The Five Bells
M4, Junction 14; 3 minutes
Vegetarian or vegan options
Parking available onsite
Pies are the speciality at The Five Bells – all handmade, encased in shortcrust pastry and served with mash or triple-cooked chips and gravy (of course). But you’ll also find crisp, wood-fired pizzas, gourmet sandwiches and fresh fish dishes from the day’s catch at Brixham.
The 400-year-old thatched pub stands in the rolling Berkshire countryside and makes a cracking stop on the way to or from London, not just for the pies. Staff are cheerful and familiar, joking with the natives at the bar and making a fuss of visiting dogs. A ceiling covered in beer mats is a conversation starter and you can sit in the grassy beer garden on blue-sky days.
There are some fantastic country walks nearby if you fancy wearing off the pie before you depart. Start from the lovely old church of St Swithun, not far from the pub, with its original Saxon tower, and you can head off through woodlands and meadows towards the River Lambourne at Boxford.