I love the ambience here. Food is limited but good, pastries are fresh and nice. Drinks were moderately large and they had wonderful magazines (read Nat Geo) lying around. Good place to hang out and have a cup of tea.
One of the hidden treats in Reading town centre: a small, independent coffee shop with better caffeine than Costa across the street (no need even to mention the Starbucks next door), decent food, and people with a genuine smile behind the counter.
The salads are very good, as are some sandwiches. But there are no toilets (you have to send your kids to the Starbucks...) There's no WiFi, which is probably wise on their part, as people wouldn't leave.
Hiding in the shadow of the bright lights of neighboring Starbucks, Picnic does has coffee (and latte etc) which is way better. None of the burned or overcooked flavor.
The focus here is organic and fairtrade, with lots of unique salads and sandwiches. The cooler is overstuffed with choices like Brie Cranberry Apple, Pate Brie, Vegetable Samosas and Thai Green Chicken. Crisps ("chips" in American) are also interesting - Worcester Sauce and Sundried Tomato, Bloody Mary and Mature Cheddar with Red Onion. I spotted a smattering of pastries as well, as I enjoyed my coffee.
Would I return? An unqualified yes!
I have passed this place up many times for Pret. Will definitely think twice now.
I don't drink coffee or tea (would be way too hyper), but they have some nicely prepared sandwiches, salads and soups. Good choice of drinks and crisps. They also have a nice selection of fresh desserts. Great lunch option.
This is a great little bistro / coffee shop / cafe.
this small place located perilously between a Costa Coffee and a Starbucks beats the hell out of both of them for taste, atmosphere and service.
they do great homemade soups, chocolate brownies to die for and a range of baguettes, salads and other light bites.
you can sit in or outside as there are a number of tables and chairs or you can take away, for which the price is sightly less.
it is a refreshing change to see such family run places spring up among the chain shops.
try something there, you won't be disappointed.
This place is seriously delightful for a light and inexpensive lunch. If chorizo and sun dried tomatoes and other things yuppy but oh so good are your style then let's go here and get a picnic lunch box- you can pick and choose what you wish to indulge in or you can give in to one of their ready prepared concotions- some of the lentil salads have felt terrifically healthy. Not guilty feelings there. The place is very small but your lunch will be packed in a very handy take away box. However, if you do want to sit then there are two little tables and a window bench, or in nicer weather they put out a table or two. They have a lovely tea selection too, and homemade flapjacks. You do need to watch out here though, that you don't go way over lunch budget- it does become rather tempting. It is a refreshing little place to have in the centre of Reading.
I love the place. good coffee, nice cakes and fantastic sanwiches. my favourite: brie and pate. yummi!
After reading favourable reviews on Yelp i decided to give this place a go. Delicious! My boyfriend and I picked up a turkey and cranberry roll, a ham salad roll, sparkling water, pomegranate and raspberry cordial and a large tub of fruit, for just a tenner. It came in a handy paper bag which we were able to take to Forbury Gardens to enjoy. My roll had plenty of cranberry sauce so not dry at all. There is a good selection of cakes and other goodies, and we were encouraged by the fact the rolls were freshly made; something that their nearby competitors fail at doing (soggy, chilled, packaged sandwiches just don't hit the mark). The seating did look a bit uncomfortable but there were plenty of people sitting on them! I'll be back!
Great food and a perfect place to order a sandwich/soup for lunch but not a good sit down place. This place is small, the staff could be friendlier, and there is no wifi! Food is great though.
Absolutely fantastic place. Great salads, sandwiches, coffee, tea and cakes. A really welcome antidote to the four other chain outlets within 50 metres of the door. I choose Picnic every time. Four stars as it can get a little cramped.
I visited Picnic, the one located in the south of Reading at the Reading Climbing Centre. Although the service was fairly efficient, the overall experience left a bad taste in my mouth.
The cups on top of the machine were not upside down so the dust etc is getting into the cups. The person making the coffee put his fingers inside the cups when handling them.
The person making the coffee was messy- my cappuccino had froth spilt down the side of the cup, which was wiped off but still messy.
They didn't know how to steam milk for cappuccino either, as the froth on my cappuccino looked like it was from a bubble bath and had a bad texture.
The drink tasted dirty, as if there was dust in it (this taste is probably from over extraction of the espresso and poor cleaning habits of the group heads/filter screen area).
I had a piece of cake which was freshly made, so thumbs up for that. But it just didn't live up to expectations, as it tasted like something you would bake at home for the first time, that you hadn't quite mastered yet.
Only one member of staff acknowledged me and smiled, but she wasn't the one who served me.
For an independent cafe that boasts 'Coffee Kings of Coffee Corner' and superb coffee while having competition from other high street brands and local independent coffee shops on its doorstep, they really can't afford to give customers such high expectations and deliver with such poor results.
Always great coffee and cute staff. Good cakes although I am a heathen and so can't comment about the healthy food, but the soups have been perfect as well. A bit tiny but great overall, clean, efficient and did I say about the great cakes???
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