The Seven Red Roses, Maiden Place, LOWER FUCKING EARLEY, Reading RG6 3HA.
You know when you’re on the train back from Clapham and you’re heading back into Reading? The Tannoy/public address system announces the stops and not far from home you hear it say, ‘This is Earley” and you make that little joke about how ‘that makes a change, a train being early!’ Yeah? No? Alright, fine.
God. You think you’re so much better than us, don’t you?
Anyway. Earley. It’s just a big housing estate, isn’t it? Well, yeah. The third biggest in Europe, apparently. And so The Seven Red Roses is an estate pub. Something you’d imagine we’d be sniffy about. But you don’t know us all that well then, do you? Tch. And after all this time too.
Location: Maiden Place is in Earley (Lower Earley, we should point out – thanks to the 65 people who wrote in to tell us…). And (Lower) Earley is in the suburbs of Reading. So we can cover this pub, before any pedants out there point out that this website isn’t called Shit & Not Shit Pubs in (Lower) Earley. Anyway, this boozer is smack bang in the middle of a housing estate.
Now, then. Housing estates are shit. We all know that. And terrible pubs are shit. But even the worst pub on a housing estate can be like a little oasis. So when you factor in relativity like that, it’s kind of impossible to truly judge an estate pub. Because, in their context, they’re all great. Does that makes sense…? Course it bloody does.
You can see from the picture up there that you’re literally four seconds from a cashpoint (albeit a murderous American Psycho-type one), fags and one of Berkshire’s worst rated for hygiene curry houses. Perfect!
Drink Selection: Not great, but you get what you expect. Which is ‘pissed’ if you head in for half twelve of a Saturday and leave at about seven like we did. LADSLADSLADS.
Price: Two pints (one Magner’s and one Tribute) came in at less than £7.70. That’s alright, that, isn’t it?
Sports? Aye. Full Sky Sports and BT Sports. Lovely big HD screens dotted around the place too.
Food: They were selling it, but we were booze focused. Burgers looked fine and they sell buckets of chicken wings by the 50. ‘Poultry Genocide’ it’s called and it’s about a tenner. It’s obscene.
Toilets: Fine. Have you ever noticed, though – pubs full of ugly old men never have mirrors? Is that on purpose? Has there been some sort of market research that suggests that seeing themselves as the shambling drunks they are scares or kills old drunk fellas off?
Decor: PWOPA. Look at this fucking carpet…
Chain pub? Yup. Stonegate.
Amount of Men in Their Eighties We Saw Buying Young Attractive Women We Hoped Were Their Granddaughters £65 Bottles of Rose Laurent Perrier Champagne? One.
Beer Garden/Smoking Area: Aye. With terrific views of a giant housing estate.
Monday Sunday night (despite what their website says) is The 7RR’s £2 a head pub quiz and, as the site says they also put on ‘live music, discos, fund-raisers and games nights.’
Punterwatch: Geezers, people in for sport… Mostly just people with no other pub to go to. Or anywhere else to go to other than a Sainsbury’s or balti house full of E. Coli.* These people are trapped in the middle of Europe’s third largest housing estate. The poor, poor bastards…
This, as you’ve seen, is a pub like any other. But what sets it apart is that it’s a haven. Transport it to Reading town centre and most townies would probably drop in for the odd snifter and that’d be that. But for the poor sods living their ‘lives’ in Earley, this place really is a lifeline.
God bless The Seven Red Roses.
*Please note: Apparently someone went around the place with a wet cloth and now it’s legally alright. So please stop writing in to tell us. Christ, you Earley types are precious. Sorry, LOWER Earley types.