One of my favourite pubs in Reading is The Brewery Tap. The staff are so friendly and the drinks are quite reasonable, and its always spotlessly clean.
If you go upstairs to the Gallery, you will find some sofas, have seat there, they are very comfy.
If you fancy a game or 2, go towards the back of the pub, they have a few pool tables there.
They also have a darts board, and when there is sport on, they show it on the screens.
Dress Code: No dresscode, just as long as you wear something!
Another one of my regular haunts when I go out in Reading is HA! HA! Bar and Canteen.
Its a very trendy Restaurant/Bar in the centre of reading. And should I feel the need, your can order food or go to the restaurant area and order something nice to nibble from their extensive menu.
As I am a burger connoiseur, I have had many of their delicious burgers, and I will give it the thumbs up!
They do offer various types of food to suit all tastebuds, and take care in presentation, as their dishes always look very appetizing.
If you are taken by their lovely sauces or any of their fashion numbers, they are available for purchase, a member of staff will be happy to assist.
Dress Code: No dress code
A lovely pub in Reading, that that has real character. On the inside the seating has several little rooms, decorate from the outside as old Victorian style shops, very quaint indeed.
They also show certain sporting events on the big screens, and if you dont fancy making the trek home, you can check in and sleep uptairs in the B&B.
Dress Code: No Dresscode.
The Corn Stores is a very comfortable little pub close to the station. The service is very friendly and if you feel peckish, you can go upstairs to the Restaurant, which offers a large choice of Italian food.
I can't believe I am actually doing this, but...
Reading has a Bingo Hall, which is more or less opposite the Railway Station (right next to where the old Bus Station used to be).
The picture shows some of the game players just leaving (you may need to enlarge the photo to appreciate this properly!), and they meet the Bingo playing stereotype that I have in my mind exactly, although I have never actually be inside to confirm this is true... (honest!)
Dress Code: Probably none...
If you fancy getting dressed up in your trendy gear and hitting the streets, Sahara is a good place to go.
Its one of the newer bars in Reading and quite a good hangout spot.
Its a very trendy bar that has a nice atmosphere, they have great cocktails and a nice selection of bottled beers.
If you can manage it, try to get the leather sofas as they are super comfy, and also a nice place to sit and do some people watching.
Dress Code: They dont have a strict dresscode, but on Friday and Saturday nights people dress in a trendy fashion, but you will not get turned away wearing a t-shirt and jeans.
The Griffin, in Caversham is my local bar. Its a very nice pub that offer great food, and a really nice atmosphere.
The pub is very nice on the inside, with quite a upmarket feel to it.
Exposed beams and hops hanging from the ceiling gives it a nice atmosphere.
During summer its really nice to have a drink outside in the beer garden in the sun.
Its one of my favourite pubs in Reading, I love coming here for a drink and on the occasional basis I will treat myself to one of their lovely meals.
If you are in Reading and don't fancy one of the chain pubs in town, make your way over to the Griffin, you will love it!
Dress Code: No set dress code for the Griffin.
Salsa Disco – Great funky Latino rhythms. Every Friday evening in Caversham. 8.15 till late. At the dance studio of Reflex gym. Behind Waitrose in Church St Caversham. Drive into the free car behind the store.
Not really a jazz club in the sense of a place where jazz is central to the entertainment. These cavernous cellars are a restaurant first of all, a late night bar second, and jazz, either live or recorded, is played. Diners need to book in advance, especially at weekends, and non-diners are not admitted util after 11pm.
Dress Code: Smart casual
Comfortable and well-run community pub which retains the public bar / lounge bar divide - one a boistrous bar with games and the other quieter. The base for a number of local community activities.
The beer is Wadworths of Devizes, a little further east than its usual haunts. The Malt 'n Hops Ale is recommended.
Reading nearly lost this little place a few months back. The breweries and the big pub chains don't like this sort of thing; tucked away down obscure streets they don't attract the youth market with disposible incomes and not much sense.
If Bernie and Jane, two of the regulars, had not come to its rescue and it had closed, something very precious would have been lost forever. The Retreat is remarkable in its unremarkableness, for this is how most English pubs were thirty years ago and more, a place where you really feel you are being welcomed into somebody's home. Now it stands alone, unique in Reading and representing something that is becoming increasingly rare everywhere. The decor and pictures on the walls are carefully chosen for their artless randomness by Jane and not by corporate imagemakers, and you will find events like the annual pickled onion competition going on. The ambient music, when there is any, is from Bernie's personal collection of jazz and folk
The front bar is small and intimate, and generally full of locals of all kinds and conditions. Come in here alone and you are bound to strike up a conversation. The back bar is bigger and more basic, with a pool table, and often live music (I like the skiffle band called the "Ding Dong Daddios"!)
This is my local. Visit it for a bit of real England that is disappearing fast!
Quiet and spacious pub beside the Kennet, close to Blakes Lock. A modern conservatory has been added to extend the space, making it light and airy without spoiling the character. Garden at the back and seats by the river for the summer.
There is a bar billiards table, increasingly rare these days as the infernal pool drives this lovely skilful game out of bars.
Be warned however that this stretch of the Kennet can be dangerous at night - I've known too many people who have been mugged down here to be complacent. The problem is that muggers can attack and then run into the maze of the Orts Road estate, which has a bad drugs problem.
...you could do worse than pop into The Bugle. This is a no-frills town centre boozer with good beer, friendly (if slightly drunken) locals and makes a refreshing change from the characterless pubco places.
This is the sort of pub where you can just sit with a quite pint and read the paper (with the background of the juke box competing with the tv) or join the company at the bar and talk the usual pub nonsense and be prepared for spontaneous singing and dancing as the beers go down!
Dress Code: Proper pub and so anything goes - as always scantily-clad females appreciated.
For great real ale and a good pub experience in Reading you should make sure to visit The Nags Head. There are 12 hand pumps with a diverse range of beers. To help you choose there's a chalkboard running across the top of the bar with what’s on each pump now and what’s coming next which is useful. It was clear from this that they try to ensure a variety of different ales is always available. It's quite a large room that can get busy when there is a Reading football match on and there is a shuttle bus available to and from the ground for a small fee. This service extends to visiting fans as well who are welcomed in the pub.
If the phrase hidden gem had been penned for a pub it would have been penned for this one. You have the feeling of having entered some eccentric Aunt’s parlour as you step through the door. The whole place has a delightfully disorganised feel to it. Eggs were on sale at one end of the bar and a pot for recycling batteries sat at the other. It’s clearly a ‘green’ bar and a campaigning one judging by the posters decrying beer duty rises.
Among the clutter of the back bar there’s an old piano, that we didn’t try out, and a £1 a game pool table, which we did. There’s a good jukebox with a lot of old jazz numbers as if to accentuate the step back in time. To round all of this off the beer selection is very good with 6 hand pumps. I had a couple of good Lodden Ferrymaster’s whilst my mates raved over the Old Hooky. They also have an impressive range of bottled beers including Chimay, Rochefort and an interesting smoked German beer that I was tempted to try. Unfortunately, unlike time in The Retreat, we had to move on.