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Bugle, Reading

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user reviews of the Bugle, Reading

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

Traditional pub but no real ale, loud industrial language and no sign of intelligent life among the customers. There are far better pubs in Reading.
hollybush33 - 28 Jan 2017 14:17
Like mentioned in the comment below, The Bugle shall never replace my once favourited Jolly Porter, but the selection of ale and rugby day atmosphere is easing the blow slightly.
summerrivers - 23 Jan 2012 23:48
I've paying occasional visits to The Bugle for years. Still one of my favourites in Reading, but I miss The Jolly Porter. Good jukebox.
stevefromharlow - 4 Jul 2011 13:13
Same old crowd been coming over the years, really puts me off. Avoid
BELAM - 31 Oct 2010 22:11
The Bugle has just re-opened with "new management" but possibly not with "new customers".
mcroyal - 13 Aug 2010 13:31
Shut on Saturday night at 8pm but The Bugle seems to still be opening as a pub sporadically though. With a 'To Let' sign above the door, surely this boozer is now in the 'at risk' category...
SotonAleDrinker - 27 Jun 2010 14:28
Very very tired...
SotonAleDrinker - 20 Jun 2010 21:59
Only had Courage Best on yesterday. As already said, back bar was very tatty, but a characterful pub nonetheless.
King_Viv - 13 Nov 2009 15:13
A good honest boozer. Yeah it's a bit tatty but the Courage Best really was good when I visited. Worth a visit.
wolvesfan - 14 Sep 2009 11:04
Beginning to look very ragged and tatty, especially the back bar. The two ales (Courage and Bombardier) are usually fairly average.
Quinno - 12 Jul 2009 11:21
Small-fronted attractive looking pub in the centre of Reading, on one of the town's main shopping thoroughfares. It's virtually directly opposite a couple of budget hotels, Novotel and Ibis.

The front bar, seemingly the haunt of locals, has low ceilings, dark beams and is carpeted, but the traditional feel of the place is marred somewhat by the presence of a loudish jukebox. In addition, one of the 4 or 5 locals present during my visit appeared to be trying to set a new record for the number of times he could use the f - word in a single sentence. So I retreated to the back bar.

The back bar, accessed through the front bar or via its own side entrance, is rather bland and characterless, but I imagine gets filled up quickly when sport is showing on the big screen.

Real ales on were Bombardier and Courage Best. There were also a couple of other pumps, unclipped and seemingly not in use. I imagine they have an occasional guest beer, but I didn't see any clips anywhere and I imagine there's not a lot of real ale trade.

Visiting at approx 11.15 on Saturday morning, I was able to benefit from a 50p per pint discount, which was advertised as applying between 9am and 2 pm between Monday and Saturday, plus all day Sunday, although the well-endowed foreign barmaid told me the pub had recently reverted to 10.30 opening due to lack of trade.

Perhaps surprisingly, my pint of Bombardier, at the reduced price of £ 2.48p was rather good.

The Bugle is not a must visit pub by any stretch of the imagination, but, as the centre of Reading appears to be woefully short of traditional and characterful pubs, you might want to give this one a go if passing by.
JohnBonser - 12 May 2009 09:02
Cottage style pub with a small frontage and low ceilings. I imagine it is mainly frequented by regulars and it serves them well. Courage Best and Directors plus a keg mild that I don’t often see.

Millay - 2 Feb 2009 20:56
Sorry to hear Sam has been asked to leave prob one of the best barmen is Reading, good Luck in the future mate place will never be the same
Nelson.74 - 21 Jun 2008 23:50
Great pub if you don't mind the juke box turned up full volume and the TV's on at the same time. I am not complaining, i like it but best if your a bit drunk already before going in!
palinlover - 27 Mar 2008 16:06
Beer quality never really matched that of my first visit. A good place to go with a few mates, can get a bit of atmosphere going, but not really a must-do Reading pub by any means at present. No Webster’s GL on any more either, DeggyT’s gutted.

