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Sweeneys (Reading)

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Pub. Vast Range of Speciality Pies.10 Castle Street
Tel: 0118 958 6466

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      26.11.2000 18:09
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      In the last 5 years, Reading has been swamped by lots of new trendy pubs selling bland beer and pub grub with loud music and no space to breathe. However there are still places in Reading where you can drink and eat where you won’t find a bouncer on the door, there is no dress code – but where the food and atmosphere are homely. Sweeney’s is such a place. It’s a shop and pub and can be found in Castle Street opposite Rowberry Morris Solicitors and next door to the Sweeney Todd barbers(!). The owners also own a Butchers just up the road directly opposite the Broad Street Mall. The establishment is smallish and snug. At the front of the building is the shop selling a variety of pies, quiches, pasties and scotch eggs. Be careful about the garlic quiches, they are smelly and should not be eaten before attending a meeting! What makes Sweeney’s special is the large variety of pies for sale. These include: · Lamb and mint · Curry · Turkey and ham · Game · Venison Pies can be sold cold or eaten in a microwave. Depending on the variety, a pie will cost about £1.30 and they are about 6 inches in diameter. My favourite, however are the scotch eggs. These cost 90p and are the size of a large cricket ball. They are divine!! If you have more time, Sweeney’s have a number of tables where you can eat. Other than the tables in the restaurant, there is an enclosed area out the back and seating down in the cellar. Waitress service is provided, the best bit is when they recite the 15 or so types of pie they have on the menu that day! Pies come with a small relish or you can add salad, jacket potatoes and other accompaniments. The food provided is basic but filling. If you have any room left, there are always the puddings. Treacle pudding and custard is my favourite. You get a big bowl full of custard. They also do gateaux, ice cream and the like. There are vegetarian options availa
      ble – though I tend to go for something with meat in it. Cost about £3.50 for a pie and garnish. You can get well stuffed for about a fiver! There is a bar and a decent selection of real ales including Royal Oak. It can be pricey. So this is Sweeney’s. The décor isn’t very modern – 1950’s would be apt. The food is basic but filling. Its not a trendy establishment – but this makes a change from these themed pubs and wine bars. Most people won’t like it – but this is the reason for its charm. I don’t mind – it means more scotch eggs pour moi !!

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