Category Archives: News from Reading and Berkshire

Analysis and news from around Berkshire.

Cosmo Reading: restaurant review


Reading Cosmo: not your typical Chinese restaurant. Not even close

Cosmo Reading Restaurant Desserts Selection

From chocolate cake to cheesecake, the desserts selection at Reading Cosmo will keep you sweet!

If you ever head down Friar Street on a Saturday night (or practically any night, for that matter), and see a massive queue snaking outside the doors to Cosmo, you might first assume that dozens of clubbers have started their evening on the early side.

Truth is, they’re just waiting to get into Cosmo Restaurant, Reading’s finest destination for a buffet that features a vast selection of the world’s tastiest dishes.  Many of the selections come from Asian origins, but there is also a delectable Mexican taco bar, Italian pizzas, Indian savouries, the greenest salads and… my goodness… The Most Mouth-Watering, Meaning-of-LIfe-Answering, Satisfaction-Finding Dessert Bar One Could Ever Long For…

Or as Cosmo succinctly describe it: Pan Asian and World Banquet Dining.

Cosmo Restaurant: what’s on the menu?

What's your favourite food at Cosmo? I'm a sucker for the Indian curry selection at Cosmo Reading.

What’s your favourite food at Cosmo? I’m a sucker for the Indian curry selection at Cosmo Reading.

The live cooking includes:

  • Live cooking
  • Sushi
  • Dim sum
  • Indian tandoori & curry
  • Yakitori & robata grill
  • Teppanyaki
  • Asian carvery
  • Pizzeria
  • Global kitchen
  • Noodle & Wok bar
  • Asian deli
  • Seafood

Cosmo also has a banquet selection of starters, mains and desserts. Starters include soups, Beijing ribs and Malaysian squid. Mains range from crispy aromatic duck to Thai mussels and vegetable Singapore noodles. The dessert bar is simply amazing, but my favourite aspect is the chocolate fountain that flows endlessly at the front of the restaurant.

Check out a more expansive version of Cosmo’s sample menu here.

And did you know? If you order a soft drink, you can fill it up as much as you like, thanks to the bottomless soft drinks promotion at Reading Cosmo! There is also a nice selection of beers and wines.

The best thing about Cosmo is the attention to detail they have for the entire guest experience. You will find some of the most flavourful creations of any restaurant in Reading. My best advice is to initially sample in small portions, to take in a vast array of combinations. After all, you can always go back for more of what your palate prizes best. Read the rest of this entry


Feathery hat? Tick. Champagne picnic? Tick. It’s Henley Regatta time!

Beer in shades at The Harvester in Prospect Park, Reading

Well Revellers, you may recall my last post being about a 3-step self-help programme in Reading: Visit the pub, grab a drink, plummet gracefully to the Earth in a bungee jump.

Last Sunday, a portable bungee platform was set up near the smoking patio beside the Royal Albion pub on Oxford Road, Reading. Did you take part?

In any case, there’s a different human spectacle on this weekend. It’s the famous Henley Regatta in Henley-on-Thames, Berkshire, drawing world-champion rowers since 1839.

You can see the rowing for free along the public paths of the Thames or in the start enclosure, from what I have read. Throw on some shorts, pack a picnic and invite the bees if you’re feeling sweet and summery.

However, if you’ve already gone out and bought your silly hat, lounge suits, jackets and blazers — after all it is July and you will be outdoors in England, you never know if it could snow — then fear not! You can still rise above the bourgeoise and buy a spectators’ badge for one of the other enclosures, ranging from £15-£20.

The Henley Regatta site goes into courteous detail about how one should present one’s self on the day. I think they had to spell it out really clearly in case Kate turns up to another royal-level event wearing jeans and wellies again: Read the rest of this entry

Weddings at the Crowne Plaza Hotel: Will ours be (one of) the next?


Crowne Plaza Reading Hotel on the River KennetAs a wedding venue, the Crowne Plaza Reading has it all: a lovely piano, beautiful mahogany furnishings and a gorgeous view of the River Kennet and all those majestic swans.

It really does seem like the ideal Berkshire wedding venue… Which makes it all the more impressive that a couple can get excellent treatment and value with their Caversham Suite wedding package, costing just £2,011 on weekdays. Read the rest of this entry

Tornado in Reading: a link between Kansas and Berkshire

Tornado in Reading, Kansas

Tornado in Reading, Kansas

Dear Revellers,

You may have noticed a lapse since my last post about life in Reading, but there’s a good reason: I went home!

A good friend got married, I met my new niece Katherine and I also saw my brother graduate from uni.

Unfortunately, not everyone in the Heartland has been so lucky these last few weeks. You probably heard about the tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri (where my high school marching band visited for a festival back in the day). The tornado killed at least 132 people and left the community looking like a war zone.

Earlier that week, another tornado struck Reading, Kansas. One person died and 20 homes destroyed. It is a devastating situation for a community of 231 people. Read the rest of this entry

Fun and frolicks at Reading Museum


Free stuff in Reading MuseumFree events in Reading, Berks

Have you been enjoying all the sunshine and fun in Reading?

I do hope so. The circus is in Reading for one more day. Plus, Reading Museum has a totally psychedelic exhibition on 1960s life in Reading. ‘Ready, Steady, Go!’ is at John Madejski Art Gallery until October 9.

