Coast, Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire, South West Wales
Coast is all about location. Set right on the sands of Coppet Hall Beach in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, this striking modern restaurant offers one of the best dining room panoramas in Britain. But the landscape doesn’t just look good – it’s incredibly productive. With Welsh Black beef from local farms, lobsters from Caldey Island, fish from Saundersfoot harbour, and fresh produce from the restaurant’s very own kitchen gardens, head chef Thomas Hine doesn’t have to search too far for inspiration. The sheer creativity in dishes such as mackerel with crispy oyster, cider, miso and cucumber emulsion or crab with charred sweetcorn risotto, chorizo and egg yolk is dazzling. Coast is open Wednesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner. Booking is essential for groups of five or more as tables are always in demand.
Not to be missed: The tasting menu with “wine flight”, pairing the perfect choice of wine with each course, is the ultimate Coast experience.
ffresh, Cardiff Bay, South Wales
ffresh sits inside the iconic Wales Millennium Centre at Cardiff Bay. This isn’t just a place to grab a quick bite before the theatre or the opera though. This is serious cooking with a menu devised by Michelin-starred culinary legend Shaun Hill that puts Welsh produce centre stage. Your clients can expect dishes such as pan-fried sea trout with samphire and shrimp butter, farmhouse ciders from Glamorgan, and glasses of gorgeous Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Ancre Hill vineyard in Monmouth. On Friday and Saturday nights, ffresh turns into its own intimate performance space with live jazz, contemporary music, and cabaret.
Not to be missed: The amazing cocktails – not just the usual mojitos and pina coladas but Welsh-inspired creations like the Tiger Bay, a refreshing shot of orange balanced with Brecon Five Vodka.
The Harbourmaster, Aberaeron, Mid Wales
Your clients can’t miss the Harbourmaster. Even in a town famous for its brightly coloured houses clustered around an historic quayside, this chic boutique hotel stands out like a midnight blue beacon. In both the lively bar and smart harbour-facing restaurant, the emphasis is on good fresh local food. Enjoy Welsh rarebit with Penlan bacon on sourdough toast for breakfast, bar snacks like crispy cockles with chilli vinegar or salt and pepper squid, the legendary seafood risotto. Or sample refined dinner courses such as Cefn Gwyn Farm wild duck breast with burnt apple, blackberries and hazelnuts. The supremely stylish Harbourmaster is open every day from 8am for groups of up to 12.
Not to be missed: The crystal-clear craft ale from local brewers such as Mantle or Purple Moose - best enjoyed opposite the lobster boats bobbing in the harbour.
Hotel Portmeirion, Portmeirion, North Wales
At the heart of the surreal sub-tropical village of Portmeirion created by architect Clough Williams-Ellis is one of the world’s most iconic hotels. Your clients can sit in the magnificent curved dining room and look out over the same estuary views enjoyed by famous writers HG Wells, George Bernard Shaw, and Noël Coward. Be that as it may, head chef Mark Threadgill isn’t content to rest on past glories. With dishes such as roast sirloin of Welsh beef with hay-smoked carrot, or Welsh lamb tagine with harissa chickpeas, he’s constantly developing exciting new twists on local classics. The restaurant is open every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Not to be missed: Afternoon tea in the hotel’s new tea emporium. Delight in a choice of finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, cakes, tarts, and fancies – and a pot of something special such as the floral Chinese oolong tea, Ti Kuan Yin.
Old Dairy Restaurant, Plas Newydd, Anglesey, North Wales
The elegant 18th century house of Plas Newydd, right on the shores of the Menai Strait, has many attractions. These include spectacular gardens, one of the most famous murals in Britain, and a military museum containing the world’s first fully articulated false leg, and the Old Dairy cafe. Once the haunt of milk maids is now a stylish restaurant serving barista coffee, homemade cakes and hearty local dishes including Welsh pork and “Anglesey Eggs” – which combines eggs, potatoes, leeks, and Caerphilly cheese to delicious effect. Opening times vary so please check the website for details.
Not to be missed: The Plas Newydd sunroom and a scoop (or two) of Ginger Nut ice cream – a flavour created in honour of the Marquess of Anglesey’s favourite biscuit.
The Seahorse Restaurant and Bistro, Llandudno, North Wales
Chef-proprietor of The Seahorse Restaurant and Bistro, Don Hadwin, thinks he’s spoiled to have so much wonderful fresh fish and seafood on his doorstep – from Great Orme lobsters to plump mussels from Conwy and the Menai Strait. Every now and then Don even sails out on his very own boat to fish for the catch of the day. This buzzing venue in the Victorian seaside resort of Llandudno can seat up to 50 diners split between an intimate cellar bistro, and an upstairs restaurant with Mediterranean murals, where your clients can sample fresh anchovies in tempura batter or baked hake with rich thermidor sauce.
Sea Shanty Café, Trearddur Bay, Anglesey, North Wales
The Sea Shanty café website doesn’t just mention all of their delicious food – it gives the times for high and low tide. This is handy information given that this £1.5 million seaside café sits among the marram grass at the edge of Trearddur Bay’s golden crescent of sand. It’s no surprise the Sea Shanty celebrates the village’s maritime history, with actual rowing boats hanging from the beams while radio shipping forecasts and sounds of the sea play in the toilets. It’s open all day until 9pm, seven days a week for coffee and cakes, ice creams, and inventive main courses featuring local delicacies such as Menai mussels, Church Bay crab, and Anglesey-cured gammon.
Not to be missed: Breakfast. If your clients are planning a walk on the Wales Coast Path that virtually passes the door, a plate of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs should set them up nicely.
The Worm's Head Hotel, Rhossili, Gower, South West Wales
Worm’s Head is a tidal island off Rhossili Bay in the Gower Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – often voted by travellers among the top 10 beaches in the world. The Worm's Head Hotel commands sweeping views of its eponymous spectacle from its Helvetia bar and restaurant. The specials board changes with the season to showcase unique local delicacies such as Penclawdd cockles and laverbread (a seaweed known as “the Welshman’s caviar”), Burry Port mussels, and Gower salt marsh lamb. After their meal, your clients can unwind with a glass of Penderyn - a Welsh whisky that’s one of the smoothest in the world - and take in a little more of that incredible view.
Not to be missed: The walk across a rocky causeway to Worm’s Head, accessible with care for just five hours a day.