We Are Open This Weekend

Harveys Sussex Best Bitter

Following our ‘see how it goes’ opening last week will be opening this weekend:

Friday 15 August, 16.00 – 23.00
Saturday 16 August, 12.00 – 23.00
Sunday 17 August, 12.00 – 18.00

Real Ale

Harvey Sussex Best and Butcombe Original will be on tap. As ever, the barrels aren’t bottomless, so they are ‘subject to availability’.

Guinness and Pravha will be on tap and many of the regular bottled beers will also be available.

Guidelines for Visitors

We are limited to 20 people indoors. See our Guidelines for Visiting The Retreat before you arrive.

Distancing guidelines are also important in front of 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.

Gasping for a Pint?


Gasping for a pint? Well, we’d love to be hosting you again really soon.

The government has now indicated that pubs can start reopening on Saturday 4 July. At The Retreat, we will not be in a position to open on 4 July as we need to make arrangements to ensure we can operate safely and look after you, our customers, in line with all the rules and guidelines. Additionally, we need to get beer back in the cellar and prepared for sale.

Please keep an eye on our website, Facebook or Twitter for updates on our plans.

Many independent and chain/brewery owned pubs are also planning to open later than 4 July. They cite the short notice and consumer confidence as issues for their own decisions. Less than a fortnight’s notice is indeed a tall order for many to prepare for re-opening against a developing set of rules and guidelines.

Boris Johnson said on 23 June that pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants in England would be able to reopen on 4 July. He also announced that two-metre social distancing would be relaxed to “one metre plus”, with some conditions. But despite the easing of restrictions, a trip to a local bar or place to eat could be a very different experience from how it was before the coronavirus outbreak.

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 https://reading.camra.org.uk/aletrail and on this Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/readingaletrail/

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.

The Retreat – temporary closure

Please note that The Retreat will be closing this evening, at 21.00, for an indefinite period of time.

We have taken this decision based on the request of the Government and for the interests of customers and our community.

We all hope that by taking this action, along with thousands of other establishments across the UK, we will be able to reduce the overall impact of COVID-19.

As things develop, we will update you on our plans.

We look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Will The Village Easter Festival go ahead?

We have just taken the decision to postpone the Three Buck Shirt gig this Saturday and the Sunday Jazz with Stuart Henderson and Simon Price on 29 March. This decision has been taken with the interests of our customers and our community coming first. We are continuing to monitor the situation and will provide updates on our other events soon.

We are monitoring the Government and NHS advice every day. These are difficult times for us all, and we want to do the right thing.

The Village Easter Festival plans are under review. We will be making a decision soon as to whether it should go ahead or not.

If it cannot go ahead as planned, we will consider a later date for an event that is a variation on the theme.

We will keep you posted.

The Cribbage Tournament Results

Thank you to everyone who came along on Sunday (missing the rugby) and played in, watched or supported The Helen Bolton Cribbage Tournament 2020.

L to R: Jo Dormer, David Gray, Tilly Harrington, Kevin Harrington.

The winners of the Helen Bolton Cribbage Tournament 2020 were Jo Dormer and Tilly Harrington. Jo was a good friend of Helen and used to play cribbage with her. Tilly is Helen’s daughter.

Father and son team, Ian and Tom Whitaker came second in the Tournament. They had travelled from Brighton and Bristol to take part.

3rd place went to Rich Sloman and Brian Moignard (landlord of The Retreat).

Click here for full details of all the rounds and photos from the afternoon.