Rumour has it that Liam Gallagher was at Reading Museum representing the ex-Oasis singer’s 1960s-style mod fashion label, Pretty Green. I cannot 100% verify this, but Pretty Green clothes are one of the exhibit’s sponsors. Liam, if you are reading this, please leave a comment below and let us know what you think of Reading. We’d love to get some more Liam love before your groovy band Beady Eye plays at Reading Festival this summer! Read the rest of this entry

£5 for 4 people to travel on Reading buses


Hello Revellers! It has been a while since I last posted but fear not, the Revelry continues! I’m simply at a loss for Internet since moving flats. Speaking of which…

I moved flats in Reading two weekends ago. Not having a car, I had to rely on the bus, and a trusty boyfriend who thankfully does not fear boxes nor panic. Both of these are guaranteed during  Moving Weekend.

We discovered that on weekends and holidays, up to 4 people can travel for £5 total on a day ticket. Free travel for boxes! That’s a pretty good deal since it usually costs £3.80 for one person to get a day bus ticket.

You really should check out Reading with one of these great passes. Can’t go wrong!

Going Italian at the Pheasant Inn in Winnersh


The Refectory at the Pheasant Inn in Winnersh prepares lovely Italian food.

When Roberto and Luana moved to Winnersh, they didn’t just want to cook satisfying Italian food. They wanted also to restore a welcoming environment to the Pheasant Inn — a restaurant, pub and hotel that had become blighted by a rough reputation.

Roberto told me of his experiences eating and cooking in Michelin-starred restaurants around the world. He trained in Paris and has worked in Chicago, London and elsewhere.

In Winnersh, just a few miles outside Reading, the duo deliver a passion for service and high-class gastronomy steeped in Tuscan flavour. He prepares the mains, she creates the desserts.

The pub may still look like a pub, but the dining experience transports you to the heart of Italy (and a bit of Britain, if you wish).

My boyfriend Iain and I started with fresh olives marinated in herbs and chili. Iain next enjoyed a delicious goat’s cheese tartlet. Baked butternut squash, leek, sun dried tomatoes and a tomato bruschetta salad accompanied.

I revelled in a Rome-style bruschetta. The brushetta featured grilled homemade sourdough bread with tomatoes, garlic, basil pesto, spring onions and extra virgin olive oil.

For my main, I had sirloin steak and chips. The succulent meat came with roasted vegetables, triple-cooked chips and

Pheasant Inn main courses

Selection of main courses at the Pheasant Inn in Winnersh

 baked onions infused with honey and black pepper. Roberto prepares a choice of fine sauces: red wine and port reduction with blue cheese Gorgonzola dolce or creamy green pepper and cognac. From sauce to steak, the flavours balanced one another for a decadent dining experience.

Iain enjoyed asparagus and cheese ravioli. Topped with fresh basil and tomato sauce, the homemade pasta revealed an impressively soft and rich taste so good it could shelve store-bought pasta any day.

For a sweet ending to an evening of sweet service, Iain chose Amaretto Tiramisu, a finger biscuit with amaretto and coffee, mascarpone cheese and chocolate. I had a caramelized lemon Bakewell tart – smooth, sour and sweet, and at all the right levels.


Reading Between the Lines

Zofia and Patrice at Reading4U radio station

Zofia and Patrice at Reading4U radio station

The beauty of this post’s title is that it is stolen from a brilliant new radio show in Reading.

Reading Between the Lines is a local current affairs and politics show that airs on Reading4u. Read the rest of this entry

Reading Borough Council gets an American


Reading Borough Council — the foray   

Reading Borough Council mace

Reading Borough Council mace

This past week I attended my first meeting of Reading Borough Council. I also took part in the first live airing of Reading between the Lines, a current affairs show on Reading4U. I enjoyed both, largely because I used to cover city government in Kansas and produced a similar radio show in college.

There are lots of issues heating up Reading, including the 2012 budget proposal. I’m still not quite sure how it works in the UK, in terms of local government being as party-driven as it is on the national stage. Read the rest of this entry

Faster than a crawling bus on Bath Road


Judging by my morning commute, I am either incredibly fast or the traffic was a bit slow. I managed to walk the length of Prospect Park just as fast as the 2A bus drove it.

Wait a second… This just in:

We currently have delays on Vitality 1 and 2 and yellow 26 due to congestion on Bath Road.

That’s the word from Reading Buses, who instead of driving the bus have been posting on Facebook — albeit eight hours ago. That’s cool. I am not ordinarily a technology person, but I can imagine having a mobile phone with Facebook capability, and sitting on the No 2A bus this morning as a girl half-walks and occasionally sprints beside the bus. Now she’s in the lead, now it’s us, back and forth. Who will win, nobody knows. Maybe this would be good for the bookies, you think to yourself. And then you find out on mobile Facebook that there is another explanation for this would-be Supergirl. Thanks, Bath Road, for ruining my odds at early retirement, you sigh with dejection.

In other bus news, has anyone else seen those new units attached to some of the bus stops in town? I think they are meant to let you know with electronic accuracy when the next bus will arrive. How exciting! I shall put a word in to the Facebook bus folk and see what I can suss out…