In my last post I spoke of how Greene King anticipated the UK’s transition from beer-led ‘locals’ to food-led ‘destination’ pubs. In this post I will introduce another, this time a non-brewing Pubco, who spotted the same trend: I refer to Mitchells & Butlers (M&B)…
M&B’s Sizzling Pubs brand targets essentially the same market segment as Greene King’s Hungry Horse pubs: offering family-oriented, value-driven food, in a casual atmosphere.
Reading currently has two Sizzling Pubs: the Tyler’s Rest in Tilehurst and the Traveler’s Rest in Caversham. Beyond these, M&B, through its dozen or so brands, has around 1600 pubs throughout the UK, with several in the Reading area.
Mr & Mrs Fueled by Beer recently visited “the Tylers” and we were quite impressed with what we got for the price. While nobody goes here for haute cuisine what we did get was similar food at a similar price point to our Hungry Horse experiences but of a slightly higher quality both in terms of ingredients and also preparation. Granted, one visit does not a representative experience make, but it was a good experience nonetheless.
Sizzling Pubs works the same way as Hungry Horse: find a table, pick from the menu, order at the bar. Give them your table number and they bring the food out to you.
I think what struck us most about the Tylers was the sense that while Greene King doesn’t appear to have done much to the Morland pubs they acquired, M&B appears to have spent some cash renovating the Tylers at some point – it shows and it definitely adds to the enjoyment of a visit.
The only downside for Mr & Mrs Fueled by Beer was the Sizzling Pub cask ale offering – none worth mentioning – and this is reflected by the absence of any Cask Marque accreditation. Both the George & Dragon and Six Bells have achieved this so I hope to see the Tylers gain it in the near future.
The Tyler’s Rest is located on Norcot Road therefore served by the purple 17 bus: service available 24 x 7. The pub has a large car park for those so inclined and in summer offers an outdoor patio for al fresco dining.
The Tyler’s Rest: Recommended (with the above caveats) 🙂