Awwwwwwww THE PIER --- my absolute favourite store in all of the UK .... it's generally a home furnishings place that has exclusively stuff from aroudn the world ... and WHAT stuff oh boy ---- where's that credit card LOL
The Oracle Centre
Store Manager: Bronagh
Tel: 0118 957 3432
9:30am - 8:00pm Tuesday:
9:30am - 8:00pm Wednesday:
9:30am - 8:00pm Thursday:
9:30am - 8:00pm Friday:
9:30am - 8:00pm Saturday:
9:00am - 7:00pm Sunday:
11:00am - 5:00pm Monday 1st May 10:00am - 6:00pm
What to buy: They have the best and largest selection of
What to pay: between £6 - £30 for the BIG BIG mega candles
This Shopping Centre is located in the heart of Reading, with a wide array of shops to suit all needs, the Oracle is host to 90 top name shops, where you are almost sure to find exactly what you are looking for.
At the Riverside of the Oracle you will find 19 stylish restaurants to suit all tastes, and then lastly for those in search of some entertainment, a 10 screen Vue Cinema.
Opening times are as follows:
Mon - Fri: 09:30 - 20:00 pm
Sat : 09:00 - 19:00 pm
Sun : 11:00 - 17:00 pm
What to buy: You can get almost anything you are looking for in the Oracle Shopping Centre.
They have 2 large department stores (Debenhams and House of Fraser) and then many other leading name stores offering a wide variety choices.
This small and very friendly shop opened only at the end of January 2005. Its aim is to supply Reading's substantial Polish population - augmented since Poland's entry into the EU - with a source of authentic food from Poland. Non-Poles can have an introduction to Poland too, and learn a little Polish on the way, since the staff are as authentic as the food!
What to buy: A good assortment of sausages, ham and salami. Pickled fish, tinned goods from Poland, soft drinks, and I'm delighted to say, chocolate plums and other Polish confectionery.
What to pay: Zywiecka sausage at GBP 6.40/kg is typical
As in most l towns, the High Street Chains predominate - Marks and Spenser, bhs, Ann Summers etc, but there are more unusual shops to be found in alleys leading off the main streets.
What to buy: fresh fish, fruit, meat, organic herbs and spices.
What to pay: as much as you dare spend
Photo shows the now completed and established Oracle Centre under construction.
What to buy: The Oracle Centre is a major retail development on the southeastern fringe of Reading town-centre and many of the leading shops in Reading have relocated there. Established Broad Street stores Debenhams and John Lewis (formerly Heelas) have been incorporated into The Oracle.
The prompt for this paragraph asks what makes this shop special: some of Earley's best views and arguably the best views on the Lower Earley development. I once read about a couple who made it their mission to visit every ASDA in Britain. They'd enjoy the view at this one, but that's about the only likeable thing about it.
Asda, Earley is almost always crowded, not because it's any good, but because its rivals (Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Waitrose) are all about 3 miles away, so a lot of people who shop there have no real choice.
Asda Earley is badly managed: I recently reported 2 of their abandoned trolleys to them, both within 10 yards of my home, about half a mile from ASDA as the crow flies and about a mile away by road. ASDA, Earley used to have a good trolley management system: deposit a pound coin for one, this was mysteriously abandoned after a couple of years. They now have signs saying the trolleys are fitted with something that prevents their removal beyond their carpark. Hello, ASDA, that's bull!
What to buy: Hard to think of anything 'special' at ASDA. ASDA's marginally cheaper than Sainsbury's, but that's because a lot of things on sale in ASDA are inferior to those sold at Sainsbury's. Also the ASDA shopping experience is worse than that at Sainsbury's. Most ASDA checkout operators won't ask if you want help packing, although there are a few individuals who are excellent. Also, ASDA Earley seem to have loads of closed checkouts & long queues at the open ones. In other words ASDA don't give a monkeys & the lack of checkout operators allows them to be cheaper than most rivals.
Back in the 1980s right-wing politicians like Thatcher and Reagan used to say communist countries were awful places, because there wasn't any bread in the shops. Obviously they never shopped at ASDA. The shelves that theoretically contain their cheaper own brand 800g loaves are usually bare, but, hey, the dearer 800g loaves at £1+ are available!
What to pay: ASDA Earley's filling station has some of the cheapest petrol in the Reading area, at least in theory. You won't save much if they've got no petrol to sell because they've ran out, or the pumps are broken, or the card-payment machine doesn't work. Not being able to get fuel for one reason or another is a very frequent occurence & if your tank's nearly empty you'll have to go to BP over the road & pay top whack.
The oracle is the large mall in the town centre by the riverside. For women, all the best high street shops are in there, including house of fraser's and debenhams, and there are a few cafes and restaurants there too. It stays open until 8 mon-fri so its good to do the town centre first and then head to the oracle after when there are less people around. I love it!
What to buy: Buy as much as u can!
What to pay: Its high street prices so even students can get themselves something decent. But also places like House of Fraser have more expensive clothes
What to buy:
Once second only to Friar Street in shopping terms, Friar Street has been run down from roughly the time this picture was taken in 1993.
Friar Street has been set aside as Reading's facility for the nationwide binge-drinking culture, with its ghastly, characterless theme-pubs, etc..
The ultimate cliche has to be the bank on the junction with Station Road that is now a wine-bar!
A well-established, locally-owned 'character' store that helped set Reading apart from everywhere else is now an amusement arcade.
The Post Office (on the left of the picture) has an "Under Offer" sign outside. It's now a wine bar & the counter has moved to a former charity shop in Market Place. The sorting office behind the PO counters outgrew its premises & moved out to Caversham Road in 1987, but the Friar Street counter still seemed fit for purpose and looked the part.
High Street is not the main (or even particularly significant) shopping street in Reading. It's on the edge of the town centre where a lot of banks, building societies & smaller shops are.
Kings Road (beyond Jackson's Corner) is where Reading's main library is & is one of the main office areas of Reading.
This is the FUNNIEST shop in Reading (possibly the UK)
Here you get a selection of the whackiest and funniest of:
- birthday and other cards
- picture framing service
... and more
What to buy: I have bought a hillarious postcard of Reading for my parents and a T-shirt for a friend saying: "Jesus loves all - but he loves ME best!"
What to pay: from £1 upwards ...
As Reading is well known for shopping, so I did not think that my page would be complete by just having the Oracle Mall in there.
A worthy opponent would be Broad Street.
Its a pedestrian street, with plays host to all the big high street names, and more.
What to buy: Clothing, Electrical Equipment, Food, you name it!
The Oracle is a medium sized shopping centre that is built around a canal. There are department stores and specialist boutiques inside, and outside there are many restaurants, cinemas and bars.
Walking along the canal side especially in the summer has a pretty cosmopolitan feel, and the Oracle feels as if it could be transposed into almost any large city anywhere in the world!
The Oracle Centre is Reading's newset shopping mall opened on the 23rd of September 1999. The centre development is now complete with a grand entrance opening on to Broad Street.
What to buy: A wide range of shops, including several department stores (including Debenhams, House of Fraser), many clothes shops, Dixons, Waterstones and HMV - to name just a few! Good capacity parking and plenty of places to rest and get a coffee inside!
Jackson's is a long-established department store at the crossroads of Market Place, Kings Road, Duke Street & High Street.
What to buy: Jackson's are a traditional department store, unique to Reading.