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The Pot Kiln, Frilsham - pub details

Pot Kiln

Address: Frilsham, Yattendon, Thatcham, Berkshire, RG18 0XX [map] [gmap]

Tel: 0871 951 1000 (ref 7376) - calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras

Nearest train stations Midgham (4.5 miles), Thatcham (4.9 miles), Aldermaston (5 miles)

Pub facilities/features:

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> Current user rating: 5.3/10 (rated by 46 users)
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other pubs nearby:

Royal Oak, Yattendon (0.9 miles), Bull, Stanford Dingley (1.6 miles), Old Boot Inn, Stanford Dingley (1.7 miles)

user reviews of the Pot Kiln, Frilsham

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

5 most recent reviews of 49 shown - see all reviews

Famed gastropub that I had been wanting to visit ever since Reading Football Club legend Marcus Hahnemann pronounced it to be his favourite a few years back. The accent is on game and timing a visit for the day after the General Election of 2019 was something I was dreading as I was in no mood to be greeted by right wing libertarian triumphalism. Thankfully, this wasn’t in evidence and we enjoyed a great meal involving a venison Scotch egg and a chestnut, spinach and Mushroom pie – a little heavy but lovingly crafted. Food is the priority here but the location is beautiful.
BoehmBawerk - 13 Dec 2019 15:26
It's intriguing to read the previous review, because it seems to be a considered and articulate account of what clearly was a genuine and quite possibly representative experience of the the Pot Kiln, particularly in respect of a businessperson-heavy clientele, and variable food quality. Yet, my recent experience of the pub was impeccable on all fronts, and so while I suspect the previous comments may have more traction in terms of busier periods and certainly evening restaurant activity, mine will hopefully still ring true for those who may find themselves here of a quieter lunchtime.

I hadn't visited the Kiln since 2000, when it was a solid, classic rural pub in an unspoilt and wooded fold of Berkshire. The Robinson family apparently took over in '05, and have clearly carved out a firm niche in the regional food/restaurant trade by specialising in fine dining, with an emphasis on game, shot by Mike himself locally. Given my experience with the menu last Friday lunchtime, I can only endorse the levels of quality it purports to offer. The bar menu is far more limited than the restaurant evening version, but the options were nevertheless tempting, and not too overfacing, which is sensible at lunchtime. I began with possibly the tastiest butternut squash soup I've enjoyed, served with warm bread. That delicious course was gleefully followed by a venison steak sandwich - a set of perfectly-prepared strips of muntjac set on a simple but hearty ciabatta, alongside a rocquet salad. At 5.95 the soup was arguably quite dear, but at 7.95 the venison was I think competitive for its quality. My mate tucked into a game pie with a kind of deconstructed pickle salad - cheffy presentation but extremely moreish - with effortlessly-edible garlic potatoes. By my book these were some of the best pub lunches I'd seen for a while, so I can only speak as I found and declare the Pot Kiln to be a must-visit, at least earlier in the day.

Beer-wise (can't remember taking this long to get to ale in a review before - food must be good!), there were 3 excellently-kept West Berkshire cask options (always a haven for WB even 12 years back). The Mr Chubb's Lunchtime and Headlock were splendid - the latter possibly new beer of the season for me. A Growler (i.e. Nethergate) option also featured though it was underwhelming in the company of the WB beers; the walls betray a rich diversity of ales though (some from quite obscure breweries) which is to their credit, so there is always a chance something will be tapped which tantalises your tastebuds.

I should make mention of the service here - we were kept company almost throughout (as it was uncharactertistically quiet) by a charmingly engaging young lady who not only knew how to serve but also appear genuinely interested in proper conversation with customers. An old regular (Good Old Boy?!) was in and also benefited from the bonhomie. All the staff seemed efficient albeit that they were hardly being tested, but this girl stood out. Well done - though you're clearly too good to be confined to working in a pub!

The place was as delightful as I'd remembered it; a genuine traditional and unspoiled country cottage feel pervades the atmosphere, and matches the chocolate-box double-fronted exterior perfectly. On a more clement day we would doubtless have enjoyed the front garden overlooking the woodland where Mike apparently does his thing with a shotgun.

So, all in all, if you can find the Pot Kiln, I would urge you to give it a try, and even though it may not be representative across the piece, it's a 10 from me. Perhaps though you should read reviews more widely as to the kind of experience you might find of an evening before committing yourself to a booking with your hearts set on fine dining and ambience.
TWG - 8 Oct 2012 16:36
Great beer - 2 from West Berks Brewery plus 2 guests when we went there. The bar area is small and does a heavy bar food trade (the bar snacks are excellent). The restaurant is a bit hit and miss. On a good day it is first rate. On a not so good day you can get underbaked doughy bread and underseasoned food. The menu prices do not include service - which admittedly is very good - so you'll need to add 10%. On weekday lunchtimes the place can get full of suits talking business with laptops on the tables and taking phone calls from clients at the table (which is not what you want if you're aiming for a romantic lunch with your wife/g-friend). Going forward, would I use it as a pub ? Yes. It's a cracker but expensive (altho since it's in one of the most expensive parts of Berkshire - David Cameron and Kate Middleton territory - that's only to be expected). As a restaurant. Probably not.
Dan137 - 5 Feb 2012 13:59
called here on Sunday evening,and were luck enough to get a table in the small bar area,which was cosy with a log fire going [ just]....good well kept local beer, [ only 2] but both in good condition.
We had the bar snack menu which was lovely, and plentiful for the price,even if a bit slow.!
The toilet - only 1 for the ladies that serves all the restauarant diners too, [got to have 50 covers plus] - wouldn't want to queue for that on a busy eevning...what happens in the Summer when numbers are really high, or do I guess it just never gets that busy with such high restaurant prices......London in the country!..
ladiesview - 5 Dec 2011 13:53
Hardly a pub any more. Small serving bar and drinking area in which every table was occupied by diners, in addition to the separate restaurant. Unless you are dining you can either be a bar fly or stand awkwardly with your pint and get in everyone's way. In either case you feel a little out of place. You can of course sit outside, weather permitting in which case it's probably perfectly nice and possibly worth seeking out for the very good local ale and the very friendly and prompt bar staff. Would I return? Possibly on a warm summer's evening. Would I dine there? I'm not that partial to eating pigeons and deer so probably not.
kentgoldings - 13 Jun 2011 16:45

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