The best pub of 2016 so far – Queen’s Head Chepstow

Not posted on here for a while – but last night I went to a pub that reminded me of what a great pub is about – great beer, great company and it’s tiny so had to tell you all.

The Queen’s Head Micropub in Chepstow – is doing what a lot of pubs used to do – provide a great place to go for a chat and great beer – as long you don’t take 50 friends along.

It’s a single-room bar measuring just 26 square metres – with the opening to the cellar in the small toilet, so when he needs to change a barrel you can’t go!

The landlord Glen has taken over the disused shop (which ironically used to be a pub) on 12 Moor street Chepstow, he’s doing a great job.

The first time we tried to get in last night we could not as it was full – but we went back later and had a great welcome – with a lot of Local real ales on, all kept in tiptop condition.

If you are ever in the town then make sure it’s your first stop, I WILL BE BACK


Beer we are in this club together : Cardiff Beer Club launches

The excellent City arms in Cardiff now has a Beer club for it’s customers.

City Arms Beer Club & pint of Adnams Oyster Stout

For every £1 you spend we’ll give you a point on your card.

Overnight we’ll turn your points into money for you to spend in the pub. We’ll give you 10p for every point you have!

You can then use your points to buy pints in the pub! Beer Club members will also be invited to attend special events.

This week they also had the lovely Adnams Oyster Stout – some would say a saintly pint

Adnams Oyster Stout - Saintly

Adnams Oyster Stout

on another note another Brains pub, The Yard has just been done up, with designer style and posh touches

Half a Half of Dark in Yard

Light as art

but they do a great quick lunch for a £5 and their Brains Dark is pretty good as usual, but served in a posh glass.

Brains Dark

so Cardiff has the lot from decent real ale boozers to upmarket pubs (that ladies who lunch enjoy) 🙂


Photomarathon and tapas style snacks in the Wellington pub Cardiff

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.

Duke of Wellington

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 :()

Duke of Wellington

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.

Duke of Wellington

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.

Duke of Wellington

Duke of Wellington



Don’t have a shed to convert to a pub in your garden? go Inflatable

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

The Hogshead Inflatable Pub
for £27,815.00!

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

The Barrel Inflatable Pub £12,580.00

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!


Next time you walk past that old pub call in, it may be gem

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 😉


Google Street View Launch throughout UK – of course I look for Pubs first

As reported by everyone, Streetview goes live with most roads in the UK..

So here are my favourite Pubs

Otley arms

View Larger Map

The Philharmonic Dining Rooms Liverpool

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The Black Pub Winchester

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But looks Like the google eye has missed St Mary Street In Cardiff where the Goat Major is, you can just about see it here.

View Larger Map

Bush Inn Llantwit Fadre

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The Vulcan Cardiff

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Farmers Arms down the road from my house

View Larger Map

More to follow after doing some work


What are your five favourite pubs in the UK? asks What’s on Tap

We need help finding great UK pubs for What’s On Tap.

If you have a 2 mins enter your fave 5 here

The five on my list that I would go to again in a flash are..

1) The Goat Major In Cardiff
2) The Black Boy Pub in Winchester
3) The Philharmonic Dining Rooms, Liverpool
4) The Volunteer, London
5) Otley Arms/Bunch of Grapes Treforest/Pontypridd

of course the Welsh ones I go to quite often.

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.


Pub Review : The Otley Arms – Treforest – Freehouse

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

Otley arms

Otley arms

But the Otley has gone through so many internal changes over the years that It does not really know what it is.

Otley arms

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.

Otley arms flanker's tackle

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.

Otley columbO

If you want a proper history to the Otley then beer “know it all” Arfur Daley has a post somewhere online 😉

Beer Blog

Goat major Beer festival – Cardiff – Red Hop Lover, DangleBeer & Bread of Heaven

The wonderful Oasis in Cardiff that is the Goat Major is having a mini beer festival this week, you would not know it as nothing on the Brains website I had a tip off from ArfurD

Beers on today include Brewseters Red Hop Lover, DangleBeery & Brains own Bread of Heaven.

Red Hot Lover

Beer List

Later in the Week (or when the have gone ) they have the Lovely Brew Dog Trashy Blonde

Bread of Heaven

If you are in Cardiff this week it’s worth popping over the Goat (which is near the Castle) as it’s what Cardiff Pubs used to be like.

You can now Follow the Goat Major on Twitter thanks to GdnCardiff for the heads up.

Beer Blog

My Pub of the year The Philharmonic Dining Rooms Liverpool

I recently visited Liverpool (but have had flu since! so could not post) and I think this is my Pub of the year

The Philharmonic Dining Rooms Liverpool

this is what Wikpedia says about it

The Philharmonic Dining Rooms in Liverpool, England is situated on the junction of Hope Street and Hardman Street, diagonally opposite the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. Locally it is referred to as the Philharmonic Pub or simply the Phil. Designed by Walter Aubrey Thomas for the brewers Robert Cain & Company, it opened in 1898. The exterior is in the Art Nouveau style.

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” [1]

2nd of course would be the Vulcan in Cardiff, a different pub altogether, but with a uniqueness of it’s own..

Dave from at a recent meet up.