The Drift Inn, pub restaurant

3.4
228 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, tempting daily specials and mouth-watering puddings. 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.

Support The Drift Inn, pub restaurant during COVID-19

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer 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
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 228 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.4based on recent ratings
3.5
food
3.4
service
3.4
ambience
3.3
value
Noise · Moderate
61% of people would recommend it to a friend
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KE
KerryE
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall2food1service3ambience3

I’m a vegetarian not enough choice. Desserts poor choice

B
Bollywoodbelle
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Would have been nice to be told when i booked that it was outside dining only. It was a very hot day and although most of the tables had umbrellas the sun was very hot on my back.
We wernt given a choice of where to sit, but I noticed other diners were able to choose.
Considering how hot the sun was I probably wouldn't have booked had I'd known it would be outside dining.
The food was lovely tho.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service, thank you

CM
ChristopherM
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great food and very good service.

A mistake was made on my bill and I was charged for two tables accidentally. The manager politely acknowledged the error and was very apologetic, but strangely I've had to apply for the refund and send a form? Seems an odd thing to do but overall a very good experience.

k
ktarchie1975
London
12 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Great location in a beautiful surroundings.
Food was good value and presented well.
Small hiccup with waiting for a drink but all resolved in the end.
Will definitely make a return visit.

SH
StevenH
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall3food4service4ambience5

Still good food and service but prices are now too high for what it is

OT
OpenTable Diner
Berkshire
2 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Nicely presented venue with very good service. Menu entirely suitable for the venue and very well cooked and presented. Parking fine. Easy to find. Will visit again if in the New Forest.

NM
NikkiM
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Unfortunately I’ve tried three times now to dine at the drift, we live 40 mins away, and each time we’ve come we have been told we can sit in the garden, despite booking a garden table!! We have three children so always prefer to sit out in the garden. The manager was so rude and un accommodating. I will not be returning again and will making friends and family of the experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
5 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Quite average , nothing to shout about

CF
CliveF
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2021
Overall2food3service3ambience2

Expensive for a meal which required very little preparation beyond putting items on a plate and was not overly special or unique. Also, added to the price was a non-negotiable 10% 'service fee' which I thought was a bit of a cheek.

KA
KevinA
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We booked our table using the website which was very easy. On arrival we sanitised, checked in on the nhs app and had our temperature taken before being shown to our table, in spite of the extra measures there was still a nice relaxed feel to the Drift.
During our visit we were served by three different members of staff all of which were very pleasant and couldn't do enough to help.
Food wise, our youngest ate from the children's menu, which he said was very nice, the rest of us had squid and halloumi to start, and burgers and pork fillet for main course. The portion sizes were generous and all of it tasted absolutely delicious.
We can't wait to go back.

k
vipkarenb
London
1 review
Dined on June 3, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Lovely simple lunch after a walk, really lovely service!

PB
PBxxxxx
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on May 27, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Very pleasant setting and food was excellent. Service was a little slow, but we did arrive earlier than we had booked.

PS
PippaS
Miami
1 review
Dined on May 23, 2021
Overall2food4service1ambience1

Service was poor. It look half an hour for my desert come out and when it did it was cold. To get anyone’s attention, i has to get out of my seat to ask. The restaurant was pretty empty too. It’s a shame because the main course was delicious.

K
Kinners
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 23, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Really friendly and really good roast dinner
Certainly would recommend.

NL
NinaL
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on May 23, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience4

We visit The Drift often due to being so local and it's always a lovely place to eat. Our lunch yesterday, although tasty, was not all served hot. My veggie roast was warm(albeit tasty), my son's burger was warm yet my husband's pie was piping hot! We wondered if ours had been plated up before his had finished cooking perhaps?

But the food tasted good and it was a nice, calm place. It felt a little less 'cosy' than normal but I wonder if that was due to the distancing measures in place which are understandable.

The shining star however was Joszef who served us from beginning to end. He was attentive, friendly and welcoming. What a great member of staff - I hope this can be fed back to him. Many thanks.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Hampshire
3 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

First Sunday lunch out after lifting of restrictions. Food was truly excellent, very well presented and perfect portion size. The Drift has always been a favourite but the kitchen seems to have gone up a notch. Will certainly be returning and strongly recommend as a Gem of the New Forest.

YM
YvonneM
Hampshire
2 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Service a tad slow, food excellent.

JK
JackyK
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on May 19, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The Drift had only been open for two days after restaurants were allowed to open following lockdown. They had a (mostly) clear one-way system, in one door and out through another. We felt welcome, and totally safe and relaxed and had a very pleasant meal. The dog was comfortable too, with her own bowl of water. A happy day.

WJ
WeJo
London
2 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

the best chips ever! plus the staff are friendly. cute garden and socially distanced.

JA
JunoA
Berkshire
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Great Sunday lunch spot, lovely helpful staff. Good food. Beautiful setting, Would definitely recommend.

j
jonathanf
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience2

looked at web site.roasts were advertised..very upset that only basic menu was available,burger,chips etc. served up on disposeable plates and wooden knife and fork..then we were given bill within seconds of finishing it...

S
Soggy
Hampshire
2 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Pandemic rules, seating / service in the garden only. There was very little provision for the weather, which was heavy showers interspersed with sunshine. The small table parasols did not prevent the seating from getting very wet and we had to ask for them to be dried off. We then provided our own covers to sit on as the sun reappeared. We asked why more protection from rain was not provided in the garden if they expected customers to eat outside in all weathers. We were told that there was no incentive to invest in more permanent outside structures to protect customers from inclement weather, surprising given the British climate. The menu was also very much reduced and disappointing, food reasonable, but wooden knives and forks were pretty useless to use. The staff did their best in the circumstances, not their fault. The management / owners need to wake up to care more if they expect customers to stay and eat in pouring rain.

