blog-brigand's inn

This is a real pleasurable trip down memory lane for me, to a place where we stayed several times when we were investigating mid-Wales.

First things first, the good stuff: the Brigand’s is a 15th century coaching inn, and absolutely beautiful both inside and out. Genuinely ancient exposed beams, a lovely cool slate floor for dogs to chill out on and yes, there are areas where your dogs can relax while you eat.

The furniture is a quirky mix – there’s a dining room proper where the dogs don’t go, plus pews, sofas and more standard tables elsewhere in this maze of a building where they’re welcome.

The rooms were always comfortable – we used to stay in Room 1, which had a rather wonderful four-poster bed (I see from the website at http://www.brigandsinn.com/ that that is still there). This room has an ensuite, which was tastefully finished with decent toiletries.

The hotel’s on a roundabout off the A470, so you’d expect some traffic noise but in fact I didn’t find it intrusive. The hotel being so old is a bit creaky, you do hear people moving about occasionally but I never found it overly noisy.

We also liked the fact the hotel was in easy striking distance of Machynlleth and Aberdyfi, the Talyllyn railway and other great holiday spots. There’s plenty of walking both in the immediate area and of course at the fantastic mid-Wales beaches.

My word of caution here is that the hotel has changed hands since we stayed – it’s had an extensive renovation and from the website the rooms are looking very nice. I had a peek at TripAdvisor though and I can see one or two grumbles there about booking mistakes (though the manager replied to one claiming no booking had been made).

I’ve mentioned booking as an issue before (in my blog on the Cricketers Arms). It can be a major irritation, particularly if you’ve set your heart on going somewhere for a special event like a birthday. What I’d advise is to keep paperwork, and take it with you when you go – and phone the hotel to confirm the details a week before your actual trip is due. There’s nothing worse than arriving somewhere and finding no trace of your booking!

I have to add that there are also some glowing reviews of the hotel and food – we’ve been back to eat since the change of ownership and found the menu less extensive (it had been mind-bogglingly huge). The food was fine, nevertheless, and the choice was more than sufficient – the chefs are obviously still doing a good job. You can expect local, seasonal produce (decent chips) and a hearty, pretty standard full breakfast.

Dogs are still welcome – so with the above caveats in mind I’d say it’s one to give a try. I’d love feedback on this one. Certainly the rooms are priced reasonably. Book well in advance, do some checking, and you should have a good stay. Room 1 is certainly big enough for two people and two large setters!

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