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Castle Street, RG1 7RD
Reviewed On: 2 Sep 2004
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Public Houses in Reading
Berkshire, England.
Hope Tap
Previous Names / Status:
Friar Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 1EP
0.18 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:Oakham Raucous Reindeer, Vale Special
Gray Gulped:Oakham Raucous Reindeer, Loddon Bamboozle, Vale Special
Garden / Facilities:Patio out the back of the pub with a reasonable number of tables - heated for cold summer/autumn evenings.

18 May 2007

Hang on - isn't that a new plasa TV? In a Wetherspoons pub? G.

3 May 2007

Exactly the same as before! G.

21 December 2004

A good example of a Wetherspoons pubs - not bad at all. It's the place to come for cheap food and a good range of cheap beer. Sure, it's going to be filled with cheapskates and it might be the volume business to make their money but there's plenty of plus points. The Hope Tap is not the trendiest pub in Reading by a long way and is usually packed out with people spending their pensions but it felt tidier and with a better atmosphere than both the Monks and the Baron Cadagon. G.
The old adage, Wetherspoons is as Wetherspoons does (not so old I know but I think you know what I mean) almost doesn't fit here. I lie though, it's just when we were there it wasn’t packed and it was nicely spruced up a bit for the evening trade and even had little tea light candles on the tables in the reserved dining area. It all gave the best impression of a Wetherspoons we have encountered on our tour. It's a well laid out building as well with a raised area at the back left, a couple of slightly boxed off areas to help break up an otherwise big open space and some nice touches on the decor (the books along the back side wall etc). Thumbs up for this one. S.


The Raucous Reindeer was very hoppy indeed. That was my initial thoughts on the brew and I'm sticking to it. Although it certainly hit the spot it tasted more like a summer brew than a winter one - perhaps due to the low percentage and not a massive amount of body to it. Great beer though even if not the festive beer you might think it would be. The beer selection, as per most Wetherspoons pubs, was very impressive. There were a massive eight cask ales including two festive beers (the Reindeer and Arkell's Seasonal), Arkell's Golden, and some usual suspects (Abbot Ale, Pedigree, Burton Bitter) in addition to non-cask smooth rubbish (John Smiths). The beer choice was near staggering but then you have to add on seven lagers across the board that included Staropramen, San Miguel along with the usual suspects. So, very good marks for beer. G.
I needn't say any more other than did you hear what he said, 8 cask ales! That is very good indeed and a nice slection therein also. Plus, I bought his roun and G bought the one in the Honey Pot and mine was about 1/3 of the price. Winner! S.

VISITOR FEEDBACK [Give Your Feedback]

(Rated 1 out of 10)
big dave visited in October 2008

"Rude Sunday shift 'manageress', staff swearing and telling racist jokes in the corner, very good beer, food terrible-really. One female bar staff kissing another girl on stairwell to toilets oblivious to customers around and the new hand dryers are set so far back on the wall and behind a ledge that i couldnt reach them. A large majority of customers stood at the bar were filthy, i.e clothes unwashed etc , mostly 50+ but the stench was unbearable."

(Rated 1 out of 10)
Craig visited in January 2006

"The worst bar in Reading by far. The food quality is abysmal, and when I returned a beer which tasted salty, and totally undrinkable, the bar manager was less than helpful. In fact, he claimed he'd take it to the manager, walked all the way round the back in about 10 seconds, so no testing time, and claimed the manager said it was fine. When asked if I could speak to him, he told me the manager was not on site. I'd recommend for anyone who wants a pint and not drivel to go to the Monks Retreat, where the pints are excellent, and the bar staff are more than happy to serve us. Would of given it a big fat 0, but that wasn't on the list, so I guess 1 will have to do."

(Rated 10 out of 10)
Tim visited in October 2005

"I lived in Reading for 8 months, but now I'm back in Australia. I miss this place as much as anything in Reading. Comments on here are harsh, considering Aussie pubs on the whole are terrible, expensive, lack variety and are full of big-screen horse racing and pokies. This place was always quaint, but cheap, and a good place to go in for a quick pint before the weekly shopping at Sainsbury's across the road."
Reue visited in May 2005

"Nice pub, easily the favourite around college for those of us that prefer to drink while sitting rather then dancing around all night."
Stuart visited in January 2005

"This is the pub that we go to before Reading home games for several pints and some grub. On a good day the ale choice is tremendous, on a bad day it's just a load of pump clips masquerading as choice. The veggie grub choice is good, but even then it can be 'orff'(as in the laast two visits). Despite all this, it's a good pub for folks who just want to sit and chat and drink, without going bankrupt. With more consistent management, it could be a great pub. No matter, we'll be there on 22 January."

Average Visitor Score: 4.00 out of 10


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