Wales, Wales, Wales: What Do We Eat Here?
Stop number three on our trip with VisitBritain was Wales, a brand new country for me. Again, we had a very limited timeframe (about two full days), but we packed our days with food and fun and managed to explore three very different Welsh cities:
Fabulous Welsh Cakes - Welsh cakes, small little dollops of scone mix baked on a griddle like pancakes, are reason enough to visit Wales. We sampled a few different types of Welsh cakes while taking the Loving Welsh Food Tour (such a fun way to get to know a culture’s cuisine) and unanimously agreed that the ones at Fabulous Welsh Cakes were the best in town. They have a variety of delicious flavors - we loved the original (with sultanas), the lemon, and the chocolate. While you’ll definitely want to bring some home as souvenirs, they’re best when you eat them hot off the griddle.
Ffwrnes Pizza - Actually great wood-fired pizza in Cardiff? I’m just as shocked as you are. Ffwrnes, Welsh spelling of “furnace,” was a definite food highlight in Wales. My favorite pie was the “Sobrasada,” topped with mozzarella, sobrasada (soft chorizo), parmigiano reggiano, basil, olive oil, and Welsh honey. Find it on the top level of the Cardiff Market (only open for lunch).
Hard Lines Coffee - Amidst the traditional food stalls and seafood counters in the Cardiff Market is a modern, independent coffee shop and roastery. I’m so happy that we stumbled upon this stall - it was our favorite coffee in town.
Wright’s Wines - Sunny, happy vibes here at the only natural wine shop in Cardiff. I didn’t expect to find any natural wine at all in Wales, but was pleasantly surprised to find such yummy juice! I even bought a bottle to bring home with me. They have a few options by the glass to drink in the shop, and occasionally have food pop-ups, too.
National Museum - A beautiful museum with lots of great art in their collection, including some of Monet’s water lilies (my favorite). When I was there, they also had an exhibit on Leonardo da Vinci. The best part? The museum is completely free!
St. David’s Hotel and Spa - A bit removed from the center of Cardiff, but well worth it for the sweeping views overlooking the Cardiff Bay. This five-star hotel boasts chic, modern rooms, a lovely breakfast buffet, a great fitness center, swimming pool, and a luxurious spa. It’s the perfect place for a getaway.
On our drive through the Welsh countryside, we made a quick pit stop in Hay-On-Wye, the town of books. This quirky and quaint village is a book lover’s paradise - the only shops in town are secondhand bookshops, antique shops, cute vintage stores, and cozy cafes perfect for cuddling up with a book and a cup of tea. We particularly enjoyed Richard Booth’s Bookshop, one of the larger bookstores in town that also has a small cinema and a great cafe. I loved the chai latte and sweets!
Chester’s Wine Merchants - While out exploring the cute town of Abergavenny, I stumbled across a chalkboard sign that said “wine this way.” I had to follow the arrow, but I could not have predicted that I’d find natural wine at the end of it! A super cute pup, Chester, greeted me at the door; he’s the mascot of the shop, and even cuter in real life than the painting of his face on the exterior. Two young guys own the place, and happily talked us through some of their favorite bottles. (For you non-natural wine drinkers, they have lots of conventional wines, too!) We opened a few bottles in the shop, and played board games around a table while great music played over the speakers. It was hard to tear ourselves away to go to dinner.
The Angel Hotel - When we arrived at this adorable hotel, we received a warm welcome from the staff (who also left a bowl of fruit and a bottle of fresh apple juice in our room). Oat milk lattes and fresh pastries from their in-house bakery made it the best breakfast of our trip. I only wish we’d had more than a few hours here!
Following along on Instagram? See more from the trip at #CarnivorrWales.