Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Wales 2 - coffee shops & food

It seems a good idea to mention where I had some nice coffee and nibbles incase anyone reading out there is going to visit south west Wales.

Where do I start, well it would have to be with the best coffee I had and that was in Narberth. The Puffin coffee shop is within The Narberth Gallery in the Market Square. It is run by a most friendly lady called Annie, herself an artist too. She is quite new to the coffee shop venture and is passionate about good coffee and baking delicious cakes. She set about making me a crepe with orange & vanilla ice cream whilst I sampled an Americano. I followed the crepe with an espresso and it was all quite delicious. Well worth a visit and the gallery has some interesting rooms to look in.

Annies artwork can be seen on her web link below:


Another notable espresso I had was in the wonderful coffee and wool shop called Janes in Fishguard, didn't manage a picture as I drunk it too quickly!

One very unpleasant coffee I had was in St. Davids. I had high expectations as the place was called Pebbles Yard Gallery & Espresso Bar. Bound to find a good espresso here I thought but sadly not, my Americano was like bad Nescafe and the espresso was no better. Avoid at all cost, I left most of the Americano and I saw a couple of other drinks had been left on tables so maybe it wasn't just me being picky. I don't think this place should use the word Espresso in its name!

In Cardigan I found quite a nice Italian / Welsh deli and whilst the cappuccino I had was a reasonable strength, it wasn't grind on demand with the beans so not sure how long the coffee had been sat there. The complementary biscuit though was very nice.

The next place on my list is Hive on the Quay in the fishing village of Aberaeron. The first thing to get me excited when I walked in was their espresso machine, a bright red La Spaziale which is what I want in the small version for home. The beans were ground on demand, good sign, and I had a very nice macchiato and a tasty piece of dark choc cake.
This place is also known for its speciality honey ice cream with honey from a farm up the road but I was too stuffed with the cake to have ice cream.

Bought some beans in Cardigan indoor market from a stall called Bean & Gone and they're not too bad at all.


Quite a good choice of veggie food was to be found at The Glasshouse Cafe at the Welsh Wildlife Centre in Cilgerran. The cafe is upstairs and tree top level in a groovy sustainable building, which I'll show externally in my architectural post.
I had the Middle Eastern platter which had lots of homemade dips, hoummus, spicy orange pate and a good selection of salads and couscous.
Its a great view out from this place and you can walk off your food afterwards as its part of the Teifi marshes nature reserve.

The final mention, and I've been to this place before which is why it got a second visit. The Quarry veggie cafe in Machynlleth, which is run by the CAT Centre. Good wholesome veggie food is guaranteed and I notice they had a choice of about 5 different flavoured veggie burgers. On this occasion I had veggie lasagne which came with a lovely selection of salads. The only problem with the place, its not huge and gets very busy so didn't manage lunch til it quietened at about 2pm.
Strangely enough, the food I've had at the CAT Centre itself has not been as good as the Quarry in town.

I think that about sums up my coffee and foodie experiences in Wales. But final mention goes to the holiday cottage where I stayed. The owners can provide you with their own organic eggs and organise a fruit & veg box. Their eggs were very delicious and the fruit & veg come from Pembrokeshire Produce Direct and it was both very tasty and plentiful for a £10 box.  


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