April 2023.

Americans landing at Heathrow and heading straight down the M4 will encounter those well-known honeypots of Windsor, Cookham, and the estate pubs of bucolic Bracknell (honest). And of course Maidenhead.

Folk who have never been to Maidenhead would be astonished at the contrast between it and Wokingham a few miles south, what with both of them having an average income per capita of £37,125.

But Wokingham has the more eccentric MP, the higher pashmina count, and the smarter town centre pubs. Its most recent new and shortlived Guide entry, a Marston’s diner, was as upmarket a chain pub as you’ll (eventually) find in the suburbs of a middling town.

And this year you get a brewery tap. I knew it was called something…house, so I went in here;

Big mistake, huge. It’s a rambling sports bar with a sea of keg. At least I saw Arsenal concede a late equaliser in there.

Ah, here it is.

Micros and taps don’t exactly shout their existence from the rooftops.

And Outhouse doesn’t exactly shout its prices from the beer wall either.

So I was a little surprised when the card reader flashed up £6.20 for the weakest (and sole) key keg beer, named Woky in honour of its Member of Parliament’s most striking characteristic. Key Keg ? . “CAMRA says this is real ale” I guess.

Should have had the strong one, never learn.

I’m sure Simon will be overjoyed to part with over six quid for a lightly carbonated pint of arguable cask. It was perfectly good beer, and the staff were really great (“You can sit down and I’ll bring you it if you want“), but suddenly the ESB in the Ship seemed the better deal.

If it was in Sheffield and served pizzas I expect Mrs RM would be in there every week.

Woky (?) looked quite pleasing, despite the efforts of the town map to convince me it’s only cul-de-sacs, wild foxes and French buntings.

I presume “Rynd” occupies the town hall, it’s grand facade magnificently contrasting with the all-weather pods where prosecco people congregate.

I quite liked the look of the Craft Union opposite with its “REAL ALES” lantern. If all the Stonegate pubs end up looking like this and selling Doom Bar for £3 a pint I doubt we’ll complain.

11 thoughts on “WOKY IN WOKINGHAM

  1. I’m guessing places like the Outhouse have a strong appeal to some demographic, but it looks depressing as hell to me. I could see it on a corner in an American city.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not sure – although that’s pretty general these days – that I’d want to sit in one of those “all weather” pods on a 40C cloudless day à la last July, me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a certain sort of pub that has those pods, first saw one near Alton Towers, and I’m not sure it’s as reliable as a mobility scooter as an indicator of pubbiness.


      1. Yes, I’ve been to that pub. The Raddle, I think it was. They’d had some kind of pods there for many years if I’m right.

        I reckon that the best sign for a pub/hotel is a surviving 1960s AA lamp.

        Liked by 1 person

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