Afternoon in Reading

Reading is not somewhere I would usually wish to visit, pass through yes, visit no.

What therefore was I doing in Reading on a freezing cold day?

A chance conversation in Coffee Lab in Winchester last week with a new barista who said he had worked at Work House in Reading.

I thought why not visit.

As train approached Reading, many shiny new office blocks, the station had been revamped too.

Greeted by the same crap coffee chains as found in every town, in this case tax-dodging Caffè Nero.

Then I found map had vanished off my phone.

I walked in Virgin Money. Did they have wifi? Yes, The Cloud. No way am I using The Cloud, as owned by Murdoch. One tax dodger supporting another tax dodger.

I passed by an impressive Town Hall.

Then luckily I found Work Horse Coffee.

Fairly basic inside, a large choice of roasted coffee beans. I would say too large a choice. No information on the beans. They roast their own coffee.

I picked up wifi from a chain.

It was basically a trawl for personal information. But needs must, I had lost the map from my phone.

I found Nibsy’s to be a cafe. Not worth stopping or returning.

I passed by a kiosk, Tamp Coffee Culture, stopped and had a cappuccino. A mistake as was not good. Weak and insipid I half drank, then poured down a drain. I am used to quality Ethiopian coffee. This was anything but. Baffled why they roast their coffee in Lancashire and yet their kiosk is in Reading.

I passed by CUP more than once. It was hidden behind a church.

Long chat with Greek guys coffee shops in Athens. Small world elite coffee.

It was then find The Shed. Apart from the fact an interesting building, a waste of time, the food awful.

I looked in Waterstone’s. Appalling choice of coffee books. Where To Find Coffee has to be one of the most useless guides ever written.

Interesting building. What would imagine a library to be. Not a library, a former chapel.

It was then down an alley to find CUP.

A cappuccino and a small cake.

Cappuccino far better than kiosk the other side of the church, cheaper, not served in a takeaway, and not out in the cold.

A mistake I did not have lunch at CUP.

Picked up copies of the latest issue of Caffeine.

Caffeine says London Coffee available in Waterstone’s. Not true. I have so far checked three. This is a book Waterstone’s should be stocking.

I stayed longer than intended. Reluctant to go back out in the cold.

It did not take long to walk back to the station.

Sadly I did not make it back to Work Horse Coffee as I would have liked to have tried their coffee. It would have been a better place to eat, as would CUP, than The Shed.

Walking around Reading, I noticed, it was quiet. No traffic. The entire town centre pedestrianised. Norm in Europe but rare in England. An example the idiot councillors in Lincoln should follow.

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