Now Burns Night is over we look forward to Valentines in Wokingham. Restaurant booking is usually required, and many places are encorouging couples with special offers. Look out for the 2 meals and a bottle of wine deals at the chains in Wpkingham town. Lloyds, Prezzo, Pizza Express and Zizzi were with us last year, Nandos, Cleaver and Cote are newer arrivals, and we still have the family run Rossini, Ruchetta and Miltons (at Cantley Hotel).
And for a more informal tete, look at The Grape Escape offering speciality vinegers, meats and tasters, together with specially selected wines and ales at this Denmark Street Wine Bar. You can also buy the selections of by the bottle.
The Reading Post recently published their review of the Cote restaurant in Broad Street. at this external link
The old Lloyds Bank in Broad Street conversion to a Cote brings an added variety to Wokingham eating choices. The Cote chain offering was inspired by those French bistros in Paris, the building, being an old bank retains some of the atmosphere and feel that lends itself to a French ambience. As Cote say "we are dedicated to serving authentic classic brasserie dishes"
Looking for a gift for delivery away from Wokingham?
Amazon has deals on DVD Boxed sets, ideal for a special night in that can be replayed again and again.
(this link takes you to Amazon UK)
Here is a book gift idea. Locally buy at Bookends or W.H.Smith, or add to your Amazon Wishlist to let others know your choice, or send it as a gift with Amazon quick shipping.
Although it was sad to see the Hudson Bay store in Denmark Street close, it is good to see another independant business opening up. Capturing a lot in the play on words, The Grape Escape is a wine and cheese, meat and snacks, wine and craft beer venue, with a personal and welcoming character. We wish this new venture well and admire the innovative thinking behind the idea of a new style of the classic wine bar. One example it the 'serve yourself' wine 'robot'.
2014 delivered the major changes in the town that had been promised for many years. Peach Street refurbishment work is now underway and much of is now completed, but the is more to come this year.
The new Railway Station has been formally opened and the new link road, while partially open, more work is underway at the level crossing and Station Road end that remains closed for now.
We will soon see the start of Elms Field and the old council office conversion. Lots of new housing at Waterloo Road and in London Road is adding to the demand for places to eat and drink in Wokingham.
The Cleaver Restaurant that replaced the first Prezzo in The Plaza (off Demark Street) has a rustic retro style interior, with open kitchen design. It specialises in grills, burgers and chicken. And they tell us that you get the best price straight off, no vouchers or coupons needed the special value is built in.
Wokingham still appears at the top of lists as one of the happiest and wealthy places of England, however there are a wide range of incomes in the area, supporting a wide variety of price ranges and styles to eating in Wokingham town centre.
Wokingham is a popular place, both to raise a family and to retire, and a tight budget makes eating out one of the luxuries of life, often combining it with a social or party opportunity.
With this in mind it is no surprise that those around Wokingham are keen to take advantages of discounts, offers and vouchers. Marks and Spencer continue the dicount 'Meal Deals' with regular frequency, and the town centre Waitrose often matches the deals in price but with alternate offerings.
We watch Wokingham town centre stores and restaurants for such special deals, putting an alert up on Twitter.com/inwokingham when we get news of any, if you spot one we miss, send us a tweet and we will retweet it.
More and more pubs, bars and restaurants are getting into Social Media, Tweeting and offering info and deals via Facebook, GroupOn and Foursquare. We also see many review sites and printed magazines are setting up local franchises that list eating places and invite reviews to to be posted. Most of these incorporate generic content and are often subject to only periodic updating, we aim to cover every venuw in Wokingham is an even way. We are pleased to highlight the locally owned businesses over the national chains.
We've highlighted the seasonal newspaper vouchers that aim to draw diners at the quiet times, and also pointed to the regular lunch special deals at places like Ruchetta, Loch Fyne and Miltons. But a new trend for the chain owned restaurants is the online discount voucher promotions. Some are kept 'under-the-counter' and are only available to those 'in the know', others are in limited supply and 'when they are gone...'. One such offer that was applicable in Wokingham was that of Zizzi’s 10th Birthday offer, this required the registering on their web-site and printing your own voucher. This is an example of "you give us something and we give you something back" promotions. Of course, after you sign up with a valid email address, you may receive further promotions ahead of general release. If you take advantage of such offer it is advised to use a 'disposable' e-mail address rather than your primary one. This is easy to do with ’ such as Virgin( NTL, BlueYonder) by setting up an extra post box and forwarding the mail to your main account.
At the beginning of 2014 we said that change continues as the 'word' for business in Wokingham. While last year continued to prove a difficult one for many individuals and businesses, the value of such a guide as this has increased as many other 'franchise' review guides are only updated infrequently, when Wokingham eateries are changing so regularly.
