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Guest Review: Epcot’s Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room

Today we are welcoming guest author Rebecca Dolan with a dining review of the Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room. Read on…

When it comes to Epcot’s Rose & Crown, the mantra should be “come for the fireworks, stay for the food.” Sure the menu of British comfort classics has always been on point, but the real draw here has to be the restaurant’s back patio, which offers one of the best fireworks views on the shores of the World Showcase Lagoon.

This combination of no-frills British food and fireworks made Rose & Crown both one of my mother’s favorite Disney spots, and the bane of the Epcot trips of my youth. (Ugh, do we have to watch the fireworks again? I want to eat in Morocco!) But, Rose & Crown and I have come a long way over the past years. And, I now fully support adding it to a Disney dining itinerary.

Atmosphere

The first thing you’ll probably notice about Rose & Crown is that it isn’t built in just one architectural style. Instead, the building is a mash-up of three different, popular pub styles.

The building’s three sides at Rose and Crown.

The main entrance leads into a full-service pub where you can belly up to the bar for traditional beers, ciders, and scotches from the UK. A handful of tables provide a much-needed respite from the afternoon sun.

Stopping in for an evening pint.

Outside the pub entrance, to the left, is the check in booth for the dining room. Seating is either on the outdoor patio overlooking the lagoon, or inside the main dining room. Try your best to score an outdoor table if you can (back patio is better than side patio) for the fireworks view.

This will likely prove to be a difficult endeavor, however. After close to three decades of dining here, this trip was the first time our family was actually seated outside.

Get a load of that view!

Now, don’t let that get you discouraged! Even if you can’t get the coveted front row seats, those eating inside are allowed to pop out back during the show to get a good look.

Still worth it.

The patio from the outside.

Closer up on the patio.

The patio doesn’t offer much in the way of atmosphere. Inside is simple, too, though it feels like what you probably think an old-school English dining room looks like: lots of dark wood, a molded ceiling, brass chandeliers, antique china, and photos on the wall.

The main dining room is connected to the pub.

Eats

The menu features a mix of British classics and more continental fare.

Menu -- Click image for larger version.

The list of wine, beers, and spirits is fairly lengthy. My favorite section is “pub blends,” where I began my dinner with a Cider and Black (hard cider with black currant juice) in a souvenir glass.

Beverage Menu -- click image for larger version.

This drink is definitely one of the silent-but-deadly types. It basically tasted like drinking a refreshing fruity soda, so I can imagine plenty of people going through a few of these without knowing what hit them. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Pub Blends Selection.

A souvenir glass of cider and black, with a pint of Guinness for scale.

The soup of the day on our visit was a summer tomato. But as the temperature was hovering close to sweltering, we passed on the hot soup and zeroed in on the cheese platter and Scotch egg for apps.

The Cheese Plate -– a perennial winner -– consisted of Irish Cashel blue with walnuts and Craisins, Irish cheddar with onion jam, and English Cotswold chive with cornichons. All were great; I couldn’t pick a favorite.

Cheese Plate.

A pub grub staple, the deep-fried Scotch Egg, came surrounded by savory sausage with a watercress salad and a smear of mustard sauce. In all honesty, I could have made a salad out of a big helping of that watercress with the egg on top and been an incredibly happy camper. But, we had plenty more coming our way.

Scotch Egg at Rose and Crown.

For entrees we ordered fish and chips, vegetable pie ‘n’ mash, and roasted rack pork. We supplemented this with sides of Yorkshire pudding, mushy peas, and bubble and squeak (mashed potatoes with cabbage).

The fish had a lovely, crispy batter that was neither too heavy nor too greasy, and the chips were also nicely crisped. I suggest adding a few dashes of malt vinegar to make this dish even that much more authentic and delicious.

Classic beer-battered fish and chips with tartar sauce.

We had a slight hiccup with the pork, as my mom thought it might have been undercooked. (Though, we also just like to make sure our pork is really cooked thoroughly.) After bringing her concern to the server, the chef was out in a flash and wanted to make her a whole new plate. We aren’t ones to waste food so we just asked him to finish that piece on the grill.

