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Sweeney and Todd, Reading

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user reviews of Sweeney and Todd, Reading

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

Totally bizarre experience and not at all what I was expecting.

I had read reviews of the food and liking a pie, though I would investigate.

Its a supermarket deli in the front, with all the pies in a chiller. No worries, I can see a bar. Unmanned but 4 real ales on.

Then the tables are in the back. I sit down. An elderly waiter ignores me for 5 mins.

I go to the bar where the same elderly waiter is pouring drinks and doesn't even acknowledge that I exist.

I walk out.
Mappiman - 17 May 2015 14:01
Don't know how you'd categorise this place. A restaurant but with several real ales on. Great pies (and puds!) and service; almost too many choices! Good value for money.
Trev - 6 Feb 2015 20:23
Wadworth's IPA, 6X and Tipple plus Adnams Southwold on yesterday in pretty good nick.

They have obviously spent some money on the place since I last visited - new furniture in the dining room etc - and it looks good. As always, the pies were superb.
cheshirecat - 14 Sep 2011 10:50
Christmas Pie and pint - both excellent as ever
pchaimba - 27 Dec 2010 14:37
This is midway restaurant rather than pub ... wines are scary in price, but the likes of Tanglefoot, Royal Oak, 6x, are kept absolutely perfectly and around £3:60 a pint ...
But you go to Sweeney's for their pies (& quiches) ... they almost have sawdust on their floor ... and if you turn a blind eye to calories - wow !
Steak & Stilton a favourite, Game Pie, or Hare & Cherry yum, eat in for a fiver, ratatouille, or mixed veg couple of £ on top.
Chicken Broccoli & Stilton Pie to take home for £2:40 ...
Spinach quiche & salad in summer with a pint of 6x ... £8:00 ...yum !
This has to be 10/10 as they look after their beer like no other place in Reading (honestly), have perfect pub food ...
... and crap places like the Nag's Head even buy their pies to re-heat and sell them on, like Tuesdays with "baked beans" - would you believe !
- Laura
lauraeva - 12 Aug 2010 23:17
Wadworth Malt & Hops was in top form and the 'Sweeny' pie was lovely, I like this place, however beer was £3.40 pint and the pie £5.50 (you can get their pies for £3.50 in the Nags Head) so an all afternoon session wasn't going to happen.
Booze_Allen - 19 Oct 2009 17:41
Had a very good pint of Wadworth's Stronginthearm here, it was Friday and packed so a slight victim of it's success. The staff were friendly and efficient. A quirky place with good no nonsense food. Can't wait to go back.
Abteilung - 26 Sep 2009 13:55
4 hand pumps serving Adnams 6X, Tanglefoot and a guest Butcombe Gold, the later of which was very good.
Amazing selection of pies, although only one veggie one - which was very good.
Reminded me of an east end pie and mash shop, with the additiion of beers!
doncaosdelanada - 10 Sep 2009 13:31
From the front it looks like an ordinary pie shop, although the sign says “famous pies... fine wines... real ales”; once inside the door the bar and dining area is still partially hidden by screens and curtains. Carry on up a short flight of stairs and you reach the bar with its four beer engines carrying Adnams Bitter, York Ghost, 6X and Tanglefoot, a little less boring keg range from Peroni and Becks plus Stowford Press cider. I chose the Adnams as I've not had it for a while and was not disappointed by the condition, taste or quality of the ale. To the side, front and back are tables and chairs for the consumption of the delicious pies, you need to ask which fillings are available when you order as it does vary from the menu. There is a larger dining room further back. You can drink here as a non diner but I guess that would defeat the object of visiting. Decorated in a fairly conventional style, Constable prints, pictures of old Reading, framed awards and brewery mirrors there are also some interesting theatrical ephemera. Mixed bunch of customers although my evening was enlivened by a couple of 12 year olds from the BBC, listeners of Ed Reardon's week will understand the cruel truth of that.

oldboots - 18 Aug 2009 16:19
Probably not what it used to be,but then neither am I.Still one of the best pints in Reading and the pies are excellent.
Normlikesbeer - 13 Jul 2009 23:08
Can only recommend for both pies and range of ales, also a great range of wines (of fruit based drinks for the ladies!).
Nice to eat in but cheaper to takeaway their delicious pies - we bought 4 to bring home with us!
chunkypetersplat - 7 Jun 2009 16:05
the pies are to die for!
CaptainDave - 3 Jun 2009 15:05
Despite the departure of Joan who had her own skill of listing pies, beer and pies are still top notch.
pchaimba - 4 May 2009 22:36
S&T is a real gem. The pies are superb and the range and quality of the beer is excellent. I am amazed at the labarynthine cellar, where many folk are secreted away to enjoy the S&T fare.
grayguy - 19 Mar 2009 15:21
This place was built on a pie and a pint for a fiver. Those days are gone now but if I had to choose somewhere to go for a bite to eat this is the place to go. I have never had a bad pint here and the pies are top drawer.
Nigekirk - 11 May 2008 14:47
This place, along with the university film theatre and the plucky football team elevates Reading to decent large town status when it could have ended up like Luton or Swindon. A marvellous array of pies and lovely beers on tap: a throwback to a different era and knocks the likes of the Square Pier company into a cocked hat.
BoehmBawerk - 13 Apr 2008 12:50
Fabulous. An absolute gem.
Good range of ales. My one complaint might be that they had a huge number of different kinds of pies but AFAIK there was only one vegetarian one. They do things like ratatouille and salad, however.


