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Three Guineas, Reading

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user reviews of the Three Guineas, Reading

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

With 30 minutes to spare between trains one Sunday morning in Reading, what better place to have a swift half than the Three Guineas. It's part of the station, but outside the ticket barriers. The interior has been refreshed and seems much more modern, which is not necessarily a bad thing. As a Fuller's tied pub, it had ESB, Pride & Oliver's Island & Gale's HSB as standard. Seasonal beers and guests were Fuller's Red Fox & Damson Porter, Castle Rock Harvest Pale & Westgate Atlantic Hop. I think this pub has improved since its refurbishment. I shall have to return when it is busier. On this visit, I was the only customer.
blue_scrumpy - 4 Feb 2018 15:00
Looking good after refurb. Good range of ales (mostly Fuller/Gale but a couple of guests). Seating inside and out. Train departure screen within pub.
Trev - 7 Apr 2017 20:10
Reopened after major refurbishment.
randolf7 - 30 Mar 2017 12:50
Closed and cordoned off - for a major refurbishment.

The surrounding area looks like a building site.
randolf7 - 7 Dec 2016 11:24
Very handy for station (5 minutes away from the platforms); welcoming to away footy fans; reasonably quick service. But a bit too busy at times and not many ales to choose from.
Trev - 15 Apr 2015 14:34
Now a Fullers pub with all that that implies - prices hiked to £3.85 a pint and selection much reduced. 6 Fullers/Gales beers on last night with only 2 guests.

What a shame!
cheshirecat - 7 Feb 2015 09:13
Used to be a bit of a dive but has cleaned up its act in relation to the place and the beers of which there is a good choice from micros. Despite the complete rebuild of the station it has survived in what I believe is the listed original station building. Access is from the street side not the platform. Shame there are no departure screens in the pub to aid the drinking time.
Steamer1 - 30 Oct 2014 09:55
Not a bad place. Decent selection of ales, pleasant staff and right next to the south exit of the station.
joegreen - 26 Oct 2014 17:30
Now open again after a brief closure for a repaint and refurnish. Replacement of an area of conventional chairs and tables with higher chairs and bar stools won't be to everyone's taste (it's not to mine as it's where I sit on frequent visist) and makes the place look a bit cluttered, but at least the place smells a bit fresher. The good news is the changes haven't affected the beer range - still ten handpumps at a price of £3.60 across the board.
PhilR - 5 Aug 2013 18:09
They did fix the toilets eventually, so well done to them!
Some good beers on - in fact <heresy> I think I've enjoyed the beer here more than the selection at 'The Alehouse' recently </heresy>
Not bad at - well worth a visit
Upton_Parker - 17 May 2013 13:54
This is always a busy pub as you might expect being right by the station and now overshadowed by the massive new over bridge and main entrance!! There are usually 8 real ales available and often a very good selection from around the country - all at £3.60 a pint. It is basically a rugby supporters(London Irish) pub but does accept away footie fans when Reading are at home - home fans usually avoid it until later in the evening. With regard to the loos - yes it is a bit of a hike to get to them and yes - the locks on the cubicles have been broken for some time now but to be fair it is not the pub staff that wreck them it is the punters!!
I use The Guineas quite often and accepting it for what it is - it's OK.
mcroyal - 27 Feb 2013 12:45
Station pub, but not a bad one.

Plus points--
Good beer selection. Friendly staff. Plenty of seating in and out.

