Friday 28 May 2010

Red Lion, Penderyn

Every so often when researching articles for this blog or for my column in the Trumpet of Truth, I come across a truly stunning pub and it was a nice surprise the other Saturday to find the Red Lion in Penderyn, a pub I had been meaning to visit ever since reading in the Fullers Brewery magazine that they stocked Fullers ESB.

Red Lion, Church Road, Penderyn, CF44 9JR, 01685 811914
Open Monday-Friday 7-11. Saturday & Sunday 1-5, 7-11

The Red Lion is situated high above the village of Penderyn, opposite the ancient church of St Cynog's with its attractive lych-gate and gravestone-packed churchyard. 
 Above: The Church of St Cynog
Set in the Brecon Beacons National Park, the area around the pub offers stunning views and walks to see the nearby waterfalls are a good way to spend a few hours in this locality. The Red Lion is built out of the local limestone and features a slate roof, an extension is currently being built to the side of the original building using the same building materials as are used in the original building. 

An old lantern with a rampant Red Lion hangs outside of the pub, beneath which is a sitting bench to sit and watch the graveyard opposite on. Above the doorway on a window pane and on the lantern, is the name of the pub in Welsh, the Tafarn Llew Coch. 

The inside of the Red Lion features flagstone floors and old brewery memorabilia on the walls, including an old commemorative plate from the former clubs brewery in Pontyclun as well as brewery mirrors from Hancocks brewery.

Left: the graveyard reflected in an old Hancock's brewery mirror

There is plenty of seating around the pub, from high-backed settles to the usual tables and chairs. Either end of the building are two wood-burning fireplaces which provide welcome warmth at night in this atmospheric pub. Water jugs hang down from the ceiling and the gleaming brass on the walls, together with the brewery mirrors help make the interior of this pub well-lit. The back room of the pub is well worth looking at if you have an interest in military history as there is a display about Rorke's Drift and other history of the Welsh regiments. 

The Red Lion is set in its own grounds with an extensive car park to the side of the pub.
There are no handpumps on the bar but there is a chalkboard beer menu to one side of the bar. The beers are instead served straight from their barrels in the walk-in cellar just off the bar. One of the permanent beers is Fullers ESB, or as it is shown on the chalkboard as 'Chiswick's Finest'. The Red Lion is a very rare local outlet for this beer and has been serving it for over 30 years. The beer range typically features Brains SA, Tomos Watkin OSB, Shepherd Neame Spitfire and Wychwood Hobgoblin.  A nice touch is that all the real ales are served in the brewery branded glasses. Local cider and perry is also available on draught from makers Bragdy Brodyr of Glyn Neath.
 Above: the cellar
The Red Lion also holds an annual beer festival, this year it will be on Saturday 17th July.
The Red Lion is an excellent country pub set amidst the stunning scenery of the Brecon Beacons. 
 A pint (well almost! - did not want to spill any!) of ESB

Google Map:

View Larger Map

Penderyn is also famous for the Welsh Whisky  Company who are based on the main road.

Penderyn is served by a regular daytime bus service from Aberdare (Number 7) and the Red Lion is located on the hill to the West of the town.

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