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Kilvert's Hotel, Hay on Wye

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user reviews of the Kilvert's Hotel, Hay on Wye

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Kilverts has a nice position in the centre of this town. It's quite a large place inside and there are also a couple of tables at the front. The ale selection was a bit limited with more pumpclips turned round than in use. But they did have Brecon Welsh Beacons & Wye Valley Butty Bach. More importantly for me, Gwynt y Ddraig Farmhouse Scrumpy was being sold from a box at the back of the bar. Staff are friendly. But it does feel a bit touristy.
blue_scrumpy - 19 Sep 2016 20:37
Beer here is certainly not cheap! Also my pint was served in a dirty glass. Bit of a tourist trap and they rely on that it seems.
HGSterling - 11 Feb 2015 20:08
Seems popular with both locals and tourists.

Good beer. 5 handpumps. Ale both local and national. Interesting pairing of beer and food.
beerbelly66 - 15 Jul 2014 19:30
Large pub/hotel which is really difficult to categorise. Bar area is quite small but main room is long and oddly shaped. Nice range of local ales and reasonably good food, although like everywhere else in Hay, was not that cheap. Traditionally furnished and perhaps not the tidiest pub in the world, but maybe that's part of its charm. Gets a tick from me.
Campanologist - 18 Sep 2012 17:00
Popped in for a swift one at lunchtime and got served straight away by a friendly barmaid. But soon the pub filled up and a long queue formed at the bar. There seemed to be plenty of staff serving food but it desparately needs a dedeicated area to order food. Excellent selection of local ales and cider. The Breconshire Brewery Gold Beacon and the Waen Brewery First of the Summer Waen where very good. Didn't eat, but food looked good.
Mothroy - 5 Jun 2012 21:37
Good front bar with an excellent ranges of beers, cider & perry all in good nick. Sunday afternoon and only one person serving at the bar and getting food. Not the friendliest of welcomes and all seemed a bit gloomy inside. All in all needs a bit of de-cluttering to get it all up to the standard of the drinks on offer.
thewickingman - 7 May 2012 19:03
Minus points:
Food slow (1 hour wait); cold when it arrived and incorrect order (beef delivered instead of lamb). It was Sunday lunchtime, and chef had two large tables to do in front of us. Bloody London priced beer (3.30), which is irritating when other pubs in the area are managing 2.60-2.80 a pint.

Plus points:
The ale was really good, though. So, good beer and the garden are the main reasons for the high score.

Sampled Butty Bach and Kilvert's Gold which were both tasty and fresh. The highlight, however, was the guest - Thai Bo which tasted of lemon grass, great summer pint.
HappyJack - 1 Aug 2011 14:27
Slightly trendy pub-cum-hotel, good outdoor drinking area at the front on a sunny day. 3.40 for a pint of Butty Bach was a bit steep, though.
Heatonian - 4 Jul 2011 18:05
Apologies for the draft lagers being off - our chiller failed on the Friday night and we had the repair man out first thing in the morning to fix it, resulting in the lagers being off until mid afternoon. This has only happened twice in the 4.5 years we've been here.

Glad to know you enjoyed your other drinks, and hope next time you try the food.


Ed.kilverts - 12 Apr 2011 14:39
Seems like a decent place, but they had a bit of a mare on Saturday. All draft lagers were off. No problem for me, but try telling your weak lager drinking mother that the only lagers available are bottles of Leffe and Budvar Dark! Butty Bach and Old Rosie Cider were excellent, but couldn't stay to eat due to lack of lager.
dan76uk - 12 Apr 2011 10:48
Beer good. Food good value. Well worth a visit
NigelW - 2 Sep 2010 12:19
Very much enjoyed my stay here. Room had recently been refurbished. As to the bar - 8 Handpumps offering 6 ales and 2 scrumpy ciders. On the first night Butty Bach, Kilvert's Gold, Red Dragon, DG's Summer Ale, Dark Star Weissbier and one that failed to catch my eye. On the second night 3 of the beers had changed! The food was good enough both nights, Steak and Ale a proper slice of pie and Salmon steak was refreshingly not overcooked. Other half's Rib-eye was spot on and fish and chips very agreeable. Staff seemed new but keen, no problems found. Overall an excellent pub, the live music on Tuesday night interesting to say the least. Importantly for me, beer quality was best in town, as shown by CAMRA POTY bronze on the wall for 2 years running. Beer festival advertised for last weekend of September, as found on website.

