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Fishermans Cottage, Reading

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user reviews of the Fishermans Cottage, Reading

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Surprisingly quite on a Friday lunchtime. Amazing food - paellas, etc. - reasonably priced. Nice riverside location.
Trev - 7 Apr 2017 20:20
Entering this pub, one could have mistaken it for a brothel, with the strangely positioned curtain at the entrance. However, it is a small canalside pub with a tiny lounge area as you enter and a larger conservatory to the side of the bar. It's a Fullers pub that was serving ESB, HSB & Pride on our Saturday lunchtime visit. Live football was being shown on the inobtrusive TV. Didn't see any sign of Thai food, as mentioned previously. Maybe they have now stopped this.
blue_scrumpy - 19 Nov 2012 21:12
Great location, great ales, great Thai food served quickly and freshly. Shame about miserable joyless bar manager who prevented us from playing darts as there were children about (couldn't see any) and then proceeded to tell us to 'behave' when seemingly doing nothing wrong! Surprisingly quiet for a Friday evening although maybe the manager's attitude has driven people off!! Would come back nonetheless.
richd - 30 Apr 2011 12:37
Didn't enjoy the visit here with 80's disco music blasting through a speaker system. Half decent beer with 'Spring Ale' on - but unlikely to rush back?
uriahheep - 27 Apr 2011 15:29
Forgot to mention the live music most Fridays - The Generaters were great last week....
tccllp - 23 Feb 2011 20:26
Good to see Ricky still behind the ramp and happy with the renewed focus of the pub. Great Fullers beers, reasonable prices and the food menu is back, including a new Thai menu.
Really happy to get a decent pint of Pride and no chance of the stock running out......

Keep it up Ricky
tccllp - 23 Feb 2011 20:23
I used to be regular here years ago but have not been in for a while (I relocated with work) and have to say I was pleasantly surprised when I popped back in. I really like the feel of the place now, friendly and relaxed and ,yes, as has beer pointed out previously, the beer choice has improved too. Can't be bad!
blackandwhite - 3 Oct 2010 08:30
Pleasant, old-fashioned Fuller's canalside pub. With the Jolly Angler's sadly closed, this place is even more valuable.
Greshon - 7 Dec 2009 11:00
Paid my first visit here since the refurbishment and was reasonably impressed. The place has certainly been tidied up and most of the furniture looks new and is sensibly laid out - unlike it used to be. Good to see that the old entrance, long boarded up, has been re-instated. The coal fire was also in use.

Beer range was Fullers Chiswick (off last night with the pump clip turned around so I assume it is usually on), Pride, Discovery and ESB, Gales (Fullers) HSB and Lancaster Brewery Amber. Prices were certainly the cheapest in Reading for Fullers with Pride at £2.90 and ESB at £3. Our first Pride was fine but the second wasn't. It was changed upon request with no hassle by the polite and efficient lady behind the bar - who used to work in the Hook and Tackle years ago.

Food menu was fairly standard pub stuff mostly around a fiver. The 3 course Christmas menu that was on display (unfortunately with a Christmas tree in October!) looked excellent value at £10.95 but, of course, one can't be sure without seeing/tasting it.

For 6pm on a Thursday the place was very quiet though. I'll certainly return here especially when out walking on the river/canal.
cheshirecat - 29 Oct 2009 10:38
Canalside Fullers pub on the banks of the Kennet and Avon canal, a short walk along the towpath from the town centre.

In terms of seating space, there's a large conservatory that dwarves the small seating area of the original part of the pub.

There's seating outside by the canal towpath and also seating at the back.

Perhaps surprisingly, on my recent afternoon visit, it had a more pubby local pub feel to it than I might have expected, given the location and most customers appeared to be regulars, known to the new management. The outside seating at the front had that newish garden centre look about it.

Despite proudly displaying the Cask Marque symbol, my pint of Pride was poorish. Perhaps I should have gone for the Ossett Brewery guest that was on.

There's a good honest pub grub menu.

