I’m sure Richard would have had something to say about the carpets in the Cadwgan, But I know he’d appreciate the beauty of Aberaeron, a place I can’t believe I’ve spelt correctly so far.



Only a second trip to the Times reader’s favourite West Welsh resort (I didn’t actually do any research for that, don’t sue), the last in 2015 while we stayed in a caravan in New Quay like real people do.

Like a lot of Wales, it’s the colour that gets you.

If they moved their cars it’d be better

It looks very grey in these photos, so perhaps it was.


I bought a tub of pate from the deli in Market Street, and came to the conclusion that although the Landlord of the Cadwgan was sitting outside at 11.30 he wasn’t letting me in early.

Yes. It’s gorgeous.

So I did the town walk, using the little town guide from the TIC. Plenty of towns larger than Aberaeron have long dispensed with tourist information, but then when the internet hasn’t arrived you need a human to look at lists of lodgings for you.

Translated for you on the sticker
Attractive Felinfoel pub failed to tempt me

I expected the Cadwgan to be packed with seadogs and confused Yanks when I arrived at 12:08, but it was just me.

Admit it. It looks great.

Bench seats, chairs where your feet touch the ground, beer mats

A beer from Bradford (why ?), a beer from Wisbech (why ?), a beer from Cardiff. Easy choice, then.

Thick head

A wordless transaction, some dull music I’ve forgotten, a Hancocks HB I left.

Yes, I left £1.32 worth of beer

There was no-one at the bar, I didn’t want an argument about a half that wasn’t quite vinegar. So I left it, without even the joy of a plant drenching.

Just shows, good looking pubs with great beer are the exception, not the rule.


  1. “If they moved their cars it’d be better” or if they painted their cars orange, blue and yellow to match their houses.

    “Something to say about the carpets” might be that commensurate with it being at the seaside the pattern is of maritime signal flags and it spells out something quite rude.

    Worthington beer mats proves how popular that beer, albeit keg here, is in Wales.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “outsold any of the cask beers” . or outsold all of the cask beers ?
        That Felinfoel pub reminds me that the great majority of that brewery’s output is nitrokeg, and I don’t think Brains is much different. You don’t get that with the long established English breweries. .

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Facts are sacred, but however humble, they nonetheless confer their holiness on those in their possession. Did you know, that a Jerusalem artichoke is in fact the tuberous root of a kind of sunflower? Bless you all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reg,
      Not many people know that in 1189 a dozen regulars of a then quite modern Nottingham pub set off on a long journey so that they could introduce Jerusalem artichokes to Britain.
      A couple of years later the pub’s best selling dish was Crispy Jerusalem Artichokes with Roasted Garlic and Rosemary, served with locally sourced broccoli for a groat – and it went very well with Kimberley Best Mild.
      Had the adventurers thought to stop off in Flanders on their way home for some hop plants there would have been the choice of Kimberley Best Bitter.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve been to Aberaeron a couple of times, but always before the sun is over the yardarm, so I’ve never been in a pub there. According to WhatPub, it has seven pubs, which is pretty good going for a town with a population of 1,422.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. On a curious note, how much say does this pub have in what beers are on? Does it specifically request those beers or is it limited by what he can order through his distributor or even by what is on the delivery truck? I’ve never been sure how flexible beer selection is for pubs that are not tightly tied. I would think the limitations would only increase in a remote location like this…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d guess this is a free house, but they probably use a regular distributor who may suggest particular beers of the week or month. Sometimes pubs like this will have one pump for a local microbrewery who deliver direct, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. The pub will also have to bear in mind the types of beers they know will sell.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I overheard the previous lessee of my nearest pub say something like “I have whatever’s on offer” so that’s whichever was cheapest.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Indeed.

        The one thing I won’t repeat on this blog are the details of what licensees pay for beer but “the cheapest as long as it’s not that Cotswold muck” sums it up.


      3. Given this their ability to have a “choice” seems rather narrow. Interesting info. Great interpretation Paul! Love it.


      4. But many average sized towns can only really support a couple of pubs with the “choice” of several interesting or “inspiring” beers.
        In the great majority of pubs it’s more about “84% of ale drinkers want to see at least one nationally recognised ale brand on the bar”.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. As I’m sure you’ve wrote before, the problem with a lot of modern beers is the pub regulars won’t have a clue what their pint is going to be like by looking at the label.


      6. I don’t think the choice is particularly narrow. I’m no expert, but I’d guess that beer distributors actually have quite a range of cask ales to choose from, but may well tend to have offers on particular beers at various times which may influence licensees’ selection.

        If you’re running a generalist pub, you’re unlikely to have either the knowledge or enthusiasm to be constantly researching and sourcing beers from all over the country. Plus you’re also limited by what you can actually get delivered – a brewery in County Durham isn’t going to want to supply a single cask to a pub in West Wales. Therefore free trade licensees are to a large extent dependent on wholesalers.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. All good points.

        I think we can overstate the enthusiasm of a generalist pub for rare, trendy or local beers.

        The Druid certainly took an interest in local breweries though, probably a free house.


      8. “the pub regulars won’t have a clue what their pint is going to be like by looking at the label” nor me.

        “beer distributors actually have quite a range of cask ales to choose from” – yes, LWD, who are active in the Midlands and North, offer “2679 products” under “beer & cider” though not all are cask. There’s quite a considerable difference between the prices of firkins of real ale, and not all as one might expect.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. LAF,
      Suggest dates you could do and a few of us should soon get round Shifnal with you.
      We’ve got a Proper Day Out in Preston on Friday 23rd August and I’ve suggested one in Bristol on Friday 30th August and so Shifnal might best be between 20th July and 20th August, and a Friday is usually best for Pete from Birmingham.


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