skip nav  

Bird in Hand, Reading

back to pub details

user reviews of Bird in Hand, Reading

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

Stumbled on this lovely pub by accident when out looking for somewhere to have a birthday lunch! Was a great choice, friendly staff and great food with a complimentary birthday drink! :D will defo be visiting again, possibly next Saturday for their Halloween nite!

Madwomanchrissy - 18 Oct 2013 17:52
We were out walking in the area a couple of weeks ago and fully expected the place to still be boarded up. Very pleased to find it open, serving well kept real ale (Loddon & West Berks), and advertizing an impending beer festival with a ska theme. What more could you want? Very happy, and staff lovely. Haven't eaten here yet so can't comment on the food.
jammyrhona - 1 Oct 2013 19:55
Hello! My name is Tara Lyons and I’m delighted to let you know that I’ve taken over at the Bird in Hand, Sonning Common. It’s such a beautiful pub in a picturesque village. There’s a delightful garden with a water pond and alfresco dining which backs onto Bird Wood. It’s perfect for walkers. There are dog treats on the bar, real ales and a mouth watering menu. Please come and say hi!
Tara_Lyons - 21 Aug 2013 17:29
Closed with Enterprise boards up, to put off fresh licensees.
theeternalwheel - 6 Aug 2013 15:28
PLEASE do not take any notice of previous three comments, they were all made by a bitter rival at another local pub which will remain nameless except its something to do with a Glass and a bottle?
birdinhand - 12 Dec 2011 19:07
Not very good beer here
wada - 27 Sep 2011 09:28
The food is very poor in this pub.
elfish - 26 Sep 2011 14:26
Not a good pub.Not friendly.
asda - 26 Sep 2011 11:11
Firstly can I just correct the previous contributor's entry. Doom Bar Bitter is not made by Lodden( Loddon!) but by Sharps in Cornwall. Loddon Brewery is about half a mile down the road from The Bird in Hand and indeed the pub is virtually their brewery tap!
This is a nice little pub which was until recently in danger of being lost as it had gone through a bad patch and was closed for some time. Thankfully it is now up and running again and is open all day for excellent Loddon and guest beers. Food is served until 2.30 and then again the evening and I think it is available throughout the day at wekeends. There is a lovely garden and patio at the back with a water feature; ample car parking and a very cosy atmosphere inside (I think the ingle nook fire gets lit in the winter months) Diners are catered for in the rear room while there is a small drinking area at the front. The number 2 bus has a regular service from Reading and stops just down the lane opposite the pub.
Well worth a visit - my Ferryman's Gold was very good (3.60 a pint) and the service was very friendly.
mcroyal - 20 Jul 2011 12:45
Since the sad closure of the Plowden Arms in Shiplake in January 2011, we've been looking hungrily for a decent pub/restaurant.

I sincerely believe we have found one here that truly fulfills our needs & expectations to the full. Time will tell as we have only eaten here for a few weeks now to be fair, but hey first impressions count!!

We were looking for a comfortable & cozy typical traditional English Pub that served good quality food, with plenty of variety at a reasonable price. It had to have good & fast service, a friendly atmosphere, have a garden for the summer & be out in the countryside. Im a fussy eater & we like quiet surroundings.

So far so good, high scores on all of the above. The staff are all very friendly, helpful & attentive. The food arrives quickly & is served piping hot. We havent found any fresh/frozen items yet!

We agree mostly with the other two reviews here, although we DID think that the food was actually cheaper than other pubs nearby considering the quality on offer. I must compliment the other reviewer for suggesting other establishments & look forward to trying them too for comparison.

I prefer Brakspear & Fullers ales, but I am getting quite used to the local brew called Doom Bar by the Lodden Brewery.

The garden & carpark are reasonably sized, but the pub is situated right on a fast main road which can be a little noisy in the bar.
tltozer - 9 Mar 2011 09:53
After all the ups & downs of this pub over a number of years (I first called in here in early 1970's) I thought it was time to try again following the re-opening last year. What a pleasant experience despite the somewhat slow food service on a very, very busy weekday lunchtime: very good menu with reasonable pricing. Good service - friendly and attentive without being obtrusive. Some really nice local (Loddon brewery) beers. As other posters have mentioned there is not much room in the bar but it and the lounge area are very cosy and the young barman was on the ball. In summer the garden will be great. Will certainly visit again. Soon I hope.
hitthewoodwork - 3 Feb 2011 21:00
3 Loddon beers on offer from 3.20. Not really a drinking place though - very small bar at the front with all of the rear given over to eating. Menu was reasonable and prices OK. My vegetarian mate wasn't too happy with his food (other than the pudding!) but we meat eaters were very happy.

