The Market House, Reading
Reading's most Instagrammable hangout. This former bank has an industrial vibe, a rooftop bar, street food menus and 24 boutique rooms.
Reading is having a renaissance. There I’ve said it. No eye-rolling at the back, it’s true. Not only has it been voted one of the top towns to live and work, but the social scene has perked up a treat, thanks to a smattering of new independent businesses and boutique chains. Case in point, The Market House. Taking over the old Lloyds Bank building on Market Place, you are slap bang in the centre of town, Reading train station (a speedy 25 mins from London) and the river a short stroll away. If you want to be in the thick of it, you cannot wish for a better spot.
And this place is seriously cool. No ordinary pub, cocktail bar or restaurant. If you’re a fan of East London’s cool street food hangouts Dinerama and the Borough Kitchen, then you’ll feel right at home. It’s hip, funky, and draws a slightly older crowd. There’s a really inclusive friendly feel (kids and pooches all welcome) and you can turn up in Converse and no one will bat an eyelid. But be warned, it’s not formal or posh. This place is so laidback, you’ll be horizontal. In fact with 24 boutique rooms, all individually designed, that’s an option too.
There’s a large bar area with food coming from three kitchens – The Market House runs one, serving wood fired pizzas while the other two are used by local street food traders. We love the fact that the bank’s old vault is hired out for private parties, with a retractable ceiling for lots of lovely natural light and the original thick cast iron door is still in place which makes a fun feature. Plus there’s a fab roof terrace.
The Market House, 1-2 Market Pl, Reading RG1 2EQ
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