A while ago I took over a struggling wine bar in Theale, just outside Reading. I wanted somewhere within walking distance where I could go at lunchtime, for a glass of wine and a simple something or other with it. Somewhere nice for a quick drink after work, or a good coffee anytime.
Eating a sandwich sitting at the desk was getting to me after nearly 40 years.
I thought I needed a lunchtime life. The sort I enjoy when travelling. But I didn't want the fuss of a restaurant or the waiting. I am impatient. Anyway if you happen to be passing, or calling at the Theale wine shop, I think you'll like it.
If writing in bars worked for JK Rowling, it'll be fine for me!
It keeps me happy, particularly as I now prefer to write and have meetings in my bar than in my office. As it happens I am writing this at the bar. My son Tom (who is into bars!) has worked there, and I've helped out from time to time. The place is actually run by three lovely ladies. Local girls Ann and Claire run the bar, and Billy (from Bulgaria) rustles up the food. It's all very simple. There is no kitchen, just a servery, but the dishes change daily. No pomp. Honest home cooking.
There's a small shop in the bar. Looks like a Tardis. But like the Tardis, it's huge inside - with 50 or so wines at wonderfully low prices. This is because I collect together the pick of all the wines that get de-listed by Laithwaites - when we only have a dozen or so bottles left. There's plenty to go round for any customers prepared to track down Red Heads Wine Bar (The Real Wine Bar). In the middle of Theale High Street. Parking is easy.
We try (as you'd expect) to make wine fun.
We are about to start a series of wine classes under the auspices of The Wine and Spirit Education Trust. We also hold jolly tastings there. You can order three small tasting glasses of three different wines... for the same price as one big glass. You can also, from just £10.99, taste your way round France or Australia in six tasting glasses. We provide maps so you don't get lost. Very educational. Fun too