Thursday 29 December 2011

The Coal Hole Inn, Gellihaf

Coal Hole Inn, Bryn Road, Gellihaf, NP12 2QE
Open 12-3, 6-11 Monday-Thursday, 12-11 Friday & Saturday, 12-11 Sunday

The Coal Hole Inn is an impressive stone-built nineteenth-century pub that overlooks the Hengoed Viaduct in the Rhymney Valley. The pub is built on the hillside and is set back from the main road with a large car park at the front. The pub sign features a miner and the pit-head winding gear in the background, a reminder of the industry that once dominated this region.
Originally a farmhouse, this building became a pub in the latter part of the nineteenth-century when this area became industrialised. The pub has been extended over the years from the original building with a small extension to the right-hand side. The front porch leads to a dining area on the left and the bar on the right. The bar is a bit of a throwback to the 1960s and features a tiled roof and brass footrail along the base. Three handpumps feature on the bar with real ales from Green King Brewery taking up two of them, Abbot and Old Speckled Hen, the third pump is reserved for a changing guest beer, the pumpclips of previous ales are displayed to the side of the bar. Wells & Youngs Banana Beer is also available in bottles and there is an excellent selection of single malts.

The bar area contains copper-topped tables and the attractive stonework of the walls is left bare, apart from a couple of mirrors, one being an old Hancock's Brewery Allbright mirror with a picture of the brewery on it and words 'The most popular pint in Wales' written on it. An old pendulum clock mounted on the wall keeps the time in this friendly valleys' local. A television set is mounted in one corner of the bar and there is a larger pull-down screen for major sporting events.
Outside there is a large garden to the side of the car park with tables and chairs and an excellent view of the Rhymney Valley and the Hengoed Viaduct.
Above: The Hengoed Viaduct over the Rhymney Valley

The Coal Hole has a good reputation for food and there are set menus as well as daily chalkboard specials and hand-written notices on the bar informing customers of the specials such as Yellowfin Sole fillet or Red Chinese Curry. The menu is very extensive, featuring a wide-range of curries and grills and the chalkboards extend around the corner of the bar.

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