The Turks

The Turks, 31 London Rd, Reading RG1 5BJ.

The Turks

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

It shows how old and boring we’ve become that when we found out that The Turks is actually called ‘The Turk’s Head’ recently, it genuinely made us go ‘Oooooh… Interesting.’

Jesus H. Corbett.

Anyway, let’s review this bugger, shall we? Why not? We’ve got this far. A few of you have pestered us to write up The Turks, so we get the impression it’s a bit of a fan’s favourite. We’d best be nice, then… Luckily for us, though – it’s a decent boozer. With not a single Turk in sight.*

The Turks
It’s good to see the young people enjoying themselves.

Drink Selection: Three ales and the usual other boozedrinks are catered for. You won’t find an exciting range of ‘artisanal’ and crafted world beers, but you will be able to get pissed.

Location: A bit of a walk from the town centre, it’s down the end of London Street and on the left if you’re coming from town. Or another way if you’re coming from somewhere else.

Atmosphere: It’s a big sod, so when it’s quiet, it can seem a little depressing. But squirrel yourself away in one of the little cubbyholes and you’re fine. Where The Turks comes into its own though, is when they’ve got live music on the go (which is most weekends). Local cover bands can really pack ’em in here like nowhere else in town. It’s strange – there’s actually an atmosphere. IN A READING PUB.

The Turks
I think she’s spotted you, mate.

Beer Garden/Smoking Area: Smoke out front sat at a bench or get yourself into the smaller area out back.

Food: Every time we’ve been in, there’s been a new food set-up. Recently it seems as though food has taken a back seat. Which is good as it really doesn’t have a driver’s licence (that’s a metaphor). Only the other year, The Turks had the world’s biggest pub menu, serving (pretty ropey) grub from about fifty different world cuisines. We’re not entirely sure what the craic is there now, but whatever it is – probably best you eat before you pitch up. Unless you like whatever the fuck Georgian food is all about.

Toilets: Hopefully it’s not representative, but our visit saw all three urinals blocked. Which lead to the almost inevitable dropped trousers sink piss from at least one refreshed patron. It’s no O’Neill’s, but it wasn’t nice.

Decor: The faux-brick wallpaper’s a bit shit, but otherwise – no complaints.  Which is pretty generous of us as you can clearly see they’ve got framed photos of Paul Weller on the wall.

The Turks
Going Onthewall.

Price: Pretty reasonable, actually. Not amazingly cheap, but there are deals to be had. Especially if you’re happy to buy two pint pitchers. Not that any self-respecting pub type would, but if you’re on a budget and like pouring – you’re on to a winner.

Visible Savory Snack Selection: Traditional pub snack fans will be pleased to hear that Scampi Fries are available from behind the bar.

Pub Games: Aye. A darts board and pool table. Both decent.

The Turks

Seating: Plentiful of a week, limited when there’s a gig on. Comfy leather sofas near the front are what you want for a sporting event. Bag ’em early, mind.

Sports? Yip. They’ve got a good forty or so TVs in there too, so you should be fine.

Punterwatch: A mixed bag: Students, young ‘uns, drunkies, mod types, rugby fans, football people. But, again, minimal Turks*.

The Turks
The outside-y bit’s quite nice. You could imagine getting drunk and doing some snogging out there, couldn’t you? Even though you’re FAR too old.

So, there you go. The Turks. A good pub.

Here’s a clip of a gig from local punk-y/mod types The Highwasters playing the place to end on:

*Not that that’s a good thing. We love Turks. In fact, we love everyone from all nationalities, creeds or religious backgrounds**.

**Except the Welsh, obviously.


3 thoughts on “The Turks

  1. joan english December 21, 2019 / 6:53 am

    I lived in the pub back in 59-62. My parents owned it, My Dad pulled the back bar out to install a snack bar and the builders found an original ‘wattle and daub’ wall. Reading University came along and removed it for safe keeping as it was discovered, the wood used, came from the ships from the Spanish Amader. My Dad purchased the very first Ford ‘Capri’ from the dealership across the road ‘Gowings’.
    It was a very busy pub back then and we lived in the premises above and had to duck our heads to enter each room as it was so old. While there, we had the ‘Profumo Affair’ when the Minister of War John Profumo had an affair with Christine Keeler. I actually was at their very first meet, on Lord Astor’s Estate not too far away Cliveden’. I have lots of really good stories from those days. My parents names were Bill and Audrey Wright. Regards to anyone reading this, Joan English my email add. is ….


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