The last leg of the Gwent trip took in Abergavenny, yet another Welsh town that seems to have escaped the Beeching savagery (correct me Mudge/Tom).
Gwent/Monmouthshire is always an attractive county for me. 3 hours in the car and then decent train links from bargain motels. If only the Chinese takeaways were better.
Obviously the only way to “do” the Brecons from Abergavenny Station is a slog up the Sugar Loaf in torrential rain, but a stroll round the castle and pub in the Autumn sunshine had to suffice.
The views all around from the castle ruins are particularly splendid, with pride of place given to the famous “Jumper Tree” onto which people sew their requests for the next craft beer in the Wetherspoons (or possibly request Iron Maiden songs at the Eisteddfod, who can say).
The Spoons looked very familiar, I think it’s won several best toilet awards in the past. It’s OK, and it was interesting to see an even smaller range of beers than in Cwmbran.
The town is attractive enough, but since I’m not going back till next year, and I’ve got a short memory, I think I can safely say it’s not as good as Monmouth. For a start the Hen & Chickens isn’t a patch on the Nag’s Head, and Aber has a lower great building count. The record shop was asking £40 for Megadeth LPs as well, which is why like a luddite I’m sticking to CDs.
Some stand-out signage though;
The Bass signage is from the Railway, which had shut especially for my visit (5pm opening). Luckily I’d been there before, and the new GBG pub turned out to be on the very edge of Aber, which deprived me from a long search round Llanfoist for it without internet.
The Bridge is my sort of pub, and I suspect Simon’s too when BRAPA makes it here in 2030. For a start it’s open all the time, has proper seating and beermats already laid out.
It seemed to attract the chattiest folk in Gwent. This could be because it’s full of Gentleman who have left their wives shopping in Waitrose over the road; I couldn’t comment.
Three clans of Evans were being discussed in detail (“Evans above !”), and assorted strangers were brought in and out of the conversation, including a chap from Sydney who seemed to have got very lost. Most of the banter was of the type you won’t find at IndyMan later this week.
The Bragdy Horny Goat was very decent (NBSS 3.5),though the beer was secondary to the pub for me here. Next time I go there I’ll have the Hancocks; you can’t come to Gwent and not have the HB, a thought that struck me over cauliflower soup at the equally traditional Horseshoe in Mamhilad.