And it’s taken eight years to do all 260

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - RUTH MOSALSKI Re­porter ruth.mosalski@waleson­

IT WAS an idea their wives came up with, but two friends can now proudly say they have vis­ited every pub in Cardiff. Richard Car­pen­ter and Dou­glas Friedli have made 260 vis­its to pubs all across the cap­i­tal.

It has taken them eight years to com­plete their am­bi­tious mis­sion.

The idea started at Dou­glas’ wife Jo’s 40th birth­day.

Richard said: “We were all to­gether for that and we were talk­ing about how many pubs there are in Wales and would it be pos­si­ble to go to them all.

“Then my wife Danielle said ‘Why don’t you start with every pub in Cardiff’.” And the rest, they say is his­tory. The first pub was Richard’s lo­cal, The Heath on Septem­ber 1, 2009.

On the same day they went on to three oth­ers, The Gower (which has since closed), The Cr­wys and The Flora.

At that point, they had five cat­e­gories by which they were judg­ing the pubs.

Dou­glas, from Whitchurch, Cardiff, said: “We started off be­ing quite strict and we had five cri­te­ria in­clud­ing at­mos­phere and qual­ity of beer, but we al­ways ended up with an av­er­age score of seven.

So they took to a dif­fer­ent tack – Twit­ter.

Dou­glas has tweeted a sum­mary and a score of each pub im­me­di­ately af­ter­wards.

None have scored 10 out of 10, but be­fore it was dis­man­tled The Vul­can in Adam Street, got the high­est mark.

Of those sur­viv­ing, Urban Tap­house in the city cen­tre was one of the high­est rank­ing.

They have tried to make monthly vis­its to the pubs, usu­ally tick­ing off a few in a night.

They have had a drink in every pub they vis­ited, but never a soft drink.

Favourites have in­cluded a good pint of SA in the City Arms or a craft beer.

But the whiskey-in­fused beer was their least favourite.

They joke that when they started their chal­lenge, craft beer didn’t ac­tu­ally ex­ist – so their tastes have got more ex­trav­a­gant as its gone on.

To get their mas­ter list, all stored on Dou­glas’ spread­sheet, they got a list of all premises li­censed by Cardiff coun­cil, and dis­counted any where you had to be a mem­ber, or which weren’t pub­licly ac­ces­si­ble.

So­cial clubs and any­where you had to pay en­try for were dis­counted, as were restau­rants.

“There were some pubs we thought we weren’t go­ing to en­joy that much but some of those turned out to be some of the best.”

In one, where they de­scribe be­ing the only ones wear­ing for­mal shoes, they were asked if they were the drugs squad, and in another Richard had his coat “ac­quired” by a reg­u­lar.

When they went to the re­branded Yates’ on Greyfri­ars Road, they were shar­ing their pints with East­end­ers char­ac­ters Kat and Nigel.

But there was another prob­lem, pubs kept open­ing and clos­ing – so they had to make re­turn vis­its.

They es­ti­mate that of the 260 they vis­ited, 213 re­main open.

Their last pub in­volved a speed boat ride to Flat Holm Is­land for a pint in the Gull and Leek.

It was a pub that was truly unique, and not just be­cause they al­lowed their fam­i­lies along for the ride.

They loved the beer gar­den, which as Dou­glas said, is ba­si­cally the whole is­land.

“It was a re­ally nice, sim­ple bar with pic­tures on the wall.

“It had a proper pub sign out­side and a chatty bar man.

“It was a sunny day in Oc­to­ber when we went and it was pretty much as close to per­fect as you could get.” And what next? Well, as I left them, they were toy­ing with the idea of head­ing to a gin bar.

Richard Car­pen­ter and Dou­glas Friedli raise a pint to their pub mis­sion

Richard Car­pen­ter and Dou­glas Friedli at the last pub on their list

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