Watch out for the comedy on Reading FC match days, a massive hinged beam gets put across the inside of the front door like something out of the Sheriff of Nottingham's castle! Only exit is through the side door, seen a few shoppers being caught out by it, thinking they were locked in until sundown!
Quinno - 18 Feb 2008 14:30
If you want a real boozer in the town centre with a decent jukebox, good beer and a friendly clientele and bar staff, you got it.


mickfaver - 29 Dec 2007 18:11
Unusual to find a proper traditional boozer these days .....untouched by brewery chain mediocrity !

Excellent ....could become a museum when people think Wetherspoons et al are the norm !


W980501 - 14 Aug 2007 14:10
Beer ok, good jukebox.

There, isn't that diplomatic?!
beerPrincess - 30 Jul 2007 10:04
Can get an early drink in here
ted_savage - 17 Jul 2007 15:20
Sorts the prices out and then you would have a decent pub..
anonymous - 18 Apr 2007 12:27
This is an ok pub.I have had a few good afternoon drinks in here. It is expencive and not a big pub but if you are in a good crowd of guys and youcan put up with the rolling stones being played all the time by Mark then it can be a good luugh!
palinlover - 6 Mar 2007 14:52
Good, friendly pub. Slightly expensive but good atmosphere, juke box and the big screen jazzes the place up a bit.
snorkler - 10 Dec 2006 15:20
Great location near the station and served Websters Green Label, one of my favourite beers, bit more expensive than in Manchester though.

Patrons are of varying demographics, but pleasent enough. Good looking staff.
DeggyT - 5 Nov 2006 00:14
Well what a strange little cubby-hole.

Slap-bang in the middle of the town centre, it looks like a backstreet boozer from yesteryear, and doesn't disappoint when you go inside. The decor is circa 1976 and so are most of the people drinking in it - I almost expected to see Watneys on sale, but saw Websters Green Label instead which ain't that far off really.

Bomadier and Directors were the two real ales on when I went, and I hear that they are changed regularly, well mine were in tip-top condition so fair play there.

Music of choice is LOUD ROCK, (as is the landlord by the looks of him) even when there are only 10 customers, like last night.

Not a pub for everyone, but I found it rather quaint nonetheless.
Quinno - 12 Jul 2006 20:46
Strange shed-like public house. closes at odd times. If it wasn't for the plasma screen in the back bar and the modern drinks it would feel like a bar from about a hundred years ago. Some of the regulars look a hundred or so as well. Becoming a bit more populars wiht the under 70s since you can get a seat and hear yourself think in here which is unique along Friar street on a Friday night. I think it's owned by the same lot who own the Blagrave. If you find it open try it out.
Reading_till_i_die - 6 Feb 2006 10:55
Good pubs, beers well presented, friendly staff, reasonable seating, interesting building, decent regulars. What can possibly go wrong?

Well not opening until late some days and shutting at 8:30 on the 30th of December do lead me to question the wisdom of their management, they even truned away a party including me and seven of my friends as they were shutting becuae it was too quiet? What?
Hedgehog - 19 Jan 2006 15:35
Beer quality varies from proper to not good. Great low key freindly no-nonsense pub once you find its charm.
Baffling juke box.
A good pub for singing a long to the juke box - loudly.

Me and my (22yrs - 40yrs) old friends love it.
Mark2005 - 12 Jan 2006 17:02
Nice. Quiet. Pleasant. A good place to drink and chat.
DennisMenace - 25 Jul 2005 16:14
hi im working in blag & bugle and its a nice place to go! ps. are you sure someone refused to chenage it or was he/she just on its own?
friend - 14 Oct 2004 10:02
Very small and pleasant, bar staff very friendly. Good place to watch sport and enjoy ales. I'm almost tempted to give it a bad rating to stop people coming in and crowding it!
Stuart - 5 Sep 2004 16:19
My beer was off and staff refused to change it!!
bob - 30 Aug 2004 09:07
Changed hands recently to be a sister pub of the Blagrave Arms. Is still a "local"-styled pub but is cleaner and smells better.

Top drawer local boozer with Sky Sports
anonymous - 6 Feb 2004 16:11
Very old dark pub. Nice people both sides of the bar. A welcome change from the faceless chain pubs.
ray - 28 Jan 2004 21:40

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