One strand running through this blog during 2012 will be a tour of village pubs in the Vale of Glamorgan. Some have become fairly well-known outside the area, for example, The Plough and
Harrow at Monknash,
while others have not. There are some hidden gems.
lies just north of Llantwit
Major (Llanilltud Fawr) in the heart of the Vale of Glamorgan; it’s the other
side of the B4265 to Llantwit Major (and a footpath from that road means it is an
easy walk from Llantwit Major). Llanmaes has a 13th Century church
dedicated to St Cattwg (St Cadoc) and a pub: The Blacksmiths Arms. village of Llanmaes
The food is traditional, with some original twists. There is an oriental influence, and a creative use of cheese and nuts.
We often skip starters at pubs, but not here as they sounded so intriguing. The
I had the Stilton and Mushroom Knot. Crisp filo pastry parcels (literally knotted) sitting in a Chinese restaurant-style sweet chilli sauce prepare your taste buds for something oriental, but when you bite into them you get a hit of creamy
Mushroom, Cranberry & Brie
. This vegetarian wellington dish
was an original creation. The golden puff pastry contained sautéed mushrooms, spinach, cranberries and hazelnuts,
topped with Brie. This was served with a bowl of chips – good crunchy pub chips - and a share of the vegetable bowl. Wellington
There is an admirable policy of sourcing locally and seasonally. Main courses peak in the £8 to £12 price range.
A good range of beers can be found on the handpumps; The Blacksmiths Arms has an entry in the Good Beer Guide 2012. There’s a pleasant seating area out front (the road’s not busy; it’s a quiet village). Yes: I’ve noted it as a potential summer pint stop off (handily just off the B4265)!
The interior has been remodelled, but with a good feel for what a traditional pub should be. The word ‘gastropub’ is bandied about on the website (not my favourite word; I like a pub to be a pub). However, there are locals at the bar and it certainly feels like a Vale of Glamorgan village pub. It’s probably referring to the creative spin the kitchen puts on their dishes.
The Blacksmiths Arms do Sunday Roasts, Tuesday is Steak Night, and Thursday is a themed night (each month food from a different country's cuisine is served). You get the impression the chef likes his work.
Next stop: The Six Bells in Penmark.
The Blacksmiths Arms, Llanmaes, near Llantwit
, Vale of
Tel: 01446 795996