When Steve Jones suggested that he would drive to Llandudno with a car-full of young ladies, he may have thought himself as a chivalrous knight giving a lift to businesswomen who wanted their networking to reach further than just within the limits of Chester.
Little did he know he would be listening to constant exclaims of “are we there yet”, “I have to go, can we stop somewhere”, “do you even know where you’re going” and “ROADTRIP!” for a better part of an hour each way.
So it’s not really a massive surprise that half way down the road he decided that the only way to silence the petulant ladies was to stop by a pub he knew very well. Alright, so he could have just stopped and told us to get out, but he is far too much of a gentleman.
The pub in question was a hilltop Free House in Colwyn Bay, Pen-y-Bryn.
From the word go this pub takes your breath away. It’s so high on the hills that from its windows you’re overlooking the ocean. If you’re lucky enough to get a seat in the beer garden, there’s beautiful views there as well.
I got perhaps overly excited about the amount of beer they had on offer. Eight pumps of glorious real ale just waiting to be tasted. They had your traditional bitter and Tatton’s Gold, but also some extraordinary goodies which I am yet to see on tap in Chester: Heavy Industry Brewery’s Pigeon Toed Orange Peel and Box Steam Brewery’s Easy Tiger. The staff were very knowledgeable about the offerings and offered tasters to seal the deal, which might seem the norm to us in Chester but isn’t actually always the case.
Bar from one glass of wine we all went for the Heavy Industry’s brew, it was sunny and lovely and the promise of zesty orange won us over. Needless to say, no one regretted the decision. Zesty but not overpowered, light but packing a punch, the beer was just perfect for a sunny day. I will definitely go out of my way to hunt down this bad boy in Chester.
The pub has a brilliant character, it looks traditional without looking dated, and at the same time it’s modern without looking overdone. The staff are friendly and helpful and nothing is too much trouble, even when faced with an over excited Finn who runs around the bar marvelling the beers and is overly eager to discuss them. I blame the sun. It brings out the worst in me.
I am also a sucker for massive bookshelves filled with classics and modern gems of literature, as well as some very cooky reading choices. I know it may be something that’s done in many places but when a pub looks and feels like (a lot fancier version of) your living room, it’s nice to have décor to match with it. I believe the term “stick to your chosen theme” was used in an unrelated conversation but I choose to use the phrase in this as well. The theme is consistent and it makes a real difference.
Sadly we only managed to spend about an hour in the pub before we had to be back on the road on our way to a tweetup, which was the original purpose of the #Roadtrip. I have to admit that the rest of the evening’s programme just never matched up to the hidden little gem of a pub that Pen-y-Bryn is.
If Steve will ever have me in his car again, I hope he takes me there for another try at their beers and food, glorious food.