Terry Griffiths started here

After a couple of days at home (or, more precisely, conveying gentlefolk back and forward between Addenbrookes) I drove my sister to Bristol for a meet-up with her eldest daughter, whose wedding near Helston you’ll all remember.

I suspect we had some brother/sister chat on the way down (A14/M6/M42/M5/M32, travel bores).

With the Aygo parked behind the Barley Mow for a couple of days, I took the train to Cardiff, which you may recall used to be famous for Brains.

Having neglected to visit last year, I seemed to have accumulated seven (7) new pubs to visit, having ticked off six on that last visit.  Calm down, Cardiff !

As Pubmeister will tell you, at this stage in the quest for GBG completion finding a town with two new entries is a result.  Only Plymouth has more in store for me.

Despite the drizzle, I’m still cultured enough to appreciate the splendour of the station and St Mary’s Street.

Nice tiling
Irritating light drizzle
Venue of legends. And Cambridge United in 2002

What will we get in those seven ?  A micro ? A craft beer bar ? A suburban Spoons ?  A Brewhouse and Twitchen ?

No.  A proper JW Bassett fun pub near the Millennium Principality Stadium with more pool tables than cask drinkers.  And more top tiling.

Proper Pub.  With the Queen’s Vaults behind it


At 2.30pm on Friday two weeks before Black Eye Friday it was rammed with lads and Old Boyos, and was faintly wonderful because of it.  Goodness knows what it’ll be like at 6pm this Friday.


The GBG threatens Double Dragon, but I’m drawn to the Rhymney Golden, purely because the bloke in front orders a pint.

Beers of the Valleys

Now, I like my beer cool, but this was chilled, colder than Bud Light (I guess).  You can even see the fizz bubbles below. NBSS 1.5 if I’m generous.

Note the fizz

But you don’t go to pubs in Cardiff for cask any more, do you.  Not since about 2007, anyway.  You go for life.  You go for Don’t Stop Believin'” and “A Design for Life“,  You go in the knowledge that salvation is only 20 minutes east of here.


But I had six more to do in the capital first.  At least there would be a Tim Horton and his tidbits in between.

More of this when I leave the land that internet forgot (Oxon). Cardiff gets better, then worse, then middling, in case you wondered.







30 thoughts on “CARDIFF – BLACK EYE FRIDAY T-2

  1. “whose wedding near Helston you’ll all remember” – no, I don’t, so it must have been a good one.
    Getting married near the Blue Anchor might not be a good idea..


  2. I know we’re not supposed to say it these days but there’s something comforting about a bloke’s pub.
    I remember Micko,the old landlord of my local,used to survey the Monday night 5’o’clock club gang of fellers all bellied up to the bar supping pints of stout and talking the usual bolloxology that blokes talk and he’d announce triumphantly ” Look at that lads,a doll-free zone – proper order ”
    He was old-school.No telly in the pub unless it was an important rugby game involving Munster or Ireland and reluctantly Leinster so he could shout at the Lady Boys from Dublin.
    A flat-screen would be mounted on a couple of beer crates at the end of the bar – and taken away immediately on final whistle so we didn’t have to listen to ” experts ” pontificating.
    His mates who he grew up with were all on the other side of the bar and he never drank less than 10 pints of Guinness every night with them but he was whippet thin although he had a second-hand smoker’s cough even though he never touched a fag in his life.
    After 35 years his wife finally persuaded him to give it up and less than a year later she was run over and killed instantly by a truck while out on her bike.
    Micko still pops in on match day.I’ve never seen him look better.And still not a pick on him.


    1. Cardiff’s not quite lovely but it’s better than Llanelli.
      That “nice tiling” for Platforms 1 and 2 hasn’t been reproduced for the new Platform 0 on Cardiff Central station.
      The ‘Yard’ in one of the pictures is a shadow of when it was the Albert, the Brians’s brewery tap before they moved from the city centre and took on the former Hancocks / Bass Charrington Brewery. They are due to move again to a cheaper site. I remember an evening drinking plenty of Brains in the Albert when it was a Proper Pub back in 1978.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. NB Dave – comparison with Llanelli is what they call damning with faint praise. Swansea isn’t as interesting but the beach along to the Gower is great and Mumbles is something you MUST do. See: The Pilot.

        I come over as really bossy on here, don’t I.


    1. EP,
      Yes, early last year I didn’t find it in Llanelli but had a pint of DD in Cardiff’s Brewhouse.
      To my surprise is has been on in the Dorbiere pub a ten minute walk from me and, lacking the metallic tang I remember it for, it’s the best I’ve ever known it.


    2. Double Dragon was a favourite in the mid-90s when a load of pubs north of Llanelli on the way west did it well. Generally rubbish now, but not ALWAYS. Irritatingly. Think cask is an afterthought.


      1. A fellow with a G-B-G… resides in the UK,
        Retired from the NHS… epiphany some say. 😉
        For he would travel ‘round the land… his Good Beer Guide, his guide,
        To search out pubs with decent cask… or so it’s been described.

        With pink highlighter in his grasp… in car or bus or train,
        He starts to slowly ‘tick’ pubs off… till no pub doth remain.
        And while eccentric this may sound… remember, he’s a Brit,
        This comes quite naturally to them… I swear it is legit.:)

        So proud of he of what he does… to all and sundry boasts,
        Or writes a blog about his trips… what most describe as posts.
        Acerbic he at times some say… with that I would agree,
        His ‘posts’ indeed though worth a read… (the comments anyway). (rolls eyes)

        And some time in this month it seems… year older he did turn,
        Remark within the comments made… my cheeks with chagrin burn.
        So to our Martin (or RM)… belated birthday cheer,
        And wish him Merry Christmas too… that riles him I hear. 🙂

        Belated birthday wishes. (insert cake icon here)

        And… early Christmas wishes! (LOL)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Argh. Third stanza, last two lines don’t rhyme.

        Would you believe I did that on purpose?

        Or rather, blame it on my wife’s catering being done and I can now relax (!) with a beer or two. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “which you may recall used to be famous for Brains.”

    Until the Zombie invasion?



    “Beers of the Valleys”

    As opposed to the valley of beers? 😉

    “Now, I like my beer cool,”

    When you say ‘cool’, what are we talking here?

    “You go in the knowledge that salvation is only 20 minutes east of here.”


    “a Tim Horton and his tidbits ”

    ‘Tim’bits dear boy. 🙂



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