The Vale of Glamorgan has plenty of good pubs but the Plough and Harrow, Monknash is a truly outstanding one. The Plough is a short bus journey (No 145) from Llantwit Major or there is plenty of car parking available in the field opposite. There is a bus timetable to the side of the bar in case customers wish to extend their visits and catch later buses home.
Set in the hamlet of Monknash, there was never a monastery here, just a grange or outlying farm of Neath Abbey where the lay brothers farmed the land and there are still ruins in the fields behind the pub dating back to monastic times.
The approach to the pub is via a walled pathway and the entrance porch is popular with local swifts as well as local customers! Don't forget to duck on entering the doorway, where you have the choice of a bar to the right or a lounge on the left. The bar is as traditional as anyone would hope to find in an old pub, with wooden settles and a huge fireplace for those cold, distant days of winter. The interior of the bar hints at the fourteenth-century age of the Plough and Harrow with a now-blocked up arched doorway with a spiral staircase in one corner. Stone-flagged floors and wooden tables make up the bar area with what must be one of the smallest bar servery counters in Wales. Crammed onto the bar are 5 handpumps serving real ales such as Otley O1 and Wye Valley HPA, whilst on a rear stillage beers such as Bass and other guests are served straight from the cask. The thick, stone-walls of the Plough keep the building cool in summer or customers can choose to sit out in the quiet beer garden and enjoy the weather.
Cider lovers are not forgotten either and the Plough was awarded Cider Pub of the Year 2009 (South Wales) by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale. The cider range features local makers such as Gwynt Y Ddraig with their Barnstormer or Two Trees Perry as well as makers from Somerset. Wine and whiskey lovers are also catered for with a wine of the month and and a good range of single malts and Penderyn Welsh Whiskey.
The food menus are chalked up on the old oak beams and blackboards in the pub and is served 12-2.30, 6-9 Monday-Friday, 12-5 Saturday and 12-6 Sunday. There is an extensive range of food on the menus with locally made faggots to Sea Bass appearing on the beams, along with separate children and desert menus. Wednesday night is steak night with £10 meals on offer and half price deserts.
The Plough and Harrow also holds an annual beer festival with live music in July. Always well-attended, the Plough and Harrow really is one of the top pubs in Wales and has been a regular in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide for years and has even made it into the Rough Pub Guide, recognised as one of the top 50 UK pubs.