Into the grape unknown: the great Welsh wine tasting

The words ‘Welsh wine’ might once have raised a quizzical eyebrow, but no longer. As climate change has seen the terroir shift steadily north, even these wet, chilly hills can now produce a thoroughly decent drop. A growing crop of wineries have invested passion and effort to seriously raise the bar, embracing hardy, early ripening grape varieties suited to cool climates like Seyval, Phoenix and … Continue reading Into the grape unknown: the great Welsh wine tasting

Foraging for food and thought with Wild About Pembrokeshire

The pandemic may have shrunk our lives over the past year, but it also opened our eyes to the natural world like never before. Tapping into our deepest primal instincts, foraging is about so much more than hunting for wild food. In many ways it is a moving meditation, a way of celebrating what each season brings and finding headspace in a constantly switched-on age. … Continue reading Foraging for food and thought with Wild About Pembrokeshire

Fruits of the forage: a recipe for carragheen pudding courtesy of Wild About Pembrokeshire

With spring on the horizon, there will soon be rich pickings for foragers in Wales – whether you make for the hedgerows, hills or seashore. Julia and John, who run the fantastic forage-focused Wild About Pembrokeshire walks and the Really Wild Emporium, St Davids’ best and most original cafe, bring us a sweet taste of the Pembrokeshire coast with this easy-to-make recipe for carragheen pudding. … Continue reading Fruits of the forage: a recipe for carragheen pudding courtesy of Wild About Pembrokeshire

Love is a spoon: we meet master lovespoon craftsman Paul Curtis

Forget the usual hearts, flowers and chocolates this Valentine’s Day – say it instead with something more lasting in the form of a hand-carved, one-of-a-kind Welsh lovespoon. Giving us the scoop on what makes these spoons and their symbolism so special is master craftsman Paul Curtis of Angel Woodcraft in Pontypridd, who has carved some of the country’s finest over the past three decades: as … Continue reading Love is a spoon: we meet master lovespoon craftsman Paul Curtis

Finding romance in the stones of Anglesey’s Ynys Llanddwyn on St Dwynwen’s Day

Ynys Llanddwyn is love at first sight. Whipped by the Irish Sea, riven with secluded coves, cloaked in gold-green marram grass and commanding soul-stirring views of the dragon’s backbone of the Llŷn Peninsula, this narrow spit of land off Anglesey’s south coast becomes an island at very high tides. And not just any old island. Here the ruins of a 16th-century church, nave exposed to … Continue reading Finding romance in the stones of Anglesey’s Ynys Llanddwyn on St Dwynwen’s Day

Chewing the fat with Gareth Ward of Michelin-starred restaurant Ynyshir

Fat might be a dirty word for many, but to Gareth Ward, head chef and co-owner of Michelin-star destination restaurant Ynyshir, near Machynlleth, it’s a beautiful and multi-textured thing. His sensational tasting menu is magic wand-waving stuff: 20 courses, each exquisitely composed with an obsessive’s eye, which take you from boat-fresh local lobster to six-month-aged Wagyu beef that a knife glides through like butter. But … Continue reading Chewing the fat with Gareth Ward of Michelin-starred restaurant Ynyshir

Snow wonder: Wales’ other Sugar Loaf bares its white winter soul

There are hills that, though humble in height, captivate the imagination. Places that somehow draw you back time and again to their season-changing wilderness, their lonely trails, their idiosyncratic landscapes. Sugar Loaf (Sir Gaerfyrddin), a mere moor or two away from the endearingly odd town of Llanwrtyd Wells (of bog-snorkelling world championship and numerous other mad festivals fame), is one such place. The hill – … Continue reading Snow wonder: Wales’ other Sugar Loaf bares its white winter soul

To the windmill: Melin Y Bont on Anglesey presses all the right coastal buttons

In southwest Anglesey, a mere whisper away from beaches where almighty gusts whip off the Irish Sea and the dunes seem to roll to infinity, is the escape of your wildest childhood fantasies – but with a grown-up’s love of style and comfort. This chicly converted 19th-century windmill has immediate wow factor, with big views, round rooms, pretty pastel interiors and space and light to … Continue reading To the windmill: Melin Y Bont on Anglesey presses all the right coastal buttons

Freckled Angel in Menai Bridge: flavours that fly high in heavenly small plates

Some say it with flowers, but when Bangor-born chef-owner Mike Jones wanted to remember a dear friend who passed away he decided to dedicate his restaurant to him, naming it after Ren Gill’s song and album Freckled Angels. Beautiful, right? It gets better… A giant angel mural keeps watch over this minimalist-cool bistro, where the small plates menu packs a punch with its Welsh-meets-the-world flavours. … Continue reading Freckled Angel in Menai Bridge: flavours that fly high in heavenly small plates

Penrhiw Hotel – escape to a chicly converted priory in St Davids

St Davids is busy as a beehive in summer, but you would never guess it when you give the crowds the slip and wind down the wooded country lane that leads to Whitesands Bay. Behind wrought-iron gates, tucked away from prying eyes and reclining peacefully in 12 acres of landscaped gardens and wildflower meadows, is Penrhiw Hotel, a sleekly converted Victorian priory where period charm … Continue reading Penrhiw Hotel – escape to a chicly converted priory in St Davids