The Felin Fach Griffin Pub with rooms in Brecon, Powys

Prices from:
£130 per night

David Hancock says:

  • A brilliant bolthole in the Brecons
  • Artful, understated sense of style
  • Amazing drinks selection
  • Delicious food – seasonal menus
  • Focus on independent suppliers
  • Verdant kitchen garden
  • Simple bedrooms designed with flair

PerkInn Places Perk

Surprise complimentary Book

Sticky FingersMuddy PawsGood for WalkingOutdoor PursuitsCandlelit

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Call this inn 01874 749060

Overview

The Felin Fach Griffin Brecon, Powys, LD3 0UB

The personal touch

The Felin Fach Griffin shines like a beacon in the Brecons thanks to the combined talents of brothers Charles & Edmund Inkin, who breathed new life into this isolated old hostelry back in 2000. Now, it’s firmly on the Welsh culinary map and a destination inn for those looking for a brilliant bolt hole in the Welsh borders. Unmissable beside the main Builth Wells road, their inviting country Inn – perhaps unkindly termed as pink – has a smart ochre hue. Inside, the ground floor rambles through several cosy rooms, all demonstrating an artful, understated sense of style. Flagstone floors, open fireplaces, leather sofas to sink into, eye-catching paintings by local artists, richly painted walls, and there’s an Aga in the inglenook of what was formerly the farmhouse kitchen. The atmosphere is totally laid back with a vibrant buzz that attracts a broad church of clientele. The Griffin’s sister Inns, The Gurnard’s Head and The Old Coastguard (see Inn Places entries), are located in the far west of Cornwall.

Sticky fingers

Smaller portions are available, while younger children have the choice of the Tiny Tots and Bigger Bites (lunchtime; residents from 5.30pm; non-residents from 6pm), with the likes of freshly prepared spaghetti & meatballs and organic chicken served with a glass of Aber Valley apple juice. Children are welcome overnight; under 5’s stay for free, under 12’s stay for £25 B&B.

Muddy paws

Dogs are welcome in the rooms (no extra charge) and all rooms downstairs, except for the Library and Aga room.

Alfresco

Eat alfresco at lunchtime on the front lawn, or take your drink and stroll through the verdant kitchen garden to see what’s growing and likely to be on the day’s menu.

What’s the Damage?
7 doubles: £130 – £225; Sunday Sleepover from £185 through the winter; Winter Escape from £155 (D, B&B) until the 24th March; Spring Sleepover from £329 (2 nights D, B&B) from the 17th April – 19th May.

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (except Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining: 12-16 in the Aga Room
  • Parking
  • Disabled access to Tackroom dining room; not the bedrooms

Gongs
Waitrose Good Food Guide; Good Hotel Guide; Michelin; Welsh Rarebits

Sleep

The Felin Fach Griffin Brecon, Powys, LD3 0UB

Do not disturb

Gloriously free of TV and Wi-Fi, and rightly so, the Griffin is a refuge away from the real world. After a day’s ramble and a long, relaxing bath, the place to be is in the homely bar, hunkered down on the sofa with a drink in hand chatting about the day’s events. Bedrooms are warmly simple and mirror the contemporary design flair of downstairs. Expect bright colours, big comfortable beds topped with crisp linen, goose down duvets and pillows and traditional Welsh blankets for throws. An eclectic mix of furnishings fill the rooms, stripped floorboards, good books to read, and simple bathrooms with deep baths and power showers. Wake up to Radio 4 on the Roberts radio and gaze at the soothing view – some look out over the lane to fields, others towards rolling hills.

Creature comforts

Fresh flowers from the garden; Bramley bathroom products; Vispring Beds; Welsh blankets; James Gourmet Coffee & Trumper’s Tea; home-made Welsh cakes & flapjacks or Bara Brith from Little Mill Bakery.

Gadgets

Roberts radios.

What’s for breakfast?

The Borders Breakfast (bacon, sausage, eggs (from local hens), black pudding, fried bread & mushrooms); Black Mountain Smokery kipper; Smoked salmon & scrambled eggs; Little Mill Bakery bread; home-made jams & marmalade; home-made muesli; seasonal garden fruits.

What’s the Damage?
7 doubles: £130 – £225; Sunday Sleepover from £185 through the winter; Winter Escape from £155 (D, B&B) until the 24th March; Spring Sleepover from £329 (2 nights D, B&B) from the 17th April – 19th May.

