The Crown On The Bridge, 3 Bridge St, Caversham, Reading, RG4 8AA.
All ‘information’ in this review is ‘accurate’ as of January 2016.
Caversham. It’s bloody lovely, isn’t it? A lively yet cosy little mini-town tagged onto Reading that’s a taste of the countryside, but with plenty of pubs and restaurants and life. You can’t beat it. Unless you live in Richmond or St. John’s Wood or something. In which case, why are you even reading this? Go on – get. Sod off to the Horse & Hound website. Look, we’ll even link to it for you. HERE, LOOK. CLICK HERE! You big posh sods. Anyway, stroll over Caversham Bridge and you’re greeted by The Crown on the Bridge. Here’s what we reckon about having a few pints there…
Location: As we’ve mentioned and as its name suggests, The Crown on the Bridge is on a bridge – Caversham Bridge. It isn’t though, despite its name, a crown (it’s a pub). The street it’s on, as it’s on a bridge, is called ‘Bridge Street’. This ‘Location’ section’s a bit shit, isn’t it?
Drink Selection: Nothing to write home about, really. Or to write on a pub review about. The basics are covered, with nowt wildly snazzy on offer. That said, there’s everything you need. This is a ‘few beers for the football, couple of games of pool’ pub, though. So it’s fine. There’s little point having 25 bottles of imported gin lined up behind the bar.
Food: The Crown’s never been renowned for food, but – by all accounts – the landlord now is making more of an effort than any of his predecessors. We didn’t eat there, but the menu looks half-decent. The standout section is the Pieminster pies they’ve got on offer. More pies in pubs, we say.
Beer Garden/Smoking Area: A bit of a hidden gem, this. A generous seating area, there’s even a TV hooked up out there. And, bizarrely, a fruit machine.
Toilets: All alright. The cubicle in the gents always seems to have a busted lock for some reason, but nothing to report other than that.
Sports? Full BT Sports and Sky Sports packages mean you’re covered. The preference is for football and rugby, but a quiet word in the shell of the staff and they’d no doubt stick on the badminton or ten pin bowling or whatever terrible things it is you want to watch instead of a rerun of the Brentford vs. Charlton game on Sky Sports 4.
Price: A touch over what you might expect to pay, but nothing silly. Pints aren’t too bad, but wines come in a little high. Grub’s reasonably priced, though. [SMILING PIE EMOTICON]
Decor: The CotB has always been a little on the sparse and woody side, but a few flourishes of late make it look a little more welcoming. The new woodburner and paint job and that. Whatever. This isn’t Changing Rooms, we dunno.
Pub Games: Darts, pool AND bar billiards. Top marks. It’s a proper pool table, with all the room you need to cue. Plus there’s a billiards table – one of maybe two in the whole of town. More billiards tables in pub, we say.
Punterwatch: It’s a locals’ boozer. But in Caversham, so you’re less likely to get chinned at the bar and more likely to get bored by conversations about contents insurance deals on second properties.
Beer, pool, a jukebox, pies, sports, bar billiards, Deal or No Deal fruit machines you can play while you smoke. What more do you want? What’s that? You want 2/3 of a pint of imported Nebraskan pale ale and a cheeseboard instead? Piss off to The Castle Tap, you swine.