Saturday 12 January 2013

King's Head, Llantwit Major

King's Head, East Street, Llantwit Major, CF61 1XY
Open all day

The King's Arms is a rendered stone-built building situated on the main road through the historic town of Llantwit Major. The original pub building is on the right, with the dormer windows, this was extended into the left-hand property in the twentieth-century and the difference in the fenestration is noticeable. Both buildings are set back from the main road and are flanked on the sides by later nineteenth-century buildings which encroach onto the road. The layout of the King's Arms with its central doorway and fireplaces on either side wall is typical of an eighteenth-century building, although it may have much earlier origins as the pub sign depicts Henry VIII who dissolved the monastery in the town in 1539. The two dormer windows of the King's Arms can clearly be seen on a 1877 map of the town.
The doorway leads into a vestibule with the lounge on the right and the bar/pool room on the left, with an old blocked-up former serving hatch for off-sales straight ahead. The lounge is quite narrow but stretches back quite far. On the right-hand wall there is a tilled late Victorian/Edwardian fireplace and another stone-built one at the rear. This long, narrow room features wood panelling and bare stonework, as well as a doorway to the outside area at the rear which is in use during the summer. A fish-tank and a flat-screen television provide the entertainment here, alternatively conversation with the friendly and colourful locals provides some harmless banter in this family-run pub. There are three gleaming chrome handpumps in the lounge and another three in the bar, the beers are from Brains with Dark, Bitter, SA, SA Gold and Rev James  being served along with a guest beer from a brewery such as Fuller's Otley or Titanic. Beers from Brains Craft Brewery are also served with the coconut and cacao flavoured Shy Porter making an appearance last weekend. All the bees are served in the brand new Brains branded glassware. There is also a good selection of single malt whiskies. The King's Head also holds a regular beer festival during the year and is the only pub in the town in the latest edition of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
The bar/pool room on the left of the pub also features a dartboard and the stone-walls are exposed to reveal the structure of the building. Black cast-iron pillars support a beam where the dividing wall was between the two original properties The far side wall of the building features a stone-built fireplace with a wood-burning stove in it.
Food is only served on Sunday lunchtimes.
Free WiFi

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