The Foresters Arms: A Mini Review

The Foresters Arms, 79-81 Brunswick St., Reading, RG1 6NY.

The Foresters Arms Reading

By Jono Barber

The Foresters Arms public house on Brunswick Street has taken on many guises in its time spent at its unobtrusive terraced house location in West Reading. The pub is nestled within the narrow one-way street between Tilehurst Road and Bath Road, opposite an idyllic green containing daisies, daffodils and a post-modern block of flats that are eerily reminiscent of HMP Maze.

Locals fondly remember former landlords Norman and Gloria for their charm, knees ups and meat raffles. Despite having never met the aforementioned, upped a knee or participated in flesh lotteries, it seemed like a decent local. When we visited recently though, new owners were in place.

I went down there with the same missus that I took to The Southcote Beefeater for Valentine’s Day (that’s right, she hasn’t left me for taking her there for it… yet). Why head down there? Well, we fancied a few beers and – with any luck – feeding.

Without going into too much detail (we’ll save that for the Shit and Not Shit Pubs in Reading review planned soon…), the Foresters has been ‘done up’. We were met on entry by the new landlady Maria; a jolly sort that’s made a huge effort in fixing up the place. With a fair amount of choice on tap we noticed that it was their first night of grub with the option of curry or curry. We like curry, so we opted for the curry.

The Foresters Arms Reading

The choice was chicken korma or chicken madras. True, that’s not a wide selection, but this was the first night of the new kitchen. With a table nabbed, food ordered and drinks heading swiftly toward us, we were both looking forward to the faux-Indian-inspired feast that we had fairly low expectations of.

Before we knew it, my dinner was delivered and mightily impressed I was too. A bowl of jasmine rice and a metal dish of chicken madras accompanied by a wooden chopping block on which sat a fluffy naan bread, an crispy onion bhaji and even a ruddy samosa.

The Foresters Arms Reading

Shortly after, the missus got her korma presented in much the same way by the friendly landlord, who is the self-proclaimed and undefeated chess champion of Gambia, apparently {{citation needed}}.

The food went down well, very well in fact. Inspired by our culinary derring-do, other patrons took the plunge and followed suit ordering the madras.

The Foresters Arms Reading

What they sell: Beer, nuts, pork scratchings and an ever-changing daily menu of proper food.

Vegetarian options: Nuts to you.

‘Restaurant’ ‘Decor’: Quirky modern pub style but not bad.

The Foresters Arms Reading
Why the long faces…?

What we ordered: Curry and beer.

What we got? A very tasty curry with sides (and beer). SORTED.

Price: £20 for two Rubies and extras AND two beers. That’s not to be coughed at.

Number of mistakes to order: None.

The Taste: No complaints from me and (unusually) none from the missus, either. #everydaysexism

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It seems like there are a few choices every day.

Clientele: Locals from Brunswick Street and neighbouring roads. Luckily not too many Neanderthals from Benyon Court or Southcote Road from the looks of it.

Time taken from ordering to leaving: Uber quick. Well, quicker than an Uber actually. Especially an Uber in Reading.

Digestive impact: Nothing that I wasn’t expecting but certainly nothing worthy of reciting a popular Johnny Cash song for.

The Foresters Arms Reading

That’s it. Like a sexting Warwick Davis, we did warn you it was only going to be a little one. For a more in-depth look at how the new Foresters checks out as a boozer, keep ’em peeled for the SaNSPiR write-up coming to a far-too-bright screen that’s dangerously close to the only pair of eyes you’ll ever get soon.