.' 'see my other reviews for that pub.' Also the standard roast dinner got the thumbs up 8.75. Then you have the beer, enjoy the Tom Tipple & the Muddy boot, absolutely wonderful crisp & clear. And if you want more you can feast your eyes on the gorgeous waitressess. All in all a pretty good pub with plenty of ambience. My rating a genuine 9.
John.T - 7 Feb 2010 18:50
Spent four nights at the adjoining camp site, used the pub every night and ate every night. The beer was in good condition and the food excellent. I tried to work my way though the menu, but that was impossible in four evening visits. The 'Specials Board' was the one for me, the 'Trio of Meat' being my favourite with good portions and excellent presentation. The staff were friendly, but not enough staff during the day until 6.00pm. The good autumn weather produced more customers than expected so the poor lady was worked very hard. I will be back!!
kenbishop - 30 Oct 2009 19:29
Firstly, I'd like to let "Rembrandt" know that I am one of the various forms of people who they seem to disapprove of using any of the local pubs. They are called Public Houses because anyone can use them. If you don't like grockles join the local club and drink your John Smiths Extra Smooth with the other grockle haters.

That said, the Red Shoot is an excellent pub. Friendly, superb beer (I had the Muddy Boot), an extensive selection of food from snacks to full meals and they let you bring your dog(s) in. Ticks all the boxes for me even if I am a grockle.
thebrewingman - 14 Oct 2009 19:10
Haven't been here for about 15 years despite being relatively local. Home brewed beer delicious (tried New Forest Gold and Tommy Tipplers?) if a bit smokey for some tastes. Had a very decent meal too, large helpings, good value. Efficiently run by a very good team who know what they're doing. The gaming machines and piped music are an unfortunate addition. Given where it is the Red Shoot Inn's hugely popular with walkers, campers, cyclists and other forms of grockle nevertheless it was a very pleasant return to an old friend.
Rembrandt - 11 May 2009 08:53
Well laid out, furniture seems to have been changed since I last visited. Good selection of ales including those brewed on site. However, the food prices are higher than expected, but this is a pub in the New Forest that gets most of its trade in the summer.
Feed - 2 May 2009 08:52
One time village store, PO, Petrol Station and a Pub since 1963. Has been tastefully extended & refurbished with farmhouse kitchen style furniture & settles. 2 barrel Micobrewey est 1998 & although taken over by Wadworth it continues to brew for itself & other local pubs. 3 banks of 4 hand pumps give us 6X + 3 home brews. Beer Fests Apr+Oct with 20 beers on. Live music Sun eve. Great rural pub, superb home cooked food. Well priced wines 12. Has its own campsite so inclined to be very busy in season. Barmaid at lunchtime was very friendly. Reviewed 30/01/09 by SADCATS on Tour! SCORE-8.
Saxon_Scooper - 30 Jan 2009 18:26
We went here for lunch twice over the Christmas break. The second time we went a long way out of our way to go there - that's how much we enjoyed it. Unfortunately, as we don't live near by we're only likely to be able to go there at Christmas on our annual tour of family... Both times the food was fantastic, the service very friendly and the food came really fast (important for us as we were just passing through on a long car journey). Another reason we really enjoyed it was their dog-friendly policy. Lots of pubs claim to be dog-friendly then shove you out in a freezing beer 'garden' but this pub really is, right down to the basket of dog biscuits on the bar! We obviously weren't the only dog owners who had heard about it as there were a lot of dogs in there (all well-behaved I should add)! BTW, if anyone reading this goes I thoroughly recommend their chocolate pecan pie - it's to die for!
Queri - 7 Jan 2009 17:21
Excellent food and big portions and the in house beer was also great.A busy pub in December I bet its busy in the Summer with the tourists.

I like The Forresters in Brockenhurst but the pub is just as great.

hogshead - 15 Dec 2008 20:59
An excellent pub in the New Forest - and very handy when camping at the site next door.

A good selection of Wadworth ales sit alongside usually at least two of their own ales brewed on site. (The Tom's Tipple is a MUST have.)

Staff are always friendly, and the landlady (who used to work in The Rose in Wokingham, another of my old haunts) is always welcoming.

Food is good standard pub fare, but some of the specials are outstanding - and if they ever have a fillet steak on, insist on it being served on the skillet.

