Are Pubs Affected by Yesterday’s Announcement?


The quick answer, for The Retreat, is no.

The announcement yesterday that people can only meet in groups of up to six was ambiguous with regards to its impact on pubs.

The good news is that a Government spokesperson this morning explained, “Pubs and restaurants will be allowed to have more than 30 people on the premises provided Covid-19 secure guidelines are being followed and other social distancing measures are still in place. This includes limiting those at a table to groups from a maximum of two households. Pubs and other hospitality venues are not subject to the 30-person limit because they have put measures in place to be Covid-secure.

It’s all happening in St John’s Street

Luke Kendrick

Luke Kendrick heard about the refurbishment plans for The Retreat. Like a good neighbour, he didn’t want to let the street down and he set about decorating his own front door.

Our plans for the works at The Retreat should be finalised and agreed with the contractors next week. The project has already been approved by the Brewery.

At the moment, we expect to be closing in the second half of September for about four weeks. We will be able to provide more precise dates soon.

Preserving the Heritage

What work will be carried out? Well, we don’t want to give away too much at the moment, but the carpet is going, the toilets will dramatically change and there are many more things on the list as well.

We are proud that The Retreat is a Real Heritage Pub in the eyes of CAMRA and we will be ensuring that the essential character of the pub will be preserved.

Lost Property

lost property at The Retreat pub in Reading

If any of the clothing above is yours, now is a good time to collect it.

We’ve Been Moving The Furniture

The Retreat, 8 St John's Street, Reading

Good news. We now have a couple of tables for four people in the back bar. After reviewing how the pub has been operating, it’s been decided that it’s appropriate to slightly increase the seating capacity and that has allowed us to configure the seating to allow for a couple of tables for four.

Takeaway Real Ale

You can now buy the real ales on tap at The Retreat in two-pint sealed containers to takeaway. Enjoy some great beer at home at a special price of £7 for two-pints.

This weekend we have Harvey’s Brewery Sussex Best Bitter, Wye Valley Hereford Pale Ale (HPA) and Butcombe Original…all subject to availability.

Remember, the off-sales are not to be consumed on the premises or immediately outside of the pub.

New Opening Hours for The Retreat

It’s great to have been able to open our doors and welcome lots of regulars again. Generally, things have gone pretty smoothly and we are now increasing our opening days and hours.

This weekend we will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. From next week we will be regularly open from Wednesday to Sunday. Check our updated opening hours.

>>> Our real ales for the weekend.

Thank you to all the people that have been supporting our COVID-19 guidelines. These have now been adjusted and we are in a position to welcome children over 12-years old into the pub.

The Beer Will Be Flowing

Make HPA while the sun shines - Wye Valley Brewery advert

Yes, real ale will be served this weekend at The Retreat, specifically Wye Valley Brewery HPA. We’re excited and we hope you are too. There’s lots to tell you, so here goes.

This Weekend

This weekend we will open for two days. This is a ‘see how it goes’ weekend. While our doors were locked, some maintenance was done to the pub and this is a trial reopening.

Space will be limited, but the Wye Valley Brewery HPA will be available for takeaway purchases as well.


Please see our guidelines for visiting The Retreat.

Our Hours Will Be:

Saturday 8 August 2020: 12.00 to 22.00
Sunday 9 August 2020: 12.00 – 20.00


Saturday 22 August we will be reopening operating to our normal opening hours. These may be adjusted based on our learning this weekend and other circumstances. Check our opening hours.

Closing for Refurbishment

We have done some temporary work in the pub over the last few weeks which allows us to open the doors again but, as many of you know, we’ve been wanting to do a lot more and now we can tell you in outline.

The brewery has agreed on a capital expenditure plan to provide The Retreat with a much-needed refurbishment. Originally, we were targeting to do this in the first quarter of the year, but circumstances got in the way. This work will be to the benefit of everyone, but it does mean we will have to temporarily close again.  

Therefore, we will be closing circa 13 September 2020 for a major refurbishment. The precise date is to be agreed with our contractors. We estimate the works will take around three weeks, but again, this is to be confirmed.


Please keep an eye on our websiteFacebook or Twitter for updates on our plans.

The Retreat is a Heritage Pub

The Retreat featured in Real Heritage Pubs of the South East

The Retreat has been added to the heritage pub guide published by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). The Retreat is the only pub in Reading to be included.

Britain’s Historic Pub Interiors, a part of CAMRA, lists unspoilt pubs and is the definitive guide to the nation’s most important historic pub interiors and the best historic examples we have left.

This list has been compiled by CAMRA’s Pub Heritage Group and is the product of over thirty years of careful research. It identifies pubs with intact traditional interiors, or which have features and rooms of national importance.

In parallel to this, CAMRA has now covered every corner of the UK with the publication of its latest pub guide, ‘Real Heritage Pubs of the South East,’ featuring The Retreat.

‘As a period of great uncertainty for the nation’s pubs hopefully comes to a close, it’s a real delight to release the final instalment of the Real Heritage Pub guide series.

‘This guide highlights the best-preserved pubs across the South East region, allowing you to experience pub history even if you’re unable to visit them in person right now. It also champions the need to celebrate, understand and protect the genuine pub heritage we have left.’

Editor and historic pubs expert Geoff Brandwood

You can learn more about the book here, and revenue raised from the title goes back into CAMRA campaigning.”

This news can also be seen on the Get Reading website.

Brian Moignard, the landlord of The Retreat, was interviewed about this news by Phil Kennedy on BBC Berkshire on 29 June 2020.

Reading Real Ale Trail end date extended

Reading Ale Trail...we're on it

The Reading Real Ale Trail end date was set as today, Wednesday 8 April 2020. Many people, maybe including you, had not yet completed the trail when the pubs across the UK closed.

The Reading and Mid Berks branch of CAMRA, who organise the Trail, has decided to pause the activity until it is announced that The Retreat and all the other pubs can reopen.

Once this has happened, the Reading and Mid Berks branch of CAMRA will make an announcement relating to the Trail and a new end date, which will be placed on this webpage and on this Facebook page

So in the meantime, please keep your Reading Ale Trail booklets and stickers safe, as you will need them in the (hopefully) very near future.

We are looking forward to seeing you back at The Retreat.