We pass The Robin Hood Inn in Rowlands Castle, Hampshire quite a bit on our cycle rides, normally too close to home to warrant a stop but it has been known a few times. It was a beautiful day and we were without the bikes so could eat what and as much as we wanted. Geoff wanted to catch the last of the summer rays outside but I feared it may be just a little chilly so we sat by the window in the bar area with the sun shining through.
I ordered a nice large glass of Australian Sauvignon blanc whilst Geoff enjoyed a lovely pint of Badger’s First Call cask beer, which he’d not had before, from Hall & Woodhouse Brewery of which the Robin Hood is a part of.
We’ve eaten at The Robin Hood several times over the past few years and are generally pleased, that’s one reason why we keep retuning of course, however a family meal with 12 of us two years ago proved slightly disappointing but we have returned a few times since and have enjoyed our meals. There’s a good selection on the menu, burgers, fish & chips 2 for 1 on a Friday which we were tempted with, vegetarian options plus some specials. The menu is the same for the evening and on Sundays they serve roasts. There are two dining areas inside, the bar area which I like and the other which I would call the dining room. Outside seating is at the front overlooking the village green and the rear has a large car park.
I enjoyed the slow cooked shredded pork ciabatta on my last visit a couple of months ago. This is served with vegetable crisps and a small pot of apple sauce. Chips with the ciabatta are extra but they are very nice chips, up there in my top 5 possibly.
We decided to share both the pulled pork ciabatta and the burger. The burger was home-made and tasted lovely, that ‘burnt’ BBQ flavour (it wasn’t burnt though) and very meaty but it does say 100% beef so I think that was true. Cheese, raw red onion and lettuce inside, a chilli tomato dip on the side, chips and of course the dreaded pickled gherkin lurked amongst it all. Nicely presented and served on a wooden board – aaagh how I detest wooden boards. It was so narrow it was difficult to stop everything from falling off.
We both enjoyed our meals and I think when I return I won’t know which to choose from again as they were both very good. I could, however have something different but I’m a creature of habit and tend to go for the same dish at particular venues. For instance, when I visit Beckett’s Wine Bar in Southsea it’s always the neck fillet of lamb and has been for years, Capers in Southsea I have Bubble & Squeak, Manna in Old Portsmouth it’s pulled pork & coleslaw sandwiches etc., etc., Sometimes I’m known to be adventurous – which I was on a recent visit to France but I was being too brave and could only manage half of my dish of cold cooked hard fish swimming in cold white vinegar, bleurgh.
Although the service was okay – we did however have to prompt the bar lady for a coffee after a bit of a wait and we both found her a little ‘off’ or ‘cold’, not rude at all but just not particularly friendly either, we both commented on it.
As well as the dessert menu there were also specials on a mini blackboard. Geoff loves crumble and custard so it was easy for him to choose, for me there were several things I liked. I was crème brûlée’d out from my recent trip to France and as I love cheese and love cake I naturally decided upon the American baked cheesecake.
Geoff enjoyed his dessert, the sharpness from the berries went well with the sweet crumble and custard. He said he preferred the dessert to the main course and for him to say that, as he hasn’t really a sweet tooth like myself, is surprising.
My cheesecake was also very good, thick and creamy with clotted cream ice cream, a chocolate filigree decoration and dusted with icing sugar.
Above is what I would call the ‘dining room’ with the same menu.
Coffee was served with a nice large slice of biscotti.
On the walls were black & white photos of the village from years ago. It’s nice to see them, I love looking at old photo’s to see how things have changed.
To sum it up the food is very good, however the service could (and should) have be friendlier. We shall return though.
Living life, loving plates not wooden boards 😉
[…] ← The Robin Hood Inn, Rowlands Castle […]
[…] was homemade and served in a brioche bun on a narrow wooden board (aagh!) much like the one at the Robin Hood Inn at Rowlands Castle. I keep forgetting to ask when I order a meal if it will be served on a board or […]