LV
LilaV
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on May 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Lovely lunch. Excellent, friendly service. Vegan and gluten free options which was excellent.

C
Chris
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on April 30, 2021
Overall4food2service4ambience3

We were eating outside because of the Covid rules and it started to rain heavily when we were eating under a parasol. This was a forecast which did not predict rain at that time of the day. Despite this we kept reasonably dry and the attention of the waiters was very considerate.
I would come again.

R
Rach
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on April 28, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Very welcoming friendly staff. No wait for service. Food really nice, reduced menu but something for everyone. Lovely outdoor seating area. A shame it was a little raining but the umbrellas at the table stopped that being a problem

PB
PaulB
Berkshire
1 review
Dined on April 25, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Good effort during Covid restrictions, service was good and Covid arrangements were good. Only let down was food in that menu choice was limited incl. no Sunday roast on a Sunday lunchtime and v limited choice of deserts and brownie was cold with ice cream. Over however it was an enjoyable experience

F
Florence
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on April 24, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience2

I have been to the Drift Inn twice since it opened on the 17th April. The first time I went the overall experience was disappointing - there are no drinks menu's, and the server did not know the drinks available. He pushed us to have wine because he didn't want to go inside to check. When our drinks came, there was dirt floating at the bottom of the glass where I am assuming they hadn't been cleaned over lockdown. We ordered cheesy chips and we received a very small portion of poorly cooked french fries. I went again the next week, hoping that the poor experience was just because they were still finding their feet. The experience was even worse - again no drinks menus. We were told we couldn't have cheese on our chips this time (which we could), and that we could only have french fries (even though the table next to us had chunky chips with their food). The server was not very helpful and for two drinks for three people, and some chips, the bill was £51, including a £5 service fee for very poor and limited service - we should have been able to decide whether to leave a tip, especially as we were not having a meal. I used to really like The Drift Inn but I will definitely not be returning or recommending the pub to anyone.

LC
LittleCP
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on April 22, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Lovely spot for lunch. It’s not the cheapest here and sometimes I find the portions are a little on the smaller side for the price but it is a very lovely spot and I think that makes up for it. My husband and I had lunch with our 3 year old and my husband also had 2 pints as well as me having a Diet Coke and it was £40.

L
Leego
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on April 22, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience4

Lovely place, food was very nice but a little expensive for what it is and the cost of a pint 🤯 Service was good however they over charged us for drinks (by £5) and could not refund (something about this has to be done at head office?) They seemed at a loss so we ended up with 2 takeaways teas that we didnt want..... This should have been dealt with better as seems ludicrous it could not be refunded. Otherwise it was lovely and a bit of a shame the system seems strange here refund wise. Apart from the overcharge staff were very pleasant.

EJ
EllaJ
London
1 review
Dined on April 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely experience! Can definitely recommend for those Londoners who want to get out of the city, the train stops right next to the pub and there is lots of nature and walks in the area (with wild ponies all over!), and the pub/restaurant food, drinks and service was amazing!

B
Bluebell
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on April 16, 2021
Overall1food2service2ambience1

Been here previously on 2 occasions when camping in the new forest. Felt it had gone downhill. Staff were friendly but overall it felt a bit faulty towers. Food missing from the order and the tiniest piece of bread with the ploughman’s. The curry was tasty and the fish was ok. Had to ask for our dessert several times, as did other diners. Overpriced for the quality of food and service.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
8 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good pub grub in a pleasant garden made even better by the sun shining-the burger and fries was very tasty and the staff extremely friendly. There’s a play area for smaller children and the kids meals were a decent size, more than adequate for a hungry 10 year old. The customer loos could have done with a bit of tlc and due to Covid we didn’t see any of the other internal areas but we will definitely be going back to enjoy lunch followed by a forest walk

L
Lyndhurst
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2021
Overall2food1service4ambience3

Improvements need to be made at the drift, the sandwich for the price was below average with bread that seemed very dry as if had been left in heat in the kitchen, the side of fry's were completely cold these were at an extra cost, the original chipped crisps mentioned were missing altogether from the plate.
The gentleman serving was polite and attentive and the coffee was good.

D
Darren
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience2

Had to wait a long time to order even a drink! Appears quite short staffed! Drinks took a while to come out. Chips were skinny fries, dry and cold and just like oven fries I cook at home! Quite expensive for a burger and cold fries we thought!

SL
SuzyL
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Drift is a wonderful little place and certainly gives you that warm, welcome feeling when you are in there. Food and service was great, really lovely afternoon and no washing up!!

PT
PaulT
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2020
Overall2food2service4ambience2

Service, quality of the food and venue were all very good but range of food was disappointing. The menu had two vegetarian options, one of which was vegan - vegan mud pie - but was then not available. We were advised it was replaced by a vegetable Wellington. However this was served with cauliflower cheese and a beef gravy, identical to that served with my roast beef. Far from vegan.

SH
SHAZZA
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent atmosphere, friendly. Food was very nice with good portions and well presented . Service efficient and helpful.
Would highly recommend.

O
Onlygoodfoodwilldo
Brighton
3 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Lovely country pub with a warm feel. Thoroughly enjoyed our dinner here

JG
JackieG
1 review
Dined on December 11, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

It was a very nice meal as always when we done here

FAQs

The Drift Inn, pub restaurant offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at 023 8029 2342.

The Drift Inn, pub restaurant is rated 3.4 stars by 228 OpenTable diners.

The Drift Inn, pub restaurant does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://thedriftinn.giftpro.co.uk/.

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 reservations at the moment.