Harbourmaster

UK Wales Mid Wales Ceredigion Aberaeron

This cornflower-blue Grade II-listed pub immediately grabs your eye on the Georgian quayside in the seaside village of Aberaeron. When a storm blows in off the Atlantic, the coolly rustic bar, decked out in stripped-back wood and coastal blues, really comes into its own. But sitting out on the terrace in summer is also delightful, watching waves hammer the sea wall over a pint of Cardiff-based Pipes ale, Welsh cider or seaweed-infused Da Mhile gin, – all of which are a perfect accompaniment to seafood-focused snacks like crispy cockles with chilli vinegar and salt-and-pepper squid with chilli jam. There’s always a good buzz thanks to the mix of regulars and all-comers, and those wishing to stay the night will find 13 boutiquey rooms spread across three harbourside buildings. The original rooms in the harbourmaster’s residence have sea views, palettes of breezy blues or lavenders, eye-catching fabrics, and period details like sash windows, exposed stone and wainscoting. All have tea and coffee, robes and slippers and DVD players, and contemporary bathrooms with Molton Brown toiletries. Top billing goes to the chic warehouse rooms with rolltop baths, and the attic ‘Madona’ suite with its dreamy bay views. Score a table for dinner and you won’t be disappointed: the restaurant delivers some of the region’s most inventive food – dishes like Cardigan Bay crab linguine with garlic and chilli, and slow-roasted short rib of Welsh beef with sweet potato purée and chimichurri. Breakfast is right up there, too, from a Full Welsh with laverbread to organic halloumi with the Harbourmaster’s own riff on beans. You’ll need a hearty start for the terrific walks on the nearby Ceredigion Coast Path.

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Harbourmaster, Pen Cei, Aberaeron, Ceredigion SA46 0BT

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