The Pelican in her Piety is a pub in a fantastic location. In
Village, Vale of Glamorgan, up the river
from Ogmore-by-Sea and its beach, and across the road from
and the stepping stones to the spectacular sand dunes of Merthyr Mawr. Ogmore Castle
I first went to the Pelican around five years ago, when its reputation for food was riding high; thanks in part to some rave newspaper reviews. It was a gastropub when the term still meant something. The pub is still under the same management. Stephen Fisher took it on as Managing Director in 1999 and spectacularly reversed its fortunes (claiming a 500% increase in turnover); he is currently Operations Director.
On Friday, after dropping my eldest at her work experience and taking a strenuous walk around Merthyr Mawr in the sun, an al fresco lunch at The Pelican in her Piety seemed to be called for.
I had one of the lunchtime specials (on the slates): Fresh Gower mussels cooked in garlic, white wine and cream sauce. They were served in an impressively large Mussel Pot with a crusty baguette (£10.95). The mussels were large and succulent. The portion size was large, the creamy liquor plentiful and the bread was fresh.
Other specials on offer included Homemade Moussaka with Greek salad, Green pesto and homemade onion marmalade and Goats cheese flatbread, cod and chips, Beef madras, minted lamb-burger. There’s also a full menu of lunch options, including sandwich baguettes.
The real ales on tap on Friday included Wye Valley Ales, Sharp’s Doom Bar and Marsden’s Pedigree. The Pelican is an occasional live music venue.
The Pelican in her Piety has recently divided opinion on review sites, as to whether the food justifies the above-average prices. If you drop in after a day on the beach expecting inexpensive pub food you may be disappointed. Some may also have over-inflated expectations, based on previous rave reviews in the press.
However, The Pelican has loyal regulars and people who regularly return as visitors. I personally have no complaints as an occasional visitor. I think this is a place to go when you know what you want, and are prepared to pay restaurant prices to get it. It may be beer-battered fish and chips by the log fire in the characterful Ogmore Bar or, in my case, mussels in the sunshine outside.
With the change in the weather, and the kid’s off on holidays next week, my summer definitely started with a lunch at The Pelican.
The Pelican in her Piety
Vale of Glamorgan CF32 0QP
01656 880 049
The Vale of Glamorgan Pub Tour 2012:
The Farmers Arms, St Brides Major
The Bush Inn, St Hilary
Lamb and Flag, Wick
Six Bells, Penmark
Blacksmith’s Arms, Llanmaes