Wednesday, 5 September 2012
The Friary, Cardiff [map]
We'd really rather not but we're obliged to visit the Steam Bar for the sake of completism. It's a bit like going to the dentist: just because you know it's coming doesn't make it any less painful.
We trudge to the bar reluctantly, like condemned men to the gallows.
It's worse than we thought. Not worse than death, obviously. Come on: let's get some perspective here, people.
But this is clearly no place for thirsty barflies in urgent need of reasonably priced brews.
We quickly learn that of the four - four! - draught beers, both the Beck's and Brains Smooth are off. As a result, we grudgingly make do with two pints of Stella, the total cost of which is a staggering £9.20.
On second thoughts, it does feel like a small death.
The bar's attached to the Hilton and predominantly seems to serve hotel guests on their way out to find somewhere else that offers a wider range of drinks at more competitive prices. (Not that difficult, to be honest.)
Presumably, it's this reliance on a wholly transient clientele that also explains why no one has felt the need to update the decor in about 15 years.
Although nothing can justify hanging a large black-and-white photo of Pat Butcher on the wall.
The upper seating area. Looks like they're having about as good a time as we are.