When the plate returned, she still got a whole new presentation of potatoes, sauce and chutney with the original piece of meat on top. Guess they wanted to make sure it still looked pretty. Even after going back, the pork was tender and moist. The sides were good, though not noteworthy.

Roast pork with colcannon potatoes, granny smith apple chutney and whole-grain mustard jus.

I tend to gravitate towards the vegetarian options, which are often less than substantial or are an underwhelming pasta dish. Not here: This was a large helping of a mixed vegetable stew (similar to chicken pot pie filling, minus the chicken) topped with a generous portion of mashed potatoes. These were then topped with cheese, because, why not?

Vegetable pie ’n’ mash

This is definitely a veg dish worth going back for.

OK, so I’m not a huge mushy pea fan, so I wasn’t wowed. If you do like peas, go for it, since these definitely tasted fresh from the garden.

The puddings were light yet delightfully fatty, and the mashed potatoes were thick and creamy with not too much cabbage.

In all seriousness, though, the standout here was the gravy that went with the potatoes and puddings, which was unlike any gravy I’ve ever had stateside. It was rich, deeply herbal, and tangy all at the same time. Really. Try this stuff.

Bubble and squeak with gravy, Yorkshire puddings and mushy peas

To wind down, we ordered the sticky toffee pudding and Jaffa tarts for dessert.

Dessert Menu.

The sticky toffee pudding was really only big enough for one. And, you probably won’t want to share it anyway.

Sticky toffee pudding drenched in a vanilla custard and butter rum sauce

The Jaffa tarts were a bit of a letdown, as they honestly kind of tasted like Little Debbie cakes. The cake was nice and pillowy, but we found little trace of the orange cream they were supposed to be filled with. We voted that they weren’t worth the money or calories.

Jaffa Tarts

Overall

British food may not have the most exciting reputation. But, in my experience the food on offer at Rose & Crown has always arrived at the table hot, for the most part cooked perfectly, and the wait staff is amazingly friendly. These points weigh heavily with me, and are a big part of why I like to recommend this restaurant. There are plenty of Disney restaurants that can be spotty with their food and service. This is not one of them.

And, seriously y’all, that gravy…

Is Rose & Crown on your Disney dining rotation? Let us know your tips for securing a table on the patio! Chime in; we want to hear from you in the comments below!

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27 Comments

  1. Chrissy says:

    I love R&C! This is, by far, my favorite place to eat in all of EPCOT. I had a birthday lunch there one time and before I was finished with my meal, I was presented with a card that all the cast members signed with where they were from in the UK. But I digress.

    The fish and chips and sticky toffee pudding here are absolutely amazing, and they don’t have anything on Yorkshire County Fish Shop. I’m drooling just thinking about that meal. Yum.

  2. Kev says:

    My home nation isn’t exactly famed for its culinary delights lol
    Putting ‘France’ next door to the UK must have infuriated our Euro cousins!!

    With an upsurge in Gastro Pubs and great cooking TV shows, the UK has moved ahead at a much faster pace than the Epcot namesake and it might be time for Disney to send a team across the pond just to check out some of the better versions of traditional British dishes.

    Fans of Raglan Road in DTD would no doubt see where I’m coming from, I guess.
    British Gravy, nothing better though!!

  3. Jennifer B says:

    Question – I have an ADR there for our trip in Feb. Using a TS credit we are allowed to get any entree and dessert right? I was looking at the menu and there is quite a difference in some of the prices.
    This is my first trip with the family and there is so much to learn!

    Thanks,

    Jenn

  4. Anastasia says:

    I really like Rose and Crown but I agree with the Jaffa Tarts being less than stellar. I was sooo disapointed when they got rid of the Scotch Chocolate Cake, that was amazing!

  5. justasking says:

    Why is everything a “pudding”

  6. V No Privacy says:

    Is that cornbread with the Scotch Egg? I don’t see it described anywhere including the menu!

