“ Alciston Polegate, Alciston, East Sussex, England BN27 6UW. Tel: 01323 870377. „
Too busy to get in. Well it must be good
My husband and I booked the second sitting for Mother's Day lunch, as a treat for his mother. The reservation was for 2 o'clock. We had never been to the pub before, and arrived at 1.30, thinking we would have a drink before lunch. As I opened the door, (my 91 year old mother-in-law behind me) and tried to enter, the landlord blocked the door and asked if we were for the 2 o'clock sitting. When I replied, yes, he rudely said we would have to go away and come back at 2 o'clock, as it was crowded and they needed time to set up the table. I replied that I thought it was a pub, and perhaps we could have drink before lunch. He said that if we wanted a drink, we'd have to have it outside. (It was freezing!). If it had not been Mother's Day we would have left there and then. We waited in the car for half an hour, then tried again. The 2 o'clock patrons were all lined up outside patiently waiting to be let in. We were shown to our tables, and ordered. The young waiting staff were very pleasant, but the food was completely average, and you felt like they couldn't wait for you to eat and leave. I also resented the menu stating that a 10% tip would be charged. Mr Basil, I usually tip more, so you lost out. The leaving present of a cupcake for our mother was a nice touch, had it not been thrust under her nose without a word, by the landlord. We won't be returning, and I'm sure he couldn't care less. There are so many lovely places to eat nearby, perhaps people come because they like the quirky abuse! It is a shame, as my husband enjoyed his pint of Harveys.
I really like this place. The location is lovely and the food wonderful, especially the fresh local fish and game. They cater to walkers and Downs cyclists and have local and useful produce for sale, including their owns eggs, bicycle repair kits, frozen smoked salmon and oven-ready rabbits. I always order the tiger prawns because they are yummy, and the serving staff are very warm and friendly.
The landlord is a quirky sort of chap to be sure, but I think that's down to his bone dry sense of humour. I've grown to rather like it over the years. He has a loud parrot by the bar that squawks a lot. He holds strong views, is not keen on kids and does not suffer fools gladly, but he runs a fine pub, serves excellent beer and cider, keeps the place running well and the fire burning. I've learned to take what he says with a pinch of salt
If you want a warm & cuddly reception, this may not be for you, but if you like authentic English eccentrics and brilliant country pubs and are not too thin skinned, you'll love it.
My husband and I visited The Rose Cottage in June 2010 for dinner. We had been there a few times in the past. We were shown to our table (which was extremely small) and given the menu by a very off-hand owner. He did not seem to be a bit interested in the diners and made us feel we were a nuisance by telling us he was tired. I had decided that I would have a fillet steak as a treat - I started to cut into it and found it was so tough I could hardly get my knife through it. I had a mouthful and it was impossible to eat it. We told the waitress and I said I would just eat the vegetables but I wanted the owner to know. At the end of a rather miserable meal (we didn't have puddings) we went to pay and the owner was very rude and inferred that he didn't believe me. He took the price of the steak (£17.50) off the bill but made us feel as if it was entirely our fault and we were extremely embarrassed in front of other customers. We will never visit the Rose Cottage again and will certainly tell our friends of our experience.
We (two couples)visited the Rose Cottage Sat 14th July 2010.The pub was very busy and many people were eating outside as all the inside tables were reserved.We had booked a table for eight o clock and we sat down at ten to eight.We ordered our food about a quarter past eight(no startersrequired).The food arrived about nine o clock.My sea bream dinner would have been adequate for a small child.Two of us had duck and although it was good it was luke warm.The other of our party had chicken which was average.The vegetables were good but probably should have been double the quantity.Nobody at any time asked if the food was ok.The
landlord was efficient but unapproachable and seemed to have a take it or leave it attitude.I wouldnt go back there again as there are many more choices in the area.Idoubt if the landlord would care anyway as there seems to be a good supply of customers on hand.
My husband brought his mother to The Rose Cottage Inn Alciston for her birthday dinner after having researched the area for a really nice, authentic pub and good food. No mention anywhere, curiously enough, about a warm welcome and friendly service in all those la di dah reviews, though.
And for good reason it seems.
Well, it is so interesting that some of you have mentioned Fawlty Towers, because when my husband called to tell about his experience at this pub with the owner, I tried to sympathize but could only think about the real B&B person who inspired the character of Basil Fawlty. The landlord at Rose Cottage Inn must a distant (perhaps not too distant) relative of the laughably rude, stuffy, he's too posh to bother with rif-raf character that inspired John Cleese to write Basil's dialogue.
All I could hear in my mind was Prunela Scales and her sharp toned "Basil!", and could hardly keep from laughing, but I listened intently, and sympathetically to the endless barbs and ludicrous behaviour of this pompous ass of a landlord. Dear, I kept breaking in, it is no reflection on you, this is who he is, not who you are, to not much avail.
