eating out guide Colin Pressdee selects and reviews over 200 of the best places to eat in this second edition.
Food Wales eating out guide â€“ second edition
North Wales: where to eat ere is some of the most dramatic â€˜Wild Walesâ€™ scenery in Britain. Set in this beautiful landscape are impressive country house hotels with timeless reputations for ďŹ ne cuisine. Michelin Star Tyddyn Llan, the majestic Plas Bodegroes, the hidden retreats of Tan-Y-Foel at Capel Garmon, Maes y Neuadd, Talsarnau, Castle Cottage Harlech and the old coaching hotel Ye Olde Bulls Head in Beaumaris are all highly acclaimed. Numerous smaller restaurants and boutique hotels make this area an excellent destination.
It is under three hours from Birmingham to Anglesey or Aberdaron, and less than two from Chester. The accessibility of the Snowdonia National Park, or the rugged LlyË†n Peninsula opens up numerous tourist facilities. Sailing, ďŹ shing, swimming, walking, climbing and eating can all be part of a day out. Nowhere is there such a selection of natural food: Conwy mussels; Aberdaron crab and lobster; mountain lamb from Snowdonia, or from the Mawddach salt marshes, plus wonderful beer from many small breweries.
Opposite: Glyn Roberts, Castle Cottage, Harlech; Tyddyn Llan, Llandrillo. 28
North Wales X – X
Food Wales eating out guide – second edition 6
34 Church Bay 74
Red Wharf Bay
26 11 66 Criccieth
Blaenau Ffestiniog 7 49 79 Porthmadog Portmeirion
Aberdaron Uwch Mynydd
42 12 Llanberis Capel Curig
16 78 Conwy 13 Beaumaris 8 33 Llangefni 10 63 Llanfairpwll Bangor 38 Menai Bridge 70 Llanddeiniolen Caernarfon 53 57
35 Talsarnau 18 Llanelltyd
3 45 Barmouth Penmaenpool 22 This map is an indication of the general area in which a featured restaurant can be found.
47 Tywyn 71
© Crown Copyright (2010). All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100020518.
North Wales X â€“ X Llandudno 37 41 56 62 52 Glanwydden Colwyn Bay
36 40 Ruthin
Flint 61 30 39 Northop Mold
Holywell St Asaph
72 Llandrillo Bala
Llanarmon 28 Dyffryn Ceiriog
S E L A
North Wales: where to eat 31
Food Wales eating out guide – second edition wines. Daily changing, well-balanced, seasonal menus show an imaginative, modern approach to cuisine delivering lightness, life and true ﬂavour. House specials: Loin of venison with red cabbage, herb gnocchi and thyme jus; Best end of Welsh lamb, dauphinoise potatoes, rosemary and fennel foam.
Pentre Mawr Country House, Denbigh 46
Llandyrnog, Denbigh LL16 4LA T: 01824 790732 www.pentremawrcountryhouse.co.uk Meals ££ | É 5 A ﬁne country house offering real family hospitality. Reservations are necessary for dinner. House specials: Smoked haddock baked in wine and cream; Butternut squash soup; Chicken in bacon and Stilton sauce; Rack of lamb; Twice-roasted duck. 47
Pharoah’s Cellar Bistro, Aberdyﬁ
17 Glandover Terrace, Aberdyﬁ LL35 0EB T: 01654 767250 Meals £ In a relaxed bistro the Pharoah family offers home cooking with prime ingredients. Bypass the menu and enjoy the daily fresh ﬁsh board with its tasty sauces, homemade pies, casseroles, tapas and paella. House specials: Chicken pie; Lamb casserole. 48
Plas Bodegroes, Pwllheli
Nefyn Road, Pwllheli LL53 5TH T: 01758 612363 www.bodegroes.co.uk Meals £££ | GFG6 | AA★★ | É 11 Proprietors: Gunna and Chris Chown | Chefs: Chris Chown / Aled Williams A haven of gastronomy for well over twenty years, the style of food has led modern Welsh cuisine. A new sophisticated kitchen and youthful team combine with experience to deliver highly creative dishes. Finest ingredients from the Llyˆn have always been used in their season. Local farm guinea fowl, Llyˆn lamb and pork feature alongside lobster, crab and ﬁsh from nearby Aberdaron. The service throughout is calm and attentive. The intelligent wine list is very sensibly priced. Superb grounds and beautiful bedrooms complete the scene. House specials: Seared chicken livers with celeriac remoulade, black pudding and chorizo foam; Grilled ﬁllet of cod with pine nut crust, chestnut gnocchi, chive sauce; Strawberry and mint parfait with almond biscotti. 44
North Wales X – X
Chris Chown, Plas Bodegroes, Pwllheli.
