Friday, 31 July 2009

Gwent Pub in Finals of National Competition

The current Gwent CAMRA Town Pub of the Year, the Commercial Inn in Risca, is the regional winner in two categories in the Morning Advertiser Great British Pub Awards 2009. The Commercial has won the Welsh titles for 'Best Community Pub' and 'Best Managed Inn' and will now face other pubs from across the UK in the national championships before the announcement of the winning pubs on September 9th. The Commercial Inn is a former Gwent CAMRA Pub of the Year and is owned by local pub company Dragon Inns.

Above and below, 2 photographs of the Commercial in Pontymister, Risca,

Other Welsh Winners:

The Wales Region winner in the 'Best Cask Beer Pub' category is another CAMRA Good Beer Guide regular, the Waun Wyllt Inn at Five Roads, near Llanelli in Carmarthenshire. Owned by Great Old Inns, this pub offers an ever-changing selection of real ales and is a former Carmarthenshire CAMRA Pub of the Year. The name of the pub translates as 'Wild moor/meadow' and refers to the location of the pub in the Sylen Hills.

The 'Best Cellar' winner for Wales is the Britannia Inn at Horseshoe Pass, Llangollen.

The 'Best Entertainment Pub' winner for Wales is the Carne Park Hotel, Abercynon. Another Dragon Inns pub.

The 'Best Freehouse' winner is the Red Lion at Llangadog, the Carmarthenshire CAMRA Pub of the Year 2008.

The 'Best Gastropub' winner for Wales is the Pen-y-Cae Inn, Brecon Road, Pen Y Cae, Swansea Valley, Powys.

'Best Live Music' award went to O' Neil's in Cardiff. Well enough said about that.

Paul Charity, editor of the Morning Advertiser, said, "It is heartening to find such a wonderful success story when there has been little good news about pubs recently. This is proof that talented, hard-working landlords and landladies can still attract customers wanting to experience the unique atmosphere of the Great British Pub. They thoroughly deserve this public recognition of their achievement."

More details of the winners and the final can be found on the Morning Advertiser site here.

This article first appeared on the Brew Wales blog.
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Thursday, 30 July 2009

Pop goes St Fagan's

WE'RE good at pop music in Wales and St Fagan's: National History Museum has asked six guest curators to help celebrate with Pop Peth from August 1.

With the museum's own collections at their disposal alongside their own collections and creations each of the six is invited to record their own take on the pop thing.

It's all part of the museum's Music '09 season - look out for free downloads of the sounds produced by Welsh bands in response to St Fagan's collections - and will run until January 2010.

The guests curators, in no particular order, are: Gari Melville, if the Welsh music scene needed pillars then Gari - with his Archif Roc A Phop Gymraeg - would be one of them. Comparative youngsters Lowri Johnston and Leusa Fflur edit fanzine Dim Ffwdanu and contribute to BBC Radio Cymru. Cardiff's Spillers Records proudly celebrates its status as the world's oldest disc dealers so the store's Ashli Todd has a wealth of material on which to draw. John Griffiths and Kevs Ford of dance and electronica legends Llwybr Llaethog complete the set, remixers and collaborators extraordinaire (but not in the bad way) they've got a distinguished eight album 24 year history behind them, and the sadly late and very great John Peel made a damn good stab at pronouncing their name.

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Festival time by the river

THERE are plenty of competing attractions to juggle in Cardiff's Riverside Festival from August 1 to August 15.

Riverside's got culture is the message with hip hop dance, song writing, drumming, screen printing, costume design and screen printing workshops all open for business at Riverside Warehouse.

Want to show some skills in the festival parade? Then join professional Nils Gustav's Circus Skills Workshops in the Riverside adventure Play Centre on August 11 and August 13.

Everything's free and open to all ages. Call to find out more from Sheleagh (07921022597) and Steve (07814770450).
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Taff-side market reminder

EVERY Sunday is market day in the shadow of the Millenium Stadium and Riverside Market is rated in the top 50 in Britain by The Independent.

Bring your taste buds and help support Welsh producers on the Fitzhamon Embankment in the heart of Cardiff every Sunday from 10am to 2pm.
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Tune in tonight for focus on really wood theatre

TURN on and tune in to Radio Wales tonight for a look at the work of The Living Willow Theatre or Glôb Byw.

Built - yes, from living willow - in 2007 the open air venue is the star of a half-hour programme on The Radio Wales Arts Show at 6.30pm. The show will be repeated on Saturday, August 1 at 6.30pm and will then be available for the following seven days on the Radio Wales website.

If you want to see what the fuss is about for yourself then Living Willow Theatre's next show is Peter Searles's stand up storytelling on Saturday, August 8.

Visit the Living Willow website for full programme details, bookings and how you can participate at this beautiful venue between Llandrindod Wells and Rhayader.
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Sunday, 26 July 2009

Welsh exclusive Shakespeare opens St Donat's summer season

When American actor/director Sam Wanamaker found there was no memorial theatre for the world's greatest playwright, he set about founding one. Now well established on the artistic, tourist and educational trails for Bard lovers, the reconstructed theatre also supports a touring company who make their only visit to Wales this year to open St Donat's Arts Centre's summer season on August 31 with A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Watching this Shakespearean favourite by the sea in the shadow of St Donat's Castle with a picnic should be a great way to spend your August Bank Holiday evening.

Other highlights coming up at the centre include TV and radio's long-lived living legend Nicholas Parsons's one man show; Stranger on the Shore veteran Acker Bilk with his Paramount Jazzmen. Soft Parade founding member and acclaimed jazz and fusion guitarist John Etheridge visits in November.

It's the 40th birthday year of the Vale of Glamorgan Festival in 2009 too, with Catrin Finch and Eleanor Turner making this celebration of living composers a must for harp lovers this year.

Martyn Joseph's passion and power is recognised around the world, but seeing the Valleys-born singer-songwriter in his home country is a special experience. His visit on October 3 is a highlight of the centre's folk and roots programme.

For details on a huge variety of community and arts events to participate in or just sit back enjoy visit the centre's website. Not all tickets and offers are available through the web.
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