Now your probably thinking Reading in the South East of England is the least likely place for a good St Patrick’s Day celebration, but your wrong. This Tuesday Reading’s pubs and it’s inhabitants did the Irish proud.
In search of the perfect St Patrick’s Day craic, the drinksin crew put on their shamrock socks and went on a mid-week quest. First stop The Lyndhurst on Queens Road. We arrived at about 6:30 and took rest at one of the nicely candlelit wooden tables. The pub was busy in an after-work mellow way with a mixture of regular IT after-workers and hungry bookish third year students.
The smell of good food was overwhelming and the low level Irish folk music, half-drunk Guiness glasses dotted around the place and Potato Champ on the Specials Menu gave the sense of a subtle nod to The Green Isle festivities without being crass. The Lyndhurst under it’s new management is going from strength to strength and it seems The Warwick with it’s far eastern influence is likely to set the same kind of pace.
After a quick drink we headed across to the area of Jackson’s Corner where the mood was decidedly sombre and quiet. Worried that we may be missing out on the action we decided to skip a drink in the relatively new bar Copa (good for free wi-fi by the way) and go in the obvious direction of O’Neils by the Town Hall.
Now I’d expected there would be a few more people than usual in town but seeing O’Neils even from the distance we could see it was absolutely heaving with people in silly hats. We even had to queue before eventually being allowed to get in on the action. Behind the bar the staff were suitably fancy dressed up and the Guiness was well and truly flowing. The live band in the corner pulled quite a crowd and you could tell that there was going to be more than one IT bod asleep at their desk following morning.
O'Neils Pub, Reading
Enjoying the craic at O'Neils, Reading
Guiness Extra Cold and Extra Cool
After a few pints of the Black Stuff and uplifted by the festive mood, we decided to head for one last drink in Reading’s famous beardy pub The Hobgoblin and beardy it was but in a good way. Long live The Hobgoblin and all it’s beer mats and beards and boffins and beer. I did have to laugh when I spotted the poster in the toilet though, great message but slightly incongruous setting being at The Hob, couldn’t imagine any of them gentlemanly fellows in the bar being described in this way.
For all you men reading this blog, this is the kind of stuff us girls see when we go into the toilet so if you ever notice us acting a little odd post-toilet break this may be why. Well that and the fact that we’ve just caught sight of ourselves in the mirror and are worried our bum looks big.
Funny toilet poster
Popularity: 7% [?]
The drinksin team descended upon Reading town early on Friday night for a bit of exploratory work, oh and a few drinkies along the way! OK it’s true, a few too many drinkies along the way.
First stop Global RISC Cafe Bar on London Street. In retrospect it was this moment that crystalised the direction for the rest of the evening. Oh why oh why didn’t we line our stomachs with some of their delicious Ethiopian fare. I confess the organic wine was good but food would of been a better option.
The 3B's, Reading
Empty stomached and excitable next stop The 3B’s, more wine consumed but less chatter as we were whisked away on an epic musical journey by an Ella Fitzgerald inspired and beautiful vintage-clad lady on the decks.
After this we made a quick and fairly unmemorable sprint through Reading’s bar street. Yates’, Walkabout and Bar Four. Didn’t realise till now that this is the home of ‘BBC Introducing’ live music night celebrating the local band scene. Find out more here http://www.bbc.co.uk/berkshire/content/articles/2008/05/12/session_introducing_gig_feature.shtml
Next stop The Oakford Social Club, Blagrave Street. My kind of place and yours if your Mod isnpired and into music – proper! The Oakford is brought to you by the same family that run the infamous Lock Tavern and Start the Bus, Bristol
It is probably here the last train to sensible sleep time should of beckoned but as with every inebriated decision it’s not until the next morning you realise it’s the wrong one.
So forge on we did to Afrobar, which was alas closed so in a last ditch attempt to bring some tranquility back to the evening, the call of the sleek and sophisticated led us to Malmaison where we were charmed by the very delectable South African mixologist Beyers. He makes a mean Caipirinha!
A few refreshingly strong cocktails later, and post last train back as with most good Reading night’s out The After Dark welcomed us with open arms for £10 entry. Unbelievably this also included three free drinks, but I think I lost the tickets – please tell me I lost the tickets and I wasn’t still drinking!
As always a pleasant and fashion forward crowd. Decidedly young but that’s just me talking as I’m worried I’m becoming decidedly old after some charming but inappropriate use of the word Mum came into a conversation. Just for the record I’m 28…thank you.
Yep and I think that was about it…ooops no it’s not there was more so in true Pulp Fiction style this was the beginning at the end Mix Bar, how could I forget.
Pretty bar at Mix
Well I know how actually. Killer caiprinhas. I think this may have been third or fourth bar, whatever. Good cocktails there too and pretty flower bar oh yes and mustn’t forget the barman, ladies beware.
Cocktails at Mix Bar
Popularity: 5% [?]