Black Cock Inn Sunday roast

Black Cock Inn tucked away on top of Caerphilly Mountain (Flickr pic by missy & the universe)

Black Cock Inn tucked away on top of Caerphilly Mountain (Flickr pic by missy & the universe)

A pub Sunday roast can often be a disappointment. The portions never live up to a home roast and everyone prefers their mum’s roast potatoes, except your mum, who prefers anyone else cooking the roast anytime, anywhere.

Last Sunday I travelled up to Caerphilly on a gloriously sunny day and drove to the top of Caerphilly Mountain for panoramic views and a crisp breeze to blow away the horrific hangover I had given myself the night before.

Just down the road from the mountain top is the Black Cock Inn. I googled ‘Caerphilly pub’ before we left the house and the Black Cock was the first pub I came across. It looked decent on the web and my mind was in no mood for further searches.

We arrived around 12.30pm to find a large car park next to the Inn and a horse parked up outside, very Wild West. As we walked towards the pub I hoped I hadn’t chosen a turkey. We were hungry for roast and on top of a mountain. I needn’t have worried.

On arrival you find the pub has two areas. One is a small bar for drinkers and the rest of the pub is taken up by a bar and restaurant area which seemed vast when we arrived, but was soon filled up by 1pm – all good signs.

The drinkers bar was cosy and full of stripped wood and had a sleeping pub dog led by the fire. Continuing with the animal theme, the bar in the restaurant area had a bird cage in the corner with a parrot inside. Random, but interesting. The bar and restaurant continued the stripped wood theme. There is also a good-sized beer garden with a children’s play area and outside seating. I didn’t test out the kids climbing frames but may return in summer to do that.

We sat down to eat and scanned the menu. Roasts on offer were beef, pork, turkey and lamb. I opted for the beef and my friend went for the pork. When it came to ordering drinks I opted for a pint of coke, my head still throbbing at this point, but my friend went for a pint of Wye Valley Brewery’s Butty Bach (4.5%). Butty Bach means ‘little friend’ in Welsh, but in the condition I was in I couldn’t bring myself to say hello to it, let alone have a sip. So I will have to take my friend’s word for it when he sang its praises. It was Highly Commended in the Best Bitter category at the 2009 World Beer Awards, so it has pedigree.

Within 10 minutes our meals arrived. Each plate had generous portions of meat, roast and new potatoes, a Yorkshire pudding and gravy (as well as a huge gravy boat for the table). Along with our plates came a dish full of carrots, cabbage, mashed swede and another of cauliflower cheese.

My beef was delicious and tender and the accompanying vegetables were wonderful, especially the cauliflower cheese. My friend’s pork was superb by all accounts and he got some seriously crunchy crackling as well. It was a first-rate pub roast and by the end of it my hangover was a distant memory.

After such a satisfying main meal we decided to push the boat out and have a dessert as well. At £10.95 for one course or £12.95 for two courses it felt rude not too.

I chose the homemade strawberry roulade and my friend’s eye settled on the pecan pie. Along with our desserts we received a large jug of cream; this is a pub that isn’t picky with its portions. The homemade roulade was soft, unctuous and full of whipped cream and strawberry sauce. The pecan pie looked tasty but I think I made the right decision.

Throughout the meal the waitress was friendly and helpful and asked if we would like any more vegetables with our main. You don’t get that everywhere! Even with the restaurant filling up there weren’t any delays with our food or cleaning away our plates and the pub had a lively and family friendly atmosphere. Definitely worth a Sunday drive out to.

Following my own advice on the winning combination that is a pub meal, pint (admittedly it was coke this time) and a castle, we headed off to Caerphilly Castle after lunch. We parked in the car park directly opposite the impressively imposing castle and got out next to a statue of Tommy Cooper, a proud son of Caerphilly whose memorial was unveiled in 2008 by Anthony Hopkins.

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After paying our £4 entry fee we went for a postprandial walk around the impressively restored castle and moats. It is the largest Castle in Wales and second largest in Britain, after Windsor Castle, and has been used as a filming location for the BBC series, Merlin.

As we walked back to the car park I spotted a pub with astonishing views across the moat to the castle called The Courthouse, but as our parking ticket had just expired we couldn’t stop and have a pint. We may have dodged a bullet however, as its reviews on Beer in the Evening seem to show it has gone downhill a bit. Still, the outside drinking area would be a great place for a summer pint looking across to the castle.

If you fancy a change from Cardiff, make a date with the Black Cock Inn in Caerphilly. Its roasts and service won’t disappoint.

Mine’s a pint (of coke).

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One Comment on “Black Cock Inn Sunday roast”

  1. Naomi says:

    Thanks for this. I’m always hankering after a Sunday roast but am never sure where to go- the fear of a roast disappointment is just too much! Definitely a place to take the family next time they’re visiting.
    Thanks again.


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