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (except Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining: 12-16 in the Aga Room
  • Parking
  • Disabled access to Tackroom dining room; not the bedrooms

Gongs
Waitrose Good Food Guide; Good Hotel Guide; Michelin; Welsh Rarebits

Eat & Drink

The Felin Fach Griffin Brecon, Powys, LD3 0UB

Mastering the menu

Max Wilson, formerly head chef at the New Yard restaurant in Cornwall, joined the team in November 2014 and is relishing his role. He visits local farms and artisan producers, and works closely with gardener Joe Hand to ensure fresh supplies of salads, herbs (more recently, micro-herbs), fruit and vegetables for his daily changing menus and also for homemade jams and chutneys. Evolving with the seasons, a typical winter set lunch menu may highlight mushroom and tarragon soup followed by pheasant pie, mashed potatoes and carrots, while for supper, tuck into squid tempura, sweet chilli mayonnaise and lime, rib-eye steak with onions, chips and peppercorn sauce. Puddings may include iced banana parfait, toffee sauce, peanut crunch and chocolate ice cream, washed down with a glass of Nectar (2009) from the island of Samos.

On the menu

Lamb pastille, Jerusalem artichoke
Duck ballotine, duck parfait, rhubarb & ginger chutney
Lemon sole, brown crab beignet, crab butter
Pork belly, hash brown, celeriac & kale
Pear & almond tart, amaretti ice cream
Buttermilk pannacotta, poached rhubarb, honeycomb, rhubarb sorbet

Sunday Roasts

Roast rib of beef
Roast leg of Welsh lamb
Set menu – 2 courses £21; 3 courses £26

Foodie Extras

Walker’s Picnics – take a packed lunch with or without wine or champagne (from £8.50); Regular wine dinners; Spend an afternoon foraging for mushrooms with the local forager and eat them for supper; Strawberry Tea Party.

Time to Eat

Breakfast: 8am – 9.30am (8.30am – 9.30am weekends)
Lunch: 12 noon – 2.30pm
Dinner: 6pm – 9pm (9.30pm Friday & Saturday)

Local, local, local

Black Mountain Smokery, Crickhowell (www.smoked-foods.co.uk)
James Gourmet Coffee, Ross-on-Wye (www.jamesgourmetcoffee.com)
Penpont Organic, Sennybridge (salads, herbs, flowers) (www.penpont.com)
Irma Fingal Rock, Monmouth (wine – www.pinotnoir.co.uk)
Welsh Venison Centre, Bwlch (www.breconfarmshop.co.uk)
Paddy Sweeney Butchers, Brecon
Principality Pigs of Llandefalle (from Duncan – up the hill from the pub)
Fruit, vegetables, herbs & micro-herbs from the Griffin Organic Garden

Behind the bar

The Griffin takes drinking very seriously and the impressive Drinks List makes for interesting reading and is best perused while supping a tip-top pint of Wye Valley ale. The choice of wines reflects the true spirit of The Griffin, all sourced from small, independent and passionate merchants, and the eclectic, wittily described list (20 by the glass or carafe) changes from month to month and, if you sample an absolute corker during your stay, then you can ask to see the separate (& very sensible) price list for wines to take away. The Inkin’s drink passion extends beyond wine to other amazing independent producers, from unusual Sherries, to Cornish Pastis, Penderyn Welsh Whisky, Chase Vodka and Tarquins Gin from Cornwall’s own South Western Distillery. Cider from Herefordshire, Cornwall and Monmouthshire, and up to four real ales from local micro-breweries completes the boozy picture. Delicious soft drinks include natural fruit juices from Lovely Drinks and home-made lemonade.

Time at the bar

11am – 11pm

What’s the Damage?
7 doubles: £130 – £225; Sunday Sleepover from £185 through the winter; Winter Escape from £155 (D, B&B) until the 24th March; Spring Sleepover from £329 (2 nights D, B&B) from the 17th April – 19th May.

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (except Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining: 12-16 in the Aga Room
  • Parking
  • Disabled access to Tackroom dining room; not the bedrooms

Gongs
Waitrose Good Food Guide; Good Hotel Guide; Michelin; Welsh Rarebits

Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know – gabrielle@innplaces.co.uk.

1 Inn Location - The Felin Fach Griffin

2

Penderyn Distillery CF44 0SX

Only 20 minutes from the Felin Fach Griffin, in the village of Penderyn, this is Wales's only whisky distillery. They have a popular visitors centre where you can take a tour and taste the award-winning whisky as well as the gin and vodka made here.

3

Black Mountain Smokery, Crickhowell NP8 1DF

Based in the lovely village of Crickhowell, Jo and Jonathan Carthew have run this fantastic smokery for the past decade and their award-winning smoked fish, poultry and cured meats appear on menus all over the region. You are welcome to call into the smokery shop during office hours and they are planning to run tastings and informal private tours of the smokehouse.

