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Picture of Royal Oak
Image posted by Old Boots
Submitted on Friday, 10th September 2010
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Royal Oak, Lyndhurst

Pub added by elizabeth mcgraw
Postal town: Lyndhurst
SO43 7HJ
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Reviews of Royal Oak (Average Rating: 9 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Thuck Phat left this review about Royal Oak

This really is an exceptional boozer in an area which is surprisingly badly served for good real ale haunts. The Royal Oak sits opposite the green in Fritham which is tucked away in a very attractive part of the New Forest. The front of the traditional, white painted building is thatched with the remainder tiled and inside there are a couple of rooms with wooden floors and wooden furniture and various prints of local scenes dotted around the walls. There's a large garden outside with plenty of seating and marquee type covered area if needed. Inevitably this place is popular with families, walkers, cyclists and the like.
Lunches are simple and excellently done with soup and a range of ploughman's, quiches etc. The pork pie and apple combination was superb.
Beer is served straight from the barrel and these are racked up behind the bar. The range is varied and local including Bowman's Royal Oak, Three Castle's Saxon Archer, which deserves a special recommendation, Palmer's Copper Ale, Flack's Double Drop and Ringwood Best and Fortyniner.
There are a number of awards displayed including one from the local Camra commemorating 10 years in the GBG and I'd wholly endorse this as it's the best ale house I've been to in the New Forest.

UPDATE August 2011

The Royal Oak remains unchanged and on great form. It is certainly popular but even during August Bank Holiday week never felt overrun or overwhelmed, probably due to the large garden and the fact that they're set up to deal with the numbers. It is, inevitably, popular with walkers and cyclists as well as horse riders who can use the pubs corrale while they quaff.
The menu was pleasingly unchanged and though simple the quality of their local ingredients, pies, cheeses etc. is very high and the prices not ridiculously so.
Beers served from the barrel by young, interested, friendly and very knowledgable staff included Saxon City Dubonni, Royal Oak Bitter by Bowman, Flacks Double Drop, Ringwood Best, Hop Back Summer Lightening and Goddards Hoppiness. All of these are brewed within a 20 mile radius and all I tried, especially the Hoppiness, were excellent.
A tremendous pub, one of my favourites and I'll definitely return.

On 4th September 2011 - rating: 10
[User has posted 670 recommendations about 669 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

John Bonser left this review about Royal Oak

At the end of a long winding no through road in the north west corner of the New Forest, is The Royal Oak, a small thatched, picture postcard, half timbered 16th century pub. It’s situated close to the edge of a village green where New Forest ponies graze contentedly. The pub forms part of a large farm under the same ownership as the pub. You can park in the woods over the other side of the green, from where many excellent walks can be started. It’s a pub that’s been on my radar for yonks and I was delighted to be able to finally get the chance to go there last Sunday.

The pub consists of three adjoining rooms with simple décor – newish looking wooden floors, tables, chairs and padded benches, low beamed ceilings and white washed walls. The room at the front has the bar counter and is decorated with local rural and village scenes. By the entrance, a small notice board contains a photo-fit picture of a sinister looking character, resembling a watched Crimewatch suspect, and tells us to look out for him as he’s a suspected horse rustler. An old photo of the pub tells us that it was a former Whitbread pub. This room retains half height wood panelling.

A small open doorway ( mind your head!) leads through to two smaller rooms with similar décor. The first of these has a large log fire. The end room was being occupied by a number of regulars (presumably) playing dominoes. A small hatch serves this room from the bar. There’s also an outside serving hatch at the front of the pub. Needless to say, there’s no TV’s or fruit machines.

There’s a large undulating grassy garden at the rear and side of the pub and several seats at the front of the pub at the edge of the road. There’s outside toilets, but in a separate modern block.

The pub is justifiably popular and well known and, on my Sunday lunchtime visit, most notably, a small queue had started to form outside the front door a few minutes before noon. Whilst the bar counter is relatively large in relation to the pub’s size and the efficient staff meant that the queue quickly dissipated once the pub had opened, the pub failed woefully to meet the John Bonser three minute service standard for the initial pint.

A good variety of ploughmans lunches, pork pies, cheeses etc are served and these are clearly a major draw, with most customers ordering food. The pub proudly announces that fresh local ingredients are used and that no chips or sandwiches are served. Portions are generous and my vegetarian pie with salad and all the trimmings arrived promptly and was very enjoyable - £ 7.50p. Note that they don’t take credit or debit cards.

By around 12.45pm, virtually all the tables both inside and out were occupied by a variety of walkers, cyclists and appreciative visitors. The CAMRA Good Beer Guide tells us that “dogs abound” and, unfortunately, that’s no understatement. From my table in the garden, I counted 28 at one time, not including those tables out of sight or any dogs inside the pub. Those customers who didn’t have dogs in tow were generally cyclists and, having neither a dog nor a cycle, I probably looked a bit conspicuous.

Beers are served direct from the barrel from casks low down behind the bar. With no blackboard listing beers on, it’s a case of leaning over the bar to see what’s on – not entirely satisfactory and, despite their being 8-9 barrels on, indicative of a pub where real ale is not the first priority. Ringwood beers were on, plus several guests. The branded Royal Oak ale is brewed by Bowmans. The Ringwood Best – at a surprisingly cheapish £ 2.80p – was excellent. The pub is a CAMRA Good Beer Guide Regular and appears in most other pub / beer related guides – eg Alisdair Sawdey’s guide. It’s one of those pubs that everyone seems to have heard of. The young staff are keen and enthusiastic and, pleasingly, all seemed to be local rather than foreign.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this is much more a destination pub rather than a community orientated local, but you should try and get here sometime when you can.

Highly recommended ( despite the dogs!)

On 18th August 2011 - rating: 9
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Half Pint Davey left this review about Royal Oak

A great pub, with a great selection of real ales, and good food to boot, the land lord & lady are welcoming and warm. They used to do a fantastic beer festival every year, but I think this may not be on this year.

On 12th January 2011 - rating: 9
[User has posted 4 recommendations about 4 pubs]

View more reviews of Royal Oak (5)
External web links for Royal Oak

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Alan Hurdle
Ashurst New Forest, 8.02 miles, 2 hr 34 min walk (show)
Totton, 9.16 miles, 2 hr 56 min walk (show)
Dean, 9.72 miles, 3 hr 7 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for Royal Oak, Fritham
2nd Jan 2018, 18:00
Pub map correction submitted by Alan Hurdle approved
2nd Jan 2018, 18:00
Pub map correction submitted by Alan Hurdle

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Beer Festivals : Yes last updated 07 August 2013 by Quinno _
  • Dog Friendly : Yes last updated 18 August 2011 by hondo .
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 07 August 2013 by Quinno _
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Dave McNally
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