Tuesday, March 25, 2008

now that's what I call a Good Friday

We went for a bit of an exploratory walk around Newport on Good Friday with our friends Hannah and Mark. I took a few pictures, which can be viewed here. Before the whole thing descended into a pub crawl we saw a few places of interest which were new to me:

  • The striking Newport City footbridge was opened just over a year ago and takes you over the Usk from central Newport to.....
  • Rodney Parade, home ground of Newport RFC and the Newport-Gwent Dragons. I presume on match days there's some form of security in place to prevent you just wandering in off the street, but the place was deserted on Friday and the gates were open, so we had a bit of a snoop around. Then we wandered back over the Newport Bridge to.....
  • Newport Castle. It's not the most spectacular or well-preserved castle in the world, or even South Wales, but I can't help feeling the city could make a bit more of it. It's slightly awkwardly situated right between the main road and railway bridges into the city, and hemmed in on the landward side by a roundabout (it originally extended back quite a way into what is now the city centre, but that's all gone) but they could at least let you have a wander round what's left.
Then we checked out some pubs. We started in the Pen & Wig at the bottom of Stow Hill - very nice draught Bass (a pleasant surprise as a really good pint of Bass is a rarity these days - cheap too) and nice potato wedges, and then moved on to the Red Lion a bit further up the hill - very good Black Sheep and Deuchars IPA, and a pool table. Once we'd dragged ourselves away from there we had a quick pint of Everard's Pitch Black stout in the Six Bells at the top of the hill, and then we went to the recently opened Swan Lake Russian restaurant next door. And very nice too. The beer (and the complimentary vodka, and the couple of bottles of Georgian wine) have dulled my recollections a bit, but the food was very good, borscht and all.

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