Sunday Lunch-ing in the Vale – Restaurant Review: The Six Bells, Penmark

Nestled in the quiet village of Penmark, near Cardiff Airport, The Six Bells is a charming 16th century inn/pub offering a relaxed, homely atmosphere.

Alongside an impressive collection of beers, cask ales, wines and spirits, the pub offers a restaurant menu featuring a range of dishes, each freshly made using locally sourced produce.

The Six Bells has built up a fantastic reputation for its food, having received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for the past two years running. The dishes on the menu are more sophisticated than your typical pub grub – think bacon and black pudding salad (£5.45), confit duck (£13.95) and chicken Madeira (£10.95), with a side of sautéed potatoes or a panache of vegetables. A number of trusty classics have made the cut though, like pie of the day (£9.50), ham, egg and chips (£9) and whole tail scampi (£9). Click here to see the full menu.

The prices are slightly above what you’d expect for pub food, but not entirely unreasonable for a restaurant based in an affluent village like Penmark. Besides, the quality of the food is far better than that served up in most pubs.

Food is served from 12pm-2.30pm and 6pm-9pm from Tuesday to Saturday, whilst Sunday dinner is served from 12pm-4pm.

I visited the Six Bells with my friend Sarah last Sunday, as we were very keen to try out their roast dinners. Prices range from £8.95 for one course, £10.95 for two courses or £14.95 for three courses.

The Sunday lunch menu is updated weekly, but it always includes three choices of meat, a fish option and a vegetarian dish. Even better, you get a Yorkshire pudding and stuffing with any of the meat options. There’s nothing worse than having to go without a Yorkshire pudding or stuffing just because you haven’t ordered beef or chicken. I like my roast dinners with all the trimmings, and that’s what you get at the Six Bells!

Starters

To start, there were five dishes to choose from. I was immediately drawn to the breaded Scottish haggis balls, served with a colourful side salad of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, sliced peppers, carrot and red onion and a whiskey cream sauce.

Coated in a layer of crispy, golden brown breadcrumbs, the haggis balls were delicious. They had that rich, peppery taste of haggis but because they were bite-size, they weren’t too heavy to enjoy as a starter.

Meanwhile, the whiskey cream sauce was very moreish. It wasn’t too overpowering and it had a thick, yet smooth consistency – the perfect match for the breaded haggis balls.

Sarah chose the chicken liver and pork terrine to start, served with warm toast, cherry compote and a crisp side salad.

The terrine was smooth, flavoursome and there was plenty of it, while the compote was very impressive; freshly made using whole cherries.


Mains

Being a poultry lover, I opted for the Roast Glamorganshire Turkey for my Sunday lunch.

When our waiter brought our meal to the table, we were literally in awe at the size of the Yorkshire puddings on our plates – they were enormous – and they tasted amazing, too! It was a good job our meals came with a gravy boat in addition to the gravy on our plates, as this came in very handy for dunking.

Served with both roast and new potatoes, stuffing and lashings of thick, meaty gravy, the turkey was tender and succulent, just how turkey should be. Sarah isn’t even that keen on turkey, but I let her try some and she thought it tasted great too.

Roast potatoes are my favourite part of Sunday lunch and I was pleased to discover that they were a deep golden brown, with a rich, crispy coating and a soft, fluffy centre.

Our roast dinners were served with a generous portion of steamed broccoli, cauliflower, carrot and white cabbage for sharing. All of the veg was cooked to perfection – not too soft, yet not undercooked – just fresh, firm and flavoursome.

Sarah couldn’t resist the sound of the roast New Farm topside of beef, also served with both roast and new potatoes, stuffing and a Yorkshire pudding, in a pool of gravy.

Slightly pink in the centre, the beef was succulent, moist and rich and it took barely any chewing. I began to wish I’d ordered it for myself!

 

After our starters and main courses, we were far too full to even entertain getting a dessert, but the Sunday lunch menu offered several tempting options, including caramel and apple tart, chocolate fudge cake and a selection of Welsh cheeses.

We had a truly fantastic time at the Six Bells. The food was exceptional, the service was very efficient and all of the staff were friendly and attentive. We could tell that they knew the locals as they chatted away to different tables of diners, but we were made to feel equally as welcome as newcomers.

