Getting from Bournemouth to almost anywhere in the west country is not easy, especially by train. Two journeys are involved: Bournemouth to Reading by the dreaded Cross Country, then Reading to Newton Abbot by Great Western, much better.
With an hour to kill at Reading I decided to head out to a pub near the station. There had to be one, right? I knew from previous experience that (i) Reading is not my kind of town and (ii) good pubs are thin on the ground.
I ended up in the local JDW but actually it wasn’t too bad. There were three separate bars with three different sets of beers and the best one’s were, guess what, at the last bar. I went for one I’d not tried before and it sounded promising: Adnams Sloe Porter was described as “rich and fruity with a distinctive finish”. It was enjoyable and if I had to guess the ABV I would have come up with something around 4.2%; it was actually 5% so surprisingly light for its strength – a bargain at only £2.18 a pint!
Oddly enough, I would be getting on the 6 o’clock train from Paddington which has a Pullman car, so I saw myself enjoying a medium steak and a glass of 6 o’clock gin, but the restaurant was fully booked so I had to make do with ciabatta chicken and Gordon’s from the cafe, but that wasn’t too bad.
Reading Wetherspoons: 4*
Adnams Sloe Porter: 4*