Y Mochyn Du/The Black Pig, Sophia Close, Pontcanna, Cardiff,CF11 9HW
Situated just off Cathedral Road, Y Mochyn Du is one of the few pubs in the Capitol to have a Welsh name. Handily placed at the entrance to Sophia Gardens and opposite to the Welsh Institute of Sport, the Mochyn Du was originally built as a lodge for the castle before becoming the Poacher's Lodge pub in 1994 and took its present name in 2002. The pub takes its present name from a traditional West Wales folk song, a copy of which is printed and mounted on one of the walls of the Mochyn Du.
The architecture of the pub is quite different to that of the typical Cardiff pub with a large roof, timber beams and bare stonework on the outside, the style is reminiscent of the pre-World War Two style of pub design known as Brewers Tudor.
The interior of the Mochyn Du features a large wooden-clad 'L' shaped bar with four handpumps on each side serving real ales from mainly local breweries. The Mochyn Du was a runner-up in the Cardiff CAMRA Pub of the Year Award recently. Two house beers are served, Cwrw and Cwrw Haf, both brewed by the Vale of Glamorgan Brewery in Barry. The other two handpumps feature beers from different guest breweries such as the award-winning Otley, Celt Experience and Rhymney Breweries to name just a few. Above and also behind the bar there is an impressive display of pumpclips of real ales that have featured in this pub over the years. Bottled Welsh cider and perry from Gwynt Y Ddraig is also available and there is a good range of single malt whiskies as well.
The Mochyn Du manages to offer a wide choice of seating with comfortable leather seats, stools and more traditional dining chairs and tables dotted around the pub. Off to one side of the bar is an attractive conservatory which leads to an outdoor area, shaded by large old trees that are a feature of the parks of Cardiff. Sporting memorabilia features highly in the decoration of the pub, hardly surprising given its location, with one corner devoted to Glamorgan Cricket as well as signed rugby shirts mounted and framed high on the ceilings. The lighting inside the pub is a bit eccentric to say the least, with an ornate chandelier in one part and an unusual cast-iron structure in another.
The Mochyn Du, alongside offering the good range of real ales also offers a good choice of food from their bilingual menu with Welsh Beef, Welsh Cheeses and other locally produced products featuring on it.
The Mochyn Du is a rare Cardiff example of a genuine free house, not tied to any wholesaler or any particular brewery, that is able to offer its customers the best of Welsh beers, ciders and food in a comfortable atmosphere.
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