31st January 2023.

A foreign holiday to end the month, as I take the Prince of Wales Bridge into west Glamorgan for a few ticks, a pint with an esteemed reader of this blog, and a gig by Dutch popsters Amber Arcades.

First stop, Maesteg.

A year ago I was driving round here on the way to an overnight campervan stop and became bewildered as Google Maps determinedly took me through the back streets of Maesteg and Cefn Cribwr rather than the more obvious M4 because I’d inadvertently ticked the “Avoid motorways” option.

Spring had definitely arrived early in the valleys,

but economic revival may be further off in a town whose locals no doubt head to Bridgend and Port Talbot for their shopping, and, er, culture.

I didn’t do it justice, though I did get a robust Coronation Chicken sandwich from a cheery place called (I think) Traditional Bakers.

Do the Spoons as a preemptive” said a fellow ticker, so I popped in their loo and took a photo of their rugby tat*.

I guess that’ll do if it makes GBG24. GBG23 boasts The Federation, the only pub of that name in the UK, fact fans.

This would be a winner just for opening at 10am (mini-crawl if you start at Spoons at 9), but with a welcome for the ages, cosy bench seating and cool Rhymney beer at £2.70 a pint it’s a Top 100 contender.

The landlady cheerily gets up from her seat with the locals to pull through the Hobby Horse before serving me and confirm it’s my first visit (no collector card, sadly).

Pub Curmudgeon has just written sagely about the demand for pub opening both early doors and later afternoon (“the Golden Hour”) and the Federation certainly had the trade to justify the 10am start.

Life, love and laughter, Lidl shopping bags, and some modest lacings at the end (NBSS 3+)..

I couldn’t follow the banter, but it concluded with “She always has a pint in her hand” so you get the idea.

A winner.

*No You Tube recordings of Lynne Treharne exists. Trust me, I’ve searched.

16 thoughts on “MARVELLOUS MAESTEG

  1. Remember this one as it opened at 10.00 on a Sunday too. It’s only been a pub since 2015 so the name is interesting. Could you nip back and ask them why it’s called that?


      1. Federation was only keg and tank until their last decade or two before closing in 2004. They were the first brewery to declare the gravity of their beers.
        I’m old enough to also have drunk beers from the South Wales and the Yorkshire Clubs Breweries.


  2. Not that I’m complaining, but I can’t believe the Rhymney Brewery pub estate keeps expanding at 2.70 a pint. I’ve not been to this one or the one in Merthyr, but like their pub/bars in Pontypridd and Cardiff, but not so enamoured with the Newport one (but it was popular with locals TBF)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The Newport one is called ‘The Alexandra’ and only opened around a year ago (in an old bank). They own/run at least one other pub called the Capel in Gilfach Fargoed. I used to work near it 15-20 years ago when it was a rare oasis in a cask desert. The husband of the then owner/landlady was a big Wales away football fan, and fans from visiting countries stayed there when they played Wales despite it being a fair distance from Cardiff.

        I don’t know if it ever made it to the GBG (no record of it on your blog I see!), but it’s an attractive building (in a less than attractive village if I’m brutally honest) and is very near to a stop on the Rhymney valley line direct from Cardiff.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I need a trip back to Newport because, well, everyone needs a trip to Newport. Oh yes, Weird Dad. Oh yes. I’m a big fan of Weird Dad. I’ve only been once–well, twice but on the same evening. I only live in Cardiff, so give a heads up if in either city and I promise not to give out unsolicited Welsh grammar lessons–I like saving them for the comments section.

        Liked by 1 person

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