We are seeing a lot less empty shops in the town centre, with the Town Centre Initiative and More Arts making a difference around the town.
The loss of Woolworth left a hole in the range of shops until Alworth opened, then closed and re-opened again as PoundStretcher.
Coffee shops are proving more and more popular though, with Costa Coffee, Nero, Brown Bag amongst the popular ones. It is telling that such major chain groups are bringing their brands to Wokingham.
The mini Morrisons has proved a real draw to the Market Square with prompt served or self service and extended opening hours through to 11pm.
Some History of this guide: Eating.inWokingham evolved from a printed directory produced and distributed in the early 1990's focusing on real ale and real good food, we started with the principle to include all venues in the town, rather than list only those places that advertised or sponsored the print. Then changes started coming so thick and fast that the printing schedule just could not keep up. We added the web version as the Internet became a popular source of news and information. We now maintain only the web version. It is styled to help you search online or print out as a pocket guide. Our latest style changes are aimed at the mobile visitor, presenting a responsive design that is hopefully easy to read on the smallest screens.
Bandwidth lighter pages are delivered to those visiting from known mobile browsers. As we continue to improve the site, suggestions are always welcome. We are looking at providing a dedicated mobile version for 2015. Send us feedback via Twitter or our contact form.
Wokingham shopping is shopping on a boutique level, we do have some supermarkets (Waitrose and Marks & Spencer in the town, Tesco and Sainsbury’s outside), but when it comes to those little luxuries that make life special, Wokingham has many treats available. Nail bars, spas & relaxing, meeting up and leisure in Wokingham has become a wealth of choices over the past 25 years.
Previously known for being the record book for having the most pubs per head of population, Wokingham has evolved as the population of Southern England has changed in make-up and attitude. The style of Wokingham is a contrast to Reading & Bracknell town centres, and complimentary in many ways.
On the other pages we list the places to chill-out, be pampered in, host your party, enjoy a great lunch or night out in and around Wokingham.
If you are planning a family get-together or have something special to celebrate we aim to guide you in finding a venue to match the mood & budget. Well respected places like Sorrento, Ruchetta & Miltons fill up quickly at holiday times. Check the list on Party Places list for ideas.
We continue with our research into the hospitality of Wokingham, we will note the highlights as we find them. We have no affiliation with any of the places listed and aim to list all those in and around the town centre,as well as some a little further out.
We are, however, very pleased to help Amazon highlight selected products within the guide, and provide you with links to items to may be of special interest to those in Wokingham. Although so well known, Amazon.co.uk is a regular innovator and now offers a wider range of products with short delivery times and easy ordering. Will Wokingham be the first place for the Amazon Drone Delivery service?
These advertisers help us bring you this guide and we hope you are happy with the offers they present. Do however be aware of the terms and policies of the relevant advertisers for details of how they use any information you provide.
Although every year is unique, there is a sesonal cycle that repeats. After the New Year burst, places are much quieter and discount specials can often be found at Wokingham eateries. These offers have lasted much longer in recent years.
Eating out of a newspaper used to be the stock in trade of the Fish & Chip business, but look out for the discount promotions that run in several national newspapers over the year, some require vouchers, but these are often available for printing off via the web, others will just require you to quote the publication.
Our new format hightlight’s the listed pubs and eateries to help you appreciate Wokingham's choice of over 65 eateries and drinkeries.
Do you have a problem choosing a gift for a family member or friend? They probably have everything they want, but you do not want to sent a gift certificate or voucher. Well I have the same problem and I recalled that Amazon offer a Wishlist service. So I suggested that my brother, who already uses Amazon, update his wishlist. Then I logged in and selected some items up to my budget, in fact I got extra because they were offering a free shipping deal and by adding one extra small item I was able to take advantage of the free shipping and give a bonus present for no extra, a real deal!
It can be helpful to visit the manufactures or other review web-sites for the nitty-gritty lowdown on some products, especially it you are the first the review the item, but many times there is a raft of opinions on the product or gift already up on the Amazon site. I am selecting some items and providing direct links from this site to help you out.
Building a social life in Wokingham is made easier by the friendly atmosphere in some to the smaller local pubs. Choosing the right crowd is more difficult, check out the Queen’s Head, The Metropolitan, The Victoria, The Ship, The Broad Street Tavern (aka the BST) and The Crispin.
We always enjoyed the story of a visitor to Wokingham who was advised by her language teacher to visit some pubs in town to find out how to use the English language in the real world. She met a group of regular drinkers, a new partner and long time friends. She decided to settle in Wokingham permanently as a result.