2015/16 season was the first for a while I failed to get a ticket for Swansea v City, which has  always a good chance to get soaked in May and make a few more inroads into Glamorgan’s huge slice of the Beer Guide (93 entries !).

While Matt competed at the scary looking skate park, the rest of us attempted to get to grips with the Gower got no further than Bracelet Bay and the Mumbles, but that was OK.

The Mumbles have all you need, particularly if you need food, beer and seaside. It’s not quite as smart as the Rough Guide would have you believe yet, as a trip to the Pier will confirm. Wednesday afternoon and it was packed.Image result for mumbles

We started with the best ice cream outside Naples in Joe’s, followed by fish and chips from Yallops that was just as good, all washed down with Bass in the Pilot.

The Pilot is a Top 100 pub if ever I saw one, but of course I’ll need a second visit to confirm.

It’s Bass you want

Bass is a survivor in Wales, particularly in some of the smarter pubs near the coast, and was certainly being sold in good volumes alongside the decent house brews (Stout NBSS 3.5).  Even Mrs RM could see the appeal of my favoured beer now.


The pub had a good mix of drinking custom, perhaps reminiscent of the Wirral’s Victorian pubs with its dark wood and natural light.  With some superb reading material (aka Modern Toss), this was lost afternoon territory.

But we had plastic dragons to find and minor outcrops of rock to conquer.

Proper seaside fun.  And the time flew until my other Beer Guide tick opened at 4.

Mumbles Ale House is the classic modern micro, fully compliant with the Herne Rulings. The staff were chatty and lovely, if scarily enthusiastic about the beer (Bristol Beer Factory NBSS 3.5).  Those smart looking gents were equally good company, though it looked like becoming a bit too cosy for claustrophobic me by 4.15.

To be honest, if I had to choose between the Bass and Joe’s peanut butter ice cream I would struggle. Mumbles truly is a gourmand’s paradise.


  1. Not to start off a firestorm of comments, but I often am curious about some of your casual asides. For example, Mrs. RM’s views on Weatherspoons. I can’t tell you how curious these comments make me. What are her reservations? Another is the comment about the “tangle of frontages.” To be honest I am not sure what that means. You mind questions about these comments that can be elusive to some of us?


    1. Hello Dave. If I make a comment that appears to assume prior knowledge I’ll sometimes imbed a link as I did under the Wetherspoons reservations line (a link to a newspaper article). I need to do that more often.

      That comment on “tangle of frontages” meant there looked to be at least 3 different entrances my son tried in a building of odd shapes and signs all over the place. I suspect Google Maps could show show you what I mean !


  2. I had some really wild and uncomfortable EU conversations when I was there last week. I had no idea the level of resentment towards the Polish. MD = Managing Director? We certainly live in weird times. On both sides of the ocean. I have seen some of the Spoons political views. I was not sure that was what the comment referred to or not.


  3. Tim Martin is the chairman of Wetherspoons and the company founder. He still owns almost 30% of the stock. I’m not sure how much of the money spent on the anti EU drip mats and magazine in the run up to the referendum was his own money and how much the company’s ( or suppliers ).


  4. He went on a personal tour over the weeks leading up to the referendum, with the aim of visiting 100 of his pubs to discuss the issues with his customers. TBH I’m not really sure how much many of his regulars will have contributed to the debate.
    At least TM stayed away from the more wild fringes of the immigration debate; the availability of young EU workers will be important to him, as for many operators. His major focus was on the “sovereignty” issue, IIRC .


  5. Absolutely right. Cask ranges are becoming pot luck, whilst the inability or unwillingness to clear tables promptly or properly must surely put people off?
    Another gripe ( because it’s Monday ); when last in their Truro venue open route to my parents, I chose three Cornish cask beers, all of which were off. I asked why they didn’t remove or turn round the pump clips, and was told that “management” had stipulated that they be left visible to gauge how many people asked for that product.
    One would have thought that monitoring speed of sale would be more productive.
    Plus there’s a woman in the Penzance venue who stands behind a particular till and insists that customers come to her so that she can ring in the sale before serving. She’s been there for years, must be Tim Martin’s sex toy.


    1. The Spoons reluctance to turn the pump clips round is a long-running sore. I always assume at least two out of the six or so beers will be off or “Available Soon”.

      Dirty tables (and carpets) certainly puts me off stopping to read a book in there over a pint. I was at that Penzance place this year and it wasn’t pretty.


  6. There was no Swansea City v City match in the 2015-2016 season, the clubs were in different divisions. I understand that there are plenty of ticket’s available for Saturday’s visit of City to the county of Glamorgan.

    When I have the opportunity, which will most likely be next time I am in Blyton, I shall try some peanut butter ice cream on your recommendation.

    Is there just the plastic dragon at Mumbles Pier or is there a collection to find, as per things like the toads in Kingston upon Hull? I like collecting things like that, it is just a shame that the Mumbles tramway closed.


    1. Back in your box Tiger. Just remembered, your Tigers are keeping City out of that crucial 4th Chumps League place so I’ll get back in my box.

      I’ve another photo from the pier I’ll add now and update the blog.

      I know nothing of Hull’s toads, and I was there recently.


      1. Yes, as far as I can see City are currently in third place and well on course to finish in a position to qualify for the European Cup. I’m sure within a few days we will be back in our box, and in a few months be secured in said box with a letter R next to our name.

        The toads were a charity thing a couple of years ago (actually it must be at least 3 years ago as I was still paying to enter the Circle) – they were all auctioned off for charity but a few have been kept in their original locations by their buyers. There is currently a similar set up in Sheffield featuring cows, Si’s website has a picture:
        I am considering going round in a day and seeing all 130, but the thought of having to enter two different crapified greenhouses filled with shops and people dawdling on escalators puts me off somewhat.


  7. No, everything is truthful and accurate in there. Although I note that Chelsea won today so by virtue of their name City are down to fourth, something I didn’t realise at time of publication.

    A link to the original map of the Hull Toads is here: http://hellokoalas.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Hello-Koalas-Larkin-with-Toads-Trail-Map.pdf
    It seems that they were longer ago than I remember. There is at least one on the Bransholme and one near North Bridge still visible.


    1. Tom I never doubted you, just astonished the Tourist office weren’t pushing it more, as I’d certainly have visited in 2013, but then they don’t promote the basic pubs either.


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