International Beer Day 2021

International Beer Day

Did you know that it’s International Beer Day on Friday 6 August? No? Neither did I. The good news is that we are in training and will be match fit for 6 August.

Apparently, participants are encouraged to give one another the ‘gift of beer’ by buying each other drinks, and to express gratitude to brewers, bartenders, and other beer technicians. In the international spirit of the holiday, it is also suggested that participants step out of their domestic/locally brewed comfort zone and sample a beer from another culture.

Learn more:

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
Spotify –
Apple –
Soundcloud –
Google –

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.