Plas Tan-yr-Allt, Porthmadog
Tremadog, nr Porthmadoc LL49 9RG T: 01766 514545 www.tanyrallt.co.uk Meals ££ | É 7 This boutique hotel blends traditional with modern features. Dinner by arrangement is at a communal dining table with imaginative dishes from local fare. House specials: Welsh Black beef; Mountain lamb; Grilled bass. 50
Porth Tocyn Hotel, Abersoch
Bwlchtocyn, Abersoch LL53 7BU T: 01758 713303 www.porthtocynhotel.co.uk Meals £££ | GFG4 | AA★★ | É 17 Proprietors: Fletcher-Brewer Family | Chefs: Louise FletcherBrewer/Jonathan Bell This clifftop hotel overlooks Tremadog Bay and Snowdonia. The cooking adds very innovative and international touches to prime Welsh ingredients from land and sea. There’s a help yourself 45
Food Wales eating out guide – second edition 6
The Drawing Room, Builth Wells
Twixt Cwmbach and Newbridge-on-Wye, Builth Wells LD2 3RT T: 01982 552493 www.the-drawing-room.co.uk Meals ££ | É 3 Proprietors: Colin and Melanie Dawson This is one of the most understated ﬁne dining places in Wales. The classic Georgian townhouse restaurant with rooms has discreet elegance and luxury throughout. The ﬂamboyant menu has many Welsh ingredients from Cardigan to Brecon. Complex dishes boast many vegetables, trimmings and sauces, all with a purpose: to balance ﬂavours and presentation. House specials: Devilled seafood gratin; Onion and thyme tartlet, asparagus and duck egg; Peppered haunch of Brecon venison, sweet potato and asparagus, mixed leaves with Perl Las dressing. 7
Drovers Restaurant, Llanwrtyd Wells
The Square, Llanwrtyd Wells LD5 4RA T: 01591 610264 www.food-food-food.co.uk Meals ££ | É 4 This popular venue for afternoon tea and cakes serves accomplished homemade dishes for dinner. Local lamb and beef, perhaps bass or sewin, are well presented with generous portions of vegetables. 8
Falcondale Hotel, Lampeter
Falcondale Drive, Lampeter SA48 7RX T: 01570 422910 www.falcondalehotel.com Meals £££ | AA★★ | É 19 Proprietors: Chris and Lisa Hutton | Chef: Michael Green This Italianate Victorian mansion has been tastefully refurbished, bringing light and life into its spacious rooms. Lamb, beef, sewin, black bream, bass, crab and lobster all come from the larder of Ceredigion, with superb local cheeses . There is a bargain lunch menu, and a more serious, well balanced dinner menu. Personable service and a modern, well annotated and reasonably priced wine list complete the enjoyment. House specials: Cardigan Bay mussels, garlic, white wine and parsley with ciabatta bread; Bryn Derw free range chicken, puy lentils, smoked bacon and Parmentier potatoes; Hafod cheese soufﬂé with Maesyfﬁn shiitake mushrooms; Gorwydd Caerphilly and leek sausages.
Mid Wales X – X
Felin Fach Grifﬁn, Brecon.
