Yet more Welsh pubs as I close in on Gwent completion; two ancient ones in the heart of Gwent, a surprising county.
I might whine a bit about warm beer, but there’s some unspoilt gems either side of posh Abergavenny and Monmouth.
You can look up the place names yourself. I’ll only spell them wrong and get scolded by Russ.
Back in 2002 we decided Pantygelli was easier to say that Llanvihangel, and headed to the Crown after work, arriving at 10.45pm after a 4 hour exploration of the A40. The lovely owners rustled up sandwiches, let our toddlers throw darts at the regulars, sold good Bass, and were all-round great hosts.
Quite how we missed the Hunters Moon back then, I’ve no idea. It’s your archetypal Good Pub Guide entry, even if the Beer Guide has been more equivocal about its prowess over the years.
Some of the narrowest lanes outside south Devon add to the charm of a simple place with stone walls and pub tat.
But you can tell who’s it’s aimed at from the cut of the tables;
At the bar, I squeeze past the locals settling in for the afternoon.
I really suffer from having to choose cask to get my GBG tick. Who could resist that Robinsons flagon ?
Slightly bored of Wye Valley, I pick the Monty’s. It’s undrinkable, and I head towards the Gents. The retired colonel in (English) mustard jacket blocks my way.
“Excuse me” Nothing.
“Sorry, can I just” Nothing.
“Charles, can you budge up” asks Mr casualshirtoutoftrousers.
Eventually I just brushed past him, causing him to squeal a bit. But I made it to the half ditching point just in time.
Microbrews no-one’s heard of or drinks – killing the reputation of cask since 1972.
I’d learnt my lesson ahead of the Skirrid.