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Bull, Barkham

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user reviews of the Bull, Barkham

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

First pub of 10 in Berkshire yesterday was this one. It's a country pub on a small roundabout, with a large car park. As luck would have it, they had a beer festival on. Ales either in the bar or in the outdoor courtyard were Sharp's Doom Bar, Gales HSB, Timothy Taylor Landlord, Rebellion IPA, Unifer & Smuggler, Brains The Rev James, Great Heck Trafalgar, Kelham Island Best Of You, Skinners Betty Stogs, Wishbone Drover, Exile Apollo, Exmoor Stag & Caveman Neo. Disappointingly there was no real cider. I opted for the Drover, which wasn't my kind of beer at all, despite being just about the darkest beer available. Music was a bit too loud outside. But staff were all friendly.
blue_scrumpy - 16 Jul 2018 20:27
A very well run establishment. Has a good reputation for (on the pricey side) food. Beers are well kept & of consistently good quality - normally 4 or 5 cask beers - Doom Bar, HSB, Landlord that sort of thing. Friendly bar staff & management.
starterfor10 - 4 Nov 2016 14:57
I've been coming here for 3 or 4 years. In that time there have been around 5 new owners. The latest has been there for 9 weeks. I went in on Sunday with my young family and was delighted to see the place was busy, as it deserves to be.
The new landlord is very friendly, there are 3 ales on pull and once the two broken pumps are fixed there will be 5. They are all kept in very good condition. The food is home cooked and of an excellent standard. There is a bar area, a lounge type area and then a restaurant type area at the back, so all moods are catered for.
There was a very friendly atmosphere and even though it was busy my daughter had space to move around without unduly disturbing others.
Looking forward to my next visit very soon.
IvorHogseye - 3 Sep 2012 15:41
New landlady in place for last 3 months and nice to see she welcomes families. One of my old gripes of this place was that it was not family friendly. Went in on Tuesday night for birthday meal and very impressed with the food. Chef did a cracking job with presentation & quality of food. Still nice to see 5 handpumps on the bar serving Wickwar B.O.B., Hopback HOP, Courage Best and two others. I will definately be going back again soon.
Beer_Spotter - 27 Oct 2011 00:58
Recently under new management, and the early signs are that this may not be a good thing.

When I was there the place was completely dead - just myself and my wife in the entire pub. The landlord seemed quite grumpy, which may explain the lack of other customers. Also, their refusal to have any kind of background music on gave the place all the atmosphere of a morgue. Its a shame, this used to be a good pub and easily could be again.

They are also refusing to open for the after-work crowd, waiting instead until 17:30 once the rush-hour has died down. Situated as they are on one of the busiest roads in and out of Wokingham, this is a horrendous business decision.
Big_K - 23 Apr 2011 09:55
Almost faultless! Great food using local ingredients. Lovely pint of Broadside and no kids under the age of ten. What more could you ask for?
netsmith72 - 6 Oct 2009 16:08
The guest beers don't seem to be as interesting as they used to be a year ago. The quality is still good though.
Quinno - 30 Jul 2009 14:15
Very pleasant last night, but quite quiet. 4 beers on - Courage Best, Adnams Bitter and Broadside and Fullers ESB. The Broadside was excellent. Good tasty food, but noticed that the prices seem to have crept up rather a lot lately. Still a fine country pub, though, welcoming and providing very decent quality.
metrology_man - 17 Jun 2009 07:59
Still doing a good job in here if you like a good ale - 5 on today including 2 Adnams beers and Ballards Wild in excellent shape.

Can be a bit foody but retains the air of a drinkers pub outside of the more obvious eating times.

Well recommended.
Quinno - 26 Oct 2008 22:22
Lovely country pub, friendly and welcoming to all. Good home-cooked food served in the bar or restaurant area. Licensees and staff always friendly. Good range of ales - Adnams Bitter and Broadside always available plus Courage Best and Old Peculier. Worth a visit if you're in the area. Sells the local Barkham Blue cheese - a must!
metrology_man - 13 Jun 2008 12:59
We moved to Barkham in May of this year and shortly after we thought we would try out our 'local'. We walked through the door to the greeting of 'closed' and a glare. We promptly turned round and walked out and haven't dared go back since. Whilst I appreciate that not all pubs are open all day - was there any need to be so short you have scared us away.
coombes - 3 Oct 2007 09:15
Lovely pub. Great food, the Barkham Blue cheese on the steak is gorgeous! Good selection of bagettes etc. Great beer but a little pricey. Looks like it'd be really nice in the winter with the huge fire roaring! Chef was a little funny about putting a dollop of chilli on the chips my friend ordered, even though they offered to pay which seemed a little strange. Friendly bar staff, have been a few times and would go back.
panlay - 16 Jun 2007 15:52
Well worth a visit due to the good selection of ales (5 including an excellent pint of Old Peculiar) and the warm and chatty atmosphere.

