Gwaelod-y-Garth Inn, Main Road, Gwaelod-y-Garth, Cardiff, CF15 9HH, 029 20810408 ,
The Gwaelod-y-Garth pub is situated overlooking Taff's Well and this attractive two-story stone-built building offers picturesque views across the Taff Valley below. The front area outside the pub has tables and chairs as well as a canopy for those not so dry days and there is a car park towards the rear of the pub.
The inside is welcoming with a wooden bar and flagstone floors with a separate pool room with old stained glass lettering above the doorway saying 'Saloon'. Two cast-iron fire grates sit in the large stone fireplaces at opposite ends of the pub, the roaring fires providing welcome warmth in the March chill. There are plenty of seats in this pub as well as a separate restaurant upstairs. There is even a bookcase from which customers can choose a Pub Guide or other books to read whilst enjoying the views from the windows.
The name of the pub means 'the foot of the headland of the enclosure' but locals just refer to it as 'The Gwaelod'. The village was the inspiration behind the book and the film The Englishman who went up a Hill and came down a Mountain, although the film was shot in Powys as a more rural setting was thought to be needed than the industrial Taff Valley.
The pub has recently undergone a refurbishment but has not lost any of its character, the old stone walls are decorated with paintings and photographs of the local area, porcelain and pewter beer tankards hang from the rafters and above the bar hang hop bines, picked last Autumn.
Real ales are prominent on the bar at the Gwaelod, with six handpumps offering a choice of real ales from across Britain. Breweries such as Wye Valley, Tomos Watkin, RCH, Purple Moose and Titanic have all featured recently with Wye Valley Bitter being a permanent real ale on the bar. Local cider and perry from Gwynt y Ddraig is also available in bottles and Peroni lager from Italy is on draught.
The Gwaelod is open from 1000 am and serves food Monday-Thursday 12-2, 6.30-9, all day Friday and Saturday and 12-3.30 Sunday, with booking advisable on Sundays. The food is locally sourced wherever possible, with the beef coming from cattle from a nearby farm. There are separate lunch and evening menus along with a specials board which features food such as pork sausages cooked in Gwynt Y Ddraig cider gravy. It is not surprising that this pub has won awards over the years, from a runner-up in the Cardiff CAMRA Pub of the Year Award to Best Local Pub in the South Wales Echo Food & Drink Awards, this is a wonderful pub in a stunning location.
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