4

Ancre Hill Estates, Monmouth NP25 5HS

One of the top wineries in Wales, Richard and Joy Morris win international awards for their wine and you can visit them and take a tour of the vineyard, preferably pre-booked. The pinot noir is said to be 'world class'.

5

The Old Stables Tea Rooms, Hay-on-Wye HR3 5AN

Former hotel chef Mike Carnell and his wife Rachel make a range of award-winning preserves (many of them served at breakfast at the Felin Fach Griffin) but the couple and their daughter, Katie, also run this delightful tea rooms, serving homemade cakes and scones plus around 40 varieties of tea.

6

The Star, Talybont-on-Usk LD3 7YX

Regarded by those in the know as the best beer pub in area, The Star has been the Brecknockshire CAMRA pub of the year for the past six years. Local ales dominate the hand pumps here and if the sun shines, you can grab a table in the peaceful garden next to the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal.

7

Black Mountain Gold, Crickhowell NP8 1BE

Master chocolatier Jules James worked around the world as a pastry chef before returning to his home town of Crickhowell to set up his award-winning artisan chocolate shop, which serves fantastic hot chocolate and also runs chocolate-making workshops.

8

Beacons Farm Shop, Bwlch LD3 7HQ

Part of the Welsh Venison Centre established in 1985, much of the meat served at the Felin Fach Griffin comes from this exceptional farm shop and butchers. As well as local meat from animals roaming around Middlewood Farm, the shop sells bread, eggs, bacon, beer, wine, pork pies and a range of other deli items.

9

Talgarth Mill, Talgarth , LD3 0BW

Nestling at the foot of the Black Mountains, halfway between Brecon and Hay-on-Wye, this traditional watermill was restored in 2011 as part of the BBC's Village SOS TV programme. The machinery is always turning and they mill the flour three or four times a week. Guided tours are available and you can buy the wholemeal flour to take home or simply sample the delicious home-baked bread served in The Bakers' Table cafe.

11

Brecon Brewing, Brecon LD3 8BT

Established by respected local brewer Buster Grant in 2011, Brecon Brewing produces a range of excellent ales including Snowy Beacons and Dark Skies. Buy bottles from the brewery shop open weekdays only.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Felin Fach Griffin

Activities

2

Art Courses, Talgarth LD3 0DY

This beautiful area may well inspire you to try your hand at something creative. Niel Bally's studio is in the foothills of the Black Mountains (near Talgarth) and he runs various courses, from life drawing to printing and painting. Classes are small and suitable for all levels.

3

Kevin Walker Mountain Activities, Brecon NP8 1LA

Based in the Brecon Beacons National Park, this is a long-established hill walking business with qualified instructors offers a range of courses including land navigation training, trekking, hill skills, private guiding and walking events. Very small groups ensure you learn as much as possible.

4

Drover Holidays, Hay-on-Wye HR3 5EH

Arranging guided and self-guided walking (or cycling or mountain biking) holidays, they can organise accommodation, provide you with maps, and move your luggage for you. The range of tours from 'easy to 'strenuous' are tailored to your needs. They also hire bikes and will deliver to where you're staying or want to ride.

5

Wye Valley Canoes, Glasbury-on-Wye HR3 5NP

On the banks of the Wye, four miles outside Hay-on-Wye, this canoe centre has a fleet of Canadian canoes, single kayaks and double kayaks, which you can hire for a few hours or a few days. You paddle downstream and, when you get to where you're going, simply give them a ring and they'll come and collect you.

6

Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon LD3 7EW

Wales' first solar-powered theatre is located at the end of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal in the pretty market town of Brecon and offers a popular programme of performing arts and entertainment throughout the year. There's a gallery as well, with exhibitions of work from artists in the region.

Shopping

14

Hay Makers Gallery, St Johns Place, Hay-on-Wye HR3 5BN

The Hay Makers is a co-operative of professional designer makers. The gallery opened in the 1980s and has flourished ever since; you'll find a broad range of work on display, from furniture and wooden bowls to ceramics, stone-carving and textiles. Regular exhibitions throughout the year showcase some of the finest contemporary British makers.

19

Great English Outdoors, Castle Street, Hay-on-Wye HR3 5DF

A fabulous shop (and online store) stocking handmade goods from Welsh wool blankets to leatherwork (including purses and wallets made from 200-year-old reindeer leather), plus beakers and bangles, beautiful bags and ethically made British tailored clothing.

