The Drift

3.1
305 reviews
£25 and under
British
Part of the New Forest Collection and set right in the heart of the New Forest, Hampshire, our family and dog friendly pub restaurant boasts a country style cosy bar for relaxing with a drink, and extensive gardens for al fresco dining.

Open all day, the kitchen team freshly prepare flavoursome home-cooked food that showcases New Forest produce at its best. Expect modern British classics such as Slow roast shoulder or Romsey lamb, tempting daily specials and mouth-watering puddings including bread and butter pudding. We’re also passionate about hand-picking a range of drinks from local distilleries, brewhouse’s and vineyards to proudly feature behind our bar.

Family friendly, we offer great value children's meals, colouring packs and an outdoor play area to keep them happy. Plus, dogs are welcomed with delicious dog biscuits, water bowls and towels for muddy paws.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitising
  • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitised menu provided
  • Sanitiser or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective equipment
  • Waiting staff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 305 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.1based on recent ratings
3.2
food
3.1
service
3.1
ambience
2.9
value
Noise · Moderate
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Hampshire
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very nice even though I had a very muddy dog with me it was not a problem

R
Review
Hampshire
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience2

Food and service good. Initially rather cold where we sat, took while to warm up and felt like being in a corridor, so be sure to sit in the proper restaurant area.

AW
AnnaW
1 review
Dined on 3 January 2022
Overall3food3service1ambience4

Staff seemed clueless to the kids menu and very apathetic when we pointed out mistakes with the bill. Also tried to charge for a tea I never received.
Kids menu sounded great, starter, main, desert, drink and colouring pack for £8.50. However starter was labelled as crudités for dipping, but no dip was provided, we were then charged for the drink and pudding. This means we now have to fill in a form to get a refund!!! Such a shame as has a lot of potential. Our mains were great and the menu choice was simple, which I prefer. The drift mess was a disappointment. Not sure we would hurry back.

P
Peach22
1 review
Dined on 31 December 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

In terms of the food I was a bit disappointed, I wanted to come here for a long time and heard really good things but I feel as if the food was quite pricey for what it was, it lacked a lot of flavour, also the menu was pretty limited as I didn’t really feel like there was much variation.

The atmosphere was really lovely though and the staff seemed polite, we did however have to wait 40 mins for our food which isn’t awful but it just seemed a little long as there were not any other customers/ people dining in the same room as us.

c
chrisc
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on 26 December 2021
Overall3food2service2ambience4

Very nice setting, but the service and food quality was not very good. Certainly not what I expected.

MC
MikeC
1 review
Dined on 11 December 2021
Overall2food2service1ambience4

I am sad to report the kitchen was in chaos and from the 4 meals ordered we waited more than an hour and then 2 meals came out.

The 3rd was served 15 mins later with stale white bread instead of a crusty bloomer. The 4th meal had been missed /forgotten altogether.

The waiter was very apologetic. The 3rd meal was replaced and eventually the 4th meal was served with the replacement 3rd and comprised of a vegan burger which was very poor quality.

The waiter did not charge for meals 3 and 4 but the bill still came to over £80 because of the drinks consumed I guess but this was felt to be really expensive. It was a great disappointment I'm afraid.

BW
BrianW
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on 8 December 2021
Overall2food3service3ambience1

Too much Watercress on our plates, No Heating felt at all (in December).

Menu choice not very large for Lunchtime, expected more choice.

KB
KayleighB
1 review
Dined on 28 November 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience3

Food terrible, service worst! the faulty towers like service was understandable at first, given the clearly inexperienced staff! However when we paid the waitress added an extra £25 on to our bill having misread the bill and dispute us querying the amount. Having asked for a refund and after a lengthy wait of watching the staff run panicking, we were told it’s not company policy to refund so had to complete a form, we are still waiting for the refund 3 days later. Inexperienced staff are easy to fix, ridiculous company policies which leave third customers out of pocket leaves a bitter taste, and I would never want to return to any of the groups establishments.

LH
LauraH
Brighton
4 reviews
Dined on 24 November 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Beautiful location & cosy inside.

Staff very nice but would be good to know in advance of order what isn’t on the menu.

Service a bit on the slow side but then we did have a baby so always under a bit of time pressure 😅

Burgers and brownie very tasty.

