Two more pubs to finish Cardiff before I get to Newport.

Here’s that epic seven pub crawl in full (given I was on halves and poured two of them away I think I may have been more sober at the end than when I started).

Cardiff Crawl.PNG

Yes, Bing Maps says 2:19 hours but I must have doubled that looking for “comfort stops” as I ventured into Canton and Grangetown.

20 years ago Canton was the place to come for the best Balti outside of Brum, but it’s all artisanal now.

Take the Lansdowne, a pleasing corner pub in one of the most ethnically diverse suburbs.

Ruined my shot, white car

“Children !” screams BRAPA in 2027, as he enters to find Jemima at the bar and Benjamin constructing Kerplunk.

Upwords looks dull

Of course, I like to see children in pubs; they contribute to the hubbub that reader Pauline highlights as so lacking in you know what.

The Lansdowne is the embodiment of the changing urban pub scene, the Cardiff equivalent of the Bell or Rose & Crown in Walthamstow, taking the phrase “community local” to new extremes.  Anyone who enjoyed Cambridge’s famous Carlton Arms under Terri and Jethro will know what I mean.

The presence of toddlers restricts my snapping to this highly unrepresentative shot.

I have a teddy bear called Marty with a hat like that

As is the trend, it’s also a pub that clearly likes to stock beers that make regulars goOooh, I’ll try that !” rather thanPint of Bitter Bert“.

“Choice !!!”

Of course, I went for the one whose pump clip you can’t actually read. Again. But that’s because my photo is shaky.  It’s actually Lithic, of course (?).

One for the adventurous
Blurred for legal reasons

I liked it, I really did, even though I scored the beer 3-, whatever that means.  It was cheery, inventive (turkey darts !),

The mind boggles

and welcoming. But as I left I made sure I didn’t stand on Benjamin. Or his toy car.

It was a long walk to the last pub.  Too long, in an age when you’re not legally allowed to wee in people’s gardens and the pissoir hasn’t made it over from Bruges yet.

So the Grange was a welcome sight.


This was more De Beauvoir town than Doncaster, a classy place appealing to the young professionals and students who insist on table reservations in pubs and aren’t surprised to see tips jars (top).

Make up your own minds on this one;

Like being in Hammersmith

Another one for all you pump clip experts, I’m afraid.

No idea

The beer was decent ((NBSS 3), cool and tasty, and the pub was packed with folk enjoying “Uptown Girl” in an unironic way. I’d thought only Mrs RM could appreciate Billy Joel in an unironic way (joking !).

Look.  The pubs were OK.  The beer was often OK.  But a Cardiff with fifteen pubs in the Beer Guide with only one (1) Brains house (and that presumably because it has seven guest beers) is no friend of mine.

Back to life, back to reality.  A Chinese takeaway in Newport.

Crispy beef and Singapore rice. It was excellent (surprisingly)



15 thoughts on “CHANGES

  1. I might have led with a Dylan song here? BTW I have the Bowie Aladin Sane image on an original 3 x 2′ poster from the retrospective at the V & A. Point of order – Changes is from Hunky Dory.

    I don’t particularly like children in pubs, unless they are very well behaved. But, take Clifford/B.Spa – 2 Sams pubs closed, 1 x Ei pub closed long term, 2 Ei pubs up for sale/lease. Only 2 trad pubs trading which are quietish. On the other hand the two Chameleon bars – coffee, food, wine, beer are grossing close on £20k per week in what are previous retail premises. Why? Because they provide all people with all things and that includes taking the kids in for a coffee or Spritzer after school. They’ve recently built close on 200 homes over 3 sites, expensive ones. Where are these people going? Trad pubs or the two modern bars? Yes, the times they are a changing.

    I see these excellent regional beers like Brains as Ford Cortinas. Yes, in their day they were brilliant, and ground breaking, that was 40 years ago and things move on. People want something new and the only people with Cortinas now are enthusiasts who exhibit them at events during the summer and generally talk bollocks with other enthusiasts who turn up to see them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The thing is Richard, when I order a pint of Brains, of Tetley’s, of Youngs, etc., in a trusted outlet, then I know that I am in for a reliable pleasure.

      The same simply isn’t true of all the pop-ups.

      I’m convinced that millions feel the same way.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Youngs and Brains, maybe. But Tetley’s? Come on man it’s just bland brown muck, mass produced in a factory in Wolverhampton. Any Loiner will tell you that towards the end (closure of Tetley’s brewery) it wasn’t the same and for the full creamy Tetley experience it had to be pulled through an autovac. Sadly, millions do feel the same way with their pints of Tetley’s, Doom Bar and Marston’s pseudo real ales.


      2. Richard,
        Tetleys “towards the end (closure of Tetley’s brewery) wasn’t the same” and that was very much the case with Boddingtons.
        I understand your disappointment that Leeds’s biggest and well respected brewery has gone while Wolverhampton’s has retained its independence and is flourishing but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some good beers in the Marstons portfolio or that, well kept, Tetleys can still be a good pint, albeit not as good as when through an Autovac.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I give the Grange full marks. It’s run by the same people as have the Lansdowne.

    The point is, it was a failed, closed pub before, but now it is apparently thriving.

    So what would we rather? No pub, or one like the Grange?

    On the other hand, we can just stroll to the Halfway, which keeps consistently good Brain’s these days, and is also quite jolly.

    Oh, and if you think that Canton is all artisanal these days, then try a chat with those smoking outside the Ifor Davies of a weekday 😉


  3. “Of course, I like to see children in pubs” –A key difference between you and Simon, it seems; though perhaps his annoyance with ‘twilds’ is exaggerated for humorous effect?

    I like the idea of all of human life, of all ages, being in a pub. Sets it apart from an American bar, where we expect everyone present to be old enough for razor stubble, regrets, and disillusionment with the world at large. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Here’s that epic seven pub crawl in full”

    I was going to say eight, but I notice ‘E’ is Timmy’s. 🙂

    “(given I was on halves and poured two of them away ”

    Off the top of my head, you poured one away but the other you left, then went back and finished it?

    Nope, I tell a lie. You left another one that was colder than Bud Light or some such.

    “I have a teddy bear called Marty with a hat like that”

    Did he just step out of a Monty Python lumberjack skit?

    “One for the adventurous”

    Wise choice steering clear of the Old Hooker. Never know when someone’s pulled through on that. 😉

    “Too long, in an age when you’re not legally allowed to wee in people’s gardens and the pissoir hasn’t made it over from Bruges yet.”

    One word; catheter.

    “Back to life, back to reality. ”

    I thought roaming the land in search of pubs serving cask was reality. 😉


    Liked by 1 person

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