I had arranged to meet well known coffee house ticker Martin in Patrick’s, a reliably good watering hole in Bangor, North Wales. He had been exploring the coastline while I had been watching Island Games football on Anglesey, including St Helena’s competitive international debut.
St Helena’s first ever goal
They lost 1-6 to Shetland but their 100 fans helped make it a joyous occasion.
It was a wet, dark night but as I headed towards Patrick’s I could see Martin weaving his way towards it with the intensity of a driven man. He pushed the door open. “Martin?” asked Patrick. This was clearly a publican who knew his customers well, even those who had never been before. Mind you they probably know Martin in St Helena too.
All became clear.
They did indeed have the Bass on, plus two Hafod beers in good nick. For some unknown reason we also tried the Big Bog Brewery gin. My vanilla one was delicious. Please don’t judge us – it doesn’t make us bad people.
Anyway, safe to say if you are ever in Bangor go to Patrick’s. It’s by the University where the students in the houses nearby try to hack his WiFi to stream films. He is a generous host but not that generous.
Earlier in the day I had been pushed for time because of the football (watching two other games on the island) but had enjoyed a superbly fresh glass of Cwrw Llyn Seithenyn Blonde at Tapps in Llandudno.
Taps aff is a popular West of Scotland expression, referring to the practice of removing clothing at the first hint of watery sunshine. Here it was most definitely a case of Tapps on.
The owners have opened another small pub, the Ascot, at Craig-y-Don that will have to wait for another time. As will the Alice in Wonderland Trail, though here’s one to get you started.
It will be no hardship to return to Llandudno, an elegant Victorian seaside resort that grew around the arrival of the railway.
The next morning I visited the Cwrw Llyn brewery in Nefyn and had the same beer, again on excellent form.
Nefyn has some attractive beach huts with a rather larger neighbour.
There was also time to squeeze in a visit to Bar Bach, beside the imposing castle walls in Caernarfon.
Styled as the smallest bar in Wales, it’s on two levels and brewed its own beer. Time was too short to fully appreciate it. A visit to Bessie’s awaited but you already know about that.