Minus points--
Lacks atmosphere (although inevitable with a station pub)
Long walk to toilets and NO LOCKS ON CUBICLE DOORS (this is so easy to fix but they've been like that for ages)

Overall , not bad at all for a quick pint or several waiting for a train, or before hitting Reading
Upton_Parker - 14 Sep 2012 16:36
Decent station pub, with a large number of beers on, and great effort seems to be made to ensure that at least one of them is a dark. A sound place to go if you are waiting for a train. Steady trade during the day, the food is fine, and on a Saturday when London Irish are at home (at the Madejski), there is a diddlydee Irish band on.. but you can still always find a seat. All cask ales are priced the same - currently 3.40 a pint.
PhilR - 3 Feb 2012 12:05
Went in on Wednesday afternoon in December. Mixed clientele and friendly bar staff. Always a good selection of guest ales including this visit Wadworths - Drays Bells & Moles - Landloards Choice.
Beer_Spotter - 2 Jan 2012 16:50
Good selection os interesting guest beers at 3.40 a pint, typical station bar really, comfortable and acting as a waiting room, so not somewhere people linger for long, all in all I can think of worse places to while away an hour.
Hodge1 - 14 Sep 2011 10:45
Pub is right on the train station, serves a decent selection of real ales but is not cheap.

Some of the staff could be a bit more cheerful as well.

Gets very busy on sports days (away fans pub for the football) and they will serve the beer in plastic glasses.

On London Irish home games will also have Irish music played at ear bleeding noise levels
beershot - 11 Aug 2011 18:16
This pub has just undergone some fairly major alterations which basically involve moving the toilets from the ground floor to the first floor at the opposite end of the bar - it's a fair hike up those steps!!
The old toilets are being converted into kitchens/storage etc. The raised setaing/stage area has gone but there appears to be the same amount of seating inside. Outside there is still a large seating area although it is slightly marred by the Network Rail office in front (Reading station in getting a massive redevelopment but the pub will remain). 8 cask ales available at 3.40 a pint and they are usually always in good nick. Accepting that it is a staion bar with TV screens and an ever-changing mix of customers - it is still worth a visit for the beer range. Plastic glasses on match days.
mcroyal - 14 Jul 2011 16:08
Typical station pub that's busy on match days. On match days serves beer in plastic glasses and is usually rammed. Not for me. But if you like busy pre-game pubs with TVs and a place to stand outside, this is for you.
sotondoton - 16 Jun 2011 20:17
.. some people say avoid this place when an event is on (rugby/football/tax riot/) and they are right to say so. If you don't like fighting to reach the bar (both metaphorically and physically) avoid at busy times.
anonymous - 26 Mar 2011 23:17
Apparently blackshirts are now the dress code here. Avoid.
theeternalwheel - 20 Mar 2011 14:05
Really not a bad pub at all. I regularly drop in for a crafty one on the way home from work, and I'm always impressed by their range of ales.
I wouldn't do a whole night there though, as it doesn't (in my mind) seem the right kind of place.
RichRichMan - 18 Nov 2010 01:00
Zero atmosphere but does do good beer and is very convenient for the train station.
baxterfish - 14 Oct 2010 17:18
A few points to bear in mind.
a) The beer range is great and usually in good nick.
b) It's 3.20 a pint
c) They close dead on (or even earlier) than 11pm even at weekends.
d) It's a rugby pub (London Irish).
e) It is designated for away football fans only.
f) It has a big TV screen plus other normal ones. SKY etc.
g) It is great for people watching from the outside seating area.
h) It can get heaving especially on match days when plastic glasses are used.
i) Obviously very handy for trains but buses also and right by the town centre.
j) Bouncers on the doors at peak times.
k) Overall - well worth a visit if only for the beer range.
mcroyal - 13 Aug 2010 14:49
8 ales on, including three from Yorkshire! Lacks atmosphere a bit.
dynamiteninja - 29 Jul 2010 22:20
Thanks for putting the record straight, Cheshirecat. I only know what the staff told me, so they've been misinformed, but what you say makes sense.
ETA - 21 Jul 2010 11:56
Don't think it is a former hotel, ETA. It used to be the station booking office/travel centre before the station was rebuilt. The former Great Western Hotel is across the road - now MalMaisons or something similar.
cheshirecat - 21 Jul 2010 08:41
Situated right next to Reading Station (the fire exit from the bar opens onto the platform), The Three Guineas is a former hotel, now a freehouse. Although a bit artificial, it still has a bit of a railway feel with the train times shown and various bits of railway memorabilia dotted around the walls. It is lively, airy and busy, and appeals to a varied clientele from the traveler to the ale-lover. There were 8 ales on when I visited; I had a pint of Traditional Scottish Ales's Caber Tosser, a new one on me. It was well-kept, though served a little too cool for my liking. A decent pint nonetheless, and the staff were friendly enough. My biggest criticism is that it is expensive - prices were notably higher than they should have been.

