We just returned from a quick Christmas trip to England, mostly from a series of parties in Weardale and Cumbria with friends. The last evening was spent with other friends in Reading, where we went out to a terrific traditional pie shop and pub with the tongue & cheek name of Sweeny & Todds. The shop makes a wide range of savory pies, using top quality meats from a local butcher, Vicar's.
As it was the first day they were open after the Christmas holiday, choices were more limited than usual as the shop had had a bigger lunch attendance than normal. However, we sampled three of the selection: a turkey, bacon and vegetable Christmas pie, a Cajun chicken pie, and mine (the best)... named after the butcher who provides the meats, Vicars. This was a mixture of lamb and pork with lots of mushrooms, onions and a few carrots. The pastry was excellent flaky puff pastry. While none were available that night, the menu did include a range of venison, pigeon and all sorts of other meat pies, as well as chicken and leek and several special vegetable versions.
We were able to enjoy these with good cask ales from Wadsworth, and another guest brewery.
Definitely traditional and definitely good.