twm_sion_cati - 11 Mar 2008 16:38
Still great, although sadly Joan, the blue tabarded raspy-throated 'voice of the pies' has departed into retirement.

I'll never forget her way of reading the pie list (which never bore any resemblance to the menu) in a glorious tobacco-inflected monotone. And when asked to repeat 'the one with pigeon in', going through the whole list again, top-to-bottom.

Genius.

Ale range still good, with a little bit of variation every now and again, Had one duff pint in here, which was dealt with swiftly and politely.

A real gem.
Quinno - 18 Feb 2008 23:35
Fab pies! I cannot tell you how much this place is great! Enough said!

siancollins - 6 Feb 2008 09:14
Fab pies! I cannot tell you how much this please is great! Enough said!
siancollins - 6 Feb 2008 09:14
If you only come to Reading once, have a meal here, fantastic food with a damn good pint. An institution that should be treasured.
robthehob - 17 Dec 2007 03:13
It's a one of a kind - it's the very definition of England! Please don't ever change it
beefbeerandbaps - 7 Dec 2007 13:11
Not a pub and I doubt that anyone comes here just for the bar, but a geat concept for beer drinkers – real ale to accompany a quality pie. Steak with stilton, kidney, or mushroom, plus exotics like pigeon & peach, and the Sweeney – a 3meat combo - some featured on a standard printed menu & others on a good daily list announced at table. Four handpumps included Adnams, 6X, Tanglefoot, ours in good nick. We managed to snag the ‘booth’ opposite the bar but beyond that was more seating to the rear. Early evening & our pies came with chips, so unsure about prev comments about chip curfew. Your pie chips & pint will get up toward £10 but a great way to re-fuel before continuing on a crawl. I have to doff my cap to one of our company who will henceforward be known as TPC, or Two-Pies-Chas, impressive eating mate!
trainman - 3 Dec 2007 13:10
What a great little pub, or perhaps, Pie Shop / Pub. Had a few smashing pints of West Berkshire Percheron and a Steak & Ale pie, excellent.
Probably not great if you just want a drink, but overall is a friendly, happy place to be. Loved it.
imdownthepub - 21 Oct 2007 11:32
If only I could have managed a pie, they are large! Had a pint of Adnams instead, which was fine. Great service.
fromedrinker - 21 Aug 2007 13:33
As Jamie Oliver would say this place is Pukka. I love popping in for a bit to eat before i go on and have a few more pints.
Riggers - 2 Apr 2007 14:59
I am evangelical about this place. The pies are fab, the meats supplied by Vicars who have to be the best butchers in Berkshire. Even the pastry is homemade. Its the kind of place where you would'nt be surprised if Nell Gwynn came in selling oranges.
Nero - 14 Mar 2007 10:30
This is a wonderful, wonderful place. They do the best pies I have ever tasted, and such a wide choice of flavours too; from the traditional to the esoteric, there will be a pie here that will suit you to a "t". I would particularly recommend the Hare & Cherry, Duck & Apricot, and Venison & Wild Boar. But whatever pie you go for, you're in for a treat.

Fatso_the_wombat - 5 Jan 2007 11:33
I thoroughly recommend a feed and an accompanying ale at this place. Would love to go again and experience more of the exotic menu, no Chicken+Mush and Beef+Onion, guarenteed the likes of Wild Boar, Pigeon and Peach.

Small selection of ale, but very tasty. Very friendly staff at competative prices.
DeggyT - 5 Nov 2006 13:18
Utter genius, a pint & pie shop. A bloody brilliant one too. This is not a really a pub, which is also great as there are no pikeys or wannabe yuppies in sight.

Four ales (Tried the Tanglefoot, 6X and Adnams Bitter which were all on top form, but the Tanglefoot especially was awesome, you get what you pay for ale-wise) and quality pies (my Goose and Gooseberry was divine), with the nights menu read by a classic old bat with smokers cough and a Final Score-style delivery. Interior is clean and well-lit, and pretty comfy.

One minor complaint is that the gents is just one toilet, which can result in queues. It is clean though.

