Gwent CAMRA don’t appear to have a Twitter presence; perhaps Twitter is dead. But their website told me that two recent Pubs of the Year were on my diminishing list of “GBG Pubs in Gwent To Do“.
The Clytha Arms , tucked away on a back road between Monmouth and Abergavenney, has been on that list for some years, along with the equally troublesome pub up in the Black Mountains at Llanthony. That one can wait till Mrs RM sorts out some appropriate footwear so we can walk there from Hay.
Pleasingly, the Clytha was nothing like I’d expected from its Good Pub Guide/Which/AA awards and Trip Advisor Food Fussing. Perhaps tipping up fifteen minutes after food service ends (at 2.15) sees it at its unfussy best; I hope it was busier earlier anyway. Quite a contrast with, say, the Bear at Crickhowell, it felt very much the all-rounder it clearly is.
The “Bass Served Here” sticker on the porch was clearly of the non-removable variety,but always raises hopes in remote Welsh pubs. I’ll forgive the Clytha the lack of Bass; the tight, local and well-priced beer range at least meant quality was high in a pub I assume makes more from wine and coffee (Three Beacons, NBSS 3.5, £2.5o a pint).
Just the local plasterer in the bar, and a mother and baby (with wind) in the lounge, so banter at a premium. Until Simon gets there in 2032 anyway.
Fantastic fire, too.
Along with the Tiny Rebel (and McDonalds), it was heaving on Friday night, folk obviously drawn in by Billy Ocean videos on the TV screen and the Killers on the jukebox. Real supergroup potential there.
Today’s comparison with Stockport is with the Cocked Hat, a boisterous cheap pub with a decent range of beers. I didn’t recognise any of them, except the one being pulled, of course.
I should have gone for the guests though; the Draught Bass was OK but OK never works for Bass. I presumed the Bass reflected local demand, but to be honest everyone else seemed to be drinking the Poretti. I’m sure the Bass didn’t enjoy being served in a Doom Bar glass either.
It’s hard work being a Draught Bass devotee. Perhaps I should switch my allegiance to OBB; much easier getting a reliably good pint, and the Murenger never lets you down.