The Pot Kiln
off Yattendon-Bucklebury Rd
Mon, Wed-Fri 12-3 6-11 (Sat-Sun 12-11)
The Pot Kiln
To get to this pub is a real pathfinder mission in itself. At the end of a dusty track round the edge of a wood, you could get lost here and no one would ever find you. Of course, if you didn't find the Pot Kiln you would be missing a gem of a pub.
The Pot Kiln was sold in 2005 to a TV chef who has already altered the interior by knocking down a wall. The pub itself dates back to the mid 16th Century. As such it has a very unspoilt inside - despite recent vandalism - that has many original features such as the range and the fireplaces.
On entering there are three main drinking areas and the central bar serves them all to varying degrees. The room on the left reminds of a typical public bar with bare floors and traditional round dark wood tables and chairs. The bar is quite high here and a small person would have difficulty being seen to be served if it got too busy. The 'main' bar has been opened up to include the public bar). Still serving real ale, but for how long no one knows. West Berkshire is still brewing behind the pub. They also have Arkells 3B on as a regular ale plus a guest - this time from Rebellion.
There is a room to the left which is larger having longer pine/kitchen tables and chairs/benches available. There is also a small corner of a bar here where you can be served. The floor is bare and there is a fireplace for winter. Further on is the ladies toilets and a small room for dining and children can eat here.
The beers on at the the time were of course the Brick Kiln Bitter which was superb and the Arkell's likewise plus a guest.
For the summer you can sit outside on the wall or in the beer garden. This has wonderful views over the open country and woodland opposite. Some horses are also kept in a field next to the pub.
Food is now the main reason to go here and is served during opening hours, but check for more specific times. All food is home cooked, containing fresh produce. As all food is cooked to order, at weekends and when busy there can be delays with food orders.
As this is walking country dogs are welcome if behaved - this may change.
There is no piped music or fruit machines.
Access for the disabled is possible to the pub, however the gents toilets are outside through a narrow door with turning.
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Was visiting just to get to The Pot Kiln as we had heard so many good reviews. The beer was nutty, a real delight for the taste buds. Just like all the pints you remember from your youth. A 400 year old pub, popular with locals and visitors alike. Real fire there but thankfully not lit (it was in the low 80's when we visited). Friendly barmaid (Sarah) and landlord. No jukebox, slot machines. Easy wheelchair?access. Two bars both stone-floored with bare wood tables. Toilets clean and tidy. Food was a good selection of rolls and a lunchtime/dinner menu at reasonable prices. Generous portions served by a very friendly cook/waitress. Recommend the sausages (they are very tasty). Good selection of vegetarian dishes. (Nigel Brooks - 22/8/03)
West Berks Brick Kiln Bitter
plus a guest.
Slanting Hill, Hermitage
Berkshire, RG18 9QG
From S:£35-£45, D:£65-£75.