Who doesn’t love spending a lazy summers day catching up with friends over a few cold ones in a sunny beer garden? As I now have kiddies, my regular visit to the pub with friends have long gone.
But all is not lost! Now when arranging a catch-up with friends or finding somewhere for an easy lunch we often head to one of these pubs in the Vale, which have the added bonus of a childrens play area. This ensures the kids aren’t stroppy and bored and constantly asking when we can leave. The result; adults happy, kids happy, win-win!
Most of the pubs listed also have the added bonus of being dog friendly too.
Cottrell Park Golf Club, St. Nicholos – Has a fantastic play area
Ok, so not a pub exactly. But Golf clubs are often overlooked when it comes to thinking of where to head for a bite to eat, despite all to often serving up good meals at reasonable prices.
Cottrell Park has a pretty extensive menu from lighter bites (including sandwiches and jacket potatoes) to the usual curries and pies. It also has a childrens menu. We sampled the jacket potatoes, omelette and the chicken curry which were all pretty decent.
The outside patio area offers lovely views over the golf course and the outside play area is one of the best I’ve seen for a restaurant. It has a floor level trampoline, a sand pit area and the usual climbing frames.
Well behaved dogs on leads are also allowed in the restaurant as well as the outside area.
The Watermill, Ogmore by Sea – Has amazing countryside views
On the way back from the beaches of Ogmore or Dunraven, this pub has the perfect spot and the most wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. It has a pretty large sunny outside seating area with an enclosed play area, which is more suited for those 8 and under.
Food is the usual pub fare, but it also offers pizzas and sharing platters along with a full childrens menu. If I’m honest we’ve found the food a bit hit and miss and on a sunny day the service can be slow. But if all you’re after is some decent enough pub classics, a bowl of chips, or just a drink, it’s a nice place to stop off while the kids have a play.
It’s been a regular stop for us over the years with all three little ones in their various stages and ages. The outside area and small bar area inside are also dog friendly.
The Red Fox Inn, Penllyn – Serves up delicious home cooked food
This pub is a really traditional country pub, serving up home cooked pub classics and offering a very warm welcome. Awarded CAMRA pub of the year in 2014 it serves up a really good selection of beers and ales and wine.
We called in recently for lunch and sampled the chicken and chorizo skewers, onion soup and the lasagne. All of which were very yummy and all home cooked. The childrens meals were excellent with homemade chicken nuggets and boiled ham.
The outside play area isn’t in the same league as the others listed, but there is plenty of outside space, a small slide and some football posts which kept our little ones entertained for ages.
Dogs on leads are welcome in the bar area, the garden area, but not the restaurant.
The Three Horse Shoes, Moulton – Has an indoor play area for rainy days
For us, this is more of a spot to stop off at for a drink on the way back from a day out rather than eating there. I’ve eaten there once and the scampi and chips was ok, but nothing to write home about.
What is great is the play area, which has a really large garden area and a huge fort for the kids to play in. It’s a handy spot on the way back from Cardiff or at Barry. There is even an indoor soft play area which is useful for rainy days which you have to pay a little extra for.