It wasn’t raining and almost t-shirt weather so I was expecting the town to be assez-rammed. With a thirst on, I tried the cafe at Llangollen station (which was a bit Brief Encounter) but they were closing so I had to drag my carcass over the bridge to look for fluidation.

Down a side street near the war memorial (which was being peed on by a couple of greyhounds), I found a caff called Riverbanc. Welsh spelling, I correctly assumed, unless they had missed an ‘l’ between the ‘b’ and the ‘a’ and it was another one in Raymond’s clutch of restaurants.

It was semi-busy inside and found a fixed chair/table combo near the window made from reclaimed wood. I had to manoeuvre myself into the space as it was one of those seats that, unless you have a waist of a toddler, you have to pour yourself into and hope you don’t need the fire brigade to get you out when you want to leave.

There was another table opposite me overlooked by a giant GWR poster and separated by a Covid- blocking sheet of perplex. A slim woman decamped behind it then sat staring at me as if I had been unveiled by Steve Jobs at a tech conference. Her hair had not been washed since Blackpool last won the FA Cup and her makeup had been applied by one of the inhabitants of Chester Zoo.

Luckily a pencil-thin man, whose colour must have influenced Procol Harum at some point, sat down and took her attention away from me. I surveyed the space and found the vibe to be chilled with some laid back tunes played from the counter. An abundance of pot plants, a mini craft shop pedalling local artist’s wares and collapsing panelling (which had to be supported by a couple of tall chairs) below the counter were noted as I decided what to have.

Then an pleasant if embryonic girl took my order which arrived in good time. My Welsh Rarebit was OK but it could have done with some seasoning and was a bit stingy – I doubt Mr Creosote would have been satisfied somehow. Oh and the coffee was a bit meh too and would hardly have caused a stampede of punters after another cup.

I gave up trying to use the wifi that was poorer than many Third-World countries so instead watched a couple of young guns getting a bit over-friendly in the corner. Since they have rooms upstairs here, I thought it would have been polite to book in there rather than start rutting in front of an audience. Maybe they don’t rent the rooms by the hour here but there’s an idea for them….

So I paid and made for the toilets. I had to weave past a man resembling a young Vladimir Putin but with a body of a Pez Despenser as he stared at the floor like he was thinking about getting it retiled.

The boggage was a good size with wallpaper that looked like it was downloaded straight from David Bellamy’s brain. After latrining, I thought I’d have a beak out of the back door and onto a decking area. This revealed an attached hotel block sat over an outdoor activities office with loads of canoes that you can take out onto the River Dee. So you can stay at the Riverblanc and do rafting, kayaking and all those nearly-drowning activities in a shell of fiberglass or plastic.

Then there was the view of the river – wowzer. I had to stay and savour this view and it cost me the price of another drink. This time I had loose leaf Earl Grey which was akin to drinking Jeyes Fluid but I didn’t care. I could listen to the babbling weir and watch the local heron try and catch something for its tea. That reminds me where’s the nearest chippy?

Verdict: 3/5


Quite interesting inside. Great view of the river.


Seating inside uncomfortable. Stingy portions. Wifi. Coffee meh.