Farmers Arms, near Crickhowell
Cwmdu, Crickhowell NP8 1RU T: 01874 730464 www.the-farmers-arms.com Meals ££ | É 2 Friendly local atmosphere and traditional rural fare such as homemade pies and casseroles, grilled steaks and lamb. Real ales and reasonable wine. 10
Felin Fach Grifﬁn, Brecon
Felin Fach, Brecon LD3 0UB T: 01874 620111 www.felinfachgrifﬁn.co.uk Meals £££ | GFG3 | AA★★ | É 7 Proprietor: Edmund Inkin | Chef: Simon Potter Eat, drink, sleep suggests the relaxed style of this former village pub that has become a secluded haven for real rural food, terriﬁc wines and comfortable rooms. The seasons dictate the menu and their own garden vegetables, herbs and fruit inspire many dishes, together with local farm meat and ﬁsh from Cornwall (where they 63
FoodFood WalesWales eating out guide second edition – eating out–guide.
South west Wales: where to eat umerous restaurants owe their reputations to the panoply of produce from local farms or the seashore. The Shed at Porthgain, Cwtch in St Davids, Cnapan and Llys Meddyg in Newport, Slebech on the Cleddau, the Old Kings Arms in Pembroke and Fairyhill in Gower all celebrate the seasonal best.
The Gower Peninsula, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire compose the richest agricultural heritage, with fertile land and a mild climate. The produce is unequalled: lobster, crab, bass; salmon and sewin; early vegetables, seasonal fruit; dairy produce, meat and game from the bountiful farmland. The food that fed the ancient bards now graces the ﬁnest tables in the hotels and restaurants of many coastal resorts, rural and urban areas. London to St David’s is just 250 miles, a comfortable ﬁve hours drive, and Gloucester to Pembroke takes under three. The area has some of the ﬁnest beaches in Britain; superb golf courses; marinas; St David’s Cathedral and beautiful village churches; boutique shops; markets; the beautiful Gower Peninsula and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
© Fairyhill, Reynoldston; © Slebech, on the Cleddau. 76
SouthNorth west Wales AX – BX
Food Wales eating out guide â€“ second edition with pomegranate; Venison casserole with port; Roast partridge, venison sausage, Savoy cabbage, bacon and onion. 50
Stonemill, near Monmouth
RockďŹ eld, near Monmouth NP25 5SW T: 01600 716273 www.thestonemill.co.uk Meals ÂŁÂŁ | AAâ˜…â˜… | Ă‰ 6 cottages Proprietor: Michelle Decloedt In the heart of Welsh border countryside, accommodation is in pristine farm-style cottages, and enjoyable dining in a beautifully renovated barn with some Welsh-continental dishes. House specials: King scallops, smoked haddock quinoa kedgeree, mustard leaves, curry; Slow cooked shoulder of Welsh lamb, roasted cherry tomatoes, buttered leeks with smoked bacon, wholegrain mustard dauphinoise potatoes. 51
The Vale Hotel Golf & Spa Resort, Hensol
Hensol Park, Hensol, CF72 8JY T: 01443 667877 www.vale-hotel.com Meals ÂŁÂŁ | AAâ˜… | Ă‰ 143 This large golf and sports complex has a grill restaurant in the main hotel. There are lamb, beef, and poultry dishes from locally sourced produce. Service is friendly-formal and the wines are fairly priced for the style of the place. 52
The Walnut Tree, Llanddewi Skirrid
Llanddewi Skirrid, near Abergavenny NP7 8AW T: 01873 852797 www.thewalnuttreeinn.com Meals ÂŁÂŁÂŁ | GFG5 | AAâ˜…â˜…â˜… | Ă‰ 2 Cottages | Mâ˜… Proprietor/Chef: Shaun Hill This long established restaurant in a former small village pub now has a Michelin Star for the renowned cuisine of the highly experienced chef. Its simple white decor is pristine; the small bar has never changed. The elegant table settings have bouquets of fresh herbs that personify the fresh style of the superb cuisine. The menu reads simply without over ďŹ‚owery descriptions, yet the precision of the delivery and the balance of ďŹ‚avours and textures is sheer class gastronomy. The treatment of seafood, offal, meat and game, plus impeccable desserts is impressive. Sample dishes: Robert Carrierâ€™s pĂ˘tĂŠ aux herbes; Turbot with brown shrimps and sorrel sauce; Saddle of hare with roasted salsify and celeriac; Chilled cherry soup with toasted hazelnuts.
