It’s taken 28 years of a ticking career to finish Mid Wales, one of the most beautiful but frustrating of the GBG “counties” (I know).
And it all ends at Llangurig, between the Beacons and the lakes, as we anxiously wait for noon opening at the Black Lion.
I must have driven past it half a dozen times over the years, cursing its challenging opening hours (much more challenging than What Pub, incidentally).
Now, we sat it out. Well, hit the hills, anyway.
An hour is enough to appreciate the fontage,
and the flora,
and the footpath to the Clochfaen, a prime bit of English Arts & Craft for folk who like that sort of thing.
Lovely setting for a pub, but all the trade seems to be rattling through on mountain bikes and I get a bit nervous about the prospects of the Black Lion opening at noon when I see a rope blocking the car park at 11:50. Their Facebook details a litany of parking encroachments against the pub by bikers/
And then I fail to read the three (3) sets of directions on locked doors directing me to the back entrance.
No, not this door…
And as it turns out, I am the only customer on a Jubilee Saturday lunchtime, though the landlord, a jovial escapee from Sutton (Surrey) seems happy enough with the B & B trade.
Dutch and German cyclists apparently, and they must be thrilled by the traditional bench seating, fire and pub grub as I am.
Oooh look, copper plated tables !
It’s gorgeous, the landlord is a gem, the Three Tuns is a cool NBSS 3+ (“Proper beer, not that ***** grapefruit stuff“).
He’s generous with his time, giving me a crash course in local pronunciation. Rhyader is “Raider” and the aforementioned Llanidloes is “Lanny”. Of course it is.
The last tick in a “county” is often a joy; note the exuberance in the brush strokes below;