Rosebourne Garden Centre arrived in Andover in 2016, with a food hall and restaurant, it quickly become a talking point locally, especially for its food and service.
I have visited the restaurant on four seperate occasions over the last 2 months and decided to pop up on Friday 30th March 2018 to do a lunch review. The first couple of times I have visited, the food and service were excellent, on Mothers Day, the service was slow, disappointing and the food was not good, but it was busy and Mums were given free prosecco which was a lovey touch.
As it was a bank holiday, we decided to get there early to avoid the rush, so arrived at 11.30am and were seated immediately. The restaurant was not busy and there were lots of empty tables.
We ordered two drinks; a prosecco and a bottle of diet coke. The drinks took an unacceptable 20 minutes to arrive, which was confusing considering the restaurant was not full. The glass that came with coke was filthy.
When the drinks arrived, our food order was taken. I ordered the Rosebourne Pâté (£6.95) and asked for only wholemeal toast with a side order of fries, my son ordered the Rosebourne Cheeseburger (£9.95) and asked that there be no salad.
Tables next to ours that were seated after us received their food before us, our food took 35 minutes to arrive.
On arrival only one portion of fries arrived, we asked for the missing one which was brought to us quickly, these fries were hot and crisp, the fries that came originally were tepid and a little limp.
My pâté arrived with white granary toast rather than the wholemeal requested, I decided not to send it back because of the delays. I started to butter the toast and noticed that it appeared to be cold, I took a small bite of the corner of the toast and it was stone cold and chewy, all four pieces of toast were in fact stone cold.
I called the waitress over and told her that the toast was cold and having waited 35 minutes for it, I did expect it to be hot. The waitress replied that it was because it was busy and everyone was served on a first come first served purpose, she made no move to take the plate to rectify the situation, I responded that this did not make cold food acceptable and handed her my plate, she looked annoyed.
My food returned 5 minutes later and I noticed that one of the slices of toast had butter on it. I was surprised to see that one slice of the toast had a bite out of the corner, it was actually my original toast that had just been heated up and not replaced.
The pâté had a brown appearance like it had been sat around uncovered, the toast was chewy, the salad was not crisp and fresh; it felt like whoever was preparing the food had given up.
The cheeseburger was cooked perfectly, the meat was juicy, the bacon was a little burnt on the edges as was the bun, but again it was not hot, it was tepid. It was served with salad and coleslaw.
I would reiterate that the restaurant was not busy by Rosebourne standards, I have been here before when it has been busier and what I really liked about it was that regardless, I was served promptly and the food was hot and fresh.
Rosebourne recently announced that it has added an extra 30 covers to its restaurant, its a shame that service and food quality has not been prioritised over expansion.
I really hope that Rosebourne is addressing the issues it is currently experiencing, there is local talk of the restaurant going downhill which is a real shame because at its best, this restaurant is one of the main go to eateries locally.