Welsh food is often underrated but I can’t think of anything more satisfying than welsh cakes, welsh rarebit and local sausage stew. Harden’s* has also proved that the welsh do fancy as well as hearty. Here are their top 10 poshest noshes in Wales.
“Bryan Webb continues to excel, producing outstanding cuisine” at his and wife Susan’s “comfortable country hotel” – a former hunting lodge of the Duke of Westminster in a “tranquil location” near Bala. “Staff take the time to chat”, and “it’s laid back style, lack of fuss, relaxing nature and extensive grounds” make it “a great place for a foodie date!” The “interesting but not over priced wine list” is also a major gastronomic highlight.
It’s “onwards and upwards” for this country house hotel, in a “lovely location, handy for the Hay Festival”, and long of note for its “old-hall decadence”; Nick Brodie’s “exquisite” cuisine won extremely consistent praise this year: “worth every penny!”
“The position of the restaurant is superb” – a Beach Cliff Edwardian building along from the pier, whose large windows provide views over the Penarth esplanade to the sea. “Excellent quality ingredients are elevated to another level thanks to the talent of chef James Sommerin” and his “friendly” family-led team.
“In the middle of the lush Wye valley” (“no mobile reception here”), this long acclaimed “foodie gem”regained its star shortly after the arrival of chef/proprietor Chris Harrod in 2013 (and lost ‘The Crown’ from its name shortly after). Fans proclaim the “locally sourced and foraged” cuisine “unique”(“Noma in Britain!”) with the “added benefit of eight comfy rooms to sleep it off”.
Limited but ecstatic feedback on this “lovely”Victorian pile, on the edge of Snowdonia (once owned by the Duke of Westminster), where the dining room was initially “under the aegis of Michael Caines”: Gareth Stevenson’s cuisine is “delicious and beautifully presented, and though portions look small they prove fully satisfying: well worth the journey to a remote location”.
“You don’t know what you are going to get” at this “small” but stylish venue in an old butcher’s, but the leap of faith is “well worth it” given the “really special” results: “every dish is perfectly prepared and follows on extremely well from the one before”. By all accounts “they have deserved their recently awarded Michelin star”.
“Situated on the harbour front and directly facing a beautiful sea vista”, this “small and intimate”gem is “amusingly located in a converted art deco public toilet but the ambience is more that of a Californian beach shack – especially in summer when you eat outside on a sail-covered deck”. To eat: “essentially fish and seafood that’s simply but beautifully cooked”.
Rave reviews this year for this tangerine-coloured quayside dining room, where chef Stephen Gomes is hailed by fans as “India’s answer to Heston Blumenthal”, delivering “mind blowing” creations (mainly Goan, but nodding to China and Tibet) that are “wonders to behold” and are “all served at the table by the sous chef with pride”.
“Traditional and classic French cuisine with wonderful twists and flavour marriages” justify the pilgrimage to the Welsh outback for the many loyal fans of Stéphane Borie & Sarah Francis’s 17th-century inn on the town square – a “peaceful and private” escape with five rooms.
Owned by wedding specialists Oldwalls since November 2016, this small (but expanding) restaurant-with-rooms occupies a grade II manor house, beautifully set in a remote corner of the Gower peninsula. Feedback is limited, but very positive on its cuisine, which makes a feature of Welsh sourcing.
*Repost from Harden’s