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Charming country classic
The Three Cocks Coaching Inn is on the road just south of Hay-on-Wye, in the barely-a-hamlet of Three Cocks. It is almost a parody of a country inn, something you might see in a British comedy. Charming, clean, well-managed, the inn is run by a husband-and-wife team with help from their daughter. At least that’s how I imagined the relationships—I didn’t actually ask.
When we arrived late afternoon, the 29th of May (Royal Wedding Day) I walked into the lobby to find three older couples getting acquainted over glasses of wine. I went to reception, found nobody, so on around to the small bar, through the dining room, out into the garden, poked my head into the kitchen, and back down the hall. Just then the proprietress came down the stairs, looked at me for just a moment as though I was intruding, then greeted me warmly, and asked where my wife was. “Someone has to unload the luggage,” I joked.
After I returned to the car, my partner and I entered the lobby with the luggage. Conversation between the older guests stopped. Then one of the women said to another. “Did you see Elton John and his partner at the wedding today?” Almost like saying “Speaking of homosexuals…” Tell me that’s not British comedy...
According to the pictures on the wall, the inn has stood there for over 500 years. Sitting in the bar I remarked that the ceiling had sagged a lot over the years, then realized that that ceiling was the floor of our room. Indeed, our room (large, comfortable) sloped heavily to the middle, and the bathroom sloped nicely away from the door. Not disturbingly so—charmingly so.
The innkeeper asked if we’d be staying for dinner when I arrived and I said no, we’d go into town, but a thunderstorm came up just then and she inquired again if we’d stay for dinner. We said we would. The daughter brought menus to our seats in the bar, and we made our selections, was told it would be 45 minutes or so, and that we’d be called into the dining room when it was our time. Over the next hour couples were escorted into the dining room as their menu choices neared completion, and we joined them in turn. The food was well prepared, tasty, and the servings were generous.
We slept wonderfully.
The following morning we slept in, showered, packed, and ambled down to reception at 10:30. Mrs. met us in the hallway.
“You missed breakfast.” She seemed put out.
“Sorry, I didn’t know breakfast was included.”
“Of course it is. I waited until 10:00 for you.”
"I am sorry.”
"Well, you missed it now, haven’t you? Chef has gone to the market.”
It was a perfect comedic exchange, and I wanted to hug her--but Brits don't go for touching.
We settled the bill and moved on to enjoy a drive through Brecon.
We'd recommend the Three Cocks Coaching Inn for it's charming clean comfort. It's a great experience on any Welsh holiday.
Directions: Rural area a few short miles south of the charming Hay-on-Wye
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