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Back of Beyond
Kings Road, RG1 3BY
Reviewed On: 14 May 2005
Public Houses in Reading
Oakford Social Club
Previous Names / Status: Flyer and Firkin, The Forum
Blagrave Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 1PZ
0.12 miles from Reading station
|Steve's Score:||3 (Out of 5)|
|Gray's Grade:||4 (Out of 5)|
|Steve Supped:||Grolsch, Fruli|
|Gray Gulped:||Grolsch, Fruli|
|Garden / Facilities:||HUGE tables out the front, garden out the back too and the pub is seven miles long!|
17 October 2006
The place had just been given a new look and re-opened as The Oakford Social Club. It wasn't a bad pub before, but it's much better now. As you walk in it's got a canteen style kitchen on show - very much like Ha Ha! down Kings Road. In fact it's similar in a lot of ways with a sophisiticated feel and lots of leather seating - but it's also very different. As mentioned in the beer review plenty of "different" beer and the whole place is trying to be different to the usual Reading pub and doing a good job of it. There's a whole load of seating arranged in groups giving it a more welcoming feel than before and lots of potential for lounging around. Bespite the trendy feel it's got none of the harshness of a place like Ha Ha! and you could easily spend a few hours here chilling out. The food looks good too with square pies on offer and a decent looking menu. They are offering a good choice of music with some proper DJs in the evening. I liked this place a lot. G.|
5 August 2004
The following applies to the initial review when this place was The Forum: |
Very big and brightly painted. Pool tables too. Over to Stevie. G.
I see you couldn't really be bothered with this one, or is it a quickie as you are now on your hols. Anyway, seven miles long, you do exaggerate. It's quite a big place though with a bit of a dance floor area for the evenings though it wasn't very well lit when we were there. Three pool tables but i bet they weren't as cheap as the 30p per play pool table that i played on up in Yorkshire on my camping holiday! Probably a rip off £1.20 per play or something like that. Big long bar as well and we took full advantage of the outside seating until the heavens opened - which was exactly 37 seconds after we sat down! Nice enough place but can't get overexcited about it. S.
Much, much improved since this place upgraded from The Forum to the Oakford Social Club. This place still has it's very long bar but now it actually has a proper choice of drinks along it. You're spoilt for choice - surely everyone is catered for! There was a wide range of European lagers such as Peroni on tap as well as other lagers you wouldn't normally find in a Reading pub. Plenty of variety on real beer too. Timothy Taylor Landlord is a bit of a favourite, and they also had Spitfire. But we had to try some mad looking Belgium wheat beer previously untried... I wasn't quite sure what to think as I was expecting something Hoegaarden like. So this Fruli stuff... very fruity, tangy, and creamy with a big head. Actually I quite enjoyed it but I'm worried that I shouldn't have done. G.|
The following applies to the initial review when this place was The Forum:
Only Worthington's in the "beer" deparment (if you can call it that) - however, a very fine selection of lagers! Lager drinkers heaven. Unfortunately the Staropramen was off on our visit though, but they also had Stella, Grolsch and one or two weaker shandy drinkers lager too. G.
Yeah, this is a good lager pub and I enjoyed my pint of Grolsch and I don't normally like Grolsch! S.
(Rated 9 out of 10)
visited in September 2007
"I love this pub. The choice of drinks is really good and the food actually very decent. I had the burger the other day and it was amazing!
I see the point about the drinks being more expensive but I'd much rather that in a good pub that sees no trouble than face the possibility of getting bottled with a glass WHK bottle.
The music is cool during the day and I've seen some really great DJs there at the weekend who don't play the same old same old.
My friend says he has also seen some really cool live bands play in there. I can't believe I missed Late Of The Pier!
It's definitely an asset to Reading and one that I'd recommend.
ps, I'm pretty sure that the photos of the 'public school boy' owners are meant to be ironic and tongue in cheek."
(Rated 4 out of 10)
visited in July 2007
"Expensive. Frustratingly haphazard service when busy. Utterly appalling music in an vain attempt to be different and not let on that it's part of a chain. Reasonable food. Oddly student ethos considering pricing; it holds jumble sales. Pictures of the public school boy founders around wearing suits and ties. Amusing selection of "indie/street" hair cuts among staff. All in all a strange place."
(Rated 7 out of 10)
visited in December 2006
"The Oakford had such promise. It billed itself as a new indie bar, a rival to the Turtle and Pav's the previous regular haunts of Reading's Non-Chav population. Sadly the Chav's have invaded, the music policy is not all it's cracked up to be and the booze, while extensive, is unnecessarily expensive. It's in Reading! Not central London!"
(Rated 7 out of 10)
visited in December 2006
"Good tasty grub which does not appear to be the usual microwave stuff. The beer choice is excellent, including Paulaner Munchenbier, a great favourite of mine from Bavaria, but you do have to wait for it to warm up a bit from the normal British frozen-solid temperature, for that real Munich flavour to tickle the old taste buds. Two real ales and a real cider on when last visited. The ale is served in dimple mugs ! I had left my tweed sports jacket and pipe at home, so felt totally inappropriately dressed."
(Rated 7 out of 10)
visited in October 2006
"This pub has now changed to the "Oakford Social Club" - opened on 27th September apparently. Nice decor and a huge selection of lagers on tap, albeit not so many beers. We visited on a Thursday and it was quite busy and the atmosphere was pretty good."
Suzi visited in November 2004
"Nice enough place, but the toilets are rubbish! No locks on the doors, and no soap. I wasn't impressed!"
Average Visitor Score: 6.80 out of 10
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