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Reviewed On: 3 May 2007
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Public Houses in Reading
Berkshire, England.
   
Monks Retreat
Previous Names:
Friar Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 1HE
0.22 miles from Reading station [Map]
Final Score: 6.0 out of 10
Steve's Score:3 (Out of 5)
Gray's Grade:3 (Out of 5)
Steve Supped:Loddon Ferryman's Gold, Loddon Bamboozle, Cains Dark Mild
Gray Gulped:Loddon Ferryman's Gold, Loddon Bamboozle, Cains Dark Mild
Garden / Facilities:Big pub wrapping all the way round into the depths of Reading and Monk's hanging from the ceiling. Chairs out the front on the street in summer.

RE-REVIEW:

26 May 2005 Much the same as the previous visit - still that classic Wetherspoons formula. But hang on, wasn't that a new fish tank at the bottom bar? Very swishy. G.

ORIGINAL REVIEW:
10 June 2004

Ah, yes. The Monks Retreat - fitting perfectly to that standard Wetherspoon's formula. "Traditional" pub feel with no music, lots and lots of old geezers hanging around for their cheap booze, and not really much class at all. But that's what's good about the Monks - cheap grub and decent cheap beer. Bringing together the old geezer and cheap beer formula provided one of the highlights of the mission so far. There I am, bang on time after work at 5:45 walking in at the same time as one of the old geezers and heading towards the bar. Despite my youth he beat off my attempts and reached the empty bar first with his 3.20 in coins at the ready. Two pints of Loddon ordered. Hmmm... wise choice thinks me. The barmaid delivers his beverages and tends to my needs, as it were. "Same as him please". "You're thirsty", remarks the lady to the old geezer. And sure enough, before my first pint's even poured his has already been drained and he's heading for the second explaining he only has three minutes to the bus leaves. My second's prepared and I'm taking a civilised first sip just as he's finished downing his second. I mutter a confused "woah.. that was impressive" but he's already out of the door saying that he can do it much faster than that. Two minutes later Steve arrives, just five minutes late, having missed all the action. Now, I ask you, where else in Reading town centre would you get that? Wetherspoon's pubs excepted of course... G.
Is this story really true? Admittedly when I walked in to the pub there were two empty beer glasses next to Loader as he stood at the bar, but really, did I miss such an impressive feat but simply being 5 minutes late. Gutted! What else can I add to the general review, well not a lot really, wetherspoons through and through and if you like it you should go and if you don't, well don't bother. If you like good ales it's always worth it though, normally a few good ones and cheap as chips! S.
'Tis true. Those empty glasses couldn't have been mine as I was still standing when you arrived! G.

BEER EXPERIENCE

Ferryman's Gold was a deliciously refreshing summer tasting beer in a errrr... gold colour. Recommended drinking. G.
Quite agree old chap. Lovely little beer. S.
26 May 2005 Thanks to Jim and Dana we had a couple of very tasty pints! Cheers! The Bamboozle seemed like a very reasonable pint - ideal for an extended session despite approaching 5%. Fruity and malty it seemed like a very light brew and down the hatch it went with no problem at all. May was officially "Mild Month" according to CAMRA, so Cains dark mild was on the menu. I'm rather partial to this particular brew, light on alcohol but very dark on appearance, even with a dark head. It's packed full of flavour with roasted malty goodness. You could drink casks of this stuff and still walk in a straight line. So, if anyone wants to buy us some more I wouldn't say no! G.

VISITOR FEEDBACK [Give Your Feedback]

"The old man who downs the two pints in three minutes is in the pub most days... he works in Jacksons with his wife who dresses the windows as she has done for years! Next time you see him have a chat hes a very nice old boy!"
(Rated 10 out of 10)
Barman visited in June 2006

"Took the words out of mouth Marcus! Has to b the best place to go 1st stop. Cheap beer to get tanked up on whilst plotting your hunting techniques for the nite ahead. Packed with alkies during the day but it all adds character! Top pub."
edamslave visited in May 2005

"Old faithful! Popular choice for many as a starting establishment for the evening's festivities. Very busy on any weekend evening, but a favourite of many!"
Marcus visited in April 2005

Average Visitor Score: 10.00 out of 10

NEIGHBOURING PUBS

The following pubs are within stumbling distance of this establishment:

         
Current Score:
6
Original Score:
6
Traditional Pub?
No
Party Pub?
No
Proper Food?
Yes
Real Ale Pub?
Yes
Pub Games?
No

Monks Retreat Pub (Reading, Berkshire)
Picture 1 >>
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