We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“One to avoid until they get their act together!”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of The Cunning Man

The Cunning Man
Ranked #361 of 614 Restaurants in Reading
Price range: US$17 - US$29
Cuisines: Bar, British, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups, View, Kids, Child-friendly
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, After-hours, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: The Cunning Man in Burghfield Bridge is a country pub & restaurant oozing rural charm and rustic character. Our picturesque surroundings provide the perfect backdrop for savouring the hearty, seasonal pub-food on our menu, and the carefully nurtured cask ales and fine wines gracing our bar.
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“One to avoid until they get their act together!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 June 2014

We visited here on Sunday evening, having been a few months before and after such a nice dining experience then, we thought we'd go again, yes it was Father's Day but the place was not that busy so we thought we'd be OK... how wrong we were (and with hindsight perhaps we should have wondered why it wasn't busy.....?)

After a nice friendly welcome, we were shown to a table and ordered drinks, for the starter we chose the Tear & Share Cheesy Garlic Bread - beware - this is very stodgy and doughy, we did mention this to our waitress whose response was " yes we've had a few comments about that and really would have thought we'd have done something about it" - well they obviously haven't taken onboard all of the customer feedback as its still being served in the same state!

For the main course we decided to opt for the Sunday Roast Platter for 2 - when ordering I enquired what the 'seasonal vegetables' were and was informed it was cabbage, peas and carrots - I asked for no cabbage (meaning just me not to have it - my partner would still like it) - what we got was just undercooked carrots, we had to ask for the peas and as for the accompanying 'glazed parsnips' well to echo the description of a previous diner, they were served up in that "physics-defying" burnt on the outside and raw in the middle state. The same goes for the roast potatoes! Also if you advertise the three meats as "beef, roast turkey and herb crusted loin of sweetcure pork" please don't serve what looked like ham/gammon in place of the pork - if you don't have it please inform the diners at the point of ordering! Oh and one other thing, an accompanying boat of gravy with the platter is a must (without it having to be asked for) or do you expect us to scrape the gravy off of the platter...?

The level of customer service has severely declined since our last visit, after we had asked for the bill and was in the process of settling up at no point were we asked how the food was etc... We expressed our disappointment at the standard of the food only to get the response "oh really? I'm sorry" well yes you will be sorry as I for one will definitely not be recommending this place to anyone - the 'couldn't care less' attitude seems to be a common trait amongst the staff and definitely something the Management needs to deal with.

This pub/restaurant is in a great setting/location and has the potential to be great but the way it's being run and the poor standard of food that's being served at this time means that until it improves anyone dining here can expect to receive the same poor level of service - this is one place to avoid at all costs.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank LNCUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

531 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“An afternoon walk - spoiled by the crap attitude of one staff member”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 June 2014

On Tuesday 10 June 2014, I took my working dog on an excursion.
We started out by taking a train from Reading railway station to Aldermaston railway station with the intention of walking back to Reading along the towpath of the Kennet and Avon canal with a stop at The Cunning Man for a drink and lunch.

The walk was quite pleasant and after approximately 6 and a half miles of walking we reached this 'fine' establishment.

As it was a lovely day, I decided that my dog and I would sit outside to have some lunch and a drink.

We no indication thats dogs were not welcome or not permitted in this 'fine' establishment, we walked into the entrance area of the bar and were met by a warm and welcoming smile of the young female member of staff in the entrance. I enquired if dogs were allowed inside the premises and was politely advised that they were not. I asked if would be ok to order a drink and food before retiring outside with the dog. She very politely said that it would be OK.
Approximately 1 minute later a young male member of bar staff came to the bar and very abruptly said "You can't bring a dog in here". I found this comment by this person to be rude considering that he hadn't even the decency to greet me properly in the first place.
Perhaps if he had re-phrased his comment to be "Good Afternoon. I'm afraid that we don't allow dogs in the premises but we do allow them in the garden area", he would have achieved the same objective. However, the manner of his approach and abruptness of tone left a lot to be desired. I asked if they have an area to serve customers outside and he responded "nope".
The attitude of this person in his initial greeting and follow up comment put me off from providing The Cunning Man with my custom and I told him that he had just lost my custom. He gave me a look of incredulity and said "what".
I turned and left the premises to continue my walk with my dog.
As I left the premises the young man said comments to the effect of 'Have a nice day'. As I was not looking at him when he said what he said, I cannot be sure of the genuineness of his comments.

As a drinking and dining establishment, The Cunning Man is located in a privileged position next to the Kennet and Avon Canal and ideally situated to attract passing custom.

It is a shame that such distinctly poor level of customer service by one person having a crap attitude has let this whole establishment down.

I shall never provide them with my customer again.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Service
8 Thank PissedOffOfReading
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reading, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Nice location, terrible food”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 June 2014

Popped there for Sunday lunch with my partner. Have been before a few times and it has been quite good. The location, garden and building are stunning for a sunny day. However, the food this time was abysmal. We ordered a sharing Sunday roast platter. Only gravy on the meat, no boat so none to put on the dry veg. The carrots were raw. The beef needed a chainsaw to cut. The parsnips were that "physics-defying" burnt on the outside and raw in the middle. The potatoes weren't cooked through. The pigs had no blankets despite being stated on the menu. The Turkey was nice but it was the only thing that was. And to top it all a small curly black hair in the gravy on my plate. I used to recommend it. Now I'm never going back. They had an "event" inside so maybe were under pressure or rushed/too busy. But still........

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Rob C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
79 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“It is really enjoyable to eat outside”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 June 2014

We ate here while working in reading. The outdoor space is great but the food wasn't as good as we thought it would be. Flavour was quite blend and too salty. The staff was very friendly.

Visited May 2014
Thank OuterLimitTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
57 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“It should do as it says on the menu”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 June 2014

Had an enjoyable meal here. By that I mean the service was fantastic. Our waitress was great. We shared a garlic bread - one definitely enough to share as its very doughy and therefore filling. For main I had the shoulder of lamb which came with crushed baby potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Unfortunately the seasonal vegetables (note plural) was cabbage and a large dollop of it. As I hate cabbage I asked if it was possible to have another veg or have it removed off my plate and the server took it away and removed it off the plate. The lamb wasn't overwarm but the gravy was hot so I felt it wasn't worth mentioning to the staff but they obviously must have been waiting for the other meals before bringing it out.
After much deliberation and questions we had dessert. I would go there again as it is nicely situated and spacious and the staff are friendly, but would try something different, but I suggest you ask for more detail before ordering if like me you are slightly pernickety with your food.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank lileth59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed The Cunning Man also viewed


Been to The Cunning Man? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing