Rummer Tavern, 14 Duke Street, Cardiff, CF10 1AY,
Open all day
Situated opposite Cardiff Castle, the Rummer Tavern has an unmistakable black and white timber frontage but this no early twentieth-century Brewers' Tudor pub but an older, eighteenth-century building that traditionally dates back to 1713. Although there must have been a building on the site before that, unusually the plot appears vacant on John Speed's map of 1610. The name 'Rummer' refers to a large drinking glass with a studded stem that were popular between the fifteenth to late seventeenth centuries and pub name is unusual, though not unique as there is a hotel of this name in Bristol. During the1950s the Rummer Tavern went under the name of 'Hallinans' before reverting to its original name.
As is common with the older pubs of the City, the Rummer is long and narrow, recognising the original outlines of the burgage plot this pub stands on. The Cottage and the Borough Arms on High Street/St Mary Street also stand on Burgage plots.
The black and white timber frontage of The Rummer features leaded glass windows and leads into a cavernous interior via a stout wooden door. The bar is towards the rear of the building. There are plenty of seating areas in the pub, at the front there is an area with flagstone flooring and an excellent view of the castle, traffic permitting. Other areas of the pub have wooden flooring and there are some sections of old wood panelling still on the walls, others are exposed brickwork. Old pictures and prints are on the walls and above the bar is an odd collection of jars and beer crates. The Rummer does manage to have separate and distinct areas despite being open-plan – from the window seats to the more secluded and private brick lined rear part.
The bar is made up of recycled wood with old table legs forming the shelf supports and old draws forming another part. This mix of wood actually works quite well in this pub where church pews and wooden whiskey barrels all appear as part of the pub furniture. Upstairs, there is a function room available for hire. The pub used to have a basement bar about 15 years ago but this has since been converted into toilets.
The Rummer Tavern serves five real ales from gleaming brass handpumps, with local beer Hancock's HB and more unusually Wye Valley Hereford Pale Ale being the permanent beers and the three others being guests. The pub was formerly owned by Hancock's Brewery and is owned by a pub company. The guest beers change often and Wychwood Hobgoblin, Wells Bombardier and Thwaites Wainright have all featured on the bar recently. Bottled cider from Westons of Herefordshire is also available.
Food is served all day from a traditional menu with everything from baguettes to grills on it as well as chalkboard specials on the bar.
Above: The Rummer Tavern pictured from the walls of Cardiff Castle with St John's Church in the background