The Penny Farthing, situated on Cowbridge High Street, has undergone a bit of change over the last couple of years. Previously Farthings, it was then sold to become the Quarter Penny and was then re-sold to become the now current Penny Farthing! It has also undergone a recent refurbishment, which has updated what had become a little tired and jaded and injected a new lease of life into the restaurant whilst still managing to retain is original features, charm and character. The inside is really cosy and welcoming and the outside bijou courtyard is a real sun trap on a sunny day.
We have been to the Penny Farthing on numerous occasions, mainly for their breakfasts or for coffee and cake, but on this occasion we decided to try it out for a family lunch. As it was a sunny September day we opted to sit outside in the courtyard. We were lucky enough to get a table by walking up the side entrance and timing it at such a time when a table of diners were getting up to leave. When my husband went to order at the bar, he was told that he should have come through the main entrance and would have been seated from there. This wasn’t clear from outside as it actually sign-posted the courtyard. Luckily for us she let us stay where we were! As we were sat there we saw at least another three tables enter and sit themselves from the side entrance so they obviously need to make this clearer.
The courtyard is very small with a couple of tables, a few of which were lucky enough to have umbrellas to provide some welcome shade. As it was such a hot day I wouldn’t have coped in one of the tables in full sun. Whilst small with no view, they have made the most of the small space with a pretty selection of potted plants and flowers.
The menu is pretty extensive, with all day breakfasts, salads and light lunches and their signature dishes including lasagne and beef and ale pie, all of which are homemade. They also have daily specials. The childrens menu, priced at £4.50, includes a drink of milk or squash.
I opted for the Warm Shredded Duck Wrap with chunky chips (£8.95), which was really tasty. There was plenty of duck in an oozing hoisin sauce. I didn’t really think that the combination went that well with the side of chips, a side salad would have been better. The chips were pretty tasty though and what I couldn’t finish (very filling) was devoured by my youngest. I washed my meal down with a very reasonably price glass of house Rose.
My husband chose the Tuna & Cheddar Panini with chips and coleslaw (£8.90) which he said was lovely!
One of my boys chose the tomato linguine topped with grated cheddar and the other cod fish fingers, peas and smiley faces. Both were eaten very quickly and were then followed by a scoop of very chocolately ice-cream.
The place itself was packed, and as a result the service was a little mixed. I witnessed some tables get their drinks after their food and servers wandering around looking lost with food in their hands not sure of which table to serve it to. We seemed to be lucky with our server, but we did have to wait a while for our plates to be cleared which wasn’t ideal in the height of wasp season. I also find it a bit of a pain that you have to order at the bar, especially if you then later want another drink or dessert.
However, I wouldn’t let any of this put me off, as the food and ambience more than make up for any short comings. As they state on their website “Our aim is to provide quality, unfussy, home-made food and beverages, all served in a welcoming environment where you can escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and just relax”. I would say well done The Penny Farthing as you achieved just that for us.