21

Fable, Cross Street, Abergavenny NP7 5ER

Fable stocks quirky toys and gifts, including a great selection of traditional toys and games that you might remember from your own childhood. There are wooden toys and outdoor stuff, plus a good choice of gifts for new babies.

22

Hay-on-Wye HR3 5DG

This charming market town is most famous for its literature festival (in May) and its enormous selection of second-hand bookshops. There are meant to be more than 30, some general and some more specific, such as Murder & Mayhem, which specialises in crime. There are lots of non-book based independent shops as well.

Places to visit

8

National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon NP18 1AE

Wales was the furthest outpost of the Roman Empire and in AD75 they built a fortress at Caerleon, one of only three permanent fortresses in Roman Britain. The ruins include the most complete amphitheatre in the UK. At weekends and school holidays, children can try on replica armour.

9

Cantref Adventure Farm, Cantref, Brecon LD3 8LR

If you have young children, Cantref is a good day out. It's a farm park with loads of activities, from pony rides and feeding baby animals (at the right time of year, obviously), to paddle boats and trampolines. There are indoor activities, too.

10

National Cycle Collection, Llandrindod Wells LD1 5DL

If you've ever wondered exactly how big the big wheel of a penny farthing, or fancied learning more about the history of the bicycle from earliest velocipede to the most hi-tech modern creation, you'll find the National Cycle Collection quite fascinating. There are all kinds of bicycle-related ephemera as well, from enamel signs to posters and lamps. More than 200 machines are on display in a 'historic street' setting.

11

Tintern Abbey, Tintern NP16 6SE

Founded by Cistercian monks in the 12th century, this impressive ruin has inspired artists and writers for centuries and has been a picturesque tourist attraction since the 18th century. The setting is just beautiful.

12

National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llanarthne SA32 8HN

Opened in 2000, the Botanic Gardens quickly became the most visited garden in Wales. The collection contains more than 8,000 different plant varieties, spread across 560 acres of beautiful countryside. There are lovely themed gardens and the splendid and dramatic glasshouse is a stunning centrepiece, plus events all year.

13

Royal Welsh Museum, Watton, Brecon LD3 7EB

Visit the Regimental Museum of The Royal Welsh, Wales' infantry regiment, and learn about their fascinating history stretching back to 1689. There's a fine collection of military artefacts, including uniforms, weapons and medals, while the Zulu War Room tells the story of the Battle of Rorke's Drift.

20

Blaenavon NP4 9AS

Blaenavon is probably most famous for the unique and exciting experience of going underground at Big Pit: National Mining Museum, but there's plenty more to do all round the historic industrial landscape, which is a World Heritage Site. There are events throughout the year, exhibitions, talks and walks, while Big Pit remains the most popular attraction; based around the former Big Pit Colliery, which was sunk in about 1860 and closed in 1980, the site reopened as a museum in 1983. A visit to Big Pit includes a 300ft (90m) descent into the old colliery, where a former coalminer will take you on a fascinating and personal tour with the sights, sounds and smells of the mine, and giving an impression of what working life was really like at the coalface.

Walking

www.breconbeacons.org
The Brecon Beacons offer fabulous walking: big skies and wide-open spaces, hills and gorges, waterfalls, woodland, lakes and forests. There are trails to suit all levels of experience and fitness. The Brecon Beacons National Park is Wales’ first Geopark and one of only seven Dark Sky Reserves in the world. The Beacons Way walk will give you some of the best views, and you can either do the whole lot – 152km (95 miles) – which takes eight days, or split it up to suit you. There are also various shorter walks between three and seven miles in length, even these can have sharp gradients, though, so wear boots or good shoes.

Cycling

www.breconbeacons.org
www.droverholidays.co.uk
The Brecon Beacons National Park has bike guides and hire companies that can help you set up anything from a day’s bike hire to a complete package with everything included. There’s an amazing variety of terrain, including towpaths, lanes and hillside tracks. The Park Authority Mountain Bike Pack (available online) contains 14 single track mountain bike route cards. Drover Holidays run small group guided tours and will help you plan your own tour if you prefer to be more independent.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

Just off A470 at Felin Fach, 4.5 miles north of Brecon.

Address:

Felin Fach,, Brecon, Powys, LD3 0UB

Rooms rates & booking
Reviews

Reviews

The Sunday Times, 100 Ultimate British Hotels 2013, Posh Pubs
‘Upstairs, the decor’s nothing too adventurous, but warm Welsh blankets and solid, no-nonsense furniture make things snug. You’ll be in the bar for most of your stay, though, either sprawling in front of a crackling fire, or waxing lyrical about Ross Bruce’s cooking at dinner. The man’s a genius with meat.’

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