The Pheasant

The Pheasant, 225 Southampton St, Reading RG1 2RB.


All ‘information’ in this review is ‘accurate’ as of January 2016.

When we reviewed The Queen’s Arms recently, we called it ‘Reading’s only scary geezer pub’. But it turns out that, as per usual, we were talking bollocks. Whitley(ish) boozer The Pheasant would happily follow The Queen’s Arms into the toilets and headbutt it for “givin’ it the fackin’ big ‘un.” If they allowed pubs in prisons, they’d look like this place. This isn’t a date pub, it’s not a place you take your parents for lunch. It’s a place you go if you wear Stone Island, still listen to Definitely Maybe and know every word of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

Drink Selection: One of everything, but it’s not for ale fans. Unless you’re the kind of real ale twat who doesn’t mind drinking Worthington’s Creamflow while getting your ponytail set on fire.

Location: Where Southampton Street meets Whitley Street. Handily placed opposite Reading Ink tattoo shop.

The Pheasant
And here’s the pub from a slightly different angle.

Food: Nope. We saw a fella bring in and eat a kebab in there, so y’know… You could do that. You could bring in and eat a kebab.

Atmosphere: If you can manage a decent ‘yeah, I’m fine – I’ve not just shit myself’ look, then you’ll not find the atmosphere too unbearable. If you can’t manage ordering without asking about the organic wine selection, you could well find the atmosphere a little less than friendly.

Beer Garden/Smoking Area:  There’s a car park with a bench out front or a big ol’ sheltered area with sofas out back.

‘The Pheasant’ is not to be confused ‘a pheasant’ – a bird bred intentionally as target practice for drivers in rural areas.

Toilets: Actually pretty clean and tidy. Other than that, we’re* not saying we definitely saw anything when we were there, but don’t be hugely surprised to see patrons frequent the facilities en masse and return to the bar some minutes later showing signs of having a cold. If you get our drift.

*on our solicitor’s advice

Sports? Sky Sports. Though there’s a good chance it’ll be tuned into At The Races. Which is usually a pretty good indicator of ‘a certain type’ of pub.

Price: Fine.

: N/A.

Visible Savory Snack Selection: Being extremely intimidated and terrified burns calories. Luckily, a classic range of pub snacks are available to restock them. We’re talking Walkers crisps, peanuts, Bacon Fries and Scampi Fries.

Pub Games: Unfortunately for fans of being stabbed with darts, there’s no dartboard. But fans of having pool cues smashed over your head rejoice – there is a pool table.

Due to the distinct feeling that they wouldn’t take kindly to outsiders taking sly photographs, we opted against it. Instead, here’s an artist’s impression of the interior.

Punterwatch: Ideal if you’re the casting director of the new Danny Dyer film.

If you don’t already drink down The Pheasant, let’s face it, you’re unlikely to get the urge to. Unless you really like music played at over 900 decibels, horse racing or getting glassed. If you were a tough sort, we might recommend it, but you’re not, are you? You’re on the internet reading, not wanking over a Britain First post. So, in conclusion… The Pheasant. Probably best swerved. Unless you need to buy a gun or something.

17 thoughts on “The Pheasant

  1. Del guthrie January 25, 2016 / 12:14 pm

    Having worked in the pheasant (many years ago).I think your review stinks and is nowhere near the true atmosphere off the pub .If you want a drink in a decent bar this is the place too be .staff and punters are friendly. Whoever reviewed this bar should stick to their day job cleaning toilets.


    • Shit Things January 25, 2016 / 6:41 pm

      We only clean toilets for twelve hours a day. That leaves another twelve hours EVERY DAY. That’s far too much time to spend fighting the irresistible urge to write stinking reviews.

      On a (semi) serious note, though – this review is designed to be taken as a humorous piece. We’d never talk anyone out of going for a pint in their local. We’ll agree with you – the staff were friendly. And we didn’t die, so the punters could’ve been worse.

      You sound like you could kick my head in, so I’ll end by saying, ‘thank you for your valued input.’


    • Iain March 8, 2017 / 9:12 pm

      I was in Reading for a training course. I happened across the pheasant and went inside. It may not be everyone’s kinda place but I was made welcome by the locals so bollocks to the review! Maybe avoid it on a Saturday night though……


      • Shit Things March 9, 2017 / 10:33 am

        BOLLOCKS to you, Iain. How about THEM ONIONS?


  2. A Person (@rdgresident) January 25, 2016 / 5:22 pm

    do visit the Red Cow on Southampton Street, but not in your best clothes.

    The Red Lion (raggy cat) on Southampton Street used to be handy for buying things when you were not too bothered where they came from.


    • Shit Things January 25, 2016 / 6:44 pm

      The Red Lion’s on the To Do List. But The Red Cow opposite is still closed down. Which would make for a fairly shit review.


  3. Lyn Beard January 26, 2016 / 12:39 pm

    I think you are so wrong slandering a business…not a humorous joke….have you actually been too any pub ..that you haven’t slated.. ..or been watching too many gangster movies .. I have been too this establishment…and was made tooo feel welcome not threatened… shame on you……


    • Shit Things January 26, 2016 / 1:04 pm

      We don’t review places we haven’t visited. Reviewing businesses that are open to the general public is a right anyone has.

      A lot of people have been to this website and not felt the need to write something negative. You have. As is your right. I’m not going to censor you. Just as I’m not going to remove this review.

      It’s not slander or libel. It’s defined as ‘fair comment’ under British law.

      As we say in our Contact Us page – if the landlord wants to get in touch and request an edit, we’ll happily oblige.


  4. Shit Things June 30, 2016 / 5:19 pm

    Oh dear, Lyn.


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