It was quite pleasant sitting outside by the canal in the sunshine watching the world go by, but this won't be one of my first ports of call when I'm next in Reading.
JohnBonser - 28 Aug 2009 13:00
Under new management - the inside has been tidied up and the beer range extended to incorporate most of the Fuller's cask range (plus a guest). Quality has been better too. Can still be a bit quiet but expect trade to pick up now the Jolly Anglers has closed (again!)
Quinno - 13 Jul 2009 13:42
Run out of London Pride last Sunday (5th July) as well. I'm not impressed.
BinBagBob - 8 Jul 2009 11:23
The current licensees seem to be making a decent fist of things so far. Letís face it, they'd struggle to do as badly as the last lot. They'll be helped by the closure (hopefully temporary) of the Jolly Anglers just along the canal. However, when I visited last Sunday afternoon, theyíd run out of London Pride. In my book, a Fullers pub that runs out of Pride must be doing something wrong.
BinBagBob - 1 Jul 2009 14:26
New licensees - Fullers range plus a guest (Jennings Cumberland Ale when I went). Not a bad place to sit and watch the boats go by, but I used in conjunction with a visit to the Jolly Anglers (now closed) so perhaps I will not get there as often.
mcroyal - 21 Jun 2009 20:12
Lovely Fullers canalside pub,£5.90 for pint of ESB & a Smirnoff Ice,Quick friendly service although it was a tuesday afternoon,just hope Fullers don't throw it away like Enterprise have done to the jolly anglers, 8/10
fat_beer_badger - 17 Jun 2009 15:45
New people and a fresh coat of paint. Opened over the Easter weekend but stood in the shadows of The Anglerís Arms with their excellent beer Festival. Proper review of the ĎFishí next week.
sevensleepers - 14 Apr 2009 13:47
Encouraged by Blodwin's last post, I visited yesterday. Oh dear. It looks like the old regime is still in charge. No draught beer was available - I was told that the barman had been dispatched to the off license to buy some bottles. An utter shambles.
believeinbutter - 12 Jan 2009 16:54
Perhaps not as bad as made out in some reviews, the conservatory is straight out of an Everest windows UPVC catalogue from 1985. However, given that the rest of the place doesnít catch much light during the day, this isnít necessarily a bad thing.

My ESB was OK (nothing more, nothing less) though I was bit surprised when I overheard the lady who I guess was the licensee saying that she didnít like ale, and absolutely hated having to do the tasting in the morning after cleaning the lines. Given this is a Fullerís outlet, I think thatís a bit of a poor reflection!

Given that the Jolly Anglers is only a few yards further on up the bankside path, with three excellent ales and a perennial GBG entry, Iíd keep going. The Butler is a far better Fullerís outlet in town, with the Corn Stores not far behind.
Quinno - 18 Feb 2008 17:14
I agree with "believeinbutter" - this pub's best days are long gone. On most nights you're lucky to see more than half a dozen customers here. There were two recent exceptions - on the Friday before Xmas the place was busy, but we were all turfed out at 11pm as it was too much effort for the manager & staff to take advantage of their midnight license. Then on Xmas Eve, the manager & boyfriend were believed to be drunk & asleep upstairs, leaving the customers downstairs to serve themselves!
CarolineNo - 31 Dec 2007 10:04
Nice beer - but the pub seems to be run on a "not for profit" basis for the benefit of the licensee's boyfriend & his mates. If there are more than half a dozen people present, you will be made to feel particularly unwelcome come closing time & chucked out pronto, leaving the regular few to their late night session.
On the plus side, if you are a smoker you can puff away indoors with the staff to your heart's content - nobody will give a toss.
Get down there soon - I can't see their money lasting forever & I reckon they'll be out of business sometime in 2008.
believeinbutter - 27 Dec 2007 18:00
Just what a pub should be, best not to have too many pints of ESB though as you might fall in the water outside when leaving the pub.
SarahHops - 26 Dec 2007 16:33
Reasonably regular for the good but expensive food at lunchtime - was there in the evening recently, and no sign of the hordes of children. Duff pint of HSB tasted by barman and immediately exchanged with no argument.
bloodnok - 19 Jul 2007 17:52
We visited again on 13 November and the new management were there. Friendly and what's more the London Pride was good. However (at lunchtime, on a Monday) the place was deserted which may have been affected by the lack of food. "Food will back when we've cleaned up the kitchen". Sounds promising!
anonymous - 26 Nov 2006 19:23
Reopened last weekend following a bit of a re-furb by the new owners. Time will tell how they get on, but they can't get any worse than the last lot. Or can they ...
anonymous - 6 Nov 2006 13:58
I think we'll have to find a different Fuller's pub. Visited on Sunday lunchtime- the single bar was almost empty and a bit smoky, but worst of all no London Pride! We were offered bottles though the barman appeared to be unaware of any difference (lager drinker maybe). We'll certainly wait awhile before re-visiting.
anonymous - 22 Oct 2006 18:02
A friend recommended the place to me so we went and had a nice pint of ESB. In the main I enjoyed my visit. I thought the pub had nice decor and I liked how it was situated right on the river. The only downside was I felt like I was in a showroom of a conservatory company.
ownedbycats - 17 Nov 2005 04:11
This pub is definately not as bad as it is made out to be... the Kids are only there on occasions and are most of the time under control!!!

