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Reviewed On: 7 Dec 2004
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Public Houses in Reading
Berkshire, England.
Woodley Arms
Previous Names:
Waldeck Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 2RF
0.89 miles from Reading station [Map]
Final Score: 7.0 out of 10
Steve's Score:3.5 (Out of 5)
Gray's Grade:3.5 (Out of 5)
Steve Supped:Greene King XX Mild
Gray Gulped:Morland Original Bitter
Garden / Facilities:Not really a garden, but there were some pub benches outside.

14 October 2004

Having come from the Pheasant we thought we were in for another bad experience from the outside - despite being freshly painted and in good exterior condition it looked half boarded up and the thick curtains hid God knows what inside (gulp)... How wrong we were! Once we'd built up the courage to step inside we were immediately given a friendly welcome by the landlady and given directions to the lounge bar which was clearly a perfect place to errr... lounge in! A look through the bar revealed a public bar equipped with pool table, darts and jukebox - so although it wasn't a "traditional" pub as such it was certainly laid out like one. Back round our side there were lots of plush chairs, tidy decoration, and a very impressive bar itself. Great wallpaper. A very well varnished ceiling too! Yes, this was definitely a place filled with care and attention and the owners deserve the place to be filled up every night. It's a shame I don't live closer as I could otherwise soon have my regular seat in this pub. On our visit there was a group of fellow crawlers (they'd had the misfortune to visit the Pheasant too), and one other group of friendly old geezers - so rather quiet. The strengths of the Woodley Arms are the good beer range but most importantly the friendly welcome and service! G.
I think you should have elaborated on the wallpaper a bit more. I haven't seen paper like this before but it was covered in an embossed script which gave it quite an elegant look. Can't have been cheap either. Lots of pictures of big old sailing ships on the open seas around the walls as well which added to the experience of sitting in someone’s 'lounge'. The bar was also a bit special being a authentically beaten brass topped affair which I must admit to taking a bit of a shine to! I had some polish with me so I thought why not. Not that it needed it though as it was giving of pretty good reflections already. It also had sunken lights in highly polished wood above the bar as well and was finished off with a trim of carpet. Plush is the word to use here I think. As G said, the atmos was really relaxed and friendly and the landlady was especially pleasant and chatty. If you live anywhere near here make the effort to pop by. I guarantee you will go back. S.


The Woodley Arms is another Greene King pub but with a much larger range of tied beers than normal, which impressed me. The Morland Original proudly sported the Cask Marque and was a very well presented pint. As well as IPA they had a mild which makes a change - I'd never seen this XX business before and it was a good discovery. They also had an XS smooth (Greene King) - another new one on me. I'll let Stevie describe the mild as he had the honour of that particular beverage. G.
The mild was a real treat. Very wholesome and very malty and it tasted as though it had been roasted to within an inch of it's life. Not what I was expecting but one of my recent favorites thats as such as x is x. It was a really good range of beers and I get the feeling that they rally take car in getting the beers just right. S.

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Woodley Arms Pub (Reading, Berkshire)
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