Back off to Newport to continue my solo attempt to boost a tourist trade still hanging on to the glories of the 2010 Ryder Cup, at which I subjected my Dad to a day of torrential rain and Rory McIlroy hitting practice shots. He enjoyed the Spoons in Newport (my Dad, not Rory).
If you examine this ancient Navigator extract carefully you may see spot my attempt to mark the ground where Celtic Manor now stands.
Thanks to the sterling investigative work of the embargo-stretching Pubmeister, I already knew that one new entry in Caerleon was closed, even before the Guide it debuted in was issued.
So Hello, Goodbye to the Red Lion. May you rise again.
Even with recent closures, plenty of pubs for a town (or city) of 8,000, but that’s Newport for you. Hard-drinking Welshmen, though just the OAP version in Caerleon.
Admiring the foliage on the way, I nearly didn’t make it to the Priory.
Caerleon teenagers get to wear school uniform until they’re 18 at the vast local Comprehensive, but at least they have rich parents who buy and insure cars that screech past unawares pub bloggers at 78mph. I wasn’t even looking at my phone at the time, honest.
I took refuge in the Roman Legion Museum.
Being working-class, I struggle with museums where you’re supposed to marvel at how old the ordinary objects are (coins, knives); I much enjoy pressing buttons and things going whoosh, like Worthington Bitter used to.
Still, it was more exciting than the Priory.
And cheaper. Free v £2.10 a half of HPA. WhatPub warns that it’s expensive to reflect the quality of the establishment. Well, the quality of the beer was an average NBSS 3, so worth about £2.10 a pint in my book.
I was totally ignored at the bar for about five minutes, then called “Sir”. Clearly it’s the “Sir” that dictates the quality.
The clientele, scruffy pub ticker apart, was almost entirely “Welsh Waitrose Golf Widow Waiting for Wine“. I was surprised by how Welsh the accents were, both in the lounge and in the soundtrack. Welsh language Demi Roussos and Julio Iglesias makes a difference from Ed Sheeran.
There was bench seating. But you wouldn’t want to sit on it.
On to Newport, where they don’t call you Sir. Or sell knitted sheep.