This is great, go go go. And go some more. No trip to Reading is complete without it. Can't reccomend enough.
Quinno - 9 Sep 2006 00:19
Superb selection of pies and some well-kept cask ales on offer, too. Lots of cosy corners to sit in and have a chat, and no loud music to spoil the atmosphere.
Jude_The_Obscure - 13 Jul 2006 19:00
Love the pies they are great!!
anonymous - 28 Mar 2006 08:27
Not a pub so why pretend it is?? Just look at all the reviews below...
anonymous - 7 Mar 2006 10:49
I agree with whats already been said: the pies are good, the bar prices are not so good. But having said that, they aren't that much more overpriced than some of the other bars at some other restaurants in Reading.

Certainly, when my family went in, we left thinking that we'd spent a very cheap evening having a great meal, that was reasonably good value.

Definitely worth a visit.
pint_sizedvix - 11 Feb 2006 17:55
I'm going to step out of line here, whilst the pies are good and reasonably prices, the pub bit of this place is crap.

The beer is mediocre at best and the prices charged for it and the soft drinks are shocking, £2.80 for organge juice and lemonade makes this the most expensive soft drinks in Reading. It's simple price gouging to a captive and pie filled audience.

Nothing illegal in that but not going to get a good review from me.

The evening crowd are very cliquey all good mates of the landlord, which makes getting served a slow and tiresome persuit. Honestly if it wasn't for the pies i'd never go to this place. Too small, too pricey, too full of smug mates of the landlord. Eat you pie and go home.
malkymark - 5 Feb 2006 14:35
more of a pie shop and restarant than a pub, in fact the pub bit of the place is pretty poor, it's certainly very expensive anyway. The pies do make up for a lot though, they really are very very good and no trip to that part of town is really complete without at least a take-away pie from Sweeneys.
zinfandel - 3 Feb 2006 10:54
Great pies, to at in and take away, with a mini-pib bit in the middle which serves good, if expensive, beers. Does the best chips in Reading, bar none. No chips in the evening alas but lunchtime is good for game.
posterpoet - 3 Feb 2006 10:22
Pie heaven, very loud waitress announces the hot pie to diners, and the beer is over priced (not as overpriced as the soft drinks though, £2.80 for a pint of OJ and lemonade) but who cares? The place is definately the best pie shop in Berkshire. Vive la Pie!
Hedgehog - 19 Jan 2006 15:32
Not bad wadworth 6x and another stong bitter (tanglefoot or old speckled hen - cant remember which).
Fantastic pies, and a unique charm. Best in the daytime when home made chips are available.
Mark2005 - 13 Jan 2006 15:26
I've always thought of it more as a pie shop with a bar as previously commented on, can't imagine drinking here without a pie. Saying that the pies are great and the bar is great, I can't imagine a better combination!!
Madcap - 10 Jan 2006 17:05
The best pies ever!!!!!
siancollins - 4 Jan 2006 15:07
Sweeney's are no longer offering chips with pies, but with pies like theirs - who gives a toss! Go in, make yourself comfortable while the lovely old gal comes to sit next to you and read out the specials. Don't give her any lip tho - she'll cut you down to size quicker than you can say 'steak and mushroom'.
Pies are also available take-away (£2.10 as opposed to the average £4.20 eat-in price).
You won't be sorry you've visited this place.
oz_chick - 28 Nov 2005 16:38
Great pies (though prices were up last time I was there), good Wadworth's beer, very friendly staff!

Gets very busy, so best to book!
cowbutt - 9 Oct 2005 19:33
Some of the best pies in the world. Eat them now! (And get a beer whilst you're at it)
thebigbosh - 12 Sep 2005 23:27
Great place. Great pies. Well worth a visit. Often full at the weekend - may need to book if you want to eat.
DennisMenace - 25 Jul 2005 16:17
Fantastic pies (watch out for the shouty waitress if you have a hangover) and the best chips in Reading. Beer prices are a bit steep though as are the charges for soft drinks but the pies make up for it.
edz314 - 28 Feb 2005 12:51
Well worth a visit - especially if you're hungry
BinBagBob - 18 Feb 2005 12:08
What a fantastic place. If you don't have the time to stop for a sit down pie you can buy one to take home and enjoy. If you do have the time then you can sit down to any one of 20+ different varieties if gorgeous pies and wash it down with one of several decent ales. Typically, Director's, Wadworth 6X, and Tanglefoot are on tap. Great place, just don't make the waitress read through the list twice...
Richard Young - 27 Apr 2004 15:55
Calling Sweeney % Todd's a pie shop is like referring to Sir Tom Finney as a mere football player. Sweeney's always served top notch beers in perfect condition. The customer service was alwasy excellent.
Peter Morrow - 22 Apr 2004 18:30
If you go to Reading, go here. They have some interesting real ales, almost always dead dead strong ones, and the pies are cheap and worth killing your grandmother for. Try the steak and stilton.
Justin - 21 Apr 2004 22:58
This isn't a pub. It's a pie shop. A very, very good, cheap pie shop, with a bar. The woman serving there has worked in the same job for about 20 odd years, so she's a little brusque, but the pies are so good. Full of police mind, as the station is just next door.
Harry - 9 Mar 2004 09:54

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