The Crowne Plaza

Reviewing hotel bars isn’t really my thing. They are generally so impersonal with middle of the road beer, middle of the road food, and high-end prices. But the Crowne Plaza looked to be potentially different. It has one of the few bars in Reading where you can sit outside by the river, and it’s got an outside bar in collaboration with West Berkshire Brewery, so it was worth an investigation. Continue reading “The Crowne Plaza”

The Back of Beyond

There’s only so many times you can visit a Wetherspoons’ pub and have something novel to write. A few years ago that number of times used to be capped at an absolute maximum of four if you were limiting yourself to Reading. Now that the Baron and the Monk’s Retreat have both passed in to the hands of other pub chains though, there are only two ‘Spoons left in Reading, which surely makes this review reading. Continue reading “The Back of Beyond”

The Allied Arms

Epic pub crawl part 2. After not really feeling the love in the Alehouse, Grobber and I moved on to the Allied Arms. I have a particular soft spot for the Allied Arms. The first time I went there was the night before I got married. I worried that mentioning that fact might allow someone to look up the pub’s history and say “ah, he couldn’t have done that before 2001, so he must have been married since then” or something like that. I looked on their web site to see if you could get any hints about my age, thus mildly chipping away at my secret identity. It doesn’t, because under history on their website it simply says  one word – “History”.  Also, the fact that I am calling a three pub tour “epic” tells you far more about my age. In fairness, this is not a quick half at every stop on the circle line sort of pub crawl. It’s one that involves sampling multiple beers in each pub, just to make sure I am doing them justice. So three pubs being epic is OK. Continue reading “The Allied Arms”

The Pack Saddle

This week we’re just slightly outside Reading, at The Pack Saddle, on the road to Oxford. But which one is the Pack Saddle, and which one is the Pack Horse? Is it the first pub or the second pub? Have a guess. Because I’m willing to bet it’s 50:50 whether or not you get it right.  Continue reading “The Pack Saddle”

The Fox and Hounds

After a warm sunny Friday, what better way to spend the evening than with a few pints with a friend, so when Mr. Affable messaged to see who was free I was on my way to the Fox & Hounds like a shot. It appears that half of Caversham had the same idea too, because the car park turned beer garden was heaving. Continue reading “The Fox and Hounds”