Forest Road, Wokingham, RG40 5SBLocated just outside Wokingham on the Forest Road, The Warren is a real country pub. Its deep leather seating, spacious interiors and teak furniture give it a relaxed atmosphere, while the stone fired ovens and log burning hearth lend it warmth. The garden has a great south facing sun trap where one can eat, drink and get away from the pressures of the day. When it was first opened in the 1850s, The Warren, surrounded by lush farmlands, was the centre of village life of a thriving community. Even today, it combines the values of traditional pub hospitality with modern service and attracts a regular clientele. Contemporary pubs such as these usually share a number of characteristics. An important feature is space, preferably a restaurant where you are comfortable, not over-awed, and not sharing elbow space with the next table, however sociable they may be.
Located just outside Wokingham on the Forest Road, The Warren is a real country pub. Its deep leather seating, spacious interiors and teak furniture give it a relaxed atmosphere, while the stone fired ovens and log burning hearth lend it warmth. The garden has a great south facing sun trap where one can eat, drink and get away from the pressures of the day. When it was first opened in the 1850s, The Warren, surrounded by lush farmlands, was the centre of village life of a thriving community. Even today, it combines the values of traditional pub hospitality with modern service and attracts a regular clientele.
Contemporary pubs such as these usually share a number of characteristics. An important feature is space, preferably a restaurant where you are comfortable, not over-awed, and not sharing elbow space with the next table, however sociable they may be. Good, too, to have a garden, optional al fresco eating out space, and by no means least a roomy and well stocked bar where you can actually get served without undue delay. After all, drinking should be taken seriously. If a pub offers all of these, and is in a good location, there is little reason in today's economic climate why it should not flourish. The Warren provides ample evidence that this is true.
But of course there are other factors, not least of which is the food and drink. The term 'gastropub' covers a multitude of blessings and it is possible to see influences of brasserie, bistro, restaurant and even café at work within the great gastro umbrella. So expect to find no one single cuisine, but a blend designed to provide something for everybody, no matter what their treat may be.
To set the right note of fashionable sociability there are sharing plates, garlic pizzette with caramelised onion and rocket, a box baked camembert with stiratta romagna and homemade tomato jam, and Mediterranean mezze of hummus, roasted vegetables, fregola, tzatziki, feta, spinach and ricotta pâté with warm flatbreads. Amongst the starters is freshly made soup, lamb koftas with mint yoghurt, kohlrabi, cumin and carrot salad, and gambas, garlic, rocket and aioli with rustic bread. Look, too, for scallops of the day.
The salads - sorry that should read 'leaves' - offer crispy duck, mouli, carrots, hoisin, water cress and spring onion with plum sauce, and for the seafood fiends some prawn, avocado, pecans, mango, bacon with orange and pomegranate vinaigrette is received with enthusiasm. A fantastic addition to the menu is the honey glazed goats' cheese with chorizo, butter beans, radish, sugar snap peas and oregano.
These days no self-respecting gastropub can afford to be without its pizza range; expect to find margherita, a classic medley of pomodoro, mozzarella, oregano and basil; piccante with pepperoni, chorizo, tomato and jalapeños or rustica with roasted Mediterranean vegetables, goats' cheese and cherry tomatoes.
Pastas include bucatini with salmon, chilli, almonds, red pepper pesto, pecorino and rocket, or tagliatelle with slow cooked Bolognaise and parmesan. For the big event there is a roast rump of lamb with sauce soubise, asparagus, pancetta, button onions and baby potatoes. The blackened cod fillet with egg noodles, pak choi, mango and chilli salsa is popular, a sign of the times and improving taste in eating, as is the spit chicken with lemon, garlic, thyme and chips. For hearty eaters there are rib-eye and fillet steaks, and calves liver with tray baked potatoes, red onion, bacon and sage panagrattato.
A wide range of supporting dishes include green salad, Belgian chips and mayo, and cabbage, leeks and peas. Desserts are some of the best you'll encounter with apple, blackcurrant crumble and vanilla custard, and sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream, and there is also a selection of cheeses to set the buffs alight.
The Warren stocks a wide range of beers, both well-loved ales and lagers, bottled from further afield. The wine list covers plenty of territory from traditional clarets to Pinot Grigio, and champagne by the glass or bottle is always available. Service is cheerful, brisk and totally in keeping with the friendly nature of a good English gastropub.
A well constructed Website enables you to keep in touch with menu changes or forthcoming events. Please note that the E-Mail Contact is for enquiries only, not for bookings.
English, Gastropub, Modern British
: 12:00 - 22:00 (last orders)
: 12:00 - 22:30 (last orders)
: 12:00 - 21:00 (last orders)
Forest Road, Wokingham, RG40 5SB [Map]
£12.50 (2 courses), Mon - Fri
£12.50 (2 courses), Mon - Fri, pre 7 pm
(Avg Price is the average cost per person for two courses, coffee, half a bottle of house wine and tip/service)
REVIEWS OF Warren, The
Rich (8 November 2008)
The place has a good contemporary atmosphere, and an excellent selection of continental beers. It is a nice touch to have a real pizza oven and rotisserie. I would really recommend the peri peri chicken. The staff were good, though we felt we were being rushed out on a Sunday evening. If you want a pleasant eatery without paying a crazy price The Warren is to be recommended, even if it is a chain pub; albeit a small chain.
Bob and Nancie (1 September 2007)
We were very pleased with our last three visits for lunch. Excellent food, it was different, interesting beer, very friendly professional staff. Check out the crispy duck salad and the scallops. It was yummy.
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More Info for Warren, The
- Children welcome
- Air condition
- Groups allowed
- Outside seating
- Cover charge
Not included, 10% (optional) for 8 or more
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