The Three Guineas, Station Approach, Reading RG1 1LY.
All ‘information’ in this review is ‘accurate’ as of February 2016.
The Three Guineas, aka ‘The Pub At The Station’, is a Reading institution. Well, it is if you consider a pretty average pub by a train station to be an institution. And, living in RG1, we’ll take what we can get, won’t we? Still, it’s an impressive building. And why wouldn’t it be? It was built by none other than Isambard Kingdom Brunel himself back in 1840. Though probably not by himself.
But what’s the pub itself like? Well, we’ve kind of killed the dramatic tension somewhat by already referring to it as ‘average’, haven’t we? Ah, well. We don’t have any sub-editors. It’s done now. You might as well read the review anyway, you’re here now.
Drink Selection: A Fuller’s pub, obviously London Pride’s chucked at you. But there are quite a few decent ales on the go too, generally. And Symonds for cider types. But do expect to pay. And we don’t just mean that literally. It ain’t cheap, especially for wines and spirits. All part of being near the train station, y’see. That bloody station. The reason why pints are four quid in The Guineas and why 80% of you reading this can’t afford to own your own home. *thumbs up*
Location: The, er, the train station. Makes up 33% of ‘The Three G Triangle’ as no one calls it, situated at the tip of an isosceles (or is that scalene…?) that includes The Greyfriar and The Gateway.
Atmosphere: Train-y. There’s no locals vibe, but you can get a bit of atmos during a sporting event. Especially as it’s the de facto away fans pub. So head down early on a Saturday afternoon if you like hearing Huddersfield Town fans repeatedly and unconvincingly telling you that Huddersfield Town is ‘the greatest team the world has ever seen’.
Beer Garden/Smoking Area: It’s out the front for drinking, smoking and watching the world/Reading commuters go by. Keep your eyes peeled for celebrities – in eight years we’ve seen primate pundit Martin Keown and that Nick Knight off of cricket walk past.
Toilets: Situated on the far side of the pub up nine flights of stairs, make sure you set off for a slash a good 5-10 minutes before you need to go to avoid pissing yourself on the way up.
Decor: It’s just had a load of money spent on it and actually looks pretty snazzy at the moment. Speaking of money being spent round that way – they ended up spending more than a BILLION QUID on the train station in the end. A full £500m more than expected. *thumbs up again*
Sports? Aye. A big screen and a few little ‘uns cover all BT and Sky matches.
Food: They’ve a menu of edible-looking basics if you’re in a hurry. We’ve never eaten there, mind. You might have noticed by now, but food reviewing isn’t really our strong point (fuck knows what is). Head to Edible Reading or Roast Dinners Around Reading for that kind of business.
Pub Games: Nah, it’s not really about having huge amounts of fun, The Guineas. It’s about people from Didcot slowly nursing a pint while waiting for their train.
Have a pint at The Guineas while you wait for a mate to arrive on a train. Have a second when they arrive. But don’t stick around for a session. Unless there’s a game on, or you really want to. We’re not going to tell you how to live your lives.