OT
OpenTable Diner
3 reviews
Dined on 19 November 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Staff were very friendly and efficient. Food was top notch. Excellent experience and will definitely go again

AL
AnneL
Dorset
5 reviews
Dined on 7 November 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience4

The restaurant was very nice and the staff were good but the food was very disappointing. No better than an average pub.

EK
EmmaK
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on 7 November 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience1

We had a really poor experience, felt like we were an inconvenience to the staff. There was no welcome, we were ignored, drink & food slammed down. All in all not good. Had to return a pint of real ale which was awful! And also a starter which was not as described and inedible, prawns that looked awful. The manager was helpful in trying to rectify the situation, however it was a terrible experience. Will not be rushing back. Such a shame as have had previous really good experiences here.

MG
MartinG
1 review
Dined on 3 November 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

I booked on Tuesday evening 2 November. When we arrived on Wednesday for Lunch
the restaurant was closed, so we went elsewhere. We shall not return.

JK
JohnK
Hampshire
2 reviews
Dined on 23 October 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Lovely surroundings. Staff were friendly and attentive .

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 22 October 2021
Overall3food4service1ambience4

Very poor service

JP
JohnP
1 review
Dined on 16 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We held our wedding reception at the old station Hotel in 1989 ..this was our first time back. Nostalgic.

We took friends here on the off chance and it was a reallyvtranquil experience. Many thanks to your staff who were new but made a great effort.
Highly recommended.

GB
GrahamB
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on 15 October 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Need to cater more food for vegans especially for desserts.
Over all very enjoyable and helpful & friendly staff.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Nashville
2 reviews
Dined on 9 October 2021
Overall1food3service1ambience3

Terrible service. Acted like they’d never seen a customer before, and were inconvenienced by my presence. Out of every ale. Nothing but temp waitstaff from India who had no idea how to serve tables. Awful experience. Would never go back.

AM
AshtonM
1 review
Dined on 9 October 2021
Overall3food2service2ambience3

Booked a table here after having a good experience in the past, however it didn’t live up to that this time around.

We booked a table, but no one seemed able to seat us so we were left standing around until someone eventually said we could just help ourselves to a table. We weren’t given menus, so then I had to go back in to find them. The food was ok, but the chips tasted like the oil needed changing and the salad had seen better days. The cutlery was also forgotten. It just felt a bit chaotic and like none of the staff had been trained properly despite their best efforts, we saw the manager once when he told us someone would be with us shortly and then disappeared - not sure why he couldn’t have seated us. Considering it was £40 for two burgers and two drinks, I don’t think we’ll be back when there are so many other great pubs in the forest where I feel we’d get better value, what a shame.

JD
JohnD
Toronto
1 review
Dined on 3 October 2021
Overall2food2service1ambience2

Disappointed with the overall experience. The pub came recommended but did not deliver. We won’t be going back.

KV
KimV
London
4 reviews
Dined on 19 September 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Terrible!!!! Don’t go here!! - we was looking forward to our roast dinner £100 for 4 people was disgusting !

H
Harry
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on 19 September 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Friendly staff and stunning location & garden. Great play area for younger kids also.
perhaps a little pricier Sunday roasts than I would expect for a "traditional pub" but good nonetheless.

JA
JaneA
Bath
3 reviews
Dined on 15 September 2021
Overall3food2service4ambience3

The food was very underwhelming, very disappointed. Service was good. Such a shame as it looked very promising from the outside.

AR
ARow
1 review
Dined on 12 September 2021
Overall1food1service2ambience3

The food really wasn't good. Went for a Sunday roast and it wasn't as described. The veg was raw and the meat dry. Paid 16 for something I could definitely make better at home. Don't go here to eat!

LS
LuciS
1 review
Dined on 9 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Thoughtful food, service & place. Highly recommend.

O
Ollieg
1 review
Dined on 5 September 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

A complete shambles with rude staff who don’t want to be there and make it apparent

T
Taralee
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on 1 September 2021
Overall3food5service2ambience2

The food here is delicious. Couldn’t fault it at all. The problem however is the front of house service. No one to greet you when you arrive, no one at the bar. They bought our mains out with our starter and just said ‘ok, we’ll I can leave it here’ to which we said no, it will get cold…… and only then did they take it away back to the kitchen. No check backs and had to give the ‘stare’ to get attention for more drinks etc. It wasn’t busy, only 4 tables in plus us.

