Retreat | Reading, Berkshire
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Places > England > Berkshire > Reading

Retreat
Exceptional based on 8 ratings
Type: Bar

8 St John’s Street
Reading, Berkshire England RG1 4EH [ print map ]
0118 957 1593

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Mayor: Boudicca (1) | Taps: 5 | Bottles: 10


Retreat

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Beer Available At Retreat (arranged by most recent)
Navigation Golden , Phipps NBC Steam Roller , Arkells Wiltshire Gold 32
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8 reviews for Retreat
 Ambiance  75%
 Service  86%
 Selection  64%
 Food  10%
 Value  68%
 Overall  74%
 Rating  77%


62
  AMBIANCE 3/5   SERVICE 8/10   SELECTION 8/15   FOOD N/A   VALUE 7/10   OVERALL 12/20
Boudicca  (694) London, England | July 15, 2014
A small down to earth pub in a quiet residential street just off the busy Queens Road. There are two rooms and the main one, at the front, is tiny. When I visited there was still a "to let" sign outside but I think it now has been as the barman / landlord told me that he’d been there just 6 weeks. Three of the five hand pumps were on and the beer selection was quite interesting. I commented on the Navigation beers, which I’ve never seen outside Nottingham, and the barman said he was trying out different beers to test the water. Worth a return visit, I think, to see how it goes. (Visited 11 July 2014).
62
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 8/10   SELECTION 8/15   FOOD N/A   VALUE 7/10   OVERALL 11/20
b727trijet  (311) Isleworth, England | June 7, 2014
Another gem on the outskirts of the centre. A small pub tucked away in a residential street. Beers vary but usually common guest beers, often local Loddon and West Berkshire breweries feature. Sometimes they sell fresh farm produce too! Also does real cider.
74
  AMBIANCE 3/5   SERVICE 8/10   SELECTION 10/15   FOOD N/A   VALUE 8/10   OVERALL 16/20
fairwater  (7) Reading, England | June 8, 2012
Great but small and a bit shabby. Mid-terrace on a side street on the edges of the town centre. Friendly staff, good beer, and (I’m told!) excellent ciders.
78
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 8/10   SELECTION 12/15   FOOD N/A   VALUE 6/10   OVERALL 15/20
prawlie  (47) , England | March 3, 2012
Proper beer pub in Reading, a nice place to be, but its a bit lived in and untidy. The owners are really nice though and the beer selection is good. Several real ales on tap and several foreign bottles including Chimay, Rochefort and Orval. The foreign beers are quite pricey though.
76
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 9/10   SELECTION 8/15   FOOD N/A   VALUE 7/10   OVERALL 17/20
tkrjukoff  (192) , Sweden | November 25, 2011
Just like popping into somebody’s lounge, extremely small Pub, has an additionsl lounge back. 7 Casks, few Belgian beers on bottle and also nice sekection of ciders. Background music is low jazz, a bit bohemic athmosphere but nice and friendly. Definately a Pub you should visit just to see it.
70
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 8/10   SELECTION 9/15   FOOD N/A   VALUE 5/10   OVERALL 14/20
dynamiteninja  (50) Richmond, England | January 19, 2011
This is a great community pub. The beer conditioning is outstanding. The owners are very friendly (for Southerners!).
78
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 10/10   SELECTION 10/15   FOOD 1/10   VALUE 6/10   OVERALL 15/20
berkshirejohn  (171) Bracknell, England | March 6, 2009
Certainly a place to seek out if you want to see the real side of Reading. Friendly and welcoming, if a trifle bizarre. Probably the best selection of Belgian bottled beers in Reading (but that’s not saying much). The real ales are always in tip-top condition.
88
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 10/10   SELECTION 12/15   FOOD N/A   VALUE 8/10   OVERALL 18/20
wheresthepath  (63) , England | July 9, 2008| Updated August 21, 2008
I’m amazed no-one’s rated this before – maybe it’s because it’s hidden in a tiny back street, disguised as a mid-terrace house. I think that in the distant past the landlord simply converted his lounge & dining room into a pub – it’s maybe not been redecorated since. The pub can seem shabby, but it’s always clean - one of my female friends, initially wary of the worn furniture & old decor, left raving about a pub where the ladies loo was spotless & also contained flowers & free tampons! In the back room they’ve squeezed in a pool table, dartboard, an eclectic if rather dated jukebox, a piano and a couple of tables. The front room is the haunt of the regulars (usually seven of them but if you happen to take their seat you needn’t worry – they’re very friendly to newcomers! The odd pub events - the bring & share cheese nights, the pickled onion contests, the pig club - all testify to this being a real, friendly community pub. The landlady is a bubbling whirlwind of friendly cheerfulness, but the landlord can seem a little quiet - however, get him talking on his favourite subjects (beer & cider) & he’s a wealth of enthusiastic knowledge! Which brings us onto the main reason for visiting this charming pub - the booze. Your lagerboy friends needn’t feel intimidated by the big chalkboard ale & cider menus in both bars - there’s a smattering of macro swill hidden in shame on the back room bar, including Hooegarden & Leffe Blonde (the fact they’re considered as macro brands gives you an idea of what this pub is like!). Seven real ale handpumps are proudly squeezed onto the tiny front bar. There’s always Loddon Ferryman’s Gold & Ringwood Best, & up to 5 guest beers which change very regularly & are always in superb condition. At their beer festival, there’ll be an extra fifteen or so more unusual beers, served from casks in the back room. There’s a good range of bottled beers (eg Rochefort 8, Schlenkerla rauchbier) served in the correct branded glasses. For the appleheads there’s usually 3 draught real ciders served from kegs in the cellar, & a few unusual bottled real ciders. It’s worth checking the pub’s website - it’s updated daily with beers on now and next. Overall it’s the best community pub I’ve ever found - a real dream local that’s been voted best Reading pub by my “Weird Pub Wednesday” drinking group. The only downside is the lack of a garden, but in wet British summers who’s going to miss that?

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