One example: he ordered a lager, and before the landlord began to pour, he said, you know, I would like a cider, please. The landlord heard him, looked at my husband, and said you ordered a lager, and he began pouring a lager! It's so Basil, isn't it?
Thank you for these reviews, it certainly explains a lot of strange behaviour.
And, oh by the way, Mr Cleese, if you ever want to revive Fawlty Towers, I know where you can pick up some new material!
Well I didn't get past the phone call to Rose Cottage.
The manager was rude and unhelpful on the phone and exceptionally patronising when I asked whether there was a vegetarian option. 'We're famous for our meat.' I replied that's as may be, but was there a vegetarian main course. 'Salad.' Hmmm. Anything else - like a vegetarian pasta or something a little more substantial? 'Quiche.' (Are we in the 21st century? Remind me.)
Then came the classic 'Can't they eat fish?' Nooo (patiently) He's a VEGEtarian. The clue is in the word.
I gave up.
The last time we visited Rose Cottage was three years ago, and I wasn't that enamoured with the service or the food then. But my parents were keen to go back there and so I thought I'd book it for my mother's birthday. After reading the reviews, I'm very pleased I changed my mind.
As it was my birthday my partner booked a meal at the Rose Cottage as a special treat. On arrival it was clearly busy and when taken to our table straight away i was aware of the fact the tables were very closely packed together. We were allocated a small 2 seater table and when sitting down straight away it felt very cramped and close to other diners.
At this stage i thought ok its a busy popular restaurant can see why the tables had to be closely packed together. We ordered our drinks and then the menus were handed to us. I opened it and noticed straight away in bold lettering "10% percent service charge on all meals"!!!! i have been eating out for many years and have never seen that on a menu in the UK.
We ordered our food which to be honest was below average, i had a very dry and tough steak and my partner had an overcooked red mullet. The food was placed on the table and at no point were we asked if we required any sauces nor was the pleasant phrase "enjoy your meals" spoken to us by the staff who of course are entitled to a 10% tip on every meal served!!!.
At no point whilst eating were we approached and asked if every thing was ok. Eventually after asking a very unenthusiastic waiter i was delivered a squeezy heinz bottle of ketchup and vinegar in containers straight from the supermarket( you never see this in harvesters or carveries!)
After eating the meal our plates were taken but at no point were we asked if we wanted to see the sweet menu!! We decided enough was enough and asked for the bill. When we received the bill the steak had been priced incorrectly they wanted to charge me 4 pounds more than it was priced at!!!.and not forgetting the 10% service charge!!.
i confronted the owner about the service and he rudely stated "we are busy what do you expect" Im sorry but this is not an acceptable attitude from someone running a small business in tough times. How very true is the comment from the gent about Basil Fawlty!!
i always thought basil fawlty lived in torquay, but he is now running the rose cottage ,the landlord really should get a refund from the charm school he attended, it was as if he was doing us a favour by letting us be there the patronising twat we cancelled our order and walked out ,he can only get first timers there as nobody in their right mind would revisit. i have had to give it a star as minus is not available
HEARD SOME MIXED REVIEWS ABOUT THIS PLACE SO WE THOUGHT WE WOULD TRY IT FOR OURSELVES. HOW WRONG WAS WE. ON A NOT PARTICULAR BUSY SUNDAY THE FOOD WAS AVERAGE BUT THE SERVICE AND PLEASANTRY WAS DISGRACEFUL. QUITE SURPRISED THE OWNERS STILL EMPLOY THEM BUT I GUESS THE PUB IS FULL OF FIRST TIMERS. SO MY ADVICE IS THERE ARE PLENTY OF OTHER PLACES.. NOT WORTH THE PETROL.
I went for lunch with a party of 5. The food was good but nothing special. We did not get enough vegetables, however after asking more were served promptly & without question. At 1445 I asked for a coffee but was refused because it was too late! They close at 1500, unbelievably poor service. I will not return.
The Rose Cottage is located in the small village of Alciston that lies between Eastbourne and Lewes, and can be accessed via a small lane off the A27 trunk road. It is a very pleasant and older style pub with a reasonably sized car park. The bar area is a little on the small side, but the pub does have a proper restaurant area. You can tell which is the bar area because there is a live parrot in a cage on the bar. The main beers are harvey's of Lewes, but there are occasionally guest beers. The food ranges from traditional pub food, which is made with local ingredients, such as steak and ale pie, chicken, lamb etc. There are vegetarian dishes and a very good selection of fish dishes. The restaurant menu is similar but more varied. If you want good food at a decent price, try it. It is one of my favourite pubs on the south coast area- in fact I took my wife there for lunch on our second date! The only drawback is that it can be very busy at times- best to book ahead!