Worth breaking a journey for, and definitely a good start/end point for a town centre crawl.
ETA - 21 Jul 2010 08:16
One of Readings better pubs. 8 Real ales on at any one time and massive screen for sports.
BestBeerBoffin - 5 Jul 2010 10:03
I am amazed that drinkers_paradise thinks this is the best bub in Reading as whatever you are into (music, spirits, dancing, real ale, DJs, cheap beer, food etc. etc.) their are pubs, bars and clubs that do it better.
The pub has been redecorated since my last visit (2008) but appears to have lost quite a lot of the railway memrobillia in the process which is a shame. I would describe it now as being very much in the JD Waetherspoons style (in fact it may even be a JDW pub as they run some unbranded pubs such as the one at London Waterloo) but with the addition on the Sat evening that I went in of loud drum and base. The pub was virtually empty and I didn't linger...
SotonAleDrinker - 27 Jun 2010 16:24
I am amazed that drinkers_paradise thinks this is the best bub in Reading as whatever you are into (music, spirits, dancing, real ale, DJs, cheap beer, food etc. etc.) their are pubs, bars and clubs that do it better.
The pub has been redecorated since my last visit (2008) but appears to have lost quite a lot of the railway memrobillia in the process which is the same. I would describe it now as being very much in the JD Waetherspoons style (in fact it may even be a JDW pub as they run some unbranded pubs such as the one at London Waterloo) but with the addition on the Sat evening that I went in of loud drum and base. The pub was virtually empty and I didn't linger...
SotonAleDrinker - 27 Jun 2010 16:22
Best pub in reading? You've got to be kidding.
Picasso09 - 8 May 2010 10:12
Best pub in Reading and good ale selection.
drinkers_paradise - 8 May 2010 09:35
Good selection of ales. Zero atmosphere. OK if you are waiting for a train, otherwise I wouldn't bother.
baxterfish - 24 Feb 2010 12:51
Hadn't been in here for a while, but was pleasantly surprised last night. Place seems to have been spruced up slightly, and there was a decent selection of beer on offer. Forget the name of my favourite, but it was from the Alton Brewery.
Staff were friendly and while the beer is a bit expensive, guess you are always going to find that in a station pub.
Also enjoyed the fact that they have a TV outside in the smoking area showing Sky Sports News, or whatever match is on that evening.
duchyjim - 10 Feb 2010 13:28
Eight real ales in here on Wednesday - Conwy Hoppy Christmas, Inveralmond Santa's Swalie, Andwell King John, Sharps Nadelik, Springhead Christmas Cranberry, Cairngorm Sheep Shaggers Gold, Lees John Willies and GK IPA. Large pub, rugby shirts hung all around the pub. Decent for a station pub.
GuideDogSaint - 1 Jan 2010 23:40
I took shelter in here last Monday during the great snowstorm of Reading and watched the traffic grind to a halt outside. A superb selection of rare real ales, including Hawkshead winter ale warmed me up in no time, a much better selection than used to be here (mostly nationals). Plenty of room, warm and comfortable with alert and efficient staff, my only complaint might be the price of a pint, almost all being 3 plus, a bit steep I thought.
Hodge1 - 27 Dec 2009 23:37
Many thanks for the excellent service yesterday,the real ale was excellent and the bar staff both knowledgable and very polite.
Crox - 22 Dec 2009 09:22
Great selection of ale on my visit yesterday and all sampled were fine! Huge boozer, typical station pub! Well worth a visit.
King_Viv - 13 Nov 2009 15:33
I had a glance in on my way to the station and was tempted inside by the bank of handpumps. It is a bit of a barn, one huge space and a high ceiling, and the music is a bit loud, but as station pubs go its pretty good. Live sports, (rugby dominates....on TV plus a large shirt selection) but also several screens with Sky Sports News on allowing for a check of the scores of the proper shaped ball game. There is also a monitor for train information. A few pics and memorabilia of the age of steam, a variety of seating, including an extensive outdoor area.
Eight handpumps, Thwaites Lancaster Bomber & Wainwright, Hoskins Hob Best Mild & Dolphin....lightly coloured hoppy and bitter.....Titanic Iceberg, Inveralmond Independence, Houston Brewery Co Festival Ale, and GK IPA. A bit pricey but it is next to the station with a transient clientele so no real surprise I guess.
Maldenman - 1 Nov 2009 12:10
Decent range of beer, handy for the station, but lacking in character and music usually too loud.
newbury_drinker - 16 Oct 2009 16:29
Used to be a great place to drink with a great atmosphere until the prices 'Rocketed'....3.15 for a pint of ale???
Must be the most expensive place in Reading now! And the quietest!
Astralman - 7 Oct 2009 05:27
I used to drink here a few years ago. Always good service, decent beer, sports on telly, and quite a mad cast of characters - and that was just the staff...

