The Falcon on Theale High Street is an excellent example of an 18th century coaching inn that has survived against all the odds into the 21st century. Being a Grade II listed building surely helps keep the wrecking ball at bay but in recent years many historic inn and brewery buildings have been converted to offices and residential apartments, however The Falcon continues doing what it does best: pulling pints…
The Falcon today is probably the most popular pub in Theale village; it certainly was during our recent Saturday evening walk & dine. There was live music in the courtyard – a classic rock cover band – and they drew a predominantly young crowd.
Mr & Mrs Fueled by Beer and The Daughter poked their heads in but didn’t stay: there were a few too many ‘who the hell are you’ looks which didn’t exactly make us feel welcome so we moved on. It felt a little too much like the beer festival table commandeering – what is it with Reading area 20-somethings: didn’t their mums and dads teach them to share their toys when they were little?
Anyway, we’d like to return another time to check out this pub more thoroughly. It retains more of its coaching inn heritage than any of the other village pubs. As the picture shows, the pub is entered through the original archway through which coaches passed to enter the inner courtyard. Surrounding the courtyard on all four sides is the pub and what were probably old stable buildings and other ancilliary services, and at the rear another archway leading to and open area that today serves as beer garden. It really is a beautiful setting.
As for the pub itself: the food and beer offerings are all pretty basic stuff. I noticed a lot of draft lager taps but only 2 or maybe 3 cask pumps (2 for sure: London Pride & Courage). The pub is not Cask Marque or CAMRA LocAle accredited.
Recommendation? Reserving judgement for a proper visit.