About Edible Reading

Edible Reading started over four years ago, for a few very simple reasons. One was that I wanted to know where was good to eat out in Reading and I realised that – in the absence of blogs, coherent TripAdvisor reviews or a reliable local newspaper – I’d just have to start a blog myself. The main other reason was that I got frustrated with people dismissing Reading as a hideous coagulation of chain restaurants, when I just knew that under the surface there was so much more to it than that. Well, like they said in Field Of Dreams, if you build it they will come. And fortunately I did build it, and four years on enough of you came to justify me still visiting restaurants, reviewing them and writing about it here using my not-at-all-scientific patented ER rating system.

Not only did readers come, but restaurants came too: in the last four years Reading has a coffee culture that puts many nearby towns to shame, a set of excellent independent restaurants, many of which have sprung out of pop-ups, a superb street food market and a bevy of imaginative producers and retailers selling wine, flogging cheese and crafting fudge. To think that I remember when this was all fields. Maybe you do too: maybe you remember when the Oracle first opened and it was all about Ma Potter and Yellow River Café, as opposed to now when you can eat Lebanese food or sourdough pizza in almost exactly the same spot.

It’s not all amazing – we still have more tax-diddling Caffe Neros than you can shake a stick at, and for every Bakery House that opens there seems to be an equal and opposite TGI Friday. But everything is moving in the right direction, and in conjunction with a developing food culture we have a brilliant cultural scene, excellent theatrical productions, superb local and hyperlocal websites, a flourishing Fringe Festival and a class-leading arts centre. And the Hexagon, but you can’t win ‘em all.

Although Edible Reading has been running since 2013, the principles are the same. I spend my own money, and I don’t accept freebies. I think it’s important that you know whether I think a meal is worth spending your own hard-earned cash on, and I don’t think I could convincingly tell readers that if I hadn’t paid my own way. I visit restaurants anonymously – because it’s about the food and the experience, not getting special treatment. And my venues are often suggested, requested or recommended by you. Click on this page if you want to find out more about that.

Reviews used to go up every week, but that’s slowed down now that we have fewer openings in Reading. But I do put reviews up on Friday mornings at 11.30 (be there or be square) and I love hearing what you think of them. If you want to get involved you can email me or follow me on Twitter or on Facebook.

I hope this is enough to be going on with, but if not there are also a few links below where you can read more about ER at other places. Hope you enjoy reading, and look forward to hearing from you!

March 2014: An interview with AltReading about the blog.

July 2015: A piece for AltReading about Reading’s unsung restaurants.

June 2017: An interview with The Whitley Pump about why I write and what I write about.

September 2017: A piece for Explore Reading about my perfect Reading weekend.

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12 thoughts on “About Edible Reading”

  1. Part of the reason that local papers end up regularly reviewing restaurants where the meal is paid for by the restaurant (and therefore the staff know for a fact that they are being reviewed), or at businesses which advertise with them, is that local newspaper reporters simply don’t get paid enough to shell out on three course meals and wine on a regular basis (or even an irregular basis!) – and the management can’t/won’t cover the costs of these reviews on expenses. Hence the pressure to be positive in reviews (to please adveritising clients, who basically keep local newspapers going), and the practice of returning regularly to restaurants which take out advertising in the newspapers. It’s sad but true.

  2. Love the website though – firmly in my favourites list for the next time I go out for a meal in Reading

  3. Hi, we are very interested in working with you. How may we contact you?

  4. Hi ER, just wondered what camera you use?

  5. I love your Blog and I love eating & reading about food. Looking at your awards it seems you are a “hot” food lover which I am not. I would like an alternative list for those of us who can’t eat chillies!! Please

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