South East Wales X – X
Woods Brasserie, Cardiff; © Shaun Hill, Walnut Tree, Llanddewi Skirrid. 53
Woods Brasserie, Cardiff
The Pilotage Building, Stuart Street, Cardiff Bay CF10 5BW T: 029 2049 2400 www.woods-brasserie.com Meals ££ | GFG2 | AA★ Chef: Wesley Hammond This favourite modern brasserie in the old Pilot House in Cardiff bay has contemporary style cooking with international inﬂuences. House specials: Fish soup, aioli and croutons; Roasted scallops, watermelon and apple sauce vierge, toasted hazelnut salad; Sea bass ﬁllet, petit pois française, saffron and mussel chowder; Loomswood farm duck breast, fennel, orange and watercress salad, raspberry dressing; Key lime pie.
Welsh food outside Wales t is just 250 miles from Piccadilly Circus to Cardigan Bay or the summit of Snowdon, so produce sent from Wales saves food miles in a way that sourcing produce from other parts of the UK or Europe cannot. With provenance of produce increasingly important on menus, many London restaurants now name the individual farm or supplier which supplies them with Welsh lamb, Welsh Black beef, pork and dairy products. These chefs, caterers and retailers recognise ﬁne quality, and Welsh companies who have made the effort to serve London’s highly demanding trade have been well rewarded.
From Wales to London Leading London Chef Pierre Koffmann, in his eponymous new restaurant in the Berkeley in Knightsbridge, uses a range of ﬁsh from Cardigan Bay Seafood on his superb menu. Cardigan Bay spider crab, bass and lobster make up some of his signature seafood dishes. British Chef Mark Hix lists Welsh lamb, spider crab and lobster on his menus at Hix in Soho, Selfridges, and the Albemarle. Leading Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli’s Michelin Star restaurant Locanda Locatelli regularly uses Welsh salt marsh lamb and suckling pig from the Rhug Organic Estate. Welshman Bryn Williams of Odettes has a regular delivery of Welsh Black beef for his Sunday menu, plus Welsh lamb and dairy products. Elwy Valley Lamb is now supplied regularly to over ﬁfty restaurants in London. Rhug Estate and Black Mountain Foods also supply many restaurants and retailers. Enthusiasts include Richard Corrigan (Bentley’s, Corrigan’s), Herbert Berger (One Lombard Street), and Andy Needham (Zafferano) – all top Michelin rated chefs. Planet Organic shops throughout London have a range of organic meat from the Rhug Estate, and Partridges and Harrods stock Welsh meat. Welsh cheeses In the thriving Borough Market in London Gorwydd Caerphilly cheese has its own prominent stand close to Patchwork Pâté, and Rhug Estate meat. Dairy counters in all supermarkets have a full range from Rachel’s Dairy, Aberystwyth. Welsh cheese producers such as Teiﬁ Farmhouse Cheeses and Caws Cenarth regularly 120
Welsh food outside Wales supply leading stores such as Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Partridges and Harrods, and Hamish Johnston. Welsh beverages Many hotel and restaurant bars now stock a bottle of the distinctive Penderyn, recognised by the specialist drinks trade to be a whisky of quality, integrity and individuality. Their lower shelves and tables also offer Welsh water, the most recognisable being Tyˆ Nant in its blue livery, followed by Llanllyr Source, Radnor Hills and Princes Gate. The Welsh connection Welsh produce is greeted enthusiastically by leading chefs outside London. Michelin Star Welshman Roger Jones of the Harrow at Little Bedwyn proudly lists Welsh Black beef, salt marsh lamb and Welsh cheeses on his award-winning menus. Raymond Blanc of Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, a man who will not settle for mediocrity in any way, uses much Welsh lamb, pork and poultry. On tasting a chicken from the Rhug Estate he once declared it to be ‘quite simply the best organic chicken I have ever tasted.’ Rachel’s Organic; Llanllyr Source; Black Mountain Smokery.
