MAKING A DENT IN GWENT – No.1, MONMOUTH

Oh you tease, retiredmartin, we all know there’s no Bass in Wales as they’re hogging it in Derbyshire.

You’ll have your own thoughts on signs that promise but don’t deliver, and I was to be disappointed in my search for good Brains (post-Marston takeover) on my 3 nights in South Wales this week.

This was a second extended break from Mrs RM while she project manages the conversion of our garage into a spare bedroom for my Patronised readers (T & Cs apply). The ETA is March so booking open October 2023.

The Taff (?) tickathon starts just over the border in Monmouth, a first visit since 2014.

It doesn’t seem that long, and I stayed in the Spoons hotel (Spotel ?) back then so I must have done a few pubs that night. Still, a proud debut for Monmouth on this blog.

I guess when you have a castle that’s nearly a millennium old and a ladies toilet barely newer you have little reason to change.

My advice to fellow bloggers is to NOT take photos of the ladies loos, or the many charity shops dotting the High Street as the locals get suspicious, and you get nowhere explaining it’s the font or the “Home And Colonial Tea Stores” livery you’re interested in.

EVERYONE is over 55 (including me, I guess), except the students from the Monmouth Schools, all immaculately kitted out. I can’t imagine either gentlefolk or students heading for Barry Island, but that’s what they’re advertising.

The best looking pub, home to that Bass sign (top) turns out to be a bicycle shop.

I hide my disappointment, and stand outside the Punch House with coinage in hand at 11:59.

I have a suspicion they’ve been serving coffees with those little biscuits in plastic wrappers since 9am, but I let it pass. It’s a pleasant but dull former Brains house, and you know how their pubs got the life stripped out of them in the ’90s.

At the door I’m led to a table with a view, told to remain seated at all times, and asked for my name and number and required drink.

“What have you got ?”

I’ve got Hobgoblin and Doom Bar and Pedigree and..”. If I’d been really mischievous I’d have asked for a taster of the Doom Bar, but I went Pedi.

The staff are, in the face of this fuss, tremendous fun, with one lady asking me “What about that idiot then ?“, pointing at Djokovic on the telly. It’s quite a shock to have bar staff engaging you in interesting conversation, rather than just “£1.80”, and I quite like it.

But the fuss is keeping the punters away from the pubs, even if the beer is standing up surprisingly well (NBSS 3). One other threesome (not in a Bliblical sense) joined me in 20 minutes, with Real Ale Dad coming to the agonising decision of “Doom Bar, I think” after being given the cask options.

I wished I’d had the Doom Bar. It suddenly sounded thrilling.

4 thoughts on “MAKING A DENT IN GWENT – No.1, MONMOUTH

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