Has very little atmosphere - I can't imagine paying a visit other than for the food.
cheshirecat - 19 Oct 2010 21:11
Had lunch here with grandchildren yesterday. Food for both adults and kids very good. Friendly service. Clean, and welcoming feel to place. Will definitely go again.
carosmum - 14 Aug 2010 13:52
Popped in yesterday having heard of the re-opening & pretty impressed. The garden's excellent & v. dog-friendly with several water bowls & other dogs. Only 2 pumps on & instantly down to 1 when I asked for the Ferryman's Gold as they could only pump a pint of froth! Still, the Hoppit, despite being only 3.5%, was fabulous & I usually find weak beers insipid. There was a small bar area but seem to be mainly pushing on the food front. Full marks to the staff as they were very friendly & inviting, just hope there's room to just have a drink in the winter when the garden's no longer an option.
rearadmiral - 12 Jul 2010 09:52
Recently refurbished and reopened. Mainly a restaurant where the staff are friendly, the atmosphere informal, the food very good and in large portions. Well heeled clientele. The beer was well served though I thought a bit pricey, possibly to keep 'drinkers' out. Not a local's pub and not really worth visiting just for a drink but good food and a good pint make it worth a try. Might even go back there myself.
kentgoldings - 7 Jun 2010 21:15
So happy to read this, I used to be the head chef at the Bird in Hand, great to hear it has re-opened and is doing well. Ahhh happy days.
johnbeswick - 28 Apr 2010 22:27
We were confused by this pubs title "Gastro Pub and Restaurant", I thought a Gastro pub was a pub serving good quality food, so was a bit supprised to find nowhere in the bar area really to sit although the "Restaurant" out the back was large. We didn't eat so can't comment on the quality but prices looked a bit more than we would be willing to pay for pub grub.

Having been closed for a while, and seemingly being refurbed for weeks we expected something good and were a bit disappointed. Garden although having been cleared still needs a lot of work and tidying up, the smelly skip not helping.

Beer on tap was Loddon which is brewed about 2 miles away and was served well, and tasted good although over 5 for a beer and a lemonade is a bit pricey.

I have one question, why can noone in the Reading / South Oxfordshire area open a decent pub serving good pub food at reasonable prices. Why does everywhere have to be Gastro! This area is crying out for something normal.

Eddieed - 19 Apr 2010 13:30
We went for lunch (the chef is apparently very experiencedand we were full of optimism and felt it was expensive for what we had, poor value for money and other established pubs in the area do better,cheaper.
Taste is subjective but black shiny plates do nothing for the food IMHO
The pub has a pleasant enough garden which I guess will be further improved over time so its probably OK for a beer and a sandwich or similar on a nice day
Lunchalot - 19 Apr 2010 11:22
Two thirds along a lengthy cross country walk me and my wife stumbled on this lovely little pub last Saturday. With a newly refurbished interior it was nicely fitted out and 2 of the 3 ale pumps (referred to by the previous reviewer) were in operation. I cant recall what I ordered although I do know it was a very nice pint. Id suggest the staff (owners?) are still finding their feet and they were friendly and eager to please. Advertising itself as a gastro pub, although initially disappointed by the limited options for a light lunch we were soon pleasantly surprised by the lovely chunky sandwiches which they served with salad and proper crisps. Good value and very tasty. Id be quite prepared to travel back here for a longer visit.
Hellskitchen - 14 Apr 2010 19:53
Re-opened on the 1st April, went in tonight -6th April- to see if all the talk on the Reading Forum is correct and although they have 3 ale pumps they had no ale on, I was offered a bottled ale instead. If I want bottled beer I would buy it in a shop not go into a pub. Absolutely unbelievable. I may go in tomorrow to see if they are selling any as it could not possibly be tapped and ready.
squonk1 - 6 Apr 2010 01:05
Latest information is that this pub is closed and boarded up.
mcroyal - 21 Jun 2009 20:06
Pub is now closed and boarded up
mrbluto - 5 Dec 2008 11:42

got anything to say about this pub?

Please read our reviews policy before posting.
Only registered users can post reviews. Please log in. If you don't have an account yet, register here.