Make sure you book in summer!
Shags - 24 Jul 2008 16:21
Went to this pub last week for lunch. Had a lovely ploughmans between two. Good value and friendly/helpful staff. Would revisit
cocodemer - 28 Apr 2008 20:51
I found the staff friendly, the prices reasonable, the food good and the beer excellent. great location too and not too busy in april. (but with such a superb place to have a pub you have to expect it to be busy sometimes.)i'll be back and i would definately recommend the 'tom's tipple'.
Diamond12 - 16 Apr 2008 20:47
This and the Alice Lisle were 2 pubs people from Bournemouth always used to go to when we fancied a drive out to the Forest and a drink in a country pub.Due to increased trade the Red Shoot has lost a lot of that country pub appeal and is now even busier than it used to be.Despite the fact that it doesn't really have much of a country pub atmosphere anymore,judging by our recent Sunday lunchtime visit, you need to get there early to avoid the crowds.We arrived about twelve and it was easy to get served,but when we left about half past or so,the place was rammed with more people turning up every minute.I'm told the food can be a bit hit and miss,but the pint of Forest Gold I had was pleasant enough,with an unusual,but not unpleasant,aftertaste.
jdb1 - 25 Feb 2008 13:47
This pub was pleasent when we visited although the drinks were quite expensive, the cider was worth a second visit!
deeifd - 21 Aug 2007 13:18
Geared up for passing trade, service about what a touristy pub might have (OK when quiet, appalling when busy); don't expect a "country retreat", especially when busy.
HenPen - 25 Jul 2007 20:40
Have dined here twice, and should have learnt my lesson the first time. The second time I decided to come here was again a mistake, (my parents visited me and I wanted to take the into 'The Forest' for a meal, the serving staff were inredibly rude, took my father 6 requests from the menu until they finally said 'we have that', when the food arrived it was awful, I very politely asked our server for knives and forks, she just looked at me and pointed to basket 12ft away and walked off, I could see my parents were horrified by the whole thing, cost a small fortune as well; usually I keep my thoughts, and comments personal, but my two experiences of this place are so bad I have to alert people, very bad for a restaurant.
peterahughes - 22 Jul 2007 18:15
Been here a number of times and have always received friendly service, good beer and good food. Live music during the beer festivals is excellent - already booked into the campsite for October.......
jimlyboy - 19 Jul 2007 22:10
Lovely New Forest pub, very friendly staff, excellent food and a fine selection of real ales. This is a place that is well worth a visit.It gets very busy at weekends so it maybe worth booking a table.
mac1 - 27 Jun 2007 19:15
I have been to the Red Shoot on several occasions and have just read some of the sad reviews entered by other people. The NEW Managers as they are referred as run a VERY busy pub very well indeed, remember they dont work part time like most of the people who right reviews who probably only work about 60 hours a week, these Managers work full time that is about 80 plus hours each per week and have to meet modern day ridiculous targets and gross profit margins..they do a great job under extreme pressure and I will continue to visit, Oh and bye the way the Managers have names and are very friendly so keep up the good work and three cheers for Jood and Simon !!!
TimdotNewman - 8 Mar 2007 19:48
I had the worst Sunday roast dinner ever.Hard roast potatoes and dry, reheated veg. (All inedible) Also the 8oz burger is two horridly thin, massed produced burgers. This pub is probably lovely to visit before or after a walk in the forest just for a drink.
ringwoodsue - 5 Nov 2006 17:30
We visit the pub from time to time and it is what you see...dogs,walkers,bikers and the odd local!Food is well made and quite prompt suprising the amount of orders!There is a dog area outside and beyond them the kids area towards the forest....not a bad idea!The Staff are friendly but are too busy to be personal.Ales are well kept and overall a well run and well liked pub.The only downside is the parking(a nightmare).Hey...what the heck...this is the New Forest!get out of your car and walk to this watering hole!!!
localacceptedgrokel - 25 Sep 2006 01:00
cant fault this place,food is excellent and the staff have a wonderfull atittude well worth a visit.
pauleen - 10 Aug 2006 21:49
It's an easy place to miss if you're not looking for the signposts. Arrived after driving down a long narrow lane to a very busy pub indeed. (Due in part to the camping site adjacent). The whole scene was chocolate box with mounted horse-riders and dogs barking; all on a warm summer afternoon. On entry I was keen to sample the Tom's Tipple, brewed on site in the still displayed. What a disappointment it was, with its curious aftertaste, although a selection of regular beers soon made up for it. The interior is pleasant enough, all wood with cream walls and a cosy fireplace. The extension also adopts this look but smacks of a cafeteria due to its uniform layout. On settling in the beer garden to eat, I discovered a great play area for kids, with all its attendant noise. Lunch arrived after 30 minutes, was average in quality and all its money, but the service was helpful enough.
anonymous - 3 Jul 2006 02:04
Delighted to find this place still serving after 3p.m. on a winter Saturday bike ride when other places (fairly) nearby had closed at 2:30. Good cheerful service & a healthy mix of clientele as previously mentioned. And the house-brewed Tom's Tipple was on good (non-cloudy) form!
Freezo - 27 Jan 2006 13:42
Those people, who have said that the Red Shoot in the New Forest is a great place are right. The trouble is that there are those of us who have been going there for years - and we have noticed the change since the new manager took over. This place has a micro brewery attached, and the Red Shoot's own Tom's Tipple can be cloudy - and has to be drained. Anyway! it is still a good place to visit, but it is now less good.
Peter Froude - [email protected] - 24 Aug 2004 13:28
stumbled across it recently on way back from minstead to Harrow.
what a quality place, brilliant location, brilliant food and beer to die for...the clientelle...a bit of everything, which is always a good riders, mountain bikers, rockers / bikers, sweet little old ladies in chinchilla coats, young loves. a wonderful place and worth the weave along a winding single track lane.

