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Image posted by Soup Dragon
Submitted on Sunday, 4th August 2013
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Vivian Arms Hotel, Sketty, Swansea

104 Gower Road
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Reviews of Vivian Arms Hotel (Average Rating: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Soup Dragon left this review about Vivian Arms Hotel

This is a Brains' GBG corner pub and eatery with a rear patio area. The pub is certainly Victorian, and possibly older. It stands on a cross roads and was faced by the Bush Inn, which moved at the turn of the 20th century to the other facing corner, but now is closed. The Vivian itself was extended, I think in the 1930s, when Sketty expanded significantly. The pub has a triple gabled crimson upper storey and a cream lower. Sadly, whatever architectural features there are, are hidden under the paintwork. The interior is an open plan irregular room, now all the old rooms have gone. The place initially has a foody feel, despite the sofa area - indeed, I did eat here and the food was fine, considering it is a general menu. The décor is a mix of brick, yellow, coffee and wood panel, with a cream ceiling and moulded cornice. The walls are a little bare, although there are a few bits of bizarre child-like art. The are a few TVs, whch had horse racing on at my visit. There was no music. The service was fine and the clientele a mix of friendly locals just drinking (one chap giving me great detail as to how I could get to the Liberty Stadium) and people dining. Beer; usual tap stuff with Brains' Dark, with Brains' SA, Bitter and Rev James on handpull along with a couple of strong Brains' craft ales - Bragging Rights and Grande Tripel IPA (too strong). I visited here a couple of times and all the beers were well kept, if not fully to my taste. I fully agree with PSM - this place does tread the line between food and local. Worth a look in.

On 17th September 2013 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 3053 recommendations about 3048 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about Vivian Arms Hotel

This large Brains pub on Sketty Cross (should that be Sketty Junction?!) treads a fine line between local’s boozer and gastro pub, ultimately falling into neither category. This is another example of a Swansea pub that has been opened out from a multiple room layout, although the pub’s odd design means that despite this, there are still several very clearly defined areas to explore. Entering through the door on Vivian Road, you find yourself in the main bar area which soon merges into a quieter space as the servery turns 90 degrees around the corner. From here there are seating areas opposite or on a raised section at the front of the pub. The pub has a mix of carpet and bare board flooring and the walls are in pastel shades with a disappointing lack of decoration. Various large pillars, some of which seemingly once formed part of the dividing walls, break the space up nicely, creating the sofa filled lounge at the rear of the pub for example, or the aforementioned raised seating space. Several TV screens were showing cricket to a few interested punters. There is a cheap and cheerful menu, from which I enjoyed a very hearty baguette, and a carvery is set aside for Sunday lunches. At the rear there is a small garden, although I didn’t get the chance to have a proper look myself.
This is another Brains pub and on my visit the ale options were SA, Rev James and Touch, Paws, Engage. I gave the latter a try and thought it was well kept, if not the greatest beer in their portfolio. As I left, I noticed that Farmer’s Walloon had come on at some point during my stay. The barman seemed very cheery, as did the lady who brought my food over.
I get a bit fed up with these opened out pubs, but this one had a decent vibe to it and I enjoyed an extended stay here. My food was good value and tasty and the beer was well kept, which makes up for the pub’s loss of character. One of the better pubs for beer in Swansea, this is worth making a bit of effort to find.

On 29th July 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2545 recommendations about 2545 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Peter Sennett left this review about Vivian Arms Hotel

Last time used the pub the beer was good and i had a mean home made chicken curry.

On 6th March 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 14 recommendations about 14 pubs]

External web links for Vivian Arms Hotel

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Pub SignMan
Swansea, 3.28 miles, 1 hr 3 min walk (show)
Gowerton, 3.64 miles, 1 hr 10 min walk (show)
Llansamlet, 6.67 miles, 2 hr 8 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for Vivian Arms Hotel, Swansea
25th Sep 2013, 20:10
Web Link submitted by Pub SignMan approved
17th Sep 2013, 20:14
Review submitted by Soup Dragon

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 29 July 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Darts : No last updated 29 July 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Live Music : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Live TV Sports : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Pinball : No last updated 29 July 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Quiz Night : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Dave McNally
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