  7. Can someone give me a breakdown of what Yorkshire pudding is like? I’ve always wondered!

  8. Kev says:

    @justasking
    As kids at school, most of us referred to the sweet course as ‘pudding’ no matter what it actually was.
    (Kind of substitute the word ‘dessert’ for ‘pudding’ and it makes more sense?)

    I was probably 20 years old before I actually heard someone use the word dessert and I considered them to be rather posh! ;-)

  9. Kev says:

    @Jenn

    Yorkshire Pudding is a savoury side.
    It is made from batter, (flour, eggs and milk) and rises in a very hot oven.

    For generations now, it is served as part of a roast meat, potato and veg meal, but originally stemmed from the coal mining towns of Yorkshire.
    The ‘Sunday Dinner’ was the meal above, however the miner’s wife would make a batch of Yorkshire Puddings and gravy as a first course to help fill the family before the main meal.

    Yorkshire Puddings are light and crispy, and are incredibly popular throughout the whole of the UK thanks to those resourceful miner’s wives, that did their best to make ends meet on awful wages.

    Lovely comfort food!

  10. Colette Stanton says:

    I didn’t like the Rose & Crown. All but one thing was horrible -the food and service was horrible but the only good thing was the view of the fireworks and that was because we had a reserved outside table. I will never return to the Rose & Crown, there are other places around World Showcase that I want to try.

    Yorkshire pudding is made from batter. It’s traditional with a roast dinner. It’s big and crispy on the outside but thin and softer on the inside. They are nice especially when they are dipped in gravy lol.

  11. Dana says:

    The Rose & Crown was always a must for us – we always arrived 15-20 minutes before our reservation, and said we would be willing to wait longer for an outside table. We were usually seated within 45 minutes time, so sometimes maybe 20-25 minutes past our reservation time, which was fine. It’s worth it to eat on the patio, and have that amazing view for the fireworks.

    However, the last time we ate there in 2011, we were horribly disappointed. We had the worst server I have ever had at any Disney restaurant, and I wasn’t able to eat much. I have a gluten allergy, and they changed the menu, which left me with very few choices. Even the mushy peas apparently now have wheat in them! This time we were also seated kind of far back on the patio, and couldn’t see the fireworks very well. We asked if we could step forward and stand to watch them, as most of the people from inside the restaurant were doing – our waitress said no! Unfortunately, this was also the time we brought my parents with us, who wanted to try the Rose & Crown after years of us raving about it. We will not be going back to it anytime soon.

  12. W.D. says:

    I agree with Kev. Disney needs to go to the UK and bring back the real thing.

    Gone are the bangers and mash and in is the NY Strip. My born-in-London father would be very disappointed. This use to be a favorite of mine. Modestly prices but hardy food.

  13. Cheryl Donofrio says:

    I’m glad to see the menu has changed a bit since the last time we ate there a couple of years ago. I tried the “roast beef” dinner, after years of seeing it on the menu, and was disappointed to find it was not roast beef, but pot roast! Well done, all the way through. Then I had the sticky toffee pudding for dessert, and it was too sweet for my taste. We have had good meals at the R&C, but that was not one of them. Isn’t it a bit ironic that a British pub would have New York Strip on the menu? Just asking.

  14. Sherri Erwin says:

    The bangers and mash are still on the lunch menu. Yorkshire pudding is a bit on the eggy side, crisp and light but also eggy, similar to popovers if you have had those.

  15. justasking says:

    Thanks Ken!
    Now that makes sense!

  16. justasking says:

    I meant thanks Kev!

  17. Rebecca Dolan says:

    @V no Privacy — The Scotch egg is actually surrounded by sausage, but they serve little cornbread sticks on the side.

    @Jenn — Looks like the other commenters have the technical descriptions covered, but I would call the Yorkshire puddings delicious little clouds of savory fat-kissed batter. (You could also think of them in a similar vein with popovers.) They’re delightful.

    I do agree that there may be some room to feature some more lesser-known but not less loved offerings: kedgeree, steak and kidney pie (!), cornish pasty, mince pies, welsh rarebit etc.

