On a cold winter’s day, what better to do than take a trip to a nice old country pub to have a few pints and some food by the fire. I get that if you stumble on this review in July that’s not helpful, so substitute “on a warm summer’s day, what better thing to do than a trip to a nice old country pub to have a few pints in the garden” if that’s the case. Either would be equally true of this pub – The Bird In Hand, in Sonning Common.
The Bird In Hand is an old 16th century coaching inn, and it’s just recently been done up and re-done by new management. Thankfully they have preserved the heritage of the place that makes it such a charm to visit. The recent refurbishment has added a bunch of Edison bulbs in cages, and a lick of paint, but the low roof, exposed beams and amazing fireplace all still remain.
The place advertises itself as dog friendly, so we decided to put that to the test, and took our 5 month old puppy along. True to their word, they fussed over him, and didn’t complain when he eventually settled down in the very place they needed to walk all the time. Definitely a good place to go for a walk with the dog and then stop for a nice pint or two at the sofa by the fire.
The pints in question when we visited were Amstel, Guinness, Symonds special reserve cider, Good Old Boy, Hullabaloo and Young’s London Original. I started with a pint of the London Original. I can’t say anything much for or against it – it was fine, but no better. I’d probably rather have had the Good Old Boy on reflection. There’s also a good gin collection in the side bar (they have an L shaped bar).
|Beer Quality||The beer was fine, but not the highlight|
|Beer Selection||Three pumps, three lagers, Guinness and a cider|
|Drink vs Food||There’s a separate bar and restaurant, but it’s quite food focused.|
|Snacks||Small snacks like sausage rolls, or nuts in a jar and pipers crisps|
|Price||Not 100% sure as it all came on one bill with the food. Didn’t seem expensive though|
If you’re looking for a nice country pub to spend the afternoon in, this ticks a lot of boxes – lots of parking, nice atmosphere, nice old building, good food, and reasonable beer.