Worth a pint if you're stuck in Reading station.
DuncDisorderly - 24 Sep 2009 00:50
Have always popped in for a quick pint when in Reading due to their great ale selection so i visited with friends last month.I ordered a pint that was pure and utter vinegar. I never ever return a pint unless it is totally undrinkable which this was and even my ale drinkin friends(who's own pints were fine)agreed, When I returned it the barman poured himself a taster and said there was nothing wrong with it, he then got another member of barstaff to try it who claimed "that's what it is supposed to taste like" branding me stupid for not drinkin the pint of sarsons.It was only the old chap stood at the bar with a pint who stepped in and said that the pint was totally gone that made the barman very begrudgingly offer me another pint.
Now like I say i never return a pint unless it is well and truly undrinkable and i have had many decent pints here before so the attitude of the bar staff really altered my opinion of this busy station pub.

I believe they take their regular stream of customers for granted, and are obv happy to treat them as "mugs" and not even turn the pumpclip round!

Sadly what i used to rate as a 8/10 has dropped to a 6/10.

Fingers crossed this was a "one off"

fbb :s
fat_beer_badger - 17 Sep 2009 21:51
Mine was a short visit, sat outside in the large forecourt area in the afternoon sun while waiting for a friend to emerge from the adjacent railway station entrance on the left ,the bus staion and taxis are on the right.Handy for the traveller, the pub has plenty of coming and going.The building has been described well enough in previous posts ,nothing has changed. I had time for two quick pints of ale in which I found no problem. The barman was polite and civil which is all I ask in a busy town centre pub. Its better than a lot of "transit" bars and the empties were cleared away pretty quickly.
bee578 - 14 Sep 2009 20:50
As one of the resident barmen, and in fact the one referred to in the most recent post, I take umbrage at people who are offered a taste of local/guest ales, before they buy a pint...refuse the taster and then say they don't like it and want to change it, or tell me its 'off'. The bar and cellar is kept immaculately and we are constantly rotating our selection of ales on offer! I'm the first to agree its not the least expensive place to drink in, but as a freehouse and essentially a railway pub, little else can be expected. The atmosphere is always good, the staff friendly and efficient and the customer when polite and justified is always given assistance in anyway possible. Come see for yourself!
spicbar - 6 Sep 2009 15:41
Having been to this pub today, all I can say is don't be fooled by the number of real ales they have on sale - it is clearly a case of quantity not quality! I ordered a pint of Lancaster Bomberand having waited a while for it to clear fully, it didn't. I tasted it just to be doubly sure and, yes, it was no-where near right.
I took it back to the bar, expecting a straight-forward swap for another beer only for my pint to be whisked off down the bar the another member of staff and some fat bloke in shorts drinking a pint.
The barman returned to tell me 'Our cellarman says there's nothing wrong with it.'!!
Having been a licensee for 15 years with Cask Marque and Beautiful Beer accreditations, I know damn well when a pint is good and when it isn't. If their "cellarman" reckons that was a good pint, God only knows what state their cellar is in! Realising the customer was never going to be right in this place, I left in disgust, feeling it was better to warn others about this place and never go there again myself. AVOID AVOID AVOID !!!
spmartin - 4 Sep 2009 17:04
Large pub outside Reading station housed in what was apparently the old ticket hall.

