Food Trail West
For this part of the trail, head to the county town of Carmarthen and strike out west. Carmarthen may lay claim to being Wales’s oldest town but a walk about its lively streets uncovers plenty to please today’s visitor. Start your history trail at the Roman Amphitheatre near Priory Street, for a rare peep at the lost civilization that first settled here, before exploring the ruins of the 12th-century castle, which once protected this area above Carmarthen Bay. Take a walk along Picton Terrace to see its elegant Regency houses, just one sign of how this town has prospered down the centuries. Wander around the stalls championing local produce in the striking modern Carmarthen Indoor Market. And browse the shops and eateries that are new beating heart of the town’s commercial centre in the glass and steel landscape of St Catherine’s Walk.
Carmarthen Indoor Market SA31 1QY.
Albert Rees is a revered ham and bacon curers with a shop at Carmarthen’s Indoor Market. A favourite local breakfast treat is their Carmarthen Streaky Bacon or Carmarthen Back Bacon. Just add cockles and laver bread and you have a tasty and traditional Welsh dish! Another stalwart of the Rees family is their premium Carmarthen Ham which is cured by Albert’s son Chris and his wife Ann at their home and they intend to stay as a cottage industry. Family Legend states that the Romans stole the recipe during the invasion of Wales and invented Parma Ham! Carmarthen Ham can be eaten as is, or lightly fried. A favourite of Rick Stein.
01267 237687 carmarthenham.co.uk
Cowpots Ice Cream Parlour & Milkshake Bar
4 Blue Street, Carmarthen SA31 3LQ.
You’ll have to compete with the kids to get to the front of the queue at this cute ice-cream parlour and milk shake bar in Carmarthen town centre. They’ll be clamouring for a cone of the award-winning Red Cherry Delight Jersey ice cream, or concocting a "cowshake" whizzed up from Bounty Bars and other sweet treats. Dairy farmer’s son Martin Bowman and his partner, Natasha, set up shop in 2010 to bring the fruits of his family’s ice-cream business direct to the public. Adorning the walls are photos of the long-lashed members of the Bowman Jersey herd - the suppliers of Cowpots’ key ingredient. "We know them all by name," says Martin, "they’re like pets."
07531 612877 cowpotsicecream.co.uk
Etta’s Royal Cake
Richardson Home Bakery, Nolands Lodge Bakery, Llansteffan SA33 5JZ.
A slice of cake fit for a prince. That’s what they make at Richardson’s Home Baking. When Prince Charles tasted a piece of Etta Richardson’s soft fruit cake during a royal visit to the village of Llansteffan, where her family’s bakery is based, this small Carmarthenshire producer hit the big time. The Prince enjoyed the cake so much, he took some home and then ordered a further eight for the Christmas table at his Highgrove home. The icing on this boiled cake was a request from the Queen to supply what’s now known as Etta’s Royal Cake for the reception of his wedding to Camilla Parker-Bowles.
01267 241248 ettasroyalcake.co.uk
Philip Hughes Butcher
The Butcher Shop, Pentre Road, St Clears SA33 4AA.
They turn out up to 7,000 homemade pies a week at this family-run butcher in the small town of St Clears, just outside Carmarthen. Bite into the best-selling minced beef and onion pie - a crisp case that melts in the mouth, packed with a rich, meaty sauce - and you’ll get a taste of why these pies have such a loyal following. Since 1977, Philip Hughes has been making the most of its location in the heart of the countryside, sourcing quality meat from the wealth of local farms. The extensive range of mouthwatering pies, made daily on the premises, changes with the seasons - and even taps into current events. So alongside staples such as Welsh lamb and mint, you might find a pastry package of chicken, asparagus and Champagne, and their commemorative pies are always a hit - whether for the Royal Wedding in 2011 or Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
01994 230062 thecarmarthenguide.co.uk
Brynderi Honey Farm
Brynderi Honey Farm, Blaenwaun, Whitland, SA34 0JD.
Tuck into a honey-flavoured ice cream while hearing about the life cycle of the bee at Brynderi Honey Farm in the village of Blaenwaun, just north of Whitland. Keith Taylor and his family moved their apiary to this wild corner of the county from Cambridgeshire in 2002. Ever since, they have been sharing the spoils of the efforts of hundreds of thousands of honey bees that live in the hives in their garden. The honey is top quality, says Keith, a fact he puts down, in part, to the remarkably clean air that comes in off the Atlantic, reducing the contaminants that stick to the bees’ fur.
01994 448653 brynderihoneyfarm.com
Taste of the Valleys
Caer Arglwyddes, Pontantwn, Kidwelly SA17 5LN.
Forget roast chicken, how about squirrel for lunch on Sunday? Believe it or not, this unusual choice is one of the most popular sellers on the game stall run by Dai Ellis and his son, John, which they set up along the street from the Carmarthen Indoor Market every Friday. The critters - which Dai says taste like rabbit - are sourced from culls at local estates and hand-prepared by the Ellis family at their farm, where they also rear wild boar, pigs and beef. Other specialities to buy at the stall include 30 varieties of sausage, including venison and chorizo, made by Dai’s other son, Shane.