First attempt at rating and reviewing, genuinely can't fault this place.
new_beer_lover - 12 Aug 2010 00:45
Stayed here on business during the week. Kilverts Gold which according to Ratebeer is a rebadge of Breconshire Welsh Pale Ale wasn't on, Breconshire Red Dragon, Wye Valley Butty Bach, Pedigree and Thwaites Lancaster Bomber. Beers I had were decent enough
Traditional looking pub with a number of locals at the bar as you might expect. Food finishes at 9pm.
GuideDogSaint - 19 Apr 2010 18:46
A nice stone build in the main square, with dormer windows, front beer patio and rear beer garden.

The interior has a restaurant, which i didn't visit and a pub, which of course, i did. The pub part is one room, with a small bar in the corner. The decor is white, with beamed ceiling and supports, wood panel, along with a stone fireplace at one end and a marble-effect? one at the other. The decoration is a mixture of paintings, caricature/cartoon and the lamented but stunning Audrey Hepburn - oh, and a guitar. There were a collection of wine bottles and an array of real ale beer mats/pump clips. There was a big screen TV, not on.

The service was excellent, "especially the older woman", the clientele mixed and sadly for a miserable person like me, the place was full both at lunch and evening when i popped back. It seems popular with the locals as a couple of the book sellers were in, that i had chatted to, when i returned.

I didn't eat here, but i wish i had. No idea of the quality, but the portions looked decent and nothing can be worse than the Hay Cafe, where i paid 11 for a couple of lamb burgers that were burnt and no thicker than one of the beer mats on the wall here.

Beer; usual tap things, with an excellent Butty Bach,a decent Arkells Moonlight and Brecon Brewery's Kilvert's Gold and an untried Bass on handpull.

I cant really pick much fault in the place, other than its too small for a misery like me - and i probably never bothered before as it is a hotel, rather than pub. I returned to this pub for my last of the trip simply as it was the best - if this place did a MILD, it would be hard to beat.
Archivist - 11 Oct 2009 21:15
Went there for the beer festival, staff weren't very friendly, especially the older woman, (manageress I think) behind the bar. Maybe she should stay in the kitchen, or at least away from the public.
Very pricey beer and food.
mrmax - 30 Sep 2009 16:31
edtheduck -

I presume you are the proprietor of Kilverts.

Golden Sheep? What the hell is that? Do you not even know the names of the beers you are selling?

I had a pint of *Black Sheep*, which was utterly rotten!

The consumers of the other 67.5 pints must have drunk it in better condition or had so sense of taste or smell.


Avoid this place like the plague.
griffo59 - 18 Aug 2009 13:24
Apologies for the late reply - as both of the previous posters have noted we have been extremely busy recently! Thank you both for your feedback.

Griffo59 - We now take all but 2 of the bar stools away at lunchtimes so that more people can get to the small bar. As mentioned, the recent upturn in trade was a pleasant surprise. I'm very sorry that your Golden Sheep was that bad, we do take great pride in our ales and hence the recent awards for them. I must admit I'm surprised, as the other 67.5 pints we sold were fine. We happily replace any pint a customer isn't happy with - and at 3 a pint I'm surprised you didn't want it replacing - with 5 on there was plenty of choice. As for the Carling again I can only apologise - rest assured I line clean every Thursday morning without fail.

AleBob - We now have added to our staff so that every lunch there is a waitress, a bar staff and another member of staff who does both - I can only apologise for running out of food and the slow service, we've been pleasantly surprised with the sudden upturn in trade.
edtheduck - 17 Aug 2009 17:24
The service was quite slow and then a lot of what was on the menu wasn't available. A few good ales. Could do with more staff! The saving grace was the burger: home made and very nice.
Ale_Bob - 2 Aug 2009 23:02
What is the hype about Kilverts all about?