It's a large rambling high-ceilinged pub, part carpeted, part bare-boarded, but broken up by pillars and walls into a number of differentareas. There's a largish seating area outside at the front for the better weather.

The pub is home to a splendid collection of rugby shirts. TV's dooted throughout the pub show the big games. Blackboards list forthcoming fixtures for Reading F C and London Irish, the town's local teams. There's also some interesting old railway pictures and posters. An information panel inside the pub tells us that the pub is named after the prize offered for the winning nomination of a train name for a train that would run from London to Plymouth in 1904.

On the beer front, perhaps surprisingly for a station pub, there's 8 handpumps. The only beer clip that I immediately recognised was for Greene King IPA - the others, on close inspection, turning out to be micros. Both beers that I sampled - Hawkshead Windermere Pale Ale and Slaters Why Knot - were in good condition, but a price of 3.15p each seems excessive for beers of 3.5% and 3.8% ABV respectively. Other beers on included offerings from Andwell, Leeds and Rudgate. The pub is listed in the 2009 GBG.

There's a wide range of pub grub offered during the day. You may be pleased to hear that it opens early at 10 am between Monday and Friday.

The pub describes itself as a "genuine freehouse". It's part of the Broken Foot Inns Pub Group, which has 4 pubs in total, including Duffy's in Ealing.

It also describes itself as "famous for our live bands and entertainment", although I didn't see any details of any gig listings inside.

Overall, I was reasonably impressed with this pub, despite the high prices. I'd probably come again, but not at busy times or when there's sport showing on the big screen.

It's location - and early opening - makes it a good place to kick off a Reading crawl.
JohnBonser - 27 Aug 2009 12:53
Appears to have ditched many of their 'regular' beers and gone for a near all-out guest policy. Quality has been a bit up and down lately so I hope it gets back up standard soon.
Quinno - 13 Jul 2009 20:49
Within the station but accessed from outside only, probably due to fear of fare dodgers. A barnlike drinking area, 8 pulls with the beers much better than expected for this kind of place. Lots of big screens and numerous rugby shirts hanging down from the ceiling making the place look like it takes in laundry. Efficient enough staff and not a bad place to wait for a train. I wouldn't bother to stay for too long but quite a few seem to.


anonymous - 16 Feb 2009 11:43
Pretty good for a station pub and better than I remember it. I suspect its one of those places that has a couple of goods years and a couple of bad ones, thankfully at present its going through a good stage. I found it clean and comfortable although perhaps a tad depressing which I suppose is understandable given the transient nature of customers in station pubs. Four real ales were on in decent condition and they were supporting the LocAle initiative. Sky Sports with all the big football and rugby games are shown on a big screen and various others dotted around the pub, including one outside.

