Category Archives: Pubs

The Newbury

The Newbury – 137 Bartholomew Street, Newbury, West Berkshire RG14 5HBThe Newbury in Newbury

I must say that I am a fan of The Newbury. I have been there a number of times and the food is always really good, it isn’t too loud so you can have a good conversation with your friends, and they stock a good range of interesting beers and whiskeys. Naturally, they stock Jack Daniels so that is always going to give them some additional bonus points in my estimations.

They do a great range of snack foods, chunky chips, cheesy chips, massive beer battered onion rings and sharing platters which are a meal unto themselves.

Something I have yet to get deeply involved with is their shots and cocktail menu. If you are up for it, check out the fascinating array of drinks on offer on their menu – I’ll have one of each please!

There is a front bar area with some comfy chairs, a restaurant section that is not over crowded, outside smoking for those people who are inclined and a “rooftop” bar area which is great for social gatherings and can be booked especially for you.

The only downside is that it is a little pricey. If you are looking for a cheap night out you will be better off at a Wetherspoons or raiding your local Asda for your booze.

That aside, a definite recommendation for anyone who likes a good drink in a good pub.


The Newbury_ chunky onion rings smThe Verdict – The Newbury – Newbury – 79.41%

Important stuff: 82%
Is the beer on tap drinkable? Mostly
Do they sell cheesy chips? Yes
Did you get a table / chair? Yes
Hot bar staff? Sometimes
Would you go there again? Yes

Extras: 75%
Can you hold a conversation there? Yes
Is the food good? Yes
Do they serve Jack Daniels? Yes
Is their selection of Whiskeys any good? Yes
Is there plenty of eye candy? Sometimes
Do they have Pool tables? No
Do they have a Beer Garden / Rooftop Garden? Yes

The Cheesy Chips Saga

You may have noticed that we rate every pub based on a number of criteria. One of those is the Cheesy Chips rating.

The following is the story around why this is a critical factor when selecting a drinking establishment and certainly why you should promote the appearance of Cheesy Chips on every menu you see.

Chips + Cheese. With the exception of adding bacon, this is about as good a simple drinking snack as you can get. Plenty of stodge to soak up the excesses of fluid and of course… cheese….greasy, delightful cheese.

We happened to head to the pub closest to the office for a casual team get together, the Union Bar & Grill near Paddington Station to be precise. My first disappointment was that they don’t serve Jack Daniels. Seriously, WTF is wrong with these people? But anyway, once I had gotten over the shock and thankful for not being a picky drinker, we settled down to a few beers and some banter. We’d had a long day at work and it was getting late, so food was an absolute requirement. Not a full meal, but something quick and easy and preferably to share.

I scanned the menu for the sides and came across this selection:

Chunky Chips / Skinny Fries/ Cajun Skinny Fries /Mixed leaf salad / Rocket, parmesan, balsamic / Onion Rings

Not bad, we can ignore anything with greenery and go from there. So, there was four of us and after a quick discussion about hunger levels we settled on Chunky Chips, Cajun Skinny Fries and Onion Rings. This was all sounding promising until we got the waiter over to order. “I’m sorry, we don’t have any cajun seasoning at the moment so we can’t do the Cajun Skinny Fries.”

We were disappointed with this. How difficult is it to buy in enough Cajun seasoning. Then, in a moment of brilliance, Jay piped up with, “Do you do Cheesy Chips?”

That was it, Cheesy Chips were embedded in our minds, we.must.have.Cheesy.Chips.NOW!

With other items on the menu such as a CHEESEburger and even the starter with parmesan CHEESE, there was certainly no shortage of cheese in the kitchen so when the waiter said that he would have to check with the chef, we were a little sceptical as to why there was even a need to debate it. Cook chips, add cheese….job done.

The waiter came back shortly afterwards with the shocking news that the chef refused to make us Cheesy Chips. Despite our incredulous looks and comments of disgust, there was no changing the chef’s mind. No Cheesy Chips, end of.

Ok, Chunky Chips, NON-Cajun Skinny Fries and Onion Rings it was then.

Our order came out, we sat, we ate, we drank. The Chunky chips, like in most pubs around the UK, were very good. The Onion Rings were pretty standard but the Skinny Fries were soggy and as limp as your Grandfather’s wanger. As dutiful customers, when a different waiter came to clear the plates and asked us how everything was, I responded to say that things were okay, but the chips would have been much better if they’d had CHEESE on them. His instant response was, “Oh, so you’re the Cheesy Chips guy.”

That was it, I was famous in the pub as the Cheesy Chips guy. It wasn’t even my idea, it was Jay’s idea, yet I got lumped with the name.

So….

We happened to go back there a couple of months later. On our way to the pub we popped in at the little Sainsbury’s down in the amphitheatre and bought a packet of Grated English Cheddar Cheese. After getting a round of drinks in, our first order was for four servings of chips. When they arrived, we pulled out our pack of cheese and proceeded to cover the chips with their cheesy goodness.

When the waiter came to take our plates away, with cheesy remnants remaining, and he asked us how everything was, I was able to reply, “they were great thanks, we brought some cheese and put it on them and they were much better that way.”

At the writing of this post, they still haven’t put Cheesy Chips on the menu.

If you would be so kind, if you happen to go to the Union Bar & Grill near Paddington Station. Please, when you order, ask them if they have Cheesy Chips. They won’t know why, but with any luck, if enough people ask for it, they will eventually put it on the menu.

Oh, and ask for Jack Daniels as well. Much appreciated.
***Edit – They serve Jack Daniels now since sometime in 2017. Yay!***

Now you understand why Cheesy Chips is so dear to my heart and why it is a rating against every pub.

Enjoy.