Having had a hissy fit last year when finding Newport closed on Sunday, it’s only fair I should tell you how good it is when it’s open.
Starting with the street art. Or, at least, the best suburban garden since Tunbridge Wells.
The network of bridges and underpasses was as scary as ever, but this time I had a 15 year old to berate me for taking photos rather than moving. It’s not quite Miami, yet. Though the path under the railway into town is as horrific as ever.
Emerging from the station into Cambrian Road with its row of old fashioned night clubs and fun pubs is the worst possible introduction to Newport. Most of the towns appeal is down by the Usk, but the Tiny Rebel Tap is literally the bright spot.
It may shut on Sunday, but by 5pm on Friday it was packed and serving probably as much cask as in the rest of Newport put together (based on a few other pints I might write about later). We had to share a long trestle table with a cheery couple. Again, plenty of space downstairs but no-one wants to be the first to go there.
I was surprised to see such a strong cask line-up; priced to sell fast and clearly the centrepiece of the Tap.
Compared to their Cardiff home, this Tiny Rebel was attracting one of the widest range of folk I’ve seen in a modern bar, and all of them except your author relatively normal. Matt, without prompting, said the design looked like the B*** D*** we took him to in Glasgow last year, and certainly stylistically it will divide opinion.
We were both (pleasantly) surprised by an eclectic soundtrack that took in in Creedence and the Skynyrds, as well as newer Americana.
The only downside was the lack of Cwtch, but Snafu was cool,pale and full (NBSS 3.5). I’ve no idea why they need guests, but seeing another chap enthusing over a Wylam Cascade,I had to follow him. Perhaps better even than the Wylam in the Bacchus (NBSS 4)
Fantastic loos too, particularly for fans of Dr Who and Star Trek.
Next door is the famed Sam Smiths. Think of the Tap as you would the Baker’s Arms in relation to the Boar’s Head, and you won’t go far wrong.