Savour the taste: Welcome to the food revolution of Wales
Exploring the local area through its food and drink is the perfect accompaniment to a stay in a Welsh Rarebits hotel. Wherever you are in this varied and beautiful country, let us take you on a tour to savour the best we have to offer in local delicatessens, farm shops, restaurants, farmers’ markets and food festivals.
We would like to guide you through this gastronomic journey of the best of Welsh food, drink and hospitality.
As you travel around during your visit, you’ll be beguiled by the beauty of Wales’s geography and its mild climate which, along with nurturing farming practices and a lifestyle which encourages the skill of the artisan to flourish, are some of the ingredients that come together to produce some of the most mouth-watering treats you will find anywhere.
A third of Britain’s sheep and nearly a quarter of its cows live in Wales, so it’s not surprising we know a thing or two about meat. With its mountains and valleys, rich green grass and plentiful rain, Wales has a special and unique environment which produces meat of the highest quality with a worldwide reputation.
The same green fields nurture the cows that produce creamy milk from which our cheese makers conjure up an astonishing range of innovative cheeses and other dairy products. Our natural environment is also a bounty when it comes to award-winning, high quality fruit and veg which professional chefs rave about – and which all of us as consumers can get hold of too. With our long growing season and plentiful water supply, Wales has been in the forefront of initiatives in organic farming and growing since the 1970s, and fabulous tasting organic fruit and vegetables are everywhere.
Even the seas around our shores are a source of inspiration. They contain what has been, up until now, some of Wales’s best-kept secrets. If you enjoy your seafood and shellfish, Wales is the place to eat it – after all, you’re never very far from the sea. Our food tradition thrives through the many producers we have around Wales, creating everything from fresh crusty bread and rolls and celebration cakes, to delicious continental pastries and sweet and savoury pies.
Fancy something to drink to go with your food? Forget New World wines – Wales is the new New World. Our wine producers are more than keeping up with our love affair with the vine, with Welsh vineyards performing well in international competitions and Welsh Wine Week going from strength to strength. There are over 20 vineyards in Wales producing glasses of red, white and sparkling to relish. They are complimented by an equally refreshing beer and cider industry. There is hardly an area in Wales that doesn’t have a local brewery – with over 40 of them up and down the country.
And if you’re looking for something softer, we can oblige. Wales’s natural bounty is manna from heaven for a new wave of creative producers who are harvesting it, working their magic, and turning it into a mouthwatering range of fresh and exciting non-alcoholic drinks from healthy yoghurt drinks to cordials and water.
One of the pleasures of a stay in Wales is that you’re never far from places where you can buy, savour or linger over Welsh food and drink. Look out for delis, local independent stores, supermarkets, restaurants, hotels and cafés displaying local and artisan produce, and don’t forget the exciting new ways on offer to experience quality food – at farm shops, farmers’ markets and festivals.
Originally a way for farmers to re-connect with those who ate the food they grew and reared, farm shops have become a way of life across Wales. Often selling straight from the field, farm shops bring you the opportunity to purchase food directly from the farmers, involving food metres not miles. With a passion for high quality and often organic food, our growers and producers are proud to provide the personal touch.
Farmers’ markets could rightly be described as the phenomenon of the last 10 years. As recently as 1997, there were none in the UK – now they are everywhere. From Abergavenny to Welshpool, from the hearts of Cardiff and Swansea to the centre of Wrexham, farmers’ markets across the length and breadth of Wales bring shoppers and producers together. They’ve become a major part of the community for many places, strengthening the quality of life in both small villages and Welsh towns and cities.
Food lovers are attracted to the markets’ fresh, seasonal produce, usually at competitive prices, whilst for farmers and food producers, the market makes it easy to engage with their customers.
So enjoy your Welsh Rarebits stay – but get out and about too and sample the tastes of Wales.