One consequence of Lockdown is that I’ve had to lay off my team of researchers and post title “imagineers“.  No, they’re not being furloughed, I’m not scrounging the 80% of nothing off the Government.

But Twitter provides me with a rich seam of potential blog material.

Step forward Sir Quinno of Royal Berkshire (via West Wales).


What better way to follow Abergavenny than with Quinno’s alma mater* (serves Double Dragon in cans in the Student Union).

Aberystwyth Uni – A brutalist classic

If you merged the two towns would you end up with Aber-ystwyth ?, I wondered.  (Forgive me, life is going terribly slowly).


I don’t have a lot of material on this gem; my last visit was in 2016 when you still had to send your Fuji off to Borehamwood to get it developed for £2.99.

Quite why I wasted a shot on the grim Spoons by the station I’ll never know.

“Dirty plates and glasses filled every table. Toddlers ran up and down the aisles, bumping into serving staff and customers.”

In complete contrast the Glengower was an exemplar upmarket seaside hotel bar with just enough daytime trade.

Lovely Mantle

It’s a picturesque seaside resort, with unchallenging crazy golf.  I still lost by 14 strokes on a 9 hole course.

For most, Aber pubs means the Ship & Castle., the town’s refuge for Old Boys and the CAMRAs. Nothing much happens in there, which is what you want.

Don’t ever change
Old Boys

Mind, that was 2016. It’s probably all micros and brewery taps now.

Frankly, if you do ONE pub round here make it the Druid in Goginan.


You can’t miss it

Unexpectedly open, unexpectedly cheery (a group of gentlefolk had just left) and unexpectedly offering the best beer in West Wales on my trip last Summer.

Bench seats with contentious scatter cushions

“I was almost as impressed to see a Snack Menu Of The Day. Perhaps the cheapest pub food you’ll find in Britain, though I’ve no doubt Stafford Paul will know better.”

Daily handwritten menu
Magic Mantle

There are 3,887 caravan sites in West Wales, and in 2016 we chose the one down the road from Aber in Llanath on the basis of this lovely looking pub;

Welsh signage is a joy

Even better, it was serving Doom Bar. Mrs RM had a BrewDog from the village Premier store.

*Quinno’s reflection on student life in Aber welcome.




  1. The Glengower is decent; the Spoons is crap (as t’other Mudgie will vouch) and the Ship & Castle is very much “beer pub by numbers”.

    I doubt whether you went in the Angel (I certainly didn’t) which has some “interesting” opening hours:


    (I vaguely remember having this conversation before).

    The Nag’s Head on Bridge Street, which now appears to be permanently closed, must be the most spectacularly grotty and basic pub I’ve been in this century, although the Albion opposite the station in Shrewsbury runs it close.


    1. Yes, the Glengower is decent, and seven nights staying there confirmed that, the Spoons is cr**p but the Ship & Castle doesn’t quite have the number of beers that some free houses suffer with.

      The Ship & Castle was Rhys Jones’s favourite and I had a very pleasant couple of hours in there with him only a year or two before he died. The Nags Head was for many years a Proper Banks’s Pub but was certainly run down, and a gay-friendly pub, last time I was in

      I drank in all of Aberystwyth’s pubs as a seventeen year old back in 1972.
      Aberystwyth has seen a very serious decline in real ale availability over the last decade. It had plenty of pubs worth going to when I stayed there in 2012 but very few five years later. Maybe it’s “craft” keg not Real Ale that students want nowadays, or just that students now aren’t interested in alcohol.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Back in the day I ended up in Aber on one of the numerous summer trains that ran from the industrial cities to seaside resorts. I preferred Barmouth. In other news, I have been to a pub, sort of. Popped up to Tyne Bank to pick up bottled supplies. Great to see the staff but very odd being in the place almost all shut down.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Nothing much happens in there, which is what you want.” –A classic Retired Martin line! This makes it unsuitable for Simon, though, as he needs something odd to be occurring in any pub he enters, like there being a guy at the bar dressed up in a chicken costume.

    That photo captioned ‘Lovely Mantle’ is a real beauty. Surely the best view of the sea is the one you get through the yellow-gold liquid in the bottom half of a pint glass.


    1. I thought of Si when I wrote that. Somehow I think Simon appreciates the subtleties of those Old Blokes pubs as much as I did.

      That pub visit was at the start of my blogging and I think Simon and I started noticing a lot more detail in pubs as we really got into the blogging and away from “went to a pub, 5 blokes on, 3 hand pumps, beer ok, here’s a pic” style.

      Good spot on my very careful beer/sea matching 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Aberystwyth…Aber…wristwatch…in two thousand and nine, electrician Steve Edwards described how his life was probably saved by his wristwatch. He received an eleven thousand volt blast on a site, but the metal band of his watch made contact with an earthed metal box, and conducted the current away from his vital organs. He escaped, but with serious burns. The watch works perfectly to this day.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I went to a reserve team pre-season friendly at Aber once. I agree that the ‘Spoons it utter shite, the building should be returned to use as a railway station forthwith. I lost at my own game of guess which pub is in the GBG in Borth.


    1. Tom,
      I stayed at Borth for three nights last July.
      The Friendship was the busiest I’ve known it for decades and actually had two cask beers on.
      The Railway is still okay for Double Dragon and meals.
      The sea view from the upstairs bar at the back is all that the Victoria has going for it since Punch’s extensive refurbishment several years ago.


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