Blue Anchor Inn
East Aberthaw Barry South Glamorgan CF62 3DD
If the BBC's Escape to the Country decided to find retired city dwellers idyllic pubs instead of homes, then the Blue Anchor would be the star of the show. It's undeniably beautiful. However, although the 600 year old original stone building is a massive head turner, the food is actually where its true gem shines. Winner of a plethora of food awards – including a few cheeky 'South Wales Pub of the Year' trophies – it takes pride in serving fresh, local and delicious grub. What's more, they don't compromise on portion size like some other gastropubs we could mention. Instead you can expect hearty portions of slow braised lamb shanks or pan-fried supreme of wood pigeon, which you can wash down with a pint of fruity local ale. One of the Blue Anchor's defining qualities is its age and fascinating history. It started serving all the way back in 1380, making it quite possibly one of the oldest pubs in Wales. Rumour has it the pub used to be a recruiting ground for smugglers who used to reside near Aberthaw's Port, which was once supposed to conduct as much trade as nearby Cardiff. You can read more of the pub's history here.