Sadly had to leave earlier than planned, but will make a point of returning. Recommended.

Here, the Swan in Arborfield and the Magpie and Parrot in Shinfield would make an excellent mini-crawl for ale drinkers if you have a willing DES.
Quinno - 24 Mar 2007 14:27
As the Owner I feel obliged to respond to the incorrect statements from this person
1) we do not nor have we ever and I have never heard of a pub/restaurant advertising as dairy free

2)I always talk to our many special dietry customers to ensure we can give them the same quality of food as anyone else who comes to dine with us. I call this good customer relations and personal service.

3)we do not allow children nor do we advertise that we do and there is also a sign to say so before entering our establishment however they did sit inside in the restaurant and the children were well behaved

4)our garden benches are in our lawned garden ,NOT in the car park!! they are not dirty they are garden benches

5)the pub was fully refurbished in May 05 it is a traditional country pub and is extremly clean

this person was on a back foot from the start due to not allowing children in a pub.

Any person who does not appreciate good customer relations/personal service and catering to individual dietry requirements and a clean traditional pub/restaurant should not go to pubs and restaurants
proprietor - 2 Sep 2006 14:21
The pub advertises itself as a dairy free pub but you have to ask the chef about each item on the menu and he couldn't guarantee my niece would be safe. The chef was the most unhelpful person I’d met in a long time and children are not allowed inside. You can only sit on the dirty benches in the main car park. The service was terrible, the food was cold and I wouldn’t recommend this pub to anyone who has standards. The pub needs a good clean and the owners need to go on a course called “the customer is always right”
decentplacestoeat - 15 Aug 2006 17:04
Excellent food and the ales are something else. Several Adnams varieties as well as Old Peculiar on draught. Shame it closes in the afternoon. I could spend all day there. 'Barkham Blue' cheese is a must!
FrankDS - 2 May 2006 16:54
The Bull at Barkham serves excellent food, with local 'Barkham' cheese as one option. Friendly atmosphere, waitress service. You will need to book on Friday nights as it gets very busy. Worth a visit, must be one of the best in Berkshire.
PMF - 28 Mar 2006 21:24
This is a friendly and welcoming pub, serving both excellent food and drink. They are never to busy to say hello and make your visit memorable. Well worth a visit.
bandit - 1 Dec 2005 16:41
A real traditional pub with an excellent variety of home cooked food which you can either eat in the welcoming bar area or the restaurant, with waitress service. This pub has a lot to offer with its original and extensive menu and fantastic range of wines. I have eaten here on many occasions in the past 2 years and have never been dissapointed. The restaurant is a great area for that special occasion, or just for a brilliant night out. The bar is a good place to relax and talk to friends. A brilliant pub to go to eat, drink and relax. I would advise anyone to make an effort to visit it as you will always get a friendly welcome and a great night out.
mr_g_raffe - 22 Nov 2005 12:45
Excellent place to visit. Well worth a special journey unlike what Ian says!!!!
Excellent food with a variety of dishes on the menu to cater for all needs!!!
Also an extensive range of beers and wines!!!!
Happy atmosphere and friendly staff!!!
Brilliant place to go, not to be missed!!!!
Warm friendly welcome everytime!!!

Rabbit - 20 Nov 2005 16:43
Our local for many years, but now greatly improved by the current landlords. First class food, good service and beers in a friendly atmosphere. We dine there at least once a week, never dissapointed!
Coote - 19 Nov 2005 22:35
what a great place to go for a well kept ales good home cooked food and friendly helpful staff and atmosphere. recently refurbed in keeping with the age and style no load music or tv`s with yobs screaming at it the best place to TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS. boozyoldgit obviously went to another BULL pub because this one has to be one of the best pubs in Berkshire
skywalker - 19 Nov 2005 09:40
Comfortable and friendly pub, good food, well kept beer, helpful staff and nice mix of customers.
Terry1 - 18 Nov 2005 08:09
Recently refurbished, the pub has a pleasant atmosphere, great food, well kept, varied beers. Always a warm welcome! Well worth a visit.
pjnorm - 17 Nov 2005 13:14
A good mix of regulars and "visitors". The pub has been greatly improved over the past couple of years and offers a very fine quality of food. Beer well kept with a good choice.
Ken - 17 Nov 2005 11:18
Pretty disappointing. Seems to have slid downhill at the bar and the food over the last 3 visits. Won't return.
boozyoldgit - 14 Oct 2005 20:03
Locals pub. Seperate food area. Plays very quite music. Not worth a special journey, but worth a visit if you're passing.
Ian - 7 Jul 2003 13:01

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