The Biscuit Tin, Station Hill, Reading, RG1 1NF.
As William Wordsworth once said, “Call a rose by another name and it’s still a rose, innit?” And it’s this well-researched and verbatim quote that we’re using to justify our decision to review what’s basically a coffee shop here on a pub review site. Not that we really need to justify our decisions to you, you’re only the readers. You’re just numbers to us. Your opinion means almost nothing. And the sooner you realise that, the better for all of us.
Anyway, where were we? Oh, yeah. Coffee shops. RG1 only has about three or four thousand of them in town, so it was high time another opened. This one – The Biscuit Tin (it’s shaped like a biscuit tin/shipping container) – has a bar, so it’s fair game, we reckon.
We’ll be honest, we’re not massively enthusiastic about writing about this place, so instead of any real insight or opinion, we’re just going to make shit gags about biscuits instead. Y’know, like ‘they also sell bourbon (biscuits)’ – things like that. Don’t like it? Well, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles…
Location: Crumbs! This new place – with its ten year lease – was built on the rubble left by the renovation work on the train station. You’ll no doubt have seen the big open planned thing ‘The Village’ that’s currently there with all the deckchairs and the big screen and that. While that place is only a pop-up (which is handy as it saves them from going out of business), The Biscuit Tin is in it for the long haul and is tied in with the temporary site. This is interesting, isn’t it?
Drink Selection: So, yeah. Coffee, mostly. But also beerboozes from the West Berkshire Brewery and applepiss from Tutts Clump Ciders. So drinkers can Hobnob with caffeine fans, that’s the idea.
Price: You don’t need to be all that rich (tea). See for yourself…
Food: They sell, in their own words, ‘locally sourced sweet treats and mezze boards’. No real idea what that means. Bit poor they don’t just serve biscuits, really.
Atmosphere: It’s a train station coffee bar, let’s not expect too much. It’s not a Club (‘Club’? Like the biscuit bar things you used to get in your lunch box? Okay, then).
Beer Garden/Smoking Area: There’s a little terrace, plus a roof bit.
Toilets: There’s one cubicle built into the weird little pre-fabricated thing. Other than that, you can head to the train station lavvies.
Sports? Not inside, it’s a coffee shop. But if there’s something like The Village in the temporary outside space, you might be in luck.
Decor: ‘Modern’. Somewhere between a new coffee shop (SHOCKER) and a Fox & Hounds-style ‘new’ pub. Unfortunately, they’ve not decorated it like the inside of an actual biscuit tin, with all pink wafer dust over the floor and floppy ginger nuts in the corner.
Opening Hours: Between 6.30am and 12am, Monday to Thursday, 7am to 1am on Fridays and 10am to 10pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Plenty of time for a party (ring)
Pub Games: It’s not a pub. And ‘coffee shop games’ aren’t really a thing, are they? Unless you play ‘How Many Espressos Can I Drink Before Having To Call The Paramedics’?
This place is alright. We’re not going to rave about it because it’s basically just somewhere to have an Americano while you wait for a train. But the available booze is decent enough and it makes a nice alternative to the pricey Three Guineas.
Is there a joke to be had about having an aperitif or a digestif/Digestive…?
Anyway, yeah. The Biscuit Tin. Give it a Viennese (whirl).