We’re listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2022

The Retreat listed in CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2022

We’re thrilled, we’re listed again!

The latest edition of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide is published this week and The Retreat is listed again. We were originally listed in the first ever CAMRA Good Beer Guide in 1974. 

Out of more than 50,000 pubs in Britain, only 4,500 of the finest outlets for real ale are chosen for inclusion in the Good Beer Guide. The guide is compiled by members of the Campaign for Real Ale and, unlike some other beer guides, pubs cannot pay to be listed. Instead, places are awarded in the Good Beer Guide on the basis of recommendations by thousands of CAMRA volunteers across the UK. Every pub or bar listed has been carefully selected by unpaid, but knowledgeable, volunteers who have visited every one and tasted their beers. These enthusiasts understand what makes a great pint of beer and which venues serve it best.

Now in its 49th edition, the beer-lovers’ bible is fully revised and updated to feature recommended pubs across the United Kingdom that serve the best real ale. This is the complete book for beer lovers and for anyone wanting to experience the UK’s finest pubs.

Brian Moignard, landlord-of-The Retreat pub in Reading

Brian Moignard, landlord of The Retreat, says, “We are looking forward to customers of old visiting us again soon to enjoy the real ales, great conversation and the live music in Reading. We are also excited about the new people that are discovering us since our refurbishment. We hope the Good Beer Guide 2022 will help more people find us in our tucked away location in RG1.”

The Blunt point about British pubs

In his foreword for CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2022, World renowned singer James Blunt has thrown his support behind the Great British pub and reflected on the industry’s struggles during the coronavirus pandemic.

Following 18 months of struggles for the industry in the face of restrictions and lockdowns, Blunt, who owns the 17th-century Fox & Pheasant pub in Chelsea, remarks that as both a musician and a publican, he has “pretty much chosen the worst two jobs for a global pandemic”.

However, with plenty of optimism, he highlights the importance of pubs to communities and encourages Brits to get back to the pub to support their locals, writing: “Whilst, in recent years, there might have been a trend for people to drink cheap supermarket beer at home, those people have been locked away for the best part of a year, and now those people want out. They can taste real beer from the tap, and food cooked by a pro, and they can meet legally and joyfully.”

What a lovely post from Bernie

Bernie Facebook post

Bernie Whiten and Jane Marsden ran The Retreat from 2003 to 2012.

Bernie made his first visit back since the refurbishment and posted this on Facebook:

A wonderful visit back to The Retreat last week. Great to see the old place looking so good (and contemporary), but retaining it’s character. Serious good taste there. The Gents toilet is a revelation, and I hear the Ladies ain’t too shabby.

Facebook post

Opening New Doors

What's On Reading podcast guests at the new Reading Rep Theatre

Unlocking new doors: this month the What’s On Reading podcast was recorded at the new Reading Repertory Theatre. The guest venues were Reading Rep Theatre, Readipop and The Retreat.

What's On Reading podcast guests at the new Reading Rep Theatre
Left to right: Kevin Harrington (The Retreat), Amy Hodder (Readipop), Nick Thompson (Reading Rep Theatre), Damien Passmore (What’s On Reading).

Learn about the nearest theatre to The Retreat and the new home of Readipop…here are the links for you to listen to the programme.

What’s On Reading https://whatsonreading.com/podcast
Spotify – https://tinyurl.com/WRJn21Sp
Apple – https://tinyurl.com/WRJn21Ap
Soundcloud – https://tinyurl.com/WRJn21Sc
Google – https://tinyurl.com/WRJn21Gg

Great quotes on opening day at The Retreat

The gents at The Retreat in 2021

“Worth it for the gents alone. And, I couldn’t stop taking pictures.”

“The toilets are amazing. Bloody gorgeous. I was genuinely gobsmacked.

“It’s alright. The toilets are great.”

“Have you been in the loos? Bloody heck , you could eat your lunch off the floor.” 

The ladies at The Retreat in 2021

I think there were also some people that were pleased with other things as well.

Just a reminder, this was the gents loos in 1988.

At last, we are reopen

When David Gray, Di Whitaker and Mark Birmingham took over the tenancy of The Retreat in August 2019 they had the ambition of continuing the traditions of this famous Reading pub at the same time as making a positive contribution to it.

David Great, Di Whitaker and Mark Birmingham

Brian Moignard, the landlord of The Retreat since 2013, proudly unlocked the doors to the refurbished pub at midday today, 17 May 2021. The latest lockdown resulted in the pub being closed for over six months. But now The Retreat is back: great beers, good wines, live music and extended opening hours.

The team at The Retreat are keen to welcome back regulars and locals. We’re pretty sure that pub will be gaining new friends over the coming weeks.

Closed for 200 Days

The Retreat - exterior nearly finished

Do you realise, it is 200 days since we closed our doors at The Retreat for our refurbishment?

When we unlock the doors in a weeks time, on Monday 17 May 2021, we will have been closed for 6 months and 25 days. None of us expected it to be this long.

We are looking forward to welcoming back our friends and regulars to see the refreshed Retreat. It’s more than a lick of paint; the place is looking great…and it’s still very much The Retreat.

If you’ve been missing the pleasures of fine real ale, do look in and see us next week. And, if your preference is a glass of wine, check out our wine list with three recommended red wines and some equally enjoyable white wines. But, we have not become a wine bar! The Retreat is proud to continue its tradition of serving good real ales to the local community.

To help you plan your visit, we’ve extended our opening hours at The Retreat. We look forward to seeing you, when we can say cheers again, and start a new chapter in the history of The Retreat pub in Reading.

The Retreat in the Eighties

Here are some wonderful old photos of The Retreat in the 80s.

The Retreat, summer 1983
The Retreat, summer 1983
The Retreat, summer 1983
The Retreat, summer 1983
The Retreat, summer 1983
The Retreat, summer 1983
The Retreat, summer 1983
The Retreat, summer 1983. We think that’s George Scott on the roof.
The Retreat, August 1983 - Callum, Liam and Bob in the foreground
The Retreat, August 1983 – Callum, Liam and Bob in the foreground.
The Retreat, August 1984
The Retreat, August 1984
The Retreat, May 1986
The Retreat, August 1984
The Retreat, May 1986
The Retreat, May 1986
Postcard (picture) to Mr and Mrs G Scott at The Retreat pub in Reading, August 1986
The Retreat, August 1986 – postcard

We’re Planning on Reopening.

Blue Monday at The Retreat pub in Reading

When on earth was it we locked our doors for the refurbishment? It was ages ago. We expected and hoped to be reopen again before Christmas. As we all know, circumstances required all pubs to close.

Following Boris Johnson’s announcement earlier this week we are now working towards opening our doors w/c 17 May 2021. This may change but it is the date we are working to…and the beer order is being compiled!

Harveys Sussex Best Bitter

Already, in an optimistic and positive fashion, we are booking up live music for June onwards. We are also keen to make sure we get great jazz scheduled again; Stuart Henederson and Simon Price are already booked for June.

PS: It was Thursday 22 October we closed. That will make it a closure of 207 days.