As testament to how much we enjoyed our meals, we booked to return for Sunday lunch again next month before we even got out of the pub – just try to keep us away!

Where’s your favourite place for a roast dinner in Cardiff and surrounding areas? Let me know in the comments box below 🙂

The Six Bells
Penmark
Vale of Glamorgan
CF62 3BP
(01446) 710 229
www.sixbellspenmark.co.uk

I was invited to The Six Bells as a guest and our food and drinks were provided complimentary; however, I was not obliged to write a positive review. 

28 Comments

  1. February 20, 2016 / 8:24 pm

    There is nothing quite like a roast – oh how I fancy one now hmm might have to see what I can do tomorrow. x

    • February 20, 2016 / 9:02 pm

      Me too! I was meant to do one tonight but my friend’s car broke down so looks like we will be having a roast on Monday instead now.

  2. February 20, 2016 / 9:52 pm

    You’re so lucky to have so many absolutely fantastic restaurants around where you live! Another gem!

    • February 22, 2016 / 5:10 pm

      Thank you! I know… Cardiff is a real magnet for good restaurants at the moment. It’s great! 😀

  3. February 20, 2016 / 10:41 pm

    The whiskey cream sauce with the haggis sounds amazing! And that yorkshire pudding is amazing.. I would have loved that plate of food!!! x

    • February 22, 2016 / 5:06 pm

      Thank you. The whiskey sauce was great, tasted lovely with the haggis balls.

  4. February 21, 2016 / 1:04 am

    Wow they are insane yorkshire puddings, looks so much better than normal pub grub no wonder they have TripAdvisor awards x

    • February 22, 2016 / 5:04 pm

      Thanks Rhian. Those Yorkshire puddings were fascinating to look at!

  5. February 21, 2016 / 9:54 am

    Sounds like a nice place to visit for a family lunch, do they cater for vegetarians?

    • February 22, 2016 / 5:03 pm

      They do, but I think they only offer one or maybe two options on each day.

  6. February 21, 2016 / 12:16 pm

    I love pub food, especially a traditional roast dinner! I’m cooking a roast today, yum!
    I also love old pubs and one that dates back to the 16th century! That’s amazing.

    • February 22, 2016 / 5:10 pm

      Thanks Sarah. I am cooking a roast today for a change, wasn’t really convenient yesterday. Definitely gives me something to look forward to on a Monday evening 🙂

  7. February 21, 2016 / 12:55 pm

    The haggis balls sound amazing I am yet to try haggis and this would be a great way to try it for sure!

    • February 22, 2016 / 5:03 pm

      Thanks, the haggis balls were one of the highlights of the meal for me 😀

  8. February 21, 2016 / 8:10 pm

    What vegetarian options did they have? The panache of vegetables looks perfectly steamed!

    • February 22, 2016 / 5:02 pm

      I believe they had a vegetarian Wellington on the day we went to the restaurant. Sounded tasty!

  9. February 21, 2016 / 8:40 pm

    I’m literally drooling over this review! The fish finger butty I’ve just had for tea pales into insignifcance in comparison to that epic feast!

    • February 22, 2016 / 5:02 pm

      Hehe aww. I am partial to the odd fish finger sandwich now and then, mind you.

  10. February 21, 2016 / 9:24 pm

    Oh I am drooling too! Wow – the food looks so delicious – I would definitely book if I lived closer. Great review 🙂 Kaz x

    • February 22, 2016 / 5:01 pm

      Thanks Kaz. It was a lovely meal here!

  11. February 21, 2016 / 10:01 pm

    The whole meal looks delicious! How big are the Yorkshire puddings, my kind of eaterie for sure.

    • February 22, 2016 / 5:01 pm

      I loved the Yorkshire puddings, they were the stars of the show 🙂

  12. February 22, 2016 / 12:21 am

    Wow. The beef appears to be a mountain of pleasure. Lol. Everything looks yummy and perfect for a sunday meal.

    • February 22, 2016 / 5:08 pm

      Thank you Jessica – it tasted even better than it looked!

  13. February 22, 2016 / 4:37 pm

    That looks so tasty, making me rather hungry here.

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