One of Cardiff’s most popular pubs has re-opened with a fresh new look following an extensive refurbishment.
The Old Cottage, located in picturesque Lisvane, Cardiff has undergone a significant makeover that has given the much-loved eating and drinking spot a modernised, stylish and contemporary feel.
One of the things that I’ve always loved about the place is that it’s away from the hubbub of Cardiff city centre. It’s positioned well on the north east side of the city, making it easily accessible through the nearby lanes. Our booking was for 6pm and it meant that we avoided any traffic delays on the way.
When dining, you can expect a top-quality menu featuring fresh flavours inspired by the seasons and modern world-food trends. You can choose from a broad range of premium grill dishes, fresh fish that’s delivered daily, Asian influences and plenty of healthier and lower calorie options.
We had just missed out on The Old Cottage’s lunch menu (which runs between 12 and 5pm), so chose from the array of options on the all day menu.
However, for those thinking of booking for lunch, the lunch menu still offers fantastic value, and includes dishes under 650 calories, hand stretched stone-baked pizzas and freshly prepared sandwiches. A brunch menu of classic favourites and healthy alternatives is also be served from 9am on Saturdays and Sundays.
There’s a wide range of exciting starters and small plates designed for sharing, giving the perfect start to your dining experience; with so many dishes it’s difficult to decide exactly what to try.
We decided on the Hummus & Toasted Ciabatta and the Freshly Stone Baked Garlic & Mozzarella Pizzette. We were a little surprised at the addition of pomegranate to the Hummus but the subtle sweetness is a delicious surprise.
The crispy Pizzette (the size of a pizza) is another great example of how the chefs use of subtle flavours works wonders, with plenty to share around we certainly think that two starters or small plates between us is plenty.
Whether you fancy something from the grill, such as Maple-Glazed Rotisserie Pork Belly (with or without Scallops) or Rotisserie Half Chicken, there’s something to suit all tastes. There is even a dedicated vegan menu on offer too.
The Pork Belly and Scallops are severed with roasted celeriac & fresh apple purée, dauphinoise potatoes, tenderstem broccoli and bordelaise sauce. This gave the dish a wonderful mixture of subtle and rich flavours that worked well together, and kicking your tastebuds into overdrive.
The chicken is served with thick cut chips (upgrade on the fries it comes with), rich chicken gravy, aioli and topped with your choice of: truffle flavour, BBQ or chipotle chilli sauce. I opted for the BBQ sauce, which was lovely, but I ended up pouring the gravy all over as it was delicious. You certainly won’t be disappointed by the portions as like us you might find little room left dessert.
We could not leave without trying one of the many desserts on offer. We were surprised by the size of the portions, so opted to share one instead. For dessert for we went for our favourite classic, sticky toffee pudding with honey comb ice cream. We found the rich toffee and subtle honey flavour a perfect blend. We nearly missed dessert and would probably try one of their sharing starters next time, so that we can try more of this menu to finish.
As part of the refurbishment, the pub has received a full makeover, creating a brand-new bar, and with two feature booths installed in the main restaurant. The upstairs area of the pub has also been revamped and will now be available for exclusive private dining for small groups – ideal for a celebration, or family occasion.
The new look takes inspiration from the natural beauty of Lisvane, while seamlessly incorporating fantastic period features with touches of the luxurious throughout.
All of the staff we spoke with were highly knowledgeable, friendly and offered a first class service. The main dining room offers an integrated kitchen dining experience, where you can see Head Chef, Michael Wright hard at work with his team.
It’s always great to see that the staff working well together and the manager pitching in, taking the time to talk customers through the menu and even delivering food and drinks to the tables. We certainly can’t wait to return to this hidden gem and try what else they have to offer on the menu.
Making a reservation is recommended as it’s often fully booked even during the week.