The Horseshoe Inn, Old Abergavenny Road, Mamhilad

Located as we are in a small village in rural Wales, we have plenty of country pubs in short reach, and we’re keen to check them all out. This week was the turn of The Horseshoe Inn & Country Kitchen in Mamhilad, to which we made an impromptu visit for Saturday lunch. It’s on a windy country lane just within the Brecon Beacons National Park, down in the south east corner.

Traditional country pub, the Horseshoe Inn, Pontypool

The main body of this traditional pub is in a historic building with thick white-washed walls, leaded-glass windows and two large stone fireplaces inside. Next door has been transformed into a conference facility. A small car park opposite the pub also offers several wooden tables for outdoor dining, with beautiful views across sheep-filled farmland.

Traditional pub interior, the Horseshoe Inn, Pontypool

We shared a starter of Garlic Mushroom Bruschetta (£5.95), in which a pile of mushrooms drenched in creamy garlic sauce are piled on a toasted ciabatta. The flavours were excellent, but the sauce was thin and runny, such that the dish arrived with the ciabatta soaked through and soggy, and the sauce pooled at the bottom of the dish. Tasted great nonetheless.

Mushrooms in garlicky cream on ciabatta at the Horseshoe Inn, Pontypool

Pete’s Cheese Ploughman’s lunch (£7.95) was very generous on the cheese, almost to a fault as it was a huge amount of cheese for one sitting. Our preference would be to reduce the cheese portions a little, in favour of more salad, and perhaps some coleslaw. The chutney and red onion marmalade were both delicious. A ham ploughman’s is also available.

Ploughman's Lunch at the Horseshoe Inn, Pontypool

My Steak Sandwich (£9.95) with chips and red onion marmalade would have been a winner had it not been so stingy on the steak. What was there was tasty, and the homemade chips, were excellent as was that onion marmalade.

Steak ciabatta sandwich and chips at the Horseshoe Inn, Pontypool

There are many other menu items I’d like to try, not least their homemade pies (which the chalked specials board tells us are proper pies with pastry all around, rather than just a lid), and pub classics such as homemade faggots, fish and chips, sausages and mash, and roasts.

Service is friendly, welcoming to strangers and regulars alike.

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Traditional country pub, the Horseshoe Inn, Pontypool

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5 Comments to "The Horseshoe Inn, Old Abergavenny Road, Mamhilad"

  1. team NotLeafy

    Gosh, haven’t been there for years – used to be M NL’s lunchtime local when he worked in the area. Was then very much a family-run place. Love flavoursome garlic mushrooms but feel part of the joy of an on-bread dish is the textural ‘soaked in places and crispy in others’ thing. Sounds tasty nonetheless!

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