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The Hogshead (Reading)

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76-78 King's Road, Reading, RG1 3BJ. Tel: +44 (0)118 958 6549

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      13.11.2000 16:06
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      The Hogshead is one of my favourite pubs out of the hundreds in Reading. I must be getting old because the reasons for this are; o You can get a decent pint of bitter o You can usually get a seat o The music is not too loud o The prices are reasonable o Friendly staff o You can wear what you like Whereas the average pub in Reading by contrast has the following characteristics; o Lots of bottled lager and bland bitter o Thousands of people standing up o Music too loud to allow any conversation at all o London prices for everything o Staff that usher you out with a baseball bat at 11.01 pm. o No trainers, jeans or t-shirts The Hogshead is a chain of pubs, specialising in decent beer. There was a time when you would walk in and be presented with 8 pumps of bitter (most of which you had never heard of), Guiness and Hoegarden. They have now catered for a more varied audience and do a couple of lagers, some more familiar bitters, a great - if somewhat safe - wine list, and more alcopops than you can shake a stick at. Fortunately they still do good beer, with regular specials and regular mini beer festivals. The food in the Hogshead is best described as just above average. They have the typical selection of nachos and potato skins for starters - then sandwiches or typical modern pub food like bangers and mash, fish and chips, curry and so on. The deserts are limited to ice cream and apple pie and things like that. Although the menu is a bit uninspired, they have been making improvements, and it actually tastes very good. There is a no smoking food area and although this is not rigorously enforced, it does help. My only problem with the food is that they stop serving quite early - about 8 pm on a Friday - which is just too early for me. The atmosphere in the Hogshead is it's biggest attraction to me. It is generally very lively without being too crowded to find somewhere to stand/lean. The music is not so loud as to not allow you to talk, and it is a pleasant selection of music - more Verve and Blur than Eminem. The bar staff are very friendly - they will happily let you try a beer before you buy it, and best of all they don't start shouting at you to leave at 11 pm on the dot. This makes for a more relaxed and totally trouble free environment. The pub is situated a little out of the main town centre, east along Kings Road, but still inside the IDR. It is just along the street from Ha Ha's (which is opposite the library). It is opposite one of the Prudential buildings (but that doesn't really narrow it down in Reading - there are so many of them).

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