A decade or so ago, Rhyd-Y-Pennau was one of the best choices in the Borth/Aberystwyth area for pub food with a restaurant feel of quality. Sadly those days are in the past.
This was our first visit for several years, and it was a bit of a shock to see the scale of the decline. Most of this related to the maintenance - chipped and stained tables that were sticky to the touch; faded decor; and a problem in the dining room that meant the floor had lifted and there was a substantial trip hazard with a ridge several inches high running down its middle.
On the plus side, there is ample parking at the pub and it can seat a reasonable number of people. We had a carvery at £7.95, and the quality was actually quite good - but the overall ambience and sense of decay really let the whole thing down. The setting can make all the difference to the experience of food.
Rhyd-Y-Pennau would be down at one or at best two stars for its ambience; it creeps up to two or three for the food, which was OK. My preferred star rating here would be two-and-a-half - "poor" would too harsh, but "average" is too generous.
An urgent renovation programme is needed, and this could be a great place again. Let's hope the money is there for this to happen; we all know how tough life is for pubs these days. But a little spent on refurbishing modestly could make a big difference!
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