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“An excellent venue with great live music”

The Bunch of Grapes
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $7 - $26
Cuisines: Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Outdoor Seating, Takeout
Description: We are a 16th Century Traditional Family Run Pub, Open 365 days a year. We are situated opposite the remains of the castle in Newcastle Emlyn. We serve locally sourced home made food from 12-3 and 6-9 Monday - Saturday, 12-5 Sunday. We are open daily from 11am until late. We have free WiFi and Sky Sports and BT Sports coverage on 4 big screens. Sunny beer gardens to the front and rear. Children welcome, dogs welcome. Cask ales always on tap and a selection of wines and spirits, we also have a vast choice of malt whiskeys. We have regular live music throughout the summer.
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“An excellent venue with great live music”
Reviewed June 4, 2013

I'm a professional musician and we recently played at the Bunch of Grapes on a Bank Holiday.The pub was quite busy, but we were met by a friendly group opening the door for us as we brought our equipment in. The bar staff were all very helpful and professional and the audience were great. Some sat and listened and a few got up and danced along to the music.It was particularly nice to see the young regulars enjoying themselves and being so enthusiastic. Several came up to us afterwards and said how much they'd enjoyed the playing. That made my evening! Again they helped hold the doors open again and helped clear the way as we were getting the equipment back out.

One group of visitors were passing in the street and came in because they heard the music. They approached me afterwards and said it had been a real bonus to their evening. They'd been to a couple of pubs in town and this was their favourite. A great pub, which serves good good and regularly has live music. What more could you want?

Having played at ten venues this month I would recommend The Bunch of Grapes, particularly as there is not much else happening in the immediate area, and its really beneficial for local people and local musicians to have these great venues! Check it out!

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Curtis C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Valerie W, Owner at The Bunch of Grapes, responded to this review, March 10, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write a review of The Bunch of Grapes. I am glad you enjoyed your visit as a musician and found the locals friendly, helpful and accommodating. We are just starting our regular live music nights again so I hope to see you again soon.
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108 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lampeter, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Could be better but great food!”
Reviewed May 27, 2013

What can I say about the Bunch of Grapes at Newcastle Emlyn? Here's my very own experience whilst visiting there and the town last weekend. Firstly, my only reason in the town last weekend was to see a band that I'd looked forward to seeing for a while play there. The place is renowned for putting on live music with local bands, those further afield, and open mic nights making up the variety. I arrived there in the early evening to get a drink and a feeling of the place before I checked into my hotel for the night. I was served by a pleasant enough girl behind the bar and proceeded to watch one of the three large television sets that are located in the main bar as a rugby match was being shown. I got chatting to three customers nearby and they were indeed very pleasant people to talk to. As an historian, I instantly appreciated the lovely photos of the town that were clearly visible around the whole of this lovely bar room. As the 'venue' as such was fairly small I asked where exactly in the room the band would be playing and told that there was space between the left side television at the bottom and the kitchen. As this was just a three piece band I could see no problem there. Just before I left I also asked about booking a Sunday lunch for the following day and I duly booked one.

A couple of hours later and I was back around fifteen minutes before the band were due on at 9.00pm. All three televisions there showed the Champions League Final and there was much interest shown in that event by the local, very much youngster type, punters. I just ordered a light refreshing soft drink as I try to avoid alcohol when going to watch live music be at a larger venue or a pub like this. The place was quite noisy for that time of night, but what caught my attention was the drunken state of many of the punters. Some were more controlled than others but so many of them were very bleary eyed and even falling over each other at various times. I thought to myself that I'm in for a difficult evening here unless these youngsters moved on.

The band started promptly as scheduled and from the very first song, these youngsters started to dance frantically to the music being played. Now if a music style has a certain catchy beat to it, then I can understand the urge to dance to it. This crowd though had no real feel for the music being played and in all honesty wouldn't care less about it. The genre was a 1950's classic style of stuff that these youngsters wouldn't give the time of day for on their radio's or cd compartments. They were just drunk and danced, or falling over, to anything that was being played. The football in the meantime was still being showed even as the band were playing and there was further outbreaks of silliness going on when anyone scored. There was a break of presence for a time though as some went out the front to have a smoke and a drink (drinks allowed out until 10.30pm) or go to the rear where there was a pool table I believe and another outside area.

The band played two sets up until around 11.00pm and I really enjoyed their playing. It was after all the reason I was present. What I didn't enjoy though again was the quite pathetic dancing movement of some of the punters with glasses or bottles in hand and virtually falling over themselves. This wasn't rock 'n roll dancing and apart from one impressive couple who danced quite beautifully for one song (I hope you're reading this) the others were just drunken locals who could hardly control themselves. Some were very embarrassing to watch and were very much a distraction to the proper music listeners present. These drunks wouldn't have a clue the next morning of who were singing there the previous evening. I seriously thought at one time that one of them was trying to dig for a bone with the way his arms were flapping about and bumping into others at the same time and pushing a table sideways too. One woman nearly knocked herself out. Even though I didn't want the music to stop, I'm pretty glad it came to an end when it did. I did make new friends whom I sat beside for the whole of the second half and that was very much a positive aspect of the gig and there times during the sets when no-one danced at all. That was a blessing.

