A PUB on the Herefordshire border says it is delighted to make the top three in the Hereford Times Best Pub 2022 competition.

Owners Chris and Angela Ireland are the faces behind the Harp Inn at Old Radnor, less than five miles from Kington.

The pair said it was a nice boost in some difficult times for the hospitality industry to make the top three.

The runners-up say the secret to running a successful pub in a rural location with so few customers within walking distance is just to run the sort of pub they would like to go to.

The team came in the top three after nominations and votes from readers of the Hereford Times.

So that means they have a menu with the traditional pub classics, but “switching up” other dishes to keep it fresh.


They say what they offer has to be special to entice people to drive to their rural location, between Kington and Presteigne in Powys, as well as make customers feel welcome when they walk through the door of the pub, which offers fantastic views over the Radnor Valley from its beer garden.

The couple took over the pub, which boasts old slate floors, oak beams, antique settles and a huge open log fire, in 2010 and then in 2018 their head chef Josh Smith and general manager Katie Marsden joined.

Along with the rest of the team, Mr and Mrs Ireland praised them for their hard work to make the pub what it is today.

The pub is currently having a short two-week hiatus as the team has a break after a busy summer.

Hands-on owners Mr and Mrs Ireland said there is naturally a lull in trade during November, before business picks up again towards Christmas ­– and they say the festive period is “looking positive so far”, despite the cost-of-living crisis affecting the country.

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With five letting bedrooms on top of the bar and restaurant, the pair said it gives the business a nice mix of people, from locals drinking to people driving a distance to eat, to people driving bigger distances for a break in the countryside.

A nomination for the pub said: “The best food I’ve ever had, from evening meals to a Sunday roast it won’t be beaten. They always go the extra mile for you.”

What you said about Harp Inn, Old Radnor

Here is a selection of the comments left when Hereford Times readers nominated the Harp Inn.

Peter Chard said: "The food is sublime, and the service is top-notch, nothing is too much trouble and the ambience is excellent.

"It's my favourite place for chilled-out food and drink."

Jenny Gut said: "Lovely hosts with good food at a stunning place."

Evan Jones said: "A beautiful, tranquil establishment nestled in the rolling hills of Old Radnor, this pub provides excellent service, fantastic drinks and out-of-this-world food!2

Rosie Williams said: "The owner is super friendly and welcoming. The atmosphere is great, especially when the fire is lit. The food is the best and reasonably priced."


Katy Gwilt said: "The best food I’ve ever had, from evening meals to a Sunday roast it won’t be beaten.

"They will always go the extra mile for you and nothing is too much trouble. Lovely cosy atmosphere and the staff are always friendly and welcoming."

Sophie Smith said: "Great menu that is regularly changed with seasonal dishes. The atmosphere and the whole environment are comfortable, calm and relaxing.

"The owners are lovely people and the staff are well-informed and welcoming. We are regulars and will always be huge fans."

Susan Mercer said: "The perfect pub. Good food, excellent service, and polite and happy staff. Everything was cooked to perfection."