However, Service issues can be fixed with a bit of training so with that in mind I still say that this place is worth a visit…. We might have just caught them on a bad day.

GF
GerardF
1 review
Dined on 31 August 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience1

Unfortunately the website is far better than the real thing. Service dreadful, noise from the coffee machine drowning any conversation. Will not go back.

AH
AdrianH
London
1 review
Dined on 31 August 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience3

Good location and nice food however service needs improving.

OF
OFC77
London
2 reviews
Dined on 25 August 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Really lovely food in calm setting.
Staff really welcoming & helpful despite being terrible short staffed
We’ll be back

A
Abc123
1 review
Dined on 25 August 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience2

This pub is now cashless - although there are no signs/notices to inform the customer of this. We only found out when attempting to pay AFTER we had ordered food and the barmaid had poured a round of drinks.

Food is OK, however I would not choose to eat here again. It lacked the 'going out' feel and instead had the 'probably should have saved the money and rustled up something better at home' vibe.

Staff are very young, polite and friendly albeit slightly clueless when asked basics such as what ales they have.

The best thing about this pub is its quiet location and the little play area for children.

JB
JohnB
1 review
Dined on 25 August 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience1

Where to start...20 min wait at bar because 3/4 staff too young to serve alcohol...advertised price of pan roast chicken supreme was £1.50 dearer when paying...payments shown on till we're higher than ordered due to built in service charge ... green vegetables were nearly raw...lunch time menu lacking choice for top price...asked to sit in garden despite booking a table, only uncomfortable picnic table benchs available...not impressed...

LB
LaurenB
1 review
Dined on 23 August 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Limited menu with multiple things unavailable. What I wanted had run out so I ordered a sandwich and chips (extra £1.50) but the bread was slightly stale and tasted as though it had been left out for a while, perhaps pre-prepared but not stored correctly.
The restaurant was very quiet, we were the only ones in there at one point which was disappointing considering they had apparently sold out of so much food. There was lots of flies surrounding our food also.

We come here every year for our anniversary as we got married there. I was very happy that one of the staff interacted with our 1 year old daughter but aside from his interaction, the rest of the experience let them down.

L
Lisa
1 review
Dined on 23 August 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience1

This was an ok restaurant. Everything about it was just ok. They were disorganised, bringing out food with no cutlery etc.
The play area for kids is great though!

IJ
IanJ
1 review
Dined on 21 August 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Nothing wrong with the food. Just found it overpriced given the range, quality & ambience. £8.50 for the children's menu and £14 for an ok burger. Good garden though which we looked at. Would revisit but not in a hurry.

RD
RowenaD
Norfolk
1 review
Dined on 19 August 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience3

Lovely setting, good food. Service poor, duty manager not very welcoming or communicative.

SH
StephenH
1 review
Dined on 19 August 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience4

The only minor criticism is that although the waiting staff were very pleasant and good, the service was a bit slow as there did not appear to be enough staff.
Nevertheless, very enjoyable and we will return.

M
Majo
1 review
Dined on 17 August 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience2

The young man who dealt with us as we arrived and then took my order at the bar was very surly. He certainly wasn't happy to see us. I had to go through it more than once and i just felt i was in the way.
Another couple were asking for a part refund for food that hadn't arrived and he told them they had to apply online. Obviously they were not too happy but he told them this is policy which has been applied to all customers asking for refunds. Customers asking for refunds sounds a common occurrence here.

IH
IanH
West Sussex
2 reviews
Dined on 14 August 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience3

The menu was stripped back and somewhat limited from the advertised website menu. There was a wedding going on in hotel section. Only two front of house staff taking orders seating people and serving. Food was reasonable. Cost very good. Atmosphere was quite bland and empty soulless.
Lovely location of venue. Kids playground for younger ones.

IE
IrmaE
1 review
Dined on 12 August 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience2

I feel that the customer service at the bar was unfriendly and inflexible where my friend and I were told that we could not dine in the garden. The kitchen staff in the end came up trumps with good food and service and we dined in the garden after all. It needs to be clearly stated on the Drift Inn's website that card payments only can be used to purchase food and drink. Again I find this an inflexible approach. The food was very good and tasty and was well presented and is perhaps the only reason for a return visit

FAQs

The Drift offers takeaway which you can order by calling the restaurant at 023 8029 2342.

The Drift is rated 3.1 stars by 305 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting bookings at the moment.