Visited on a Monday afternoon (27/07/09).

First impression was of being sternly warned by the surly barmaid that "you know we're not doing food, don't you?!" before I had even opened my mouth.

Having eaten a rather excellent lunch at the nearby Black Lion, this was not an issue, thankfully.

Attractive pub from the outside, with exterior seating, in the heart of Hay. Used to be good years ago and had a big black old tom cat called Kilvert who lounged about and looked menacingly at you at you sat an supped.

This was my first visit for about 5 years.

Tiny bar, with locals sat on stools so you can only get served at the one space where there isn't a stool. Snooty, smug locals making remarks about how crowded the pub is with visitors and openly wondering "wherever do they all come from?".

Kilverts is seemingly lauded for it's fine ales. This is amazing given my recent experience.

Of the four ales available, I chose a pint of Masham's Black Sheep.

It was simply filth! The worst pint of ale I have had the misfortune to taste in many years. It was sour, cloudy and reeked.

One of our party had an innocuous half of Carling. That too was rotten - with the distinct and unmistakable sourness of dirty lines.

"Top Top pub" ?? I think not.

Perhaps they were having a bad day, but I can safely say I will not be visiting Kilverts for a good long while. Too many other good pubs in Hay to waste your time with crappy ale and awful service.
griffo59 - 28 Jul 2009 19:27
An idyllic and spacious beer garden is a major plus of this spectacular hotel/pub in one of Wales' loveliest towns. The interior gets a little busy and there is a good selection of ales. Food is serviceable but unmemorable - slghtly more effort in this department could elevate the pub in the national standings.
BoehmBawerk - 2 Jun 2009 13:03
Top Top pub, fantastic food, great beer, lovely atmosphere, friendly staff :-) 9.5/10!
notters - 9 Apr 2009 14:16
Forgot to mention 10p from every pint sold goes to the Welsh Air Ambulance, as well as a Christmas Hamper Raffle, proceeds of which also to the Welsh Air Ambulance
edtheduck - 20 Nov 2008 17:06
Mini -Beer Festival over the last weekend in November (28th - 30th). 5 Ales + Ciders & Perries, happy hour each day 6-7pm, 10% Discount to CAMRA members.
edtheduck - 20 Nov 2008 17:00
Good food, reasonably priced and the service was good too. Had a pint of the Butty and a Sunday roast lunch.

Large beer garden to the rear; restaurant room and main pub area inside. Also some tables and seating to the front. So quite a big establishment with various places to eat or drink.
dpaajones - 11 Aug 2008 13:02
Visited on 2nd august - excellent pizza to share with side dishes such as salad, chips vegetables all at 2.50- a tad expensive but it is a hotel and at 12.95 in total for a meal for two good value
allinh - 3 Aug 2008 16:35
Stayed a couple of nights and very good it is too. Friendly staff, spot on Wye Valley beer and decent food, especially in the restaurant. Recommended.
nickdavies - 9 Jul 2007 11:52
An excellent pub with a great range of real ales and ciders - serves really good fish and chips (although the service can be a bit slow)and the bar staff are friendly.
Lordsnooty - 30 Jun 2007 15:34
Great place to sit out round the front and watch the Hay world go by, and lovely garden at back; friendly and non-fussy feel to the place. I haven't eaten the pizza since 2004, so maybe it has picked up (by the sound of previous post) and I can risk it again.
spincat - 28 Oct 2006 07:28
I was in Hay for a week last summer and spent pretty much every afternoon in the garden with a pint of Guinness and the day's book haul. Amazingly good pizza, too.
jendleberry - 11 Apr 2006 17:29
A fantastic place in the narrow lanes of Hay on Wye. Great beer garden and friendly staff and locals. The food is great (there is good Vegetarian as well.
Aaron - 19 May 2004 04:23

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