Taking a Baby to Cedar Tree Farm, Cardiff
Cedar Tree Farm
Ferry Road, Grangetown, Cardiff, CF11 0JR
On Tuesday night my husband, a friend, my 4 month son and I headed out to our local pub for a meal. Unfortunately, being situated right next to Cardiff Arms Park and with a match on, there were no tables. I googled for local family-friendly restaurants and came up with Cedar Tree Farm, 5 minutes drive down the road. Located in Cardiff Bay Retail Park it’s very easy to find and in a good location for grabbing a bite to eat after doing some shopping too. It was 6:30pm on a Tuesday and the place was absolutely packed – to the point where we even struggled with parking! I’m not sure if again, this was because of match day or simply a summer holiday bustle, but it was very very busy.
We initially went inside but with it being so busy, my son was a bit overwhelmed by the noise and there weren’t many free tables with pram space next to them. He’s not quite old enough for a highchair yet, so we still need to take the stroller in with us. We ended up sitting outside, it was a little cool and breezy but a fair summer evening and almost all the folks sitting outside had kids in prams, but the noise level was much better and there was tons of space around the tables. Enough to push him back and forth when he started fussing.
For those with older kids there is a kids play area inside as well, but unfortunately, it was so packed I didn’t check it out or take any photos – next time I will, but he’s still too young for me to be able to use things like that yet anyway.
Long Waiting Times
It took over 15 minutes queuing just to place the order and then the food took 50 – yes 50 minutes to come. That was for two burgers and some scampi, so not exactly challenging or high prep meals. Luckily we weren’t in a rush, we fed the baby a bottle, enjoyed our drinks and had a nice chat whilst waiting, but it was definitely a surprise that it took so long for such simple meals on a weekday. When the food came out the waitress was helpful and friendly and it was clear that she was working hard, so possibly just an unusually busy night. We had anticipated getting home before William’s bottle, but it took so long that we fed him out.
I’m not breastfeeding, but I did see another mum breastfeeding (you can read about my breastfeeding journey here) in a quiet corner outside. When it’s busy you might struggle to get the privacy you want indoors. If you have older kids, I think waiting an hour total to place an order and get a burger is going to tax their patience!
Good Value Pub Food
I ordered the Cedar Tree Farm Giant Burger (double burger with bacon, mushrooms, cheese, BBQ sauce and onion rings). It came with fries but I asked for no BBQ sauce and to switch the fries for a salad (I’m trying to cut down on my carbs). They had no problems with the adjustment and it was delivered correctly. The cost for that was £9.89 which I thought was reasonable value. My husband had the Smoked Cheese & Jalapeno Melt Burger (burger with battered jalapenos, spicy mayo and a battered pickle) with fries at £8.79 and our friend had the Wholetail Breaded Scampi, served with chips, salad, peas and tartare sauce at £7.99. The boys shared a side of onion rings at £1.99 and with three drinks (one soft drink and two half-pints – they were both driving) the bill came to £35. Pretty good value for those eating out on a budget.
The burgers were great quality – juicy and not overcooked as is so often done in pubs. The brioche bun was sweet and tasty and the sauces were good. The salad was pretty pathetic though, slightly browning iceberg lettuce with half a chopped tomato and a smidge of onion. It didn’t seem that fresh and certainly a plate of iceberg doesn’t count as much of a salad, especially when it’s replacing a portion of fries. The onion rings were cold and had probably been out for a while due to the delay, so half of them got left behind. It was a decent meal for the value and actually a smidge better in quality than my local pub.
It is basic pub grub, so don’t expect gourmet meals, but there was plenty of flavour, good portion sizes and everything was cooked correctly. The desserts look great, but alas, the diet forced me to decline.
Facilities at Cedar Tree Farm
The bathroom was basic but modern and clean, although this is the first family-friendly restaurant I’ve seen with a condom machine in the ladies in quite a while although my husband assures me it’s quite standard in the men’s! Don’t know who needs a quickie when out with their kids but who am I to judge, maybe I’m getting old and I should be applauding responsibility. There are no baby changing facilities in the women’s or men’s, but they do have them in the disabled toilet and are perfectly adequate.
I do feel our visit was a bit let down by how busy it was and the long wait, but I have no idea if this is standard or not. I do intend to return to Cedar Tree Farm sometime and check out the carvery – hopefully at a much quieter time. Overall I’d give it a 3/5 this visit – the limp salad and the excessive waiting times let it down a little, but it wouldn’t be hard to bump this up to a 4 star next time.