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Reviewed On: 8 Aug 2007
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Public Houses in Reading
Berkshire, England.
Previous Names:
St. Johns Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 4EH
0.68 miles from Reading station [Map]
Final Score: 5.0 out of 10
Steve's Score:2 (Out of 5)
Gray's Grade:3 (Out of 5)
Steve Supped:Nethergate Scutchers
Gray Gulped:Ushers Autumn Frenzy
Garden / Facilities:No, but lovely flowers out front as you can see.

25 September 2004

This place probably hasn't changed for a million years. The Retreat is a perfect name for this pub that's tucked away down a quiet side street and is like stepping back in time. From the outside The Retreat looks superb - a haven for lovely pubiness and beer consumption. Unfortunately its main selling points (that it's an unchanged simple local pub) also count against it and it felt approaching uncared and slightly shabby - especially compared to the Eldon Arms that we'd just come from. The Gents bogs are outside and the sink in there was past scary - it looked like someone might have used it to clean up a murder or something. Still, it's a proper pub where they work hard at serving up good beer. With a little bit of care and attention it could be really really special. G.
Yes, but it wasn't, was it. I also thought the actual bar area which where we were was no more than 1.5 foot long and tucked behind a column, was a bit naff as was the actual seating and pub itself. Going back to interior decor ala the Nags Head I thought this had much more of a social club from the 70's feel to it inside rather than a pub. As G said, the toilets were out the back - literally - as you had to walk passed the bins to get there. I understand the ladies were actually indoors! Lucky ladies. However, the graffiti in the gents above the trough was a bit of a plus point and someone here has a poetry steak in them. The real problem with this place is that from the outside (pic 1) it looks great, and warm, and friendly, and lovely. It doesn't look like this on the inside though. In the words of some copper or other...Move on ladies and gentlemen, there's nothing to see here. S.
Ok, so there's nothing to see - but there's plenty of good stuff to drink. Well worth a visit for the beer. G.


I'm really delving into the corners of my brain to remember the beers here and failing - which is a shame because they had an excellent selection. Luckily we did try a couple of good brews to report back on. The Ushers Autumn Frenzy was another new beverage to me but I was very glad I sampled it. A seasonal beer with quite a lot of taste going on, I think quite light in alcohol but tasted very wholesome (which might have helped save the hangover). I'd certainly drink it again! G.
Good beers here. I was enjoying my Scutchers until I tasted G's Autumn Frenzy whcih was the pick of the ones we were supping. Good choice though so can't complain on that score. I'm sure they catered for Lagerites as well but I can't actually remember. S.

VISITOR FEEDBACK [Give Your Feedback]

"Great pub. Lots of character and the beers are really good. Sit down get a beer and soak up that atmosphere. Definitely not for the fashonistas!!!"
(Rated 10 out of 10)
Dave Lewis visited in December 2007

"This is a top boozer - quality locals with a quality selection of beers. Well worth a find, just as the Camra Good Beer Guide suggests."
(Rated 10 out of 10)
Stevo visited in June 2007

"Its a real jack the ripper kind of place but me and my mate Rich always nip in there on our way to town. The Eldon is a dump - you get barred for smiling in there. But at the retreat you can always have a good laugh specialy as Rich is always drinking, always drunk. The landlord Bernie woz once a porn star he is well proud of that if you get to know him he will let you stay after hours and show one he starred in. Top bloke."
Tony visited in March 2005

Average Visitor Score: 10.00 out of 10


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Retreat Pub (Reading, Berkshire)
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