Dolaucothi Arms

UK Wales South Wales Carmarthenshire

Tucked into the pleats and folds of the Cambrian Mountains, the remote village of Pumsaint (meaning ‘five saints’) is named after a legendary nearby standing stone with five indentations. But the village is perhaps better known for its position on the edge of the National Trust Dolaucothi Estate, with its Roman gold mines and hill walking. A pub in these parts is gold dust, especially when it’s has the historic hallmarks of this 16th-century drovers’ inn, where the convivial warmth greets you like a long-lost friend’s embrace. A wood-burning stove lights up the countrified interior, with its tiled floors, ceramic flagons, vintage Chesterfield and armchairs. Add a solid selection of Welsh real ales (some courtesy of Gower Brewery and Evan Evans), not to mention a pretty beer garden overlooking the valley, and you can see why it was voted Countryfile magazine’s ‘Best British Country Pub’ 2019–20. In 1854 the well-travelled English novelist George Borrow praised the ‘savoury supper’ and ‘refreshing sleep’ he enjoyed here, and it’s changed much since, with three Arts and Crafts-style guest rooms, decorated in mellow Farrow & Ball hues, with diamond-paned casement windows, period furniture and wool-filled mattresses and duvets. A complimentary decanter of port is a particularly generous touch. Breakfast (pre-ordered the night before) is excellent, including local bacon and sausage, cockles and laverbread. Later in the day the no-nonsense menu features comfort faves like bangers and mash, fish and chips and ham-and-leek pie.

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Dolaucothi Arms, Pumsaint, Llanwrda.Carmarthenshire SA19 8UW

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