December 4 2006
The Pub Guide
For Reading, The Longside recommends the Swan Inn at Three Mile Cross. Situated 1.5 miles away from the Madejski stadium, the Swan is easily accessible from junction 11 of the M4. Simply leave the motorway at junction 11 and follow the sign for Basingstoke (A33, fourth exit). At the next roundabout take a left towards Three Mile Cross and the pub is on the left on this road, opposite the BP garage.
Directions from the M4 as per the AA:
The pub is recommended by Reading CAMRA for the Real Ale drinkers out there and has at least 4 or 5 Cask conditioned handpump ales always available including Wadworth 6X, Fuller’s London Pride, Young's IPA, Itchen Valley Godfather and Courage Best as well as guest ales, but as always with real ales, it will be worth bearing in mind that these may be rotated but you will certainly have a good selection to choose from.
There are also the standard lagers on tap, Stella, Fosters etc, but as we encountered last time we visited, it doesn’t come cheap. The bar lady did say, “Well you are in Berkshire now my love,” as the travelling Clarets groaned at the prices being charged anywhere south of, er Burnley, but not to worry, this is pretty standard fare down south these days.
If you planning on eating at The Swan the food on offer is excellent, all homemade, cooked from scratch on the premises, so not any of your Wacky Warehouse plastic rubbish. We particularly enjoyed the homemade Steak and Kidney Pie, although the Chili Con Carne seemed to be extremely popular with the rest of the Clarets that had made the journey, and came highly recommended.
The pub is 400 years old now and the décor is traditional English pub style with open fireplaces and wood beams, their slogan being ‘Real Beer & Real Food’ and it really is a great place to go drinking pre-game. It might be worth bearing in mind though that the pub opens at noon on Saturdays not eleven o’clock for the hardened drinkers of you out there. It was a very good pub to visit when we visited Reading two years ago, and we’re sure that once again this will be a great place to visit again this year.
Previous guides: Accrington