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» Berkshire » The Bell, Waltham St. Lawrence, Reading 

Full Postal AddressThe Bell, The Street, Waltham St. Lawrence, READING, RG10 0JJ [Map]
Telephone Number0118 934 1788Pub's Own Website 
Opening Times11:30-15, 17-23 MO-SA; 12-22:30 SU
FacilitiesEvening Meals, Real Fire, Beer Garden, Lunchtime Meals, Quiet Bar

The Bell, September 2001

This is one of the many pubs in this guide that I've been introduced to by friends and I have Rupa to thank for this. It's a lovely old pub and the building dates back to the 15th century although it's only been a pub since 1723. It's quite an unusual pub as the building was left to the village in trust in the early 17th century and ever since the rent has been donated to local charities.

The first photo shows off the pub looking at its very best on an early autumn evening, caught as I happened to be cycling past. It's clearly a well respected establishment as the clientele ranges from both locals to those who have travelled from further afield to sample the fine real ales and good home-cooked selection of reasonably priced food options. I love pubs such as this, unpretentious and there to welcome all and offer a very wide range of beverages. They have a good wine list and up to 5 real ales. They are supporters of local breweries, particularly West Berkshire, whose beers are now sold under the name of Waltham St. Lawrence Brewing Company. If you're lucky one of the brews might be their excellent "Good Old Boy" beer. It's well worth visiting the pub just to sample this wonderful fruity and hoppy beer (ABV 4%) if its on. I also caught sight of a brew from the new local Loddon brewery which is quickly gaining a reputation for good beer.

They've a good range of food which you can either eat in the panelled and beamed bar areas or in a small dining room up some steps to the left. It's certainly a place to relax in the comfortable bars and soak up the traditional atmosphere and indeed the heat from the open fire on cold winters evenings. Having spent two years living in the concrete wilderness that is the new town of Bracknell with its faceless headquarters buildings and characterless warehouse shops and leisure facilities this place was an oasis of calm and a perfect retreat. They've also a pleasant garden to the rear to relax in on warmer summer days. Oh yes, a little advice to share with you if you suffer from indigestion - the barmaid informed us that a little ginger wine should sort it out. AJ tried itů.and it did the trick!

Paul, Rupa, Phil and Rob in the small dining area, September 2001

Pocket Pub Walks Thames Valley,
N Channer, 2007
This work is a pocket-size collection of fifteen circular walks each based on a local pub serving good food. It includes routes at Dorchester, Goring, Reading, Wargrave, Cookham, Little Marlow and Eton. It includes maps and photographs.

Reading Pubs,
J Dearing, 2006
Guide to pubs by well known CAMRA member John Dearing

Pub Walks for Motorists: Berkshire and Oxfordshire,
L Maple, 2005
Forty circular walks around these two historic counties, each based on a good local pub. Includes routes at Hungerford, Frilsham and Hurley in Berkshire; and Blewbury, Enstone and Cropredy in Oxfordshire.

Pub Strolls in Berkshire,
N Channer, 2003
Thirty short circular walks based on good local pubs. Included are routes near Maidenhead, Windsor, Wokingham, Aldermaston, Great Shefford, Newbury and Pangbourne.

The Hidden Inns of the South of England,
J Billing & R Peace, 2000
Part of the Hidden Inns series, this book contains eight chapters covering the counties of the south of England. Comprehensive information for each pub is included.

Short Walks from Berkshire Pubs,
N Chaner, 1996
A collection of 20 circular walks from local pubs including The Plough at Eastbury, The Jolly Farmer at Cookham Dean and The Fox & Hounds near the entrance to Windsor Great Park.

More pub books ....


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