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Wensley Road, RG1 6DJ
Reviewed On: 9 Dec 2004
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Public Houses in Reading
Berkshire, England.
Allied Arms
Previous Names:
St Marys Butts, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 2LG
0.28 miles from Reading station [Map]
Final Score: 7.0 out of 10
Steve's Score:3.5 (Out of 5)
Gray's Grade:3.5 (Out of 5)
Steve Supped:Loddon Hullabaloo, Hampshire Pride of Romsey, Itchen Valley Godfathers, Ringwood Old Thumper, Stonehenge Pigswill
Gray Gulped:Loddon Hullabaloo, Grand Union Special, Hogs Back T.E.A., Oakleaf Blakes Gosport, Youngs Special
Garden / Facilities:Probably the best garden in Reading town centre!


By the way, in way of an official update, this pub is still top banana and the pork scratchings still cannot be beat. S Jan 2010.


21 Apr 2005: We enjoyed the first visit to this pub, but this was even better with a beer festival on the go. It might have been a chilly April evening but a heated, and busy, garden certainly did the trick. Good effort on the lighting and tip-top service dishing out fresh beer in the garden too. Good atmosphere, lots of people enjoying quality beer, and friendly service behind the bars. Thanks to Steve the landlord for the photos - and congratulations to the Allied Arms - who were presented Reading & Mid Berks CAMRA runner-up Pub of the Year 2005 as the festival got underway. I'm looking forward to next years Allied Arms festival... it would be wrong to miss out! G.
On the revisit for the beer fest I am pleased to say they still had the pork scratchings and they had loads of them as well. Go on, get down there and try a pack, it's well worth it. Also, if you are thinking of visiting this pub, definitely go while the beer fest is on as you'll be in for a little treat. S.

4 October 2004

Wish I'd known about the garden in the summer - it's a bit special. It's like some kind of tropical paradise compared to the rest of Reading lurking outside the front door of the pub. Lots of green leafy stuff and a good number of benches. I can imagine spending whole summer days here, quaffing quantities of tasty summer brew. Lets hope the garden remains a secret so we're always secured a bench. It's less exciting on the inside though - but perfectly acceptable. It's a decent enough old style pub with two small lounges and just a handful of tables. The service was efficient and friendly. The locals seemed like a good bunch too, although they did seem to have a bit of a liking for old style rock music. I was reliably informed by my drinking buddy that it wasn't Dire Straits - even though that was very much in evidence on the jukebox. It wasn't subtle background music either - it was pumping it out at quite a volume for an early Monday evening - although I felt it quite added to the atmosphere of the place. I think I may have forgotten to mention the snacks... G.
Ok, it is like a tropical paradise compared to some part of Reading town centre but don't think it's actually like a tropical paradise. It's more like a garden, and not a very nice one either (i'm trying to keep the crowds out or it will only be a repeat of Corfu in the 1980's and everyone will end up spoiling it) so I wouldn’t bother going there if I were you! We came into the bar through the front door and I thought blimey, this is a small place. Luckily they had another slightly bigger bar (7 square foot) towards the back. Big screen for footie here as well but as G said the choice tonight was very loud Chris Rea and some other rock type stuff from the 70's. Ah yes, the snacks. If you find yourself in here and they haven't run out, ask for the rustic pork scratchings. I suspect they are a bit of a local delicacy. S.


It's named in the Good Beer guide - and you can see why with three decent cask beers on the go. I almost expected more - but to be fair in such a small place I think three was a very good effort! The Hullabaloo slipped down a treat - quite a nutty fruity beer giving it plenty of flavour but still very drinkable. Having compared this to the Loddon Hoppit it was much more drinkable despite being stronger. Good pint. They had Grand Union Gold and Fullers London Pride on the go too. G.
Nice beer on offer and I don't think you should complain really as this is generally as good as it gets in most places. S.
We popped back for the Allied Arms first beer festival - and what an excellent selection of beer! Running for four days at the back half of April there were fifteen real ales and top quality too. We sneaked in on the first day to make sure they were all still available and made our way through as many as possible... I started with the Blakes Gosport which really was a bit special - a real dark, meaty number with some serious taste, and the first time I'd tried it. I probably should have ended with it as the others paled into comparision... The Youngs Special is always a delicious pint and you can't beat a pint of TEA. Great beer. G.
  • Allied Arms 2005 Beer Festival Tasting Notes
  • VISITOR FEEDBACK [Give Your Feedback]

    "lovely bar staff, eclectic customers, reasonable beer, fantastic and little known garden with heaters and covers for all weathers! Always makes me happy in the garden."
    (Rated 8 out of 10)
    Baz McCarthy visited in August 2007

    "Went in here a couple of weeks back for the first time in over ten years. Blimey what a change! Still doesn't look to special from the outside, but inside it's been done up quite nicely. Well worth a visit."
    Mark visited in September 2005

    "What a gem! Right in the centre of town. Really friendly staff. Great beer. Amazing juke box! Garden brilliant (er no) sorry - terrible garden - wouldn't go there awful - please don't go and spoil it for those that found it first - it's our garden - for 'local' people...!"
    Eek visited in April 2005

    "Just let you guys know (if you didn't already) that we have a real ale festival on the weekend of April 21-24, a full listing of beers can be found at If you are around, please drop in and make yourselves known. I'd be interested in your thoughts on the ales. Cheers! P.S. Great Site!!
    Allied Arms Website Link >>"

    Steve Rolls visited in April 2005

    "Top Boozer - Great jukebox, Great beer garden, friendly staff. One of Reading's finest!"
    Colin visited in September 2004

    "A nice, old style pub in the Town Centre. Steve and Moya have transformed the pub into a great place to drink. Three real ales are on tap and are kept in top condition. It has 2 bars and a courtyard/garden area which is beautiful on a warm summers day. The Allied also has the best jukebox in Reading. All in all,it's a pub where the welcome is friendly and the beer is good. What more do you want?"
    Steve (the landlord!) visited in August 2004

    Average Visitor Score: 8.00 out of 10


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    Allied Arms Pub (Reading, Berkshire)
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