The North Wales holiday coast isn’t typically top of a ticker’s bucket list, but in recent years I’ve made the case (and lost it) for Rhyl and Prestatyn better that the Flintshire Tourist Office. Can I do the same for St Asaph, coincidentally bearing the same name as the stately cathedral that dominates the town city.

Pic : Visit Wales

As Pub Curmudgeon will know, of UK cities only St David’s has a smaller population, but St David’s has less takeaways.

Hoptimist/Dovecote have brough craft to Rhyl and Abergele, but St. Asaph bravely holds on against the onslaught of 6.8% murk, and delights us with the New Inn, a plain but loveable Lees house for our ticking.

Probably as many Lees GBG entries in Wales as Greater Manchester, and I don’t think I’m making that up.

Mrs RM takes the seat on the balcony outside, leaving me to investigate inside. Technically, you can’t count a tick unless you step inside, drink a pint, and make at least one comment about the weather with a local, but some tickers have lax standards.

CAMRA Discourse has recently been discussing the morality of taking photos of pub customers, which is why I consciously decided to obscure the three (3) old boys here.

That’s my excuse, etc.

Which one should I have ?” I ask the Old Boys, two (2) of whom are drinking cask. They alone make up 34% of the total cask custom in Flintshire that day,

The Tan Y Drraig” one says, decisively, showing an allegiance to a Welsh sounding beer brewed in Middleton. I would have picked the Bitter.

The cheery barmaid tells me not to sit on one side of the long table or it will flip up, which would make a great video but I don’t fancy a night in Connah’s Quay A & E.

Mrs RM is delighted I’ve brough those fish and chip biscuits, and tickled by the expiry of the Cask Marque certification. I should have explained that Cask Marque (allegedly) means nothing more than that the beer is kept in the freezer but I’m no beer bore.

The unpronounceable (and cheap) Lees brewed for the local market is cool and crisp (NBSS 3), the barperson cheery, the birdsong beguiling, and the garden vast. I’d have happily stayed there all afternoon.

But our next pub opens at 16:00, so there’s just enough time for a look round Tweedmill Outlet Centre.

For those of you familiar with shopping centres, this is Grantham Downtown rather than Bicester Village.

It’s also hell on earth. We bought a duvet with bees on it for about 23% of the RRP.

NB Mrs RM had been waiting at the wrong Conwy car park when I finally came to rescue her.


  1. “I’ve made the case (and lost it) for Rhyl and Prestatyn better that the Flintshire Tourist Office. ”

    Possibly because both towns are in Denbighshire not Flintshire?

    (Welsh names/words are not unpronounceable if you know how to pronounce them!)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Who on earth would want to go to Flintshire? (Says the Denbighshire lad) Unless, of course, it was Flintshire (detached). Ask Pubcurmudgeon, he will understand.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always found JW Lees beers pretty bland, but that Dragon Fire Amber Beer sounds like it ought to be fairly challenging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At their best, i.e. selling fast in Oldham and around, they’re still good beers. That Tandle Hill Tavern down a cobbled street probably the best place to try Lees.


  3. Loved the line about ticks not counting unless you’ve commented about the weather to a local! I imagine you forgetting, then running back into the pub to shout “Too cold isn’t it?!” to the nearest bewildered punter.

    The invention of fish and chips biscuits seems designed to confuse us Yanks who’ve only now learned to interpret biscuits as “cookies.” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think having a conversation, however pointless, marks your relationship with a pub. Frankly, just a “Thanks mate” at the bar and a “Cheers” from me is enough, but a wordless transaction feels shallow.

      I never understood “gravy and biscuits” on US breakfast menus like Denny’s or IHOP. But I’d like some tomorrow, please.


  4. Off-topic again, but…
    RM! Potential Shetland cask alert! Was in the Kiln Bar in Scalloway for lunch with Mrs B today when I noticed…a hand pump. On enquiry, I was told they were getting cask in from the Lerwick Brewery in…err… Lerwick. This could be the first cask in Shetland since the Scalloway Hotel closed a couple of years ago. Automatic Guide entry if it happens.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, the iron-forged Shetland-Maidenhead Axis! Actually, I didn’t think you would have time for preemptives given your gruelling schedule towards completion.

        Liked by 1 person

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