New Forest pub The Green Dragon enjoys roaming animal visits

THIS idyllic 15th Century thatched pub in the heart of the New Forest is just as much home to pigs, ponies, sheep and cows as it is to its loyal band of regulars.

The Green Dragon, at Brook, regularly plays host to the Forest’s native ponies and other roaming animals on its forecourt with one or two using the pub as a thoroughfare, walking in through the front door and straight out of the back door!

Leather bends on the pub’s walls proudly display the brands of commoners who have the right of pasture for their livestock. Anyone who wants to turn out ponies on the Forest has to have a brand mark approved by the Verderers and here each one is clearly displayed.

READ MORE: This waterside pub is set to reopen today following a £500,000 refurbishment

The Green Dragon, which has been used as both a coffin makers and a wheelwrights in the past, also boasts a large rear garden and stretch tent for outdoor dining or events.

Quizzes and live music are a regular occurrence but the pub has also hosted festivals and even The Forest Games, a scaled down version of The Highland Games, and the Queen of the Forest drag competition.

The menu is traditional, featuring pies and fish and chips, alongside vegetarian and vegan dishes, fresh fish and sharer boards like the Hunter’s board. The signature beef burger The Henry contains Henry’s IPA onion relish.

Behind the bar, favourites include Wadworth 6x ale, Swordfish rum infused ale and Horizon golden ale sitting alongside lots of guest ales such as Old Timer and Burnt Orange IPA.

General manager Phill Butler, who has been at the pub over four years, told the Daily Echo: “We’re known for the great food and ales, the leather bends on display and the roaming animals.

Daily Echo:

“The best thing about running a pub is the people you meet. Every day is different and seeing people have a great time and telling you is rewarding.

“Not so good is the hours that have to go in to make it happen, it’s not all about opening the doors and everything’s ready!

“Staffing at the moment is hard with the shortage of people coming forward for jobs and lockdown was very tough.

“It was difficult complying with restrictions and ensuring everyone knew what could and couldn’t happen was tough. Not everyone would embrace the restrictions, we had limited seating and wanted to ensure customers still felt safe and comfortable.

Daily Echo:

But we offered takeaways and now have a comfortable outside area to be used all year round.”

  • The Green Dragon at Brook is our pub of the week. If you’d like us to feature your watering hole, click on the link below or email lorelei.reddin@dailyecho.co.uk

Daily Echo Southampton