See us at Carmarthen Indoor Market. 07866 938736.
Wrights Independent Food Emporium
Golden Grove Arms in Llanarthne SA32 8JU.
Capestone free range Pembrokeshire chicken. Outdoor reared oxford sandy and black pork. Organic Welsh native breed beef from Hazelwell Farm, Whitland. Organic lamb from Hazelwell, Whitland. Nearly all our fruit and veg is organic. Great Welsh cheeses and some from further afield too. Salamis, cured and smoked meats from Monmouthshire, Gloucestershire and Spain. Top quality pastas, rices, canned tomatoes, preserves, chocolate, coffee, craft beer.
01558 668929 wrightsfood.co.uk
Absolute Treats Coffee Shop
Gwalia House, Pentre Road, St Clears SA33 4AA.
UK National Cupcake Champion 2011!
absolutetreats.co.uk 01994 230401
58 King Street, Carmarthen SA31 1BD.
Everything from local homemade preserves to artisan breads and designer cupcakes, Blasus have it covered! Their range of rolls and sandwiches are always a treat and great for a picnic!
blasusdeli.co.uk 01267 233811
King Street, Laugharne, Carmarthenshire SA33 4RY.
Dylan Thomas’ favourite pub. Dylan used to give Browns telephone number out as his own when he lived in Laugharne. Today Browns has been restored to its former glory, stop in for a pint and see if you are inspired, to write, like Dylan was!
browns-hotel.co.uk 01994 427688
Cwrt Bach Farm
Cefnypant, Whitland, Carmarthenshire SA34 0TR.
Providing fresh and flavour-packed produce and foods to local customers and establishments is the mission of Cwrtau Bach Farm. Most recently, we have added our homemade sauces and preserves to our list of products. Produce is freshly picked from the gardens and travels less than 50 metres to our kitchen for preparation, keeping the food miles low and flavour high! Cwrtau Bach Farm has received a 2-star gold award at the coveted Great Taste Awards 2012.
cwrtaubach.endoftheinternet.org 01994 419086
Eynon’s Butcher and Charcuterie
Deganwy, Pentre Road, St.Clears, Carmarthenshire SA33 4LR.
Fantastic range of local produce including cooked and cured meats, fresh meat prepared at the premises, and everything else you need for a great meal at home or for a memorable alfresco picnic or a great place to get your BBQ ingredients!
eynons.co.uk 0800 731205
Ferry Cabin Café
Ferryside - fresh fish, good chips. Locals love it!
Fresh fish and great chips, from this must visit and locally famous chip shop. Why not eat your chips and then take a stroll and admire the views on one of the many seafront benches with great views over the Tywi towards the imposing Llansteffan Castle!
Florries Fish and Chips
Great chip shop in Llansteffan, located in a diminutive cabin in the Seafront car park. The chips are outstanding, the fish is fresh, and you can eat them sat on one of the many benches taking advantage of the fantastic views towards Ferryside.
The Corran Restaurant
East Marsh, Laugharne, Carmarthenshire SA33 4RS.
By making the most of what’s on our doorstep, our menus are creatively designed around using the very best local ingredients and fresh seasonal produce. The ethos is clear and simple; well-prepared, thoughtfully cooked and beautifully presented cuisine with more than a hint of Welsh character.
thecorran.com 01994 427417
Banc y llain, Llanboidy, Whitland, Carmarthenshire SA34 0ED.
Fantastic foodie restaurant, tucked away on the Carmarthenshire border. Jabajaks have their own vineyard, and a fantastic organic garden to supply the restaurant. Tuck yourselves away in their romantic "Nook" for the ultimate in romantic dining!
jabajak.co.uk 01994 448786
Morgan’s Traditional Chippie
80 Water St., Carmarthen.
A famous chip shop in the centre of Carmarthen, known among locals as the finest chippie in Wales! A great place for a proper chip lunch and for catching up on the local gossip! Eat in or take out, you won’t be disappointed!
The Cors Restaurant
Newbridge Road, Laugharne, Carmarthenshire SA33 4SH.
The unique Cors reaturant (with rooms), is hidden away from the main street in Laugharne, behind exotically landscaped gardens. Nick Priestland the chef and proprietor, is an artist which reflects in the high quality décor and his presentation of his locally sourced food.
thecors.co.uk 01994 427219
The Three Mariners
Market Street, Laugharne SA33 4SA.
Laugharne, pub with rooms and good food.
Capel Dewi, Carmarthenshire SA32 7LH.
Y Polyn, was crowned the Welsh regional winner in the prestigious The Good Food Guide Readers' Restaurant of the Year Awards. Elizabeth Carter, Consultant Editor of The Good Food Guide said: "The food is delicious, as simple as that - properly prepared, seasonal, and locally sourced. Mark and Susan Manson's Country restaurant is a classic example of the very best of small enterprise".
ypolynrestaurant.co.uk 01267 290000