KING’S HEAD GOWER REVIEW, WALES
After approximately thirty seconds of feeling guilty about leaving our precious children behind to go on a parents only mini-break, the husband and I swiftly accept an invitation to pop across to the Gower Peninsula in South Wales to check out the hospitality on offer.
The family run Kings’s Head Inn will be our home for a couple of nights, providing a base for exploring the beautiful Welsh Gower Peninsula (the virtues of which I’ll be extolling in a separate article). In the interests of creating a thorough travel review, we’ll also be sampling meals and one or two (or maybe even three) of the area’s own Gower Brewery ales at both “The King’s Head” and sister pub “The Ship Inn”, which will feature in a separate article.
Following a pleasant 1 hour 45 minute drive from Bristol, we arrive at The King’s Head in Llangenith, our home for the next couple of nights. The seventeenth century pub is located in the heart of the village right opposite the largest church on the Gower peninsula and a twenty-minute amble to Llangenith beach.
The accommodation is set back from the road at the rear of the pub car park. Off I wander to check in, taking with me my preconception of a cosy, dark ‘olde world’ pub bedroom, half expecting to be handed a hefty wrought iron key to a creaky 17th century door.
Once the friendly receptionist has taken our details, she hands us the most modern plastic credit card style key I’ve ever used. When offered up in front of the lock a scanning sensor changes the light from red to green and allows us entry to our spacious, light and airy king size room. You can see the key in action and the full room tour video here.
The bedroom is large with a smart modern decor. Special touches like the space age door lock, underfloor heating and large bath with central taps offer a luxury feel. From our window we can see the Welsh countryside, sheep, mountains and the sea in the distance. Very nice!
We’re given a cute little bottle of milk for our fridge and with a bit of juggling, there’s enough room to fit some water and a bottle of fizz in there too, so that’s useful.
The mini safe inside the wardrobe is a welcome feature, big enough to store a large camera, iPad and wallets and easy to operate.
The en suite shower and bathroom is luxurious with pretty much floor to ceiling travertine tiles, a large shower-head, oversize bath and big mirrors with great lighting for putting on makeup (or perhaps even shaving, who knows?!). Plenty of cupboard storage space and robe hooks behind the door mean the bathroom’s practical too.
Having thoroughly inspected the room, we’re now feeling peckish so walk across to the pub for a bite to eat. It’s at this point that I realise we just happen to have arrived in the Gower on the very day of the England v Wales Six Nations rugby match, some of which, the husband mentions, he might like to watch. (Not all of it mind you – he’s good like that!). As we want to visit the local beach before the match starts, we quickly opt for a pie and pint deal, which includes our first (but not our last) taste of locally brewed Gower Gold Ale, before setting out on our walk.
Suitably fuelled up we head out on our countryside stroll.
After about 20 minutes we spot a gravel car park and the dunes at the approach to the beach. The car park’s fairly quiet, apart from a handful of ‘surf board transportation vehicles’ and their hardy owners who are braving the relatively mild March afternoon. I wonder what this beach will be like. . .
On the other side of the dunes, shiver me timbers, I’m gobsmacked to be greeted by this beautiful sight: a vast expanse of golden sandy beach adorned with attractive, colourful pebbles.
To the left we see highly acclaimed Rhossili Bay and the Worm’s Head in the distance. Wow, definitely worth the walk!
With our lungs refreshed with sea air, we walk back to the King’s Head which seems to have split broadly into two camps – a large room full of local, vocal, red-shirted Welsh rugby supporters . . . . .
. . . and their somewhat more reserved visiting counterparts. Even though I’m not a great fan of spectator sports, I do appreciate the friendly family atmosphere in the Welsh side of pub, where men, women and children cheer on their team in unison. It’s comforting to witness a friendly rivalry and complete absence of animosity between the two groups. Fortunately for me, our English team is triumphant which means I get to spend the evening with a happy husband (sorry about that to our Welsh hosts!)
It’s Saturday night, the restaurant’s full and there’s very little standing space with the bar still packed with merry punters following the earlier match! Gradually the fans begin to clear and we sit down in the restaurant section to choose our meals
For starters we choose garlic mushrooms and mussels in garlic, cream and white wine sauce
The husband’s main course is a fish burger with cod, cockles and laverbread: a huge platter with big bun and lots of chips. Not for the faint of appetite!
We both agree that the dish of the evening is my pan-fried venison haunch, served with fondant potato, red cabbage, kale and a red wine jus. The venison is cooked rare, as recommended and the whole ensemble is delicious.
For pudding the tiramisu is recommended. I’m not usually a great fan as it can be a heavy dessert, but I thoroughly enjoy this light version – in fact it may just be the best tiramisu I’ve ever had. After all those dishes we come away feeling pleasantly full but not stuffed.
We’re back in the same restaurant the following two mornings for breakfast.
There’s a good choice of hot, cooked to order breakfasts, including full English and Welsh. The first morning I decide to try the Welsh breakfast which includes the pot of dark green lava bread pictured below – boiled seaweed in case you’re wondering! It’s an unusual flavour which I don’t dislike, but I find too fishy for breakfast!
There’s also an extensive continental buffet available including toast, juices, fruit, croissant etc. You help yourself to both cold and hot drinks and it’s the first time I’ve been invited to make my own cafetière coffee at a breakfast buffet! It takes us a couple of attempts before we get the strength in the little pots right, but after that we’re experts and enjoy being able to help ourselves to refills.
Following our two night stay, would we change anything?
The pub provides cute little cafetierès for breakfast coffee and we’d love to see those added to the beverage tray in the rooms to tie in with the other luxury features. I know, we’re coffee snobs, but the husband and are not fans of a cup of instant.
We find the short walk from the room across the car park to the pub quite dark. Additional lighting would be welcome.
Lots of little bottles of complimentary shampoo and shower gel are provided. I wonder if it would be possible to add hair conditioner too, otherwise I need to bring my own which seems to defeat the point of this lovely gesture.
There are lots of unexpected extras which make me feel pampered like under-floor heating, fresh milk and the fancy room key which seems to work every time. We also enjoy the beautiful countryside and sea views from our window.
We like the convenience of staying at the pub yet being in a separate building so we don’t have to worry about being kept awake by noisy customers. Our bedroom and bathroom are large, comfortable and spacious. We enjoy a relaxing child free break and find the King’s Head a handy base for exploring the beautiful Gower Peninsula as well as the lovely local beach at Llangenith.
Many thanks for inviting us to stay.
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DISCLOSURE: Our accommodation and meals were provided for purposes of this review. All opinions are our own. May contain affiliate links.