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.
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.
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.
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.
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.