Karaoke is a superb night i would recommend it to anyone who is after a good night out!!! Bar staff are friendly and will try there best to please.

Locals are great very friendly, always up for a chat!

food is very good (bit on the expensive side) try the cottage pie!!!!

anonymous - 3 Aug 2005 01:17
Have not been for a while but returned for a pint recently. First thing I noticed was that all the lights were on full blast and two kids were climbing on the bar billiards table. Throughout the evening I counted about 20 kids unsupervised and running around, this is not acceptable.
This pub has gone downhill dramaticaly and I think the only people who would enjoy the place in the current state are dare I say it... 'chavs'.

anonymous - 19 Feb 2005 16:51
great family pub. good food and despite the comments not microwaved. and i do not see the problem with people having tattoos you go in any pub and people have tattoos. whats the problem. the bar staff are friendly they always say thankyou when someone leaves the pub. if people dont like it they do not have to go in there. but i would recommend it to anyone. its a great pub.
cyndi - 10 Feb 2005 21:32
apart from the odd person falling off his stool this is a friendly drinkers pub.Always busy on a sunday afternoon serving hot roasts that look and smell delicious.
oilpastel - 9 Feb 2005 07:31
This place has really gone downhill over the last year.
On my visit yesterday I encountered a teenage boy roller-blading around the bar and a baby playing with the the electric plug/socket of the fruit machine. Judging by other comments on this site, my experience was not a one-off.
anonymous - 7 Feb 2005 14:04
Went here a week or so ago. 9pm in the evening. Hordes of unsupervised kids climbing over the furniture. Not my cup of tea.
Stefan - 15 Nov 2004 10:30
The current leaseholders seem to have lost all interest in this pub. Fullers presumably aren't bothered either. The current temporary manager seems intent on dumbing down the place as far as possible - so far he's doing a good job! Definitely one to avoid, unless tattoos, menacing faces & burberry caps rock your boat.
Ted - 8 Nov 2004 13:48
They still have a sign outside saying they are in the Good Food Guide. Dont fall for it. Food is awful and 100% microwaved or fried. Very cliquey, crap atmosphere needs a really good clean.

gingerbiscuits - - 29 Oct 2004 12:44
I'm afraid to say that this pub is completely losing it and apart from the smokers who 'clog' the bar it now attracts 'chavs'Long gone of the days as a Guardian Gastropub' The current seemed to have relinquished any control and is happy to see it go down hill under a series of managers.
david.stockton - 27 Oct 2004 16:28
Excellent beer, but the bar often tends to get clogged up with chain smokers (including off duty bar staff). Roll on next year when Fullers have promised to ban smoking at the bar!
Bob - 3 Oct 2004 10:06
Used to frequent this pub when I lived in East Reading. Quite a few 'late' nights.

It's been through a few landlords recently, but odly enough doesn't seem to have suffered too much from it. Very pleasant drinking establishment - the 'nook' is great if you can bagsy it before anyone else.
Flea - 30 Sep 2004 09:48
A quiet pub on the River Kennet by the lock. Seating outside by the river tow/cycle path and also in the garden at the back.
Decent food always available (The only Reading pub in the Guardian Good pub food guide) and the beer selection, whilst not exciting (Fullers pub) is at least in good condition and well kept.

There is a car park accesible from Orts Rd (town end).
Music and/or TV is, if on, at very low volume so converstaion is never strained.
There is a bar billiards table, too!
Clientele is mostly locals in the evening and business people at lunch times, but visitors are always welcome, here.
Julz - 11 Aug 2004 16:42

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