I took no notes, and few photos, but the Mansel Arms in Porthyrhyd in Carmarthenshire WAS a classic.

Mrs RM parked up at 14:37 in the pub car park and raided the bag of cheese and pate from the village stores I’d already scoffed the Welsh cakes.

There was already an Old Boy waiting patiently at the door for 3pm opening; I later found out he’s there half an hour early EVERY DAY. These folk keep remote Welsh wet-led pubs like the Mansel Arms open.

At 15:01 I left Mrs RM to an urgent call about creditor reconciliations in Caen and jumped in. Somehow, there were already half a dozen folk in, filling the four tables in the Public bar. How !

At the bar, the young enthusiastic landlord applauds my choice of Grey Trees which makes me wish I’d picked the Abbot.

Ah ! I made no notes, but it’s coming back to me now. A chap drinking Abbot from a personalised porcelain pot (try saying that after a dozen pints) summons me to sit on his table. Nice of him, and it means I don’t have to sit alone in the side room.

Bass mirrors, flagstones, relentless but polite banter (mostly about duck eggs), the best pint of the month (cool, crisp, NBSS 4), it is one of those magic moments you get in pubs, and Mrs RM missed it.

When I left 15 minutes later it was full; several Old Boys were on second pints.

The Landlord chatted beer and brewery trips and I told him I could see why the Mansel was voted Welsh Pub of the Year just before lockdown.

You’ve never heard of it ? Neither had I, and it remains unreviewed on Pubs Galore. What a joy to find something so unexpectedly wonderful.


  1. Top marks to the landlord for that pose behind the bar.
    I’d be good at that – not serving beers, I’d make a right mess of that – but I’d happily prop myself on the hand pumps and oversee the chat between the Old Boys.
    Great looking pub.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Etu,
      Yes, and I remember when quarry tiles were as certain as metered pumps in the Bar of Banks’s pubs.


  2. “…it remains unreviewed on Pubs Galore”. Not only that, there are no photos either. Looks like I’m going to have to make a special trip with my bike and my tent, etc, etc. Oh, and my camera!

    Or you could just join Pubs Galore and upload yours, Martin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ll be expecting me to ask for tasters next, Will !

      It’s interesting that despite winning Welsh Pub of the Year I’d never heard of it. If I was looking for a similar pub in England I might pick Wardlow Mires or the Dead Poets in Holbrook.


  3. This is Glynn the friendly (not so young landlord). Thank you for such a lovely write up. Seeing things like this makes everything we do worth while. Thank you again and hope to see you again.

    Liked by 1 person

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