Located at the heart of Penarth's busy high street, the Bears Head is a large public house offering both food and drink. As part of the well-known Wheterspoons chain, the pub stocks all the popular drinks, as well as serving some more locally based ales and beers on tap. The long bar is usually well staffed, and with plenty of seating and tables, the Bears Head is equip well for large numbers of customers day or night.
Despite the reasonable drinks prices and respectable facilities, the ambience is arguably a little odd. The lighting is perhaps not how it should be, leading to a quite dark and almost eerie atmosphere. With this dark and dreary setting, it isn't the most hospitable environment in which to dine, although drinking here on a weekday evening or friday night is completely fine. Not the best pub in Penarth by a long means, which is a shame given the name, literally meaning Pen (head) and Arth (bear) - Bears Head.
Okay, so by now we all pretty much know what a JD Wetherspoon's is going to be like, so I won't bore you with too many details on the menu and cheap prices. But, this one is a little bit different, I think.
The Bears Head is a literal translation of Pen (head) arth (bear), and this pub sticks to that mission of trying to keep local. As Penarth is a little way outside Cardiff, this pub does not get nearly as raucous as others. It's mainly locals - a wide mixture - who you'll find inside.
Also, I need t give credit where credit is due. The service here is very polite, always. The food is also prepared and presented particularly well - a noticeable difference from some other pubs in the chain. So good in fact that this place is packed to bursting every Sunday lunchtime.
Give it a try, just so long as you can get over the terrible lack of apostrophe...
The Bears head certainly has retained its sense of local flavor. Right down to the local toothless drunks sat in the corner.
I can imagine that, like Tanya has mentioned, on a Sunday it would be packed to the rafters but I can't get past that Monday afternoon atmosphere.
It seems that every time I've been in here or even walked past, I've been harassed by strange and inebriated men. One even sat next to me whilst my boyfriend went to the bar to get us drinks. He came back baffled as to why I was sat next to a man in his 50s breathing and leeching all over me. I don't think I'm exactly irresistible either so I think that it's possible they don't get too many young girls in there on a week day afternoon.
It's pretty much what you'd expect from a Wetherspoon's pub, plain and simple.
I've only been by for a weekday tipple, but from my experience, it's typically full of the usual men's men crowding around, pint in hand (which is a group that's close to my heart, don't get me wrong, but it can be a bit annoying nonetheless).
Which brings me to my next point: My other Bear's Head encounters include running past the doors (literally, as this is my training route), where I've been greeted with stares, cat calls and laughter thrown in my direction.
Saying that, the staff here are normally really friendly, which is a big deal to a Yank like me who values customer service.
It's worth noting that it's cleaner than some of the Wetherspoon's pubs I've been to; even the bathrooms are kept to a standard higher than you'd find in most shopping malls or restaurants.
Arrived there at 8.02pm with my 10 year old as we had to waste an hour, it is late for us however as he had just finished swimming we thought we would pop into the Bears Head and have a bite to eat, upon entering the Manager ran up to us and told us it was 2 minutes past 8 and as we hadn't ordered our meal we where frogged marched out of the pub/restuarant.
I argued that the law stated 9pm but she wouldn't have it so we left and took our business elsewhere.
Very dissapointing ....maybe Weatherspoons don't want to have a "family friendly" reputation!
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