On Friday myself and my son were going to the Photomarathon exhibition at the old library in the Hayes in Cardiff as we were two of the numbers!
But on the way we decided to get some food and popped into the newly refurbished Duke of Wellington, not normally my cup of tea a posh new pub.. but we were hungry and I fancied a pint.
From Brains website : Situated in the Hayes, in Cardiff city centre the Duke of Wellington is an ideal location for a relaxing drink and bite to eat whilst taking a break from the hustle & bustle of the city. A combination of traditional British inn and contemporary style, the Duke of Wellington offers a great selection of food for quick lunches and light bites including sharing platters and tapas. We have a great range of cask ales as well as continental beers and a variety of wines, soft drinks and coffees.
They have spent a bit of money doing it up they have a the full range of Brains Beers and for the moment a Guest Ale the lovely Everards Sunchaser Blonde (which hopefully they will continue with some great regional beers)- the prices were not that cheap for drinks (over £2.50 a pint I think but not sure :()
But they had a great snack menu with Six Items for £12 (from 5pm) which for two of us was just enough.
The selection from the menu we had was
Calamari (in thick batter) X 2
Blanche Bait (yes that’s white bait) very big and juicy
Prawns with a wonderful Garlic butter sauce to dip in X 2
Lamb Kofta with a great sauce
They have other more meaty items on the menu as well.
The staff were a bit over clinging, but suppose they want to make a good impression on a new pub , I forgot how many times I was asked “everything ok Guys” – yes it was thanks.
There were not that many people in the pub as most where making use of the “alfresco” area out the front – we are not the continent how ever much the marketing people try and tell us 🙂 and I am sure the whiff from Caroline street which the pub is on the corner may affect the punters outside.
anyway I will be visiting again as the mini toad in the hole and mini pies look good as well.
As you know my other site, loves a great pub shed but if you have the room in your garden but are mad enough not to own a shed to convert then the next best option is to spend the money (which you may have more than sense) on an Inflatable pub.
I can see if you hire it out you could get the money back but I would stick to a few bottles of ale in my shed.
They come in various sizes from the largest and most expensive
Fully inflatable with graphic panels for roof, walls and gables
• High quality PVC materials
• Requires support frame
• Can be erected in less than 10 minutes by 4 adults
• Can be installed on any flat surface
• Features 2 fire places
• Internal artwork includes dart board
• Holds 20-50 people
to something more manageable but still a lot of cash
Ideal for any occasion from a large private party to a small event, it can be quickly set up, set down and transported. Featuring artistic brick walls, tiled roof, chimney pots and fire place, this has been designed to create an authentic pub, just don’t lean on the walls!
Camra have launched a great book about Real Heritage Pubs in Wales.
I went along to one of my favourite Cardiff City pub (after the Goat Major), The Old arcade on monday, thanks to Brains for the lovely half of dark and the snacks on the house 😉
Anyway the book is a great celebration of pubs with interiors of special historic interest that are still with us, it’s mad that Wales has over 4000 pubs but only just over 100 with original features.
The book is A5, so handy for your man bag when you are traveling around Wales looking at these great pubs.
Each entry for the pub contains a great photograph taken by Michael Slaughter, a potted history of the pub with info on the interior and facilities ie does the pub do food, its not a replacement for the Good Pub Guide but a great addition if you are on the lookout for a pictorial guide to the best old boozers in Wales.
A bargain at £6.99
Of course my mate Rob is a one man old pub photo machine with his Travels with Beer be good if he put a book out as well 😉
What’s On Tap is a project that me and Rob came up with, but Rob has done most of the work, I just meet him in pubs to talk about it, but he will be the driving force in getting it launched and the future development as I have something called shed week taking up my 5 to 9 time, so if you see him buy him a pint, he deserves it.
I have been drinking on and off at The Otley Arms for the last 15 years.. and a few years ago its was my permanent local for about 18 months…where people know your name sort of place, even though I only live 4 miles away now – as the bus drives, I don’t visit this pub enough, but nothings changed apart from the bar maids hair colour.
The Otley arms does not pull any punches it serves quality real ale and all the favorite keg beers to an audience that’s either students and locals or the odd person who pops in depends on the time of the year.
If you like an old fashion pub then you may think you are getting one from the outside
But the Otley has gone through so many internal changes over the years that It does not really know what it is.
But I think that’s what gives it its unique charm, Pool for the students, great jukebox, good food the Sunday lunches are what you would expect and more – many tellys and a biog screen for football/rugby when the big matches on… and some great odd regulars who never seem to leave.
The saving grace and the reason I always seem to return if I get off the train at treforest is the quality of the beer, there is always at least two award winning otley beers on tap (yes they brew their own up the valleys) – mostly the excellent O1 (£2 a pint currently) and whatever they are brewing at the moment like OG a stronger brother to O1.
The guest beers they have on are normally of good quality and wide ranging but the price is something you would be-used to in the city unless you are a holder of an Otley card or a O badge were you will get a discount.
One of the beat beers they do is called ColumbO but this was not on on my recent visit, in fact it’s one of my favorite beers from the last few years, if your local serves it then grab a pint.
If you want a proper history to the Otley then beer “know it all” Arfur Daley has a post somewhere online 😉
By the 1960s, the hotel had become a Liverpool institution. The Beatles used to go there, and John Lennon once complained that one of the prices of fame was “not being able to go to the Phil for a drink” 
2nd of course would be the Vulcan in Cardiff, a different pub altogether, but with a uniqueness of it’s own..
Dave from welshbloggers.co.uk at a recent meet up.