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A historic country inn with bags of character and all modern comforts. Super-hospitable, with hosts and staff who go that extra mile. Good food from an award-winning chef, and a great location for mountains and coast.

Tradition runs through the bones of this fine old country hostelry. Make that timbers, for the Brigands Inn will seduce fans of half-timbered, endearingly wonky buildings with an ancestry stretching back centuries. Tradition is also woven into the name: this 15th-century coaching inn is named after the Red Brigands (or Bandits) of Mawddwy, 16th-century red-haired robbers and highwaymen who became famous in folk literature.

By now, you should be getting a picture of this cosy, characterful bolthole, cocooned in the forested hills and open mountainsides of southern Snowdonia. Think crackling log fires, feature fireplaces, solid oak furniture, comfy sofas and restful bedrooms with deep mattresses, all wrapped in a warm welcome from Kevin, Sue and their friendly, enthusiastic staff, and you’ll know what to expect. The inn might have that warm patina of age, but it also provides all the comforts expected by today’s travellers. It has recently been thoroughly refurbished, with bedrooms (some with four-posters) that boast Egyptian cotton sheets, plump duvets and luxurious bathrooms with baths and monsoon showers (or separate walk-in showers), fluffy towels and quality Ebony London toiletries.

The food, like the entire inn, is in harmony with its surroundings, reflecting the ready availability of quality, seasonal local produce. Expect full-flavoured, honest dishes and fabulous breakfasts (the inn is a National Breakfast Award-winner). The inn’s cache of awards also includes the UK’s Dog Friendly Pub of the Year (they even offer a specially made beer for dogs, though humans might prefer the excellent range of real ales).

Step outside and walkers have the choice of riverside strolls beside the Dyfi or proper mountain adventures on Cader Idris and the like. There’s also fishing, mountain biking and shooting. And you’ll find the call of the coast irresistible – the beautiful Mawddach Estuary and grand sweep of Cardigan Bay are but a short drive away.

Welsh Rarebits

Welsh Rarebits are a million miles removed from the bland, corporate, soulless places run by the big boys of the so-called hospitality industry. So what makes a Welsh Rarebit? They're all different. Very different - everything from traditional country houses to cutting edge boutique boltholes, luxury spas to historic inns. We look at things like comfort, attention to detail, food, decor and all those small touches that add up to so much, separating the best from the rest.
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