Thrifty hounding in UK (Reading)
I may be going with my business-traveling hubby to Reading in a couple of months, and he has me totally freaked out about the price of things. His continental breakfast this morning ran him $35, and dinner for one (at some reasonably nice but not posh places) are running well over $50 for one. So, our 4-year old and I will be going with him for somewhere between a week or two, and want to eat reasonably but not fancily. (Have to save the chow tour for later.)
I was hoping for advice on eating inexpensively but happily in the UK, and in Reading in particular. Thanks!
ETA: Getting an apartment with a kitchen is an option, but I don't want to spend all of the time cooking. Plus, I figure unless I pack a sack of kitchen essentials, that may not end up saving me much money.
Gridder, that breakfast was scandalous and certainly not typical. Think $10 for a continental in Reading. Dinner probably about right. Reading is a pretty ordinary place but if you get a car then there are plenty of nicer spots within 40 mins. On the river you have Henley, Wargrave, Maidenhead, Marlow, Moulsford (Beetle & Wedge restaurant is lovely), Wallingford etc. etc. All nice.
You are in a wealthy area though, plenty of Michelin stars (look up the Fat Duck or the Waterside Inn on the net)
Can't help with restaurant recs - but if you decide to do any cooking, I have an e-friend from another (non-food) board who is a butcher there. He claims to sell good meat.
You'll find the shop at Cavendish Meats, Cavendish Road, Emmer Green, Reading. You want Roland and you want to tell him that "Harters from the Forum" sent you. He'll know who I am.
If you do want to travel just a bit, go to the Hinds Head pub in Bray. It's owned by the same person as The Fat Duck. The food is very good value for money, plus it's near Windsor which you might like to explore. Remember that things seem expensive, only because the dollar is so weak. Things here in England only seem out of sight if you keep converting to dollars - prices haven't gone up all that much.
In Reading there is a shopping centre called the Oracle which is centrally located. There are a couple of reasonably nice chain restaurants located there such as Wagamama (a noodle sort of place), Pizza Express (pizza, pasta, salad), and Tootsies which does alright burgers as well as breakfast. You can easily eat at all of these for less than £10 each.
Standard Tandoori. Best Indian curry in the entire town. Period. Very reasonably priced too. 141-145 Caversham Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 8AU.
Breakfast or lunch - you can eat very cheaply at Munchies. Munchees 2-3 Butter Market, Reading. Berkshire. Not much on decor, it's a hole in the wall, but you can get pretty decent standard cafe food, breakfasts, or even some Thai or Nepalese dishes for well under £10 pp.
Try Santa Fe for dinner (they also do reasonable lunch deals for under $10 or main courses for under $20 pp). Very tasty Southwestern/Mexican/Tex-Mex food - good cocktails too. It's near the Oracle center.
Further afield, there's an excellent gastropub called the George & Dragon
Delicious food, lovely pub and some lunch specials too.