Millay - 2 Feb 2009 22:02
The beer is pretty good, on a par with the Euston Flyer for example (though the Ascot Ales was a bit tough going for a 3.8%). Open-plan and bositerous, expensive and sports-focused, but worth a vist on a trip to Reading.
mtaylor40 - 13 Jan 2009 22:26
Yeah, but what's the beer like?
baxterfish - 13 Dec 2008 13:18
And in first place, the Gold Medal for the worst gents bog that I have ever visited goes to The Three Guineas last Saturday night. A deep trough full to overflowing and two cubicles full of paper, cardboard and heaven knows what! The beers were nice but unfortunately there was nowhere to go to get rid of the residue afterwards apart from the unsavoury hellhole that I have just described.
GazzaTheBeerMan - 11 Nov 2008 14:20
Well, yes, no prizes for value for money here, but then again in this day and age it's hard to locate a pub of any kind that has resisted the temptation to inflate the prices at the pumps, and when one realises just how marginal an occupation running a pub as a tenant or manager for a pub co or brewery can be, with a constant squeeze on profits, then maybe it's no surprise.
Anyway, to business: the 3Gs does perhaps deserve recognition for being possibly one of the best boozers for ale selection at a railway station; such pubs aren't usually known for quality but this is an exception. A good 5 were on on my recent visit, and seemed to be popular. Got on well with the Ascot Ales. Although ostensibly the place is quite corporate-looking and is presumably beloved of the big-screen sport viewer and lager-quaffer, clearly this pub has something of a Janus-face, and is quite cannily ploughing two furrows simultaneously, without the two colliding. The al fresco seating has obvious appeal to all, as despite the dubious view, it is a superb sun-trap.
In my book, maybe not a place to while away a whole afternoon or evening, but certainly worth stopping off en route to somewhere else.
TWG - 9 Oct 2008 16:45
Popped in on a Friday night when it was surprisingly quiet (although it was lashing down outside). For a pub by a busy station this place ain't too bad. Great range of ales well kept. Perhaps a bit pricey but Reading isn't exactly the worlds cheapest town. If you just want a drink this place isn't a bad bet.
twineyboy - 11 Sep 2008 21:29
An awesome pub.

But there is a man who has started frequenting the place who smells of wee. The money he spends on drink should be spent on a wash and scrub-up.
alibobs04 - 3 Sep 2008 14:46
6.85 FOR A PT OF 3.8% NAYLORS AND A BLUE WKD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! KERCHING! Captive audience and all that jazz. Friendly staff though. Grub didn't actually appear to be too expensive but we weren't eating.
an_ecunemical_matter - 14 Jul 2008 16:19
Convenient pub and great range of real ales in good condition, Three Guineas is 3.15, only 10p to go until the beer is 3 Guineas a pint!
Abteilung - 26 Jun 2008 22:55
Only had time for a quick drink in here ,selection fine ,mine a bit cold/average.Plastic glasses prob due to football on. would give it another go.
Leicesterbeer - 5 May 2008 11:27
When in Reading for the rugby at the majeski this pub is a must. It has a fantastic selection of ales and on match days (Rugby that is) is full to the brim of both home and away supporters. I'm not a huge fan of Irish bands but in here, it feels right and moreover after a few beers,actually good. The atmophere after the match is great, plenty of good humoured banter between supporters but never a hint of trouble. I suspect it may be different when its soccer, but if only for its beer this pub is worth a visit.
wellinformed - 21 Apr 2008 18:52
Decent enough place for a station pub.

I had to drink my pint out of a plastic cup on Saturday afternoon, but Id imagine this was due to the football. There are a few tables and chairs out the front and a BBQ was starting up just as I left.

I agree with Gristy that it is OK for a couple, but I wouldnt stay too long.
Strongers - 1 Apr 2008 11:42
Always a decent beer selection - Bushy's (Isle of Man) on there during our last visit, a good rare find for this neck of the woods. Overpowering large screen, lots of smaller flatscreens and music piped to outside seating at very loud levels all conjure up a feeling of somewhere you can't relax whether waiting for a train or passing by on the way to town. Certainly couldn't spend a session in there, but the beer does make it worth the occasional foray.
Gristy - 31 Mar 2008 17:04
pretty decent for a station pub, and good craic when irish are playing.
mps77 - 11 Mar 2008 12:49
Only ever been here when travelling with the football down to the Royals, but it ticks all the right boxes for away fans - it's next door to the station, it sells beer and the buses to the ground go from outside.
Birchy - 3 Mar 2008 21:06
Recently refurbished and better for it - although the toilets are beginning to stink again. Didn't take long!