Farmersâ€™ markets Abergavenny Market Hall 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month www.abergavenny farmersmarket.co.uk Aberystwyth North Parade 1st and 3rd Saturday each month Bangor Morrisons Car Park 2nd Sunday each month Brecon Market Hall 2nd Saturday of each month T: 01874 636169 Caerphilly Twyn Community Centre 2nd Saturday of each month T: 01656 658963 Cardiff Riverside Community Market Fitzhammon Embankment, Cardiff Every Sunday T: 029 2019 0036 www.riversidemarket.org.uk Cardigan Upper Market Hall, Pendre 2nd Thursday of each month (May â€“ September) T: 01970 633066
Carmarthen Town Centre 1st and 3rd Friday each month Conwy 4th Wednesday of each month RSBP Nature Reserve off A55 Dolgellau Eldon Square 3rd Sunday each month Fishguard Market Hall Alternate Saturdays www.pembrokeshire farmersmarkets.co.uk Glasfryn Parc Pwllheli 2nd Sunday of each month T: 01766 810044 Glyndwr Farm Market Rhug Estate, Corwen T:01691 860357 1st Sunday of each month Haverfordwest Riverside Shopping Friday each fortnight T: 01437 776168 www.pembrokeshire farmersmarkets.co.uk Knighton Community Centre 2nd, 4th Saturday of each month T: 01547 520096
Farmers’ markets Lampeter Market Street Alternate Fridays T: 01570 423200
Penderyn Community Centre 4th Sunday each month www.rhondda-cynon-taff.gov.uk
Llandovery Market Square Last Saturday of each month T: 01550 720233
Presteigne Radnorshire Arms Hotel 1st Saturday of each month T: 01544 267768
Llandrindod Wells Middleton Street Last Thursday of each month T: 01597 824102
Ruthin Produce Market Old Gaol Courtyard, St Peters Square Last Saturday of each month (May – October) T: 07798 914721
Llanrwst Town Square 3rd Saturday of each month Menai Bridge Town Centre 3rd Saturday of each month Mold St Mary’s Church, King Street 1st Saturday of each month www.celynfarmersmarket. co.uk Mumbles Seafront, (Oystermouth) Car Park 2nd Saturday of each month T: 01792 405169
Swansea Waterfront Local Produce Market National Waterfront Museum, Maritime Quarter 1st Sunday each month Usk Memorial Hall 1st & 3rd Saturday of each month T: 0845 6106496 Welshpool Market Town Hall 1st Friday of each month T: 01686 626606
Pembroke Town Hall Alternate Saturday www.pembroke21c.org/ farmersmarket Penarth Westbourne School 4th Saturday each month www.valefarmersmarkets. co.uk
Cardiff Riverside Community Market 125
eating out guide
• The independent guide to the best places to eat in Wales • Restaurants with rooms, hotels, gastropubs and cafés • Featuring well-prepared, local, seasonal produce • Over 30 new entries for this second edition • Reviews, addresses, contact details, specials, awards • Maps for north, mid, south west and south east Wales • Wales True Taste award-winners • A guide to independent brewers in Wales
• Welsh Rarebits hotels and restaurants with rooms
Published on Dec 6, 2011
Food Wales eating out guide second edition is an independent guide to the best restaurants, hotels, cafes and gastropubs in Wales. It featur...