Friday, 20 July 2012

The Farmers Arms, St Brides Major

You would once have got a funny look if you said you were going for breakfast in a pub. Thankfully those chicken-in-a-(plastic)-basket days have long gone, and food can be shamelessly enjoyed in pubs at all times of the day.

After dropping my eldest daughter at the Glamorgan Heritage Coast Centre in Southerndown for her work experience earlier this week, we had planned on a coastal walk. The weather was pretty foul, however, so after a token look around the walled garden and headland, the pub in St Bride’s Major advertising breakfast from 10am proved irresistible.

The Farmers Arms is also known as the Pub on the Pond, due to its location across the road from the large village pond. We passed here a while back and it was closed. However, The Farmers Arms was being extensively refurbished and in April this year it reopened under new management.

This is very much a dining pub, with a thoroughly modernized dining area that looks like any number of other pubs, although there is a traditional bar area at the opposite end to the restaurant. It’s a big pub that caters for visitors passing through St Bride’s Major to get to the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. It’s also close to a circular footpath walk.

I had the full English breakfast. This was a meaty affair, with sausages, bacon and black pudding, along with egg, beans, a large mushroom and fried bread. There was also a plate of toast, which didn’t fit into the photo. One of the largest and most enjoyable breakfasts I had had in a while. Our other choice was the egg and bacon roll; the fresh bread met with particular approval. With two lattes, the bill came to £13.95.

Lunchtime and evening specials kick in alongside an extensive all-day menu. The chef’s specials on the board this week included lamb curry, steak, and creamy chicken breast dishes. Prices are reasonable and a quick survey of Internet review sites suggests the pub’s reputation for food has been maintained, and quite possibly enhanced. The new manager at The Farmers Arms also owns The Sportsman’s Rest in Peterston-super-Ely, in The Vale of Glamorgan, just outside Cardiff.

There are two pubs in St Bride’s Major, the other being The Fox and Hounds.

Summer crowds have been notably absent on the Heritage Coast this week. However, things may soon change. The sun may eventually appear (The Farmers Arms has a beer garden); while the coming month will be an important time for all the pubs in the area, because thousands of visitors will be arriving for the National Eisteddfod (4-11 August on the old Llandow airfield in the heart of the Vale of Glamorgan). Pendants welcoming Eisteddfod guests are hanging in bars, while a chain of new campsites have opened along the coast.

The Farmers Arms
Wick Road
St Bride’s Major
Vale of Glamorgan CF32 0SE
01656 880224

NB. Website still under construction []

Visit the Vale (Glamorgan Heritage Coast):

The Vale of Glamorgan Pub Tour 2012:

The Bush Inn, St Hilary

Lamb and Flag, Wick

Blue Anchor, East Aberthaw

Six Bells, Penmark

Blacksmith’s Arms, Llanmaes

Plough and Harrow, Monknash

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