Canalside pub with plenty of interest in rambling rooms, six real ales, good quality food and lots of outside seating.
The good pub guide review
This reliably good Brunning & Price pub is always popular but especially in summer, when people spill out on to the terrace with its wooden chairs and tables or grab a picnic-set on the grassy expanse overlooking the Kennet & Avon Canal. Six rambling rooms with beams and timbering are connected by open doorways and knocked-through walls. The décor is gently themed to represent the canal with hundreds of prints and photographs (some of rowing and boats) and oars on the walls, as well as old glass and stone bottles in nooks and crannies, big house plants and fresh flowers, plenty of candles and several open fires; the many large mirrors create an impression of even more space. Throughout there are antique dining chairs around various nice old tables, settles, built-in cushioned wall seating, armchairs, a group of high stools around a huge wooden barrel table, and rugs on polished boards, stone tiles or carpeting. You'll find St Austell Brunning & Price Traditional Bitter, Rowbarge Ruby (named for them from Loddon), Frome Funky Monkey and three quickly changing guest beers on handpump, 21 wines by the glass (including fizz), 90 gins and 65 malt whiskies; background music and board games. Friendly, efficient young staff keep things running smoothly.
The good pub guide food review
Enjoyable food (with a separate gluten-free menu) includes sandwiches, 'light bites', chicken caesar croquettes, baked camembert with apple, celery and walnut salad, beer-battered cod with chips, crispy beef salad, braised shoulder of lamb with crushed new potatoes and rosemary gravy, Malaysian chicken curry with coconut rice and pak choi, pea and mint tortellin with pea velouté and asparagus, and desserts such as hot waffle and caramelised banana with toffee sauce and honeycomb ice-cream and a choice of British cheeses.
Rowbarge, Station Road, Woolhampton, Reading, Berkshire, RG7 5SH
(0118) 971 2213
Pub Group: Brunning & Price