Young BRAPA is gorging on Gwent at the moment, so I know he’d want to see what a fully pinked Welsh county looks like.

I completed Glamorgan back in July at one of the dullest pubs in the Guide, but a quick look at the OS extract for St Athan reveals hidden depths.

Here, a few miles from bucolic Barry and laudable Llantwit Major we have a Seawatch centre, a power station, a castle, an airfield, and an abandoned “Boys Village” beloved of emo/hardcore bands who film their angsty videos there;

St Athans is the poorest rural rural area in the Vale, but the Roost is decidedly upmarket.

Only open from Thursday onward, the menu boasts “blow-torched mackerel fillets“, which seems a cruel way to kill them. We have blow-torched mackerel in Waterbeach, you know.

But, but, but. The GBG isn’t about the pub, it’s about the beer, right ?

And despite the standard order being “3 Madri, 1 Pravha“, or two (2) bottles of wine, the Landlord was enthusiastic about his lone Wye Valley pump to the point of cask evangelism.

It was a perfect temperature (“We’ve a new cellar that keeps it at 13 degrees“) and nodded with approval when I told him how good it was. And Wye Valley beers need a lot of love.

And here it got it, and it gets a 3.5+ from me to finish the chapter.

Come here for the brunch and have blow-torched mackerel and bottomless HPA for £35. Go on !


  1. I didn’t know that there was another pub is Saint Athan – Sain Tathan if you’re Welsh – besides the Three Horseshoes. That’s where, on three occasions, I had three pints of DB, not having had it for years, and wouldn’t have believed it to have been the same beer on any two visits. I still don’t know how it’s meant to taste and am not interested in pursuing that one any further.

    All that said, I’m still not sure if I’d change the habit. If I’m not mistaken, then this used to be called the Four Bells, I see from Google street view, incidentally.

    What does “bottomless” mean if you’re restricted to three dishes – not that I fancied the sound of any of them tbh.


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