Ale is more consistent of late, though still served up too cold.

Designated away fans pub on Reading FC home matches, don't end up in a scrum of overweight, pissed-up Geordies trying to get cider mixers at the bar. I did and it was horrible. Better when London Irish games are on, nice atmosphere.
Quinno - 18 Feb 2008 23:43
This place has improved over the last 12 months or so - The decor is brighter and not so many weirdos. The beer has improved also and is becoming more consistent - The beer range is also good.
biermeister - 30 Dec 2007 21:38
Good choice of ale, several screens for the sport, You can't ask much more from a Station pub. Occasional wierdos but usually harmless enough
beefbeerandbaps - 7 Dec 2007 13:33
Very interesting place with "varied" clientele ....needs a bit of tidying up 1
W980501 - 14 Aug 2007 14:14
Not great, but an ok pint for a meeting/departure point.
beerPrincess - 30 Jul 2007 10:12
I recently left my cigarettes and Zippo lighter there, only realising when I got home. I phoned up in what I thought was a vain hope of ever finding my stuff but the staff had found it and kept it for me to collect the following day. You can't say that about many places these days?!Granted its not the cleanest looking pub in the world but I've always found service fast and friendly and its a great place to while away a few hours and watch everyone rushing to or from the train station. Good to watch the rugby too.
tequilababe - 4 Jun 2007 16:54
Place always shows sports, so a good place to get passionate. Anti smoking people won't enjoy it so much
aleman - 5 May 2007 15:17
For a pub next door to a large railway station I thought that it was not too bad. Good beer choice
douvres - 27 Mar 2007 23:34
Quality of ale is becoming increasingly variable, poor value for such a high price.
Quinno - 25 Feb 2007 19:30
Yep, 2.90 a pint is a bit OTT, but personally I found the beer in perfect nick and the staff friendly and not the Dodo's you get in too many similar establishments. Great atmosphere during the 6 nations rugby games.
johnthechef - 25 Feb 2007 19:06
Pretty nice place. I'm from Portsmouth and I've popped in there when i've gone to The Reading Festival. Is a good place to pop in and have a few drinks.
MattyRose81 - 2 Jan 2007 20:55
Decent Selection Of Festive Ales when visited yesterday, 2.90 a pint though. 8/10
fat_beer_badger - 22 Dec 2006 21:09
Good pub, great atmosphere on rugby days (London Irish). Can be a bit lively on football days, last time I went was when my team played Reading in Feb. Little bit of trouble there.

Best Guinness outside of Dublin.
lee_saint - 12 Dec 2006 00:00
Go here if you like nuts! Selling pistachio nuts and other nuts at the moment. Actually its a pretty alright place to go while waiting for a train
aleman - 26 Nov 2006 02:59
initial impressions quite favourable - good selection of local ales available, friendly attentive staff, on the other hand its very smokey, piped music is of the non-descript thump thump variety (irritating at any volume) the beers are expensive and not kept that well - considering its in the 2007 Good Beer Guide. Worth dropping in for a quick one if your passing but not worth the effort of making a special journey to.
moclips2002 - 12 Nov 2006 12:29
Always used to be a bit fractious in here, in the old days, when the bar was in the middle. It calmed down a bit when it changed hands and was done up but looks like the nutters are back. Just goes to show, you can call it a rugby pub and sell sun blushed tomato wraps but it's very hard to change a pub's character.

The have a food agenda rather than a menu, too. This is odd.
Fickle - 9 Nov 2006 14:53
Big and spacious place, with plenty of staff so quite rarely have to queue. Excellent range of real ales, but due to its proximity to the train station is quite expensive. Can be quite boisterous most weekends with football or rugby fixtures in the city.

