An historic pub in South Pembrokeshire, which features in the CAMRA guide to the Heritage pubs of Wales, has been named “Wales’s Best Sporting Pub” by Country Life and the Countryside Alliance.
The Cresselly Arms, or “The Quay” as it is known by its regulars, stands in a stunning location on the banks of the Cleddau estuary and is a wonderful old-fashioned, no-nonsense pub which has been the hub of community life for more than two centuries.
It is part of the Cresselly estate and, for over 100 years, had just two landlords; Alice Davies who retired in her 90s, followed by Maurice and Janet Cole who held the reins brilliantly for 32 years. It is now run by two local brothers, Colin and John Evans, who are delighted that the pub has received its rightful recognition.
The pub has a long-standing connection to farming, hunting, racing, shooting and cricket and the walls are covered in hunting and racing photographs from the last century as well as cricket memorabilia. It is also very popular with the boating community and, on Spring tides, a flotilla of boats arrive and are tied up outside the pub while the occupants enjoy a pint of “firewater” as the beer is known.
Entering the pub is like walking back in time. No noisy gaming machines or pool tables here; just a Victorian counter, ancient Aga and a few wooden tables and chairs grace the red and black quarry tiled floor. Forget the bistro pubs, no food is served at the Quay except for at Meets when trays of sandwiches and sausage rolls are dispensed with drinks to fortify the riders, or for special pre-arranged groups such as shooting parties. At “The Quay” good conversation and community spirit are king; it is “a traditional watering hole for adults” according to Colin Evans. Dogs and children are banned from the pub but can be seen playing together happily in the car park outside or paddling in the river and jumping across the stepping stones at low tide. Throughout the year, barbecues are held in the car park to celebrate sporting achievements or to fundraise and if you want to know what is happening in South Pembrokeshire, The Cresselly Arms is the place to go.
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