“ 29-31 Market Place, Reading, RG1 2DE. Tel + (0)118 957 2238 „
The Rat and Parrot was once one of the best pubs in Reading. Then three hundred other pubs opened up and people stopped going there. This has left it a little bit lifeless. To make matters worse, most of the old staff have disappeared as well. That said they are making an effort to bring it back to life again with theme evenings and promotions. The beer in the pub is not too bad - there is an average selection of bitter and lager, although I have known a few unexplainably bad sore heads in the morning that I have not had in other pubs. The selection of wine is reasonable and the alcopops selection is fair. The food is average and the service is OK. Go for the curly fries with whatever you eat - they are yummy. OK, so I’ve made the place sound dreadful, at best mediocre. So why am I writing about it, and why am I giving it 3 stars? Well, it’s redeeming features are the fact that it is actually quite a nice pub. It is well laid out - there is lots of seating, but it is all over the place so that you are not sitting right in the route to the bar or the toilet and you are not sitting right on top of other people. The music is not over powering, so you can actually have a conversation, and the other people in there are quite nice. The bouncers don’t chuck you out for wearing a T-shirt either. The pub is situated quite conveniently in the centre of town, in Market Place, directly opposite the Post Office. Very handy for lots of busses, cash machines, and not too far from the train station. All in all, it’s a good backup pub if the others are full, or you fancy a break from the melee going on elsewhere.