Originally built as a toll house in the 18th century, for traffic entering Reading over Duke Street Bridge, this restored building is now the main place to both meet and eat in the town.
The full blown menu is only offered during the listed hours (see below) - but there's plenty to stimulate the stomach for the rest of the day.
The à la carte menu lists the likes of 'Half a dozen Irish Rock Oysters' (in various ways); 'Crispy-fried Salt & Pepper Squid, Oriental Salad & Chili Dressing'; 'Spanish Salami & Iberico-cured Charcuterie' - including wild boar, smoked pork, morcon, chorizo & mountain-cured beef, olives & pickle pot; 'Shortcrust Pastry Tartlet, with Cheddar, Fresh Tomato & Basil' among the starters.
Perhaps 'Pan-fried Sea Bass Fillet, Crab Ravioli, Tomato Baked in White Wine with Capers & Anchovies'; 'Pink Carved Fillet of Fallow Deer, Haggis Mash, Green Beans, Fig Compote & Redcurrant Jus'; 'Aberdeen Angus Beef Fillet, Foie Gras Butter, Rosti Potato, Buttered Spinach, Sauté Wild Mushrooms & Red Wine Jus'; 'Spanish Tapas Board' and 'Baked Parmigiano, layers of Courgette, Tomato, Aubergine & Mozzarella, Basil, Parmesan, Olives, Confit Tomato Balsamic' among the mains.
The sweet toothed might be tempted by 'Hot Chocolate Fondant & Bailey's Ice Cream'; 'Hot Caramel Soufflé, Rum & Raisin Ice Cream' or 'Treacle Tart, Clotted Cream & Custard Sauce' with cheese lovers should enjoy their selection of local and other British farmhouse cheeses.
- Food Style: Modern British
- Lunch: all week, 12.00-15.00; mains £16 to £25, set meal £15 (2 courses) to £20
- Dinner: all week 18.00-22.30, mains £16 to £25; set meal £15 (2 courses) to £20
- Seats: 80, plus 20 outside
- Wine: a concise, but interesting, list kicking off around the £20 mark - is backed up by a good selection of beers & cider
- Children's portions: Yes, when possible
- Wheelchair access: Yes
- Nearest station: Reading Rail
- Directions: See the map on page
- Parking: Street parking & multi stories
- Closed: check Christmas openings
- Outside eating