Stuffed, eventually

Restaurant review: The Rose Revived, Newbridge, Witney, OX29 7QD

The in-laws came down from Worcestershire today, so we toddled down to the Rose Revived for lunch.

The Rose Revived is a country pub/restaurant with accommodation. Part of the Old English Inns chain, the pub is located about halfway between Witney and Abingdon, on the banks of the river Thames.

The location is an idyllic spot for a visit; surrounded by rural countryside on the northern bank of the gently-flowing river, this must be a lovely place to sit and sip and take in the scenery on a warm evening.

But we were there, on Bank Holiday Monday, for lunch.

Our table was booked for 1.15pm and we walked in at… 1.15pm.

There were long queues at the left- and right-hand bar, but we chose wisely and were served drinks quicker than the folk in the other line.

Unfortunately, as we ordered our drinks, we were told that there was a waiting time of one hour for main-course meals.


I’m not sure we really considered walking out. We had, after all, booked to eat at the Rose Revived; it wasn’t as if we were opportunist drop-in punters, we wanted to be there.

By 1.25pm we had ordered (2x Lamb Shank, 1x well done Sirloin Steak, 1x Cumberland Sausage and Mash and 1x Peppered Mushroom suet pudding and mashed potato) and sat back to sip our drinks and while away an hour with conversation.

Sadly, 2.25pm came and went.

So did 3pm.

One hour and 40 minutes after ordering, our meal arrived.

At this point it’s worth noting a couple of points

  • Many customers around us were loudly complaining about the amount of time it was taking to have food delivered
  • Some customers negotiated a refund of their meal costs, and walked out
  • The serving staff were doing their best to deal with people who become increasingly unhappy, and they were managing very well in the face of adversity

When it eventually arrived, four out of the five diners were more than happy with their food. Unfortunately, the ‘well done’ Sirloin Steak was far from being ‘well done’, as you can plainly see:

The diner who had ordered the steak declined to return the dish, in view of the hour and 40 minutes it had taken to have his meal delivered in the first place. Begrudgingly and grumblingly he put up with it.

The other four diners in our party had no such problems; plates were quickly cleared of main courses and side-orders.

There were no issues with our desserts; they were ordered, very quickly delivered and, almost as quickly dispatched.

It has to be said that the quality of all desserts and four out of five of the main courses was exemplary.

But one main course was clearly unsatisfactory, and it was not returned because of the extraordinary length of time it took to be delivered in the first place.

There is something fundamentally wrong with a kitchen when the waiting time for a main course is almost an hour and three-quarters from the time of ordering.

The Rose Revived is in a lovely spot, it’s a pleasing, well-tended, clean and comfortable venue; the serving-staff are pleasant and work hard under difficult circumstances.

But the management of the Inn need to ask themselves this one, simple question: at what point does it become acceptable to keep customers waiting over 1-1/2 hours for their main course?

Based on today’s experience, despite the gorgeous location and despite the cheerful, helpful serving staff, I am unable to advise anyone to visit the Rose Revived for a meal. In fact, based on one hour and forty minutes waiting time and a steak that was distinctly under-cooked, I can only advise people to give the Rose Revived a miss.

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7 Responses to Stuffed, eventually

  1. Blimey! You waited an hour and forty minutes for your food? I would have been karate chopping all the staff ages before that. And then demanded a full refund for all my drinks, and then kung fu-ed the manager and then left and gone somewhere else. You have patience my friend!

  2. Vicola says:

    I’m impressed by your restraint. I’d have been complaining loudly to the management at an hour. And demanding some free crisps from the bar to keep us going….

  3. Jo says:

    And yet all I can think is…

    … Whoooo ordered their steak well done?

    A travesty against steaks. I think the chefs were doing the person who ordered that particular meal a favour 😀

  4. nuttycow says:

    Dammit Jo – you got there before me. I was about to say the exact same thing… why why why would you order a steak well done? To me, the picture of the steak isn’t quite rare enough 😀

  5. Brennig says:

    Annie and Vicola; aye, how virtuous (possibly stupid) were we? But here’s a thing, that was 24 hours ago, and I’m still full!

    Jo & Nuttycow; the steak was ordered by one of the older diners. Surely though, how that person wants to eat their meat is a subjective issue that is determined by his or her taste, and not what other people think. Who are we to get snobbish and attempt to ladle our tastes and preferences over what another person’s palate prefers? Speaking as a vegetarian, *any* sight of blood on a plate is too much. However, the point here is that the diner ordered the meal to be cooked in a certain way and it demonstrably was not. And that is A Big Fat Restaurant Fail.

  6. Masher says:

    It’s not blood, it’s myoglobin.

    In my experience, EVERY restaurant/pub bar has long waiting times on a Bank Holiday.

    Not that that should be an excuse!

  7. Perpetual says:

    I think I ate there once many years ago (if I’m thinking of the right place just next to the river).

    I’d have been crawling the walls after 40 mins, how did you manage another hour?