This is the first of Edmund and Charlie Inkin’s three wonderfully unpretentious and enjoyable establishments, (see The Gurnard’s Head and The Old Coastguard). Set amid magnificent scenery between the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons, the plain but pleasing old inn has become a sanctuary for food lovers, walkers and literary visitors to the nearby book town of Hay-on-Wye. They love the honest simplicity, the warmth of welcome, colour and comfort, both in ground floor rooms whose names say it all – Library, Tack Room, Aga Room – and in bedrooms whose beds and linens are second to none. Curl up here with one of the books that lie around the building, listen to your Roberts radio or simply gaze out at the hills. You are truly ‘enveloped with a big cuddle’ here and after a surprisingly refined dinner based on the Welsh larder, you’ll head for bed with an equally big smile on your face. Doubles from £135.
Name to Know: Gardener Phoebe Boulanger, who has been running The Griffin’s organic kitchen garden for three years and is happy to speak to guests on all gardening matters.
See: Canoe the Wye with Wye Valley Canoes. Board in nearby Glasbury and be picked up downstream in Hay.
Eat: The charcuterie boards in the afternoon at The Griffin. The salamis and cured meats are from Trealy Farm in nearby Monmouthshire.
Buy: Leather, wool and textile goodies from Great English Outdoors in Hay on Wye.
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