A good meeting point, before moving on.
DeggyT - 5 Nov 2006 13:21
A great selection of real ales, all of which sem to be kept to excellent standards. The landlord clearly knows who to run a good pub.
However it is stil a station pub, and with that come the clientele as described below.
anonymous - 13 May 2006 16:40
Wide selection of (expensive) Real Ales, which taste good. Being next to the railway station and near Broad Street, it does attract a few people that you'd rather avoid, ho-hum. Worth going in if you've got a wait for the train anyway.
Quinno - 30 Apr 2006 11:27
Still occasionally meet friends from the station here but really don't know why I bother. After 6 or 7 every night (I'm talking weekdays here!) becomes a place with a bit of an attitude. Met my dad there for a pint and a man asked him if he wanted a fight as he 'was staring at his girlfriend' while I was at the bar. Christ my dad is over 60!! Not the first time I have heard of this kind of thing happening or indeed experienced it myself. If you want a fight with pissed up chavs pop along and night of the week.
Madcap - 10 Jan 2006 16:46
Bearable if Reading FC haven't got a big game on otherwise footie bores and the police merge as one for fun times to be had by all on a saturday. If you fancy a pub to meet in before a train journey try the Corn Exchange instead; smaller, quieter and the staff are beyond friendly; total gents I salute you.
Trapdoor - 2 Jan 2006 13:50
Big pub. Part of rail station. Lots of ales. Not many ale-drinkers. The newsagent inside the station sells cans...
lord_radlington - 15 Dec 2005 12:26
Lovely collection of rugger shirts about the place, landlord is a good laugh and will talk to most people. Good location next to the station.
thebigbosh - 12 Sep 2005 23:28
Not sure when this place emerged from the primeval sludge that used to be the railbar as it's a while since I travelled through Reading. I was amazed therefore to find that eight Real Ales are available. Unfortunately, I only had a chance to try the excellent Gales HSB before my train departed. Didn't encounter any of the problems experienced by Dappertutto. Unsurprisingly, there was a good cross section of people merely waiting for their trains.
johnkn7 - 19 Jul 2005 22:19
Helps to be passionate about cricket here. Bit of an over 30s pub, though that doesn't mean to say younger people aren't welcome. Nice atmosphere and a good Guinness
Will2 - 3 Feb 2005 15:14
Not too bad, bar staff very good.
raywest - 4 Dec 2004 10:35
No less than 8 decent quality hand-pulled ales on tap with friendly and efficient service. Usual station pub fixtures e.g. wall-to-wall fruities. Gets a bit busy when Reading FC are playing at home as it is a designated away-supporters pub. Best in good weather when you can drink outside.
coder_joe - 1 Dec 2004 20:46
A good pub for beer, not great for food. Quite good music and a genial atmosphere along with some comfortable sofas make this a good place to grab a beer whilst waiting for the inevitably delayed train.
Mike - 9 Sep 2004 11:16
Big Horrible impersonal station pub. London beer prices in a sub-London environment.
Steve - 2 Apr 2004 09:08
Can be a pleasant enough place to drink at other times. Outdoor tables have a tendancy to attract tramps.
flea - 18 Feb 2004 16:41
Semi-official meet up point for football hoolies. Opens about 9.30 on Saturday mornings, so its useful for an early shant before hopping on the train.

AS FEATURED IN MACINTYRE INVESTIGATES (the Chelseas Headhunters one)
Jelly - 29 Nov 2003 01:39
Just been done up in an attempt to remove the previous class of frequenter. Big TV screen, good for footie. Trying to sell food now and gone all continental with its outside tables. Usual medicore pub food. Its alright if you have nothing better to do.
Harry - 27 Jun 2003 15:35
Its on the South side of the Railway Station and you cannot enter it from the Station Platform.
J Lonsdale - 13 Dec 2002 12:08
Is it on the North Side of the station and can you get to it from the platform?
David Miller - 19 Nov 2002 22:34

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