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The Gardeners’ Arms Reopens (Again)

Written by: BlackPhi

29 July 2010 16,981 views 11 Comments

It’s nice to see people back in the gardens of The Gardeners’ Arms, in Emmer Green. They reopened at 5pm today (29th July), doing a special offer on food – no use to me as my tea was already on, but a good idea. I popped in for a quick half – the Speckled Hen isn’t ready this evening, but the IPA was as good as Greene King IPA gets (and better than it usually is). For 5:30 on a Thursday evening they had a decent number in, not packed by any means but nice to see after the pub has been so quiet for so long.

Their food menu is not over-ambitious, but looks reasonable: Thai curry, chilli, child-friendly standards like bangers and mash or scampi and chips, lots of pizzas, and various snacks. I think there’s something there for the whole of my family – who tend to like different things, which can be a problem – so I guess we’ll need to pop over to try them out in the next few days.

If you live in that part of Caversham/Emmer Green, why not pop over yourself and give them a go.


  • Lisa Mayhew said:

    After hearing that the Gardeners Arms had reopened, we called in on Saturday 31st July, 2010 to check it out.

    Considering it has only just started serving again we were very favourably impressed. The staff were cheerful and friendly and the outdoor garden at the rear was great for the children.

    The food was simple but really well done and offered great value for the family – one can’t ask for much more than that. My husband had the large burger, I had pasta, and both were excellent. I was told that they also sell the pizzas to take away and if my son’s pepperoni was anything to go by they will sell plenty. Takeaway pizzas are often stodgy affairs but these were excellent – and great value too.

    Keep it up and don’t close down agaim!

  • John Phillips said:

    Called in at about 6.45 on the Friday with two mates for our usual quiet pints (regularly taken at another venue in Caversham). It was impossible to find a spot to sit inside that wasn’t overwhelmed with the blaring music. As none of the barstaff even greeted us, we went back to our usual place never to return I’m afraid!

  • drobs said:

    That’s a shame when the music’s so loud you can’t hear yourself thing.

    I must be getting old but I like to be able to hear the conversation now.

  • BlackPhi said:

    I’m puzzled because we went as a family last Friday at around 7ish to try out the food. There was music playing in the back bar, but over our side was quiet enough (and the bar staff were friendly). Very strange.

    The food varied from okay (the Thai curry) to very good (the scampi and chips).

  • Derek said:


    The Gardeners Arms new web site is now:



  • BlackPhi said:

    Thanks, Derek. I’ve updated the links.

  • drobs said:

    Derek, if you go in, please get the pub to submit to our online directoy and submit info on what they’re doing/any events.

  • BlackPhi (author) said:

    And now they’re closed again … for refurbishment in theory. The people who have been running it so well for the past year have moved on though (I gather Greene King made them an offer they definitely could refuse), so it’s anybody’s guess when (or if) it will open again.

    The pub itself has no signs up to say it is closed, never mind for how long, nor does the website say anything. Presumably Greene King don’t want customers to come back.

  • drobs said:

    They probably want people to walk to the White Horse at Emmer Green instead. I suspect they only want one pub in the area.

    Perhaps it will go the same way as the Star and become a Co-Op.

  • BlackPhi (author) said:

    Sadly, you’re probably right. Although even then, why not put a sign up saying “Sorry we are closed for renovations – nearest pub 5 minutes walk that way” or some such. Put it on the website too.

    The Gardeners’ is far enough off the beaten track that many people have to make an effort to get there. Finding it closed with nothing to say what is going on is just aggravating.

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