Proof alone - if proof were indeed needed - that expensive refurbishments of dilapidated former Georgian entertainment venues do not a proper pub make.
Back in Llandudno for the first time since when the RAC Rally came nearby some 30 years ago and when, on a wet Monday night in November, the resort was not, its fair to say, at its pretty best. Scroll forwards those 30 years and armed with a weather forecast that the weather was better up the western side of the land, we find ourselves back here once more. Must say, it looks better in the sunshine!
And we liked it. And what went some way to an enjoyable few days in the promised fine spell was some quality time here at The Carlton. Situated next to the roundabout in the centre of town at the conjuncture of the road between the bays, the main shopping street and the mini train terminus, its on the way to - or the way back from, most things touristy in resort.
Its a proper pub used by locals and visitors alike - always a good sign I find. We didn't dine here but what we saw looked OK though we tended to call in here for drinks and people watch mid to late afternoons when the sun comes around and its nice to able to sit outside under the canopy. Well, I say canopy. Its probably a remaining feature harking back to the Victorians who put colonnades like this one around and along shopping streets.
And after a few visits, I mastered the "...and a pint of Stella in a polycarbonate glass to sit outside at a table under the canopy" routine - the [ landlady??] liked me to be specific. And I couldn't blame her too, the local licencing wallahs may not be too keen on alfresco continental style drinking on the pavement forecourt but we liked it purely because we could. She did however look at me sideways a couple of times as though I was taking the proverbial. As if I would.
Bottom line is this. You're in town, you need a beer, you like good service at a fair price and the sun is shining, then go to the Carlton without further hesitation. And avoid the black hole up the road.
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