Championship Chow: Nag's Head
Reading Town gets some awful press, and if you’re unfamiliar with it then you’ll no doubt see why upon visiting. Come in via the M4 and you’ll have to navigate your way through an assortment of cheerless retail clusters and housing developments and, if you’re lucky, a landscaped business park or two. Likewise, the fact that the Three Guineas is portrayed as some sort of Mecca for train-travelling football fans tells you all you need to know about the state of the area around Reading Station.
That said, if you’re willing to delve below the Town’s surface then there’s plenty reason to turn out for this most central of away days. At the top of the list should be the Nag’s Head which stands head and shoulders as Reading’s best pub and is located near the site of the Football Club’s former Elm Park home. Pre and post-match ritual clearly persists with many Royals as the place is always lively on match-days, but away fans are equally welcome. An ever-revolving dozen of real ales, priced across the board at £2.80, are the main draw to the Nag’s Head but, while basic, the food is also good. If you’re in during the week then there’s a choice of one dish: a daily homemade special, which was a surprisingly snappy chilli when I was there a few weeks ago. On Saturdays, there’s a full breakfast until 1pm and local pie shop Sweeney & Todd supply the goods thereafter. With a pub-run shuttle bus to the ground available right outside, away fans should look no further than this gem.