More unpronounceable (if you can’t pronounce them) Welsh villages, as we leave a fully-ticked Herefordshire a fortnight ago for our Room at the Inn. I used to use that CAMRA guidebook to £45 B & B pubs in the 90s, before the internet made books redundant.
We tend to mix up the nights in a campervan with nights in hotels based on how pressing the need for a shower, WiFi and the likelihood of a Welsh farmer banging on your window at 2am telling you to move on.
The Seven Stars at Aberedw sounded familiar, till I realised that 38.2% of Welsh GBG pubs are called the Seven Stars after the backbone of the Welsh Euro Quarter-finalists of 1976.
This one, annoyingly, only returned to the Guide this year after a community buy-out, otherwise I’d have done it on our Builth Wells booze-up last year.
It’s a pretty little village,
and luckily the villagers all walk to the pub so there’s room in the tiny car park for us (but only just).
It’s 18:10. The pub has only been open ten minutes, and is already heaving. That’s a hallmark of community pubs, opening late with pent-up demand.
Anyway, let’s get straight to the most notable feature of the Seven Stars. We’ll call him Simon.
Nice Bass sign too, which I shall call Colin.
The young lady working the evening shift has just come back from her day job at Barclays Bank, and is astonishingly cheerful. Young people amaze me.
Mrs RM has picked the table with bench seating with a view of the bar (9/10, Mrs RM),
and we decide to settle down for a proper evening with the locals, which inevitably means Butty Bach and scampi in the basket.
Unfortunately the pub is too small to put those silly calories on the menu so I’ll assume scampi and chips is about 157 calories.
The Butty Bach is cool and rich (NBSS 4) simply the best Wye Valley beer I’ve ever tasted, even better than Leominster’s finest.
At the bar the Old Boys are drinking some flat Thatcher’s cider* from the box, and I chat about the Monkey House at Defford, which I’ve never actually been to but of course I’d never admit to that.
It’s sensational, so good that CAMRA have probably declared it “NOT real cider” as it doesn’t give you stomach rot.
Gave me a terrific headache the next morning though; thank goodness for the full Welsh breakfast.
Almost forgot ! The nice landlady did the pinking honours.
*As Mark reveals, it was Stan’s Big Apple.