Global Cafe

Global Cafe, 35-39 London St, Reading, RG1 4PS.

Global Cafe

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

Ah, the Global Cafe. A place where men, women, POC, non-binary, trans, genderqueer, queer, disabled, working class people and other people with marginalised or unmarginalised identities can get together in a safe space and discuss the issues of the day. Provided those issues are limited to fair trade, organic food, the dreadful patriarchy that’s all around us, stopping wars or rainbow jumpers made out of lentils. 

That’s right, folks – it’s a hugely unfair and sneering review of the popular RISC (Reading International Solidarity Centre) venue, where we make absolutely no effort to truly understand the cause, preferring instead to just make cheap jokes about hippies. Far out, man!

Global Cafe
Just a bunch of ‘chilled-out’ ‘dudes’, ‘kicking back’ and ‘digging’ the ‘cool’ ‘vibe’.

Location: Where the human spirit knows no bounds and love and light stream through crops of golden barley. Also – London Street, next to Great Expectations.

Drink Selection: Only Budvar on draught, but there’s a nice selection of bottle beers. Ales and white beers and the like.

Decor: Imagine your old drama teacher lived on a barge. There you go.

Beer Garden/Smoking Area: Most people smoke their doobies out front, but there is a secret back garden. Here’s a picture we took secretly during our last visit:

Global Cafe
Make sure you take your own lighter out with you. You don’t want to have to ask them to retrieve theirs.

Toilets: A faint whack of damp hits you as you descend the stairs, but no more so than your average canal boat old building. The shabby chic thing continues as arty murals lead to sticker-laden toilet walls. You could imagine you were in a Berlin rock club in the late ’70s. Or the bogs of the Purple Turtle two years ago.

Food: The Global Cafe specialises in Ethiopian food. Tutu’s Ethiopian Table serves up food from the East African country which, chance are, you’re not going to like. Unless you like the taste of cat food and Scotch pancakes soaked in vinegar. With food that already looks like it’s been eaten a couple of times, Thursday night is Buffet night. With all the Ethiopian food you can eat. Which really won’t be very much.

Global Cafe
Like food. Only not.

Sports? God, no. Though the Paralympics might get an airing.

Price: It’s an independent and the beers are interesting and slightly exotic, so not cheap. But not crazy. Unfortunately you can’t talk the bar staff into accepting magic beans or wishes as currency. We tried it. They accepted £4.10, though.

Global Cafe (3)
This is a good beer.

Atmosphere: Maybe we smoked one too many incense sticks while we were in there, but there is an enjoyably relaxed and friendly atmosphere. It’s almost like a sixth form common room. But with more balding middle aged men with ponytails who smell of damp and less vicious 17 year-old Snapchatting themselves inhaling nitrous oxide and kicking your head in to a dubstep soundtrack.

Visible Savory Snack Selection: An array of dried gluten-free fruits and seeds are available. As well as politically correct crisps and non-judgemental nuts.

Pub Games: Due to pool clearly being a metaphor for imperialism and the white man’s dominance and oppression of the world (the white cue ball bashing around coloured balls to gain points and putting the black ball down), there’s no table. Also, darts are clearly phallic, so there’s none of that silliness, either.

Global Cafe
A local regales us with just why Jeremy Corbyn would make an excellent prime minister.

Punterwatch: You’ve probably already got the idea by now, haven’t you? You know what people who live in Brighton are like? It’s pretty much that.

Clearly not for us, the Global Cafe might not be our cup of organic herbal ginseng and aloe vera green tea, but it has its audience. If you’re a sneering and vile capitalist pigdog like us, you might want to give it a swerve. But if you own beaded necklaces, keep an untidy house, think Sting is a credible recording artist and describe yourself as ‘y’know, kinda, spiritual’… Then, well, you’re probably already a fan, aren’t you?

Peace and love, everyone. Peace and love.


5 thoughts on “Global Cafe

  1. Sting February 19, 2016 / 4:39 pm

    Sting is a credible recording artist? I almost believed your review up till then.


  2. sparkyprebs February 19, 2016 / 6:20 pm

    Not been to Reading in at least 10 years and am so pleased to hear that The Global Cafe is still doing well and reaching a target audience that can support it ( better than some of the johhny come lately corporate cr*p that’s been on offer in the past).


  3. Stung March 16, 2016 / 6:55 am

    Ha! As an employee of said establishment I must say good effort! It’s a bit sub-Daily Mash/Charlie Brooker, but still, some zinging bons mots. Jez we can x


    • Shit Things March 16, 2016 / 10:33 am

      ‘Sub-Daily Mash’? Fucking Hell, has my writing got that bad? Christ. I might have to pack it all in if I’m striking below that shower of listless, barrel fish-shooting thieving bastards.


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