One of our great scenic areas, though we share it with the Welsh, is the Wye Valley.
Beloved of Guardian readers and real people alike, it seems surprisingly down-to-earth, with amusement parks at Symonds Yat and relatively unpretentious pubs on both sides of the border (e.g. the Boat at Penallt, which I really ought to revisit for my Top 100).
Just off the main A466 between Monmouth and Tintern, Brockweir has one of a fair number of new GBG entries in the area, its eponymous Inn looking the sort of place you’d drive out from Monmouth in your Volvo for.
It looks a honeypot village, the “car park” was full, and there were a fair few over-prepared retired ramblers heading over the bridge.
But the streets were as quiet as Newbury at 6pm on Sunday,
and inside was just the one local, nursing a coffee. That despite a professional looking operation and an interesting food menu, with proper snacks.
A pleasingly compact beer range of Kingstone and Wye Valley (“local for 200 miles” said the local, which is only a slight exaggeration). I tried the Kingstone, brewed about 200 yards away (NBSS 3.5).
Like the landlady, this chap was happy to chat, in this case about cruises to St Petersburg, which is a bit busier than Brockweir.
A worthy GBG addition.
Over the bridge into Tintern for the same beer range at the Wye Valley Hotel .
If I call this “old-fashioned” I don’t mean it as a slight; it’s just the sort of traditional small hotel you expect in Tintern, and the level of banter from OAPs would have disappointed BRAPA.
The Kingstone Classic tasted a bit like Donnington initially, but the flavour came through and I warmed to it (NBSS 3.5).
No Bass bottles on display, mind.
The sun came out as I walked up towards Devil’s Pulpit, pursued by toddlers and terriers on the way up.
Very slippy on the rocks, but with some of the best views in England. Or is it Wales ?
But the best view of the Abbey is from the garden at the Anchor,
Almost an Otter exhibition pub too.
An overall observation; 3 unpretentious non-gastro places with small ranges of well-kept beer. It’s not that hard.
I still miss the Cherry Tree though.