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Good eats in Reading

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Looking for good meals in Reading-any price range and cuisine is fine, but I have a fondness for unassuming gems. Will be here for a couple of weeks visiting family. Thanks in advance for the advice!

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  1. I'd suggest getting out of Reading and driving to some of the good pubs out in the countryside (but not far away). There is The Swan in Goring or try the Hinds Head in Bray near Windsor. If you go out the Oxford Rd., you'll pass Pangbourne where there is a historic pub with good food and that road leads up to Goring. The Hinds Head is well worth a visit - owned by Heston Blumenthal and the best pea and ham soup I've ever tasted.

    1 Reply
    1. re: zuriga1

      Thank you for the suggestions-they sound great! Will definitely try them out asap. :)

    2. About the same distance as Pangbourne is a village called Stanford Dingley. There are two good pubs, The Bull and The Old Boot. I have not been for a while but I fancy the Boot has the edge on food. The setting is good rural Berkshire and the locals simple, country, race-horse owning folk.

      1. L'Ortolan in Shinfield is the best restaurant in the immediate vicinity of Reading

        1. In Reading itself there's The Art of Siam - a very good Thai restaurant. The Standard Tandoori is a Nepalese curry house with similar dishes to most Indian restaurants but with some specials and the quality is top notch. Outside of Reading by 6-7 miles is the George and Dragon - on the Thames in Wargrave. This is a relaxed, contemporary pub/restaurant with good quality food.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rmc1506

            Dude, The George and Dragon is a harvester restarant!

            You could go a bit further and head into Henley on Thames. There are some excellent gastropubs in the surrounding areas (Crooked Billet, Fox and Hound, Five Horseshoes in Maidensgrove) or indeed even the 3 tuns in Henley town centre which is supposed to be quite good.

          2. I spent a couple months in Reading in 1998 and liked the fish and chips from a place called Top Table. Not sure if its still there.

            1. There are some more good places in central Reading.

              Chronicles - Traditional/modern British
              Pepe Sale - very good Italian
              Sweeney & Todd - very nice pieshop
              Nino's Restaurant - Italian/mediterranean

              // Mike

              1. Oh, how I miss Sweeney & Todd....

                What about the Highwayman? Does anyone know about it? It is an inn off some country lane on the way from Reading towards Oxford? They had such lovely food and an utterly charming atmosphere. And they used to have the Bishops Tipple (Gibbs Mew), one of the strongest ales in Britain.

                1. I Googled for The Highwayman as we're often in that area. I found this... hope it's the place you're asking about.

                  British and French cuisine
                  The Highwayman, Exlade Street, is situated just off the Woodcote Road in open fields on the edge of the Chiltern Hills. The sixteenth-century inn has recently been refurblished.

                  The inn has developed a reputation for exquisite freshly prepared food. Under the new ownership this reputation should be retained. Food is cooked to perfection and presentation is faultless.
                  0149 1682020

                  Exlade Street, Woodcote, Berkshire, RG8 0UA
                  www. the_highwayman.readingrestaurants.com

                  1. That's it - I remember the name Exlade Street now! We simply discovered it on an afternoon drive once (10+ years ago, when as newlyweds we lived in RDG). There is (was) just one black and white sign nailed to a tree or something, instructing you to turn. It was such an interesting place. We went back for dinner at a later date, and also took my parents when they were visiting. The atmosphere, food, and service were all perfect. Later that year my folks surprised us with an anniversary meal there. (They allowed my dad to leave his CC number over the phone.) Thanks for the info........

                    The other thing we used to enjoy doing was taking the train out west to Soning, Goring, Pangbourne, etc, and going for pints and ploughmans at the lovely riverside or country pubs. Ah...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: cackalackie

                      I'm so glad that was the same place. My husband grew up for awhile near Goring and Wallingford and we go to a violin shop there once in awhile. His mum taught in Pangborne (good pubs there) and we find ourselves wandering around that area at times. We'll try to find The Highwayman one of these days. England is full of these gems.. it's just a matter of finding them.