It’s 25 years ago since we had a brief brush with Lake Bala, visiting from the unpronounceable Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant where an Englishman owner had the misfortune to place his B & B at the end of a drive owned by a Welshman intent on blocking access to his guests. I believe that Hugh Grant made a song about it.
I’ve always found the Welsh the best of people, and any comments about their cask beer taking 3 weeks to sell shouldn’t be taken seriously, even if they’re true.
Bala seems to have become a mini-Machynlleth since I was last there, full of organic knitting, Helly Hansen and English accents.
Lazily, I assumed it was just a lake, but the long High Street is full of gems.
Wait ! What’s this ?
Bass and Worthington signs outside the venerable but keg Ship, and a rare sign made out of tubing at the crafty GBG Stori.(stylised STORI).
North Wales has gone a bit craft crazy these last few years with all those Hoptimist tap-rooms, but they are in essence gin houses with a nod to keg.
STORI is the real deal (not the Ken one which won’t let the Southworths return their beer).
Primarily a posh offie with tables at the back, Mrs RM thought it was the sort of place we’d like in Waterbeach, before she remembered we’d moved to Sheffield and every third building was a craft bar/offie/micro.
No-one else inside, but with two Cloudwater beers on I sort of didn’t care.
If we hadn’t just eaten half a lamb the ham pate and sea biscuits (good horse) would have appealed, particularly from that cute little orange sign.
Across the road was “Aran Hufen Ia Ice Cream” advertising “Artisan Ices”, and you’ll know my middle name is “Artisan”, or at least some combination of those letters. Two scoops was enough to fill every tummy in Bala, or flood the Tryweryn Valley in 1965.
As good as the ice cream in Seville, and almost more locale.
We popped to see the eponymous lake, full of adventurous people in rubber. We’re not adventurous in rubber or without, though I suspect we’d have been happy to spend half an hour on the water in a swan boat.
Well, a dragon boat.
But one more Bala tick awaited, and in 2022 you don’t hand about, just in case your pub closes the minute before you arrive as they’ve heard you’re about to kill their plants.