You know how sometimes you go for a meal and people tell you the place is family friendly? And then you get there to realise that while the restaurant has plenty of kiddie meals to choose from, it’s really not good for families at all. Your table is squashed into a corner, with no room to get a buggy in or out, and you have to ask other diners to move every time your little one needs the toilet. And then you get conscious of disturbing other diners when your little ones start getting loud and restless because the food is taking ages to come. It’s awful, isn’t it? Thankfully, Pantruthyun Farm, a Table Table pub restaurant in Pencoed is none of those things – and we had a great time there on Sunday as a family, with our three children of five and under.
There’s a spacious car park right outside the pub, and buggy-friendly access in through the main doors. We were greeted at the doors, my children given colouring sheets and crayons, and shown to the table we’d reserved.
One of the things I love most about this place was that all the tables were in their own little dining areas, all of differing sizes and all decorated slightly differently. Ours was a big round table, with plenty of space around it and walls that enclosed the area but without cutting you off completely from the rest of the pub. Others were perfect for bigger groups, many of them – like this one – looking like someone’s dining room.
The food itself was standard pub grub. The portions were generous, the prices reasonable and we didn’t have to wait too long for our food to come. There was a good selection on the menu, and being a Sunday, we could choose between the Sunday dinner menu or the regular one.
Cardiff Daddy ordered an 8oz sirloin steak, served with chips, peas, a grilled tomato and mushrooms. I’m a vegetarian and there were a few choices. However, they were all quite carb and cheese-heavy relying on pasta and pasty, which isn’t great when you’re trying to eat healthy or don’t want to be laden down with stodge. I opted for the woodland mushroom risotto; I would have liked a little more sauce, but it was nice. It also would have been good if there had been a vegetarian choice among the salads – two of them featured chicken and one was wild salmon.
The children’s menu is great, featuring pictures of the food, which means children can choose for themselves, even if they can’t read. The children’s meal deal was £3.99 for a main course plus two side dishes, and either a starter or a pudding. You could top up to three courses for an extra 99p. We thought this was a great price. Older children can choose from the junior menu, featuring a selection of dishes from the main menu in smaller portions, for £4.99.
Little Miss E ordered her favourite spaghetti bolognaise, while both my boys had macaroni cheese. The portion sizes were just right and they pretty much cleaned their plates. Other options included hot dogs, burgers and poppin’ chicken – not the kind of thing my children really eat, but we felt there was a decent enough selection for all tastes, and were glad to see a few vegetable and salad options in the sides.
For dessert, we ordered the fondue for Baby, which was a selection of fresh fruit served with a pot of warm chocolate fudge sauce to dip it into. Such a great idea, striking the balance between a healthy choice but a bit of a treat too. The other two had the Sweetie Sundae, which is vanilla ice cream in a child-size sundae glass, accompanied by mini chocolate beans, sugar strands and chocolate coated popping candy. They loved decorating their ice creams – and eating them too, of course.
Cardiff Daddy had a lemon meringue pie and a coffee, while I just had a berry tea instead of dessert.
We sat inside as the weather wasn’t great – but the beer garden area is lovely. There’s plenty of tables scattered around and a decent-sized grassed area that would be perfect for little ones to run around in the summer. One member of staff told us there used to be a children’s playground – but sadly that went, along with an indoor one too, during a refurbishment a couple of years ago. My children were not happy when they heard these little facts!
With its enclosed dining areas, Pantruthyn Farm would be perfect for get-togethers with family or friends. The only real downside for those of us living in Cardiff is that the location is a bit unusual – it’s easy to get to as it’s straight off the M4 at Junction 35, but it’s in the middle of a business retail park, so not much else of note nearby. We coincided our visit with a trip to Mcarthur Glen Designer Outlet to pick up some discounted summer shoes at the Clarks outlet store, but it would be good to combine it with a visit to Ogmore Bay or Porthcawl beach.
It’s part of the Premier Inn, which is handily situated next door. It would be good for people coming to South Wales who wanted easy access to both Cardiff and Swansea, as well as Porthcawl and Ogmore, or it would make a good stopping point for anyone travelling down to West Wales.
Overall, we thought this was a great choice for a family pub meal – it’s just a shame for us it’s not closer to home.