Had a pint of Toms Tipple which they brew on of the finest ales I've ever tasted.

congrats to all responsible.
chris patterson - 10 May 2004 13:52
I dug the Red Shoot Inn out of my trusty Good Beer Guide when looking for somewhere to eat on my way back from Bournemouth. It's a bit of a trek to get there being located on a narrow country lane that cuts across the south-west corner of the New Forest, from Ringwood.

Unfortunately, at the moment (March 2004), the road is closed just beyond the pub so you cannot continue on your way back to the A31.

The pub is very attractive inside and on my visit a real log fire warmed the large room. The lounge has a bare-board floor and the tables and chairs/benches are all old and give a nice period feel to the place.

As I was driving I restricted myself a pint of their 3.8%ABV Forest Gold. I found this to be somewhat unbalanced, tending towards a hoppy citrus flavour but with little maltyness. Maybe next time I'll try something else.

I had their Steak and Kidney Pudding and this was very enjoyable.

All in all a worthwhile detour on my journey although, as I said, the beer choice was a little disappointing.
Graham - [email protected] - 6 Mar 2004 09:15
The new manager has changed things at the Red Shoot. It has now gone more foody - and they now make a big effort at laying out the tables for the evening meals. A big part of this are some new glass salt and pepper sets (no plastic anymore). The atmosphere has changed, and this includes a big screen. So in my opinion it has gone down a little - but they still brew their own ale. It is sad that change is rarely for the better when it comes to places like the Red Shoot.
Peter Froude - [email protected] - 17 Feb 2004 00:55
Great location and good pub right in the New Forest. Very popular in the tourist season and is v popular with families at the weekend. Great beer and if you're camping nearby, it's the place to go
anonymous - 16 Jan 2004 14:59
The Red Shoot, is my favourite place in the area. I tend to judge all the others while thinking about this place. The location is pure New Forest, with a campsite alongside and animals wandering free. It has its own micro brewery, which makes my favourite Toms Tipple. Recently, the manager left to take over a pub in Malborough. Before going, he held a going away party with a free buffet. This is the first time that I have had free food in a pub. Anyway, the Red Shoot is the pub that I measure all the others by. Hopefully, the new manager will keep things the same.
Peter Froude - [email protected] - 28 Nov 2003 11:06
excellent pub for live music on a sunday night (generally rock)they should have a gig guide posted on this site
stuart gibson - 26 Sep 2003 12:57
Superb, large, country pub with well kept Wadworths Ales. Unfortunately, didn't get a chance to sample the food but if the reactions of other people are anything to go by it's excellent. There is a caravan site at the back so it gets surprisingly busy considering its location. Dogs allowed. In fact, there were two of the largest dogs I've ever seen in my life when I was in there. Staff very friendly and an all round great atmosphere. Highly recommended.
John - [email protected] - 23 Apr 2003 12:33

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