The antics that were shown by some of these punters is obviously a regular occurrence at the place. There's no doubt that it's a youngsters or very local clientele's pub that just happens to have music on at the weekend. It's not a proper music venue that would be appealing to the more expert minded in us that follow the scene. I thought the bar staff could have nipped some of the antics in the bud, but they were quite nonchalant to it all. Maybe I'm getting old or out of touch but staff at many a local I've visited over the years wouldn't have put up with it. Then again the bar staff were quite young themselves I thought and as there were no serious incidents to report then were quite happy to play along. One bad move though could have created a very different scenario and it would only need one spark for the place to kick off. I'm glad that it didn't of course and everyone went home in one piece I presume. The band hardly sold any cd's, though I got mine, and that proves my point that the 'dancers' present wouldn't touch the music with a barge pole otherwise.

I was in two minds if I'd go back the following day for lunch, but as I'm a loyal person, and a hungry one by the time, I thought it best to give them a go. I recognized a few there from the previous evening but had no conversation with them. This is where the real positive side to the Bunch of Grapes comes into presence. I ordered a cider and a beef dinner. I hardly had to wait for my dinner to be served at the seating as it was on the table within a few minutes of taking my position. The service was excellent and the dinner was of a very high standard with plenty of it for a very reasonable price. I've seen places charge double for Sunday lunches such as this and give half the portion. Not so here. Excellent quality throughout and very highly recommended. A job well done.

To sum up my experience of this establishment I've come to this conclusion. It's true that the pub is probably the only one in this little market town that does have live bands on a weekly basis. We must be thankful for that in itself. The staff were friendly enough, but didn't go out of their way to be more than presentable behind the bar to a total stranger who visited for the first time on Saturday and Sunday. They did their job and that was it. No more. It's very much a local's pub. If I were to go in there again this Saturday (and they do have a great band lined up as I've seen them elsewhere) then I'd probably see the same faces. As another reviewer has pointed out, it probably has a great atmosphere on rugby match days and with the large televisions there everyone would be able to see those games clearly. The choice of drinks behind the bar were aplenty and the food was of the highest standard.

As I said right in the very beginning, my sole purpose to the Bunch of Grapes was the music and nothing else. I'm ever so glad to have seen the band at last. Will I go back there? For food, that's a most definite yes, but for music on a Saturday night, then probably not. I'd rather wait and see where else my preferred band were playing. This is solely due to the drunken behaviour of the Bunch of ***** that were present at the Bunch of Grapes!! Newcastle Emlyn lacks a nightclub for these youngsters to attend. All towns need at least one nightclub for that generation of punter to attend on a weekly basis. Carmarthen or Cardigan are the nearest venues for that scene but if you add up the cost of going to and from these places then pubs such as the Bunch of Grapes will always attract these youngsters.

I can only wish the owners of the Bunch of Grapes all the very best for the future as there are aspects of real potential there and I really do take my hat off to you for providing entertainment. The bar area is cosy enough and walls have very interesting items scattered all over which I always admire in pubs. I'm afraid that you won't see me again for any of those aforementioned gigs unless the negative points were rectified a little in order for the passer-by to truly enjoy themselves.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank AJones45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Valerie W, Owner at The Bunch of Grapes, responded to this review, March 10, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write a very extensive review of The Bunch of Grapes. I am pleased that you enjoyed your food and various aspects of the pub. I am however sorry that you did not enjoy your evening listening to the live music. Yes we are a locals pub and yes we do get a lot of younger customers. However we also try our best to be friendly and welcoming to visitors and during the summer months there are many. I was on holiday at the time of your visit and I am sorry that my staff did not take more control of the situation, however it was a bank holiday weekend and perhaps they overlooked what was happening. It is not easy to please all the people all of the time and we can only do our best, clearly on this occasion we did not succeed! There used to be a nightclub in the town but it was closed down several years ago so yes we do try to accommodate the younger clientele towards the latter half of the evening whilst still appealing to the older clientele earlier on! So yes it is a delicate balance as you so rightly say. Hopefully you will make a return visit some day and see that your experience is not the "norm".
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Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great for rugby fans”
Reviewed April 5, 2013

Nice pub, friendly - and chips come round when a game is on.

But above all - the ONLY pub I know in the area who will show an England rugby game live as well as a Wales game (nearly all other pubs refuse). So if you're an England rugby fan this is the pub to go to - and what's more, with Welsh watching on one screen and English on the other, it all adds to the friendly banter and atmosphere. The pub of choice

Visited February 2013
2 Thank NHLampeter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Valerie W, Owner at The Bunch of Grapes, responded to this review, May 2, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write a review. As we have 2 Sky feeds we always show 2 different sporting events when requested. And yes we do like to encourage the banter and good atmosphere during various games whether it be Wales and England or Man United and Man City!
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