  18. mike in mis'sippi says:

    We just returned September 1st from our annual WDW vacation, and — after several years — we stopped in at Rose and Crown for dinner. EPCOT wasn’t crowded so we were happy to walk right in with no reservation, since it doesn’t happen often! I had the cottage pie, she had fish and chips, and we started the meal with a Scotch egg. It was a lovely experience, with a great waitress, and even a visit from the chef (Ken, I think?) who stopped by to chat. We normally forego dessert, but after reading the sticky toffee above, I might have to give it a try next time! Thanks for the blog. I just discovered it not too long ago, and enjoy it.

  19. Helen says:

    I like how Disney brings together people from all over the world. I’m in the UK and coming to wdw for the first time in 3 weeks. It’s funny that things that are a staple of the diet here such as Yorkshire pudding gravy, you don’t get elsewhere. I’m not so sure on the rest of the menu though. U’d certainly have steak & chips but I wouldn’t be called a New York strip. It’s just be steak n chips lol!!

  20. Sam says:

    Just a word about the pork. Most pork today can be served medium well. It not the same product as your parents always cooked to death, it’s much leaner and much safer to eat.
    It was true one time and older people still believe it’s true. Medium is pretty much the default for resturant pork today.
    There were only 11 cases of trichinosis in the US last year and most of those were from wild game and home farms and every year the cases keep dropping.

    So if you’re used to well done pork. Tell them up front. I’ve heard other people complain about medium cooked pork at WDW before. So, I suspect WDW defaults to medium for pork.

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/a-few-notes-on-pork-safety/index.html

    As for the R&C My favorite is still the scotch eggs and Fish and Chips. Although is it just the picture of the fish and chips, Although I seem to remember larger portion of fish in the basket.

  21. Essie says:

    I’ve never yet eaten here which is surprising, because I’ve been to Britain and I absolutely love that country. Although, the food wasn’t very good when I was there; the Brits weren’t exactly gourmet restaurateurs. I really want to eat here, however, on my next trip. I enjoyed the article and it makes me more anxious to eat here.

  22. Julie says:

    Talking of the pub blends – watch out for the snakebite too! Cider to us Brits is alcoholic, not the non alcoholic version you get in the states – mix that with beer and WOW. Caused a few hangovers for me in my youth I can tell you….
    And yorkshire puddings and gravy – nothing like them!
    Cheryl I agree – no way is ‘New York strip steak’ a Brit dish!

  23. Alan says:

    Years ago R&C used to serve roast leg of lamb which you rarely find in restaurants. I would love to see them bring that back on what seems to be a smaller menu than it used to be.

  24. Sarah says:

    As a Brit I was jumping up and down in my seat at the Disneyfied version of ‘authentic’ British food. Bubble and squeak should be a lovely crispy mix of fried potato and cabbage goodness , sticky toffee pudding has delicious and calorific buttery toffee sauce on it, not rum sauce, scotch eggs are for picnics, a Jaffa cake is sponge base topped with a tart orange flavoured jelly (jello) covered with dark chocolate (no cream or milk chocolate) and cheese and biscuits is for pudding not starters (dessert not appertisers)! At least the Yorkshire puds and fish and chips are up to scratch and like any good British pub there’s curry on the menu!

    I think I’ll forgo a visit to Rose and Crown when I’m next in the World and stick to my local instead!

  25. Amy says:

    That Scotch Egg sure looks tasty. I would love to try one but I can’t believe it is almost $10 by itself? Is the Rose and Crown the only place that serves them?

  26. Daz says:

    I am lucky enough to be born in Yorkshire, the home of the Yorkshire puddings and the famous fish and chips ( for those who do not know the fish and chips counter was formerly called
    Yorkshire fish and chips after Harry ramsdens restaurant – google it!)

    Yorkshire puddings are eaten in various ways here, but almost always with a rich beef gravy. They are lovely, especially with a casserole or roast beef.

    Anyway I digress, the choices appear to be less and there does seem to be less traditional English meals now. We usually do eat here as a change from the steak/burgers and chips!

    English food is something you may call comfort food, we don’t usually bother with garlic or chillis but more rich and flavourful filling meals.

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