Hello there Llŷn foodie fans! A couple of weeks ago, between working on our glorious looking Summer magazine, I managed to fit in a visit home to sunny Pen Llŷn. Somewhere between the madness of Easter and Summer, we’re currently experiencing a steady calm before the busy season hits us with full force.
Alongside seeing sorely missed friends and family, I fit in a visit to Pontoon in Pwllheli one sunny lunchtime to enjoy some traditional mexican cuisine on their gorgeous patio overlooking the harbour (and some cocktails!) I wrote all about my last visit to pontoon in a previous blog, and I know it’ll become one of my regular places to eat when i’m home. I also went out for a little meal with my mum, aka Big Boss Lady of We Love Llŷn, and we chose Fresh in Abersoch.
We visited Fresh on what we thought would be a quiet tuesday evening, but it was a good thing we got there early, as the restaurant quickly filled up! Upon entering, passing the patio with abundant outdoor seating, and the pile of blankets for those times our Welsh climate lets us down, you are greeted by a friendly hello no matter what the staff are busy doing. We couldnt help but notice the small chalk board declaring the specials of the night – and before we’d even sat down we had already decided to have the camembert for our starter – a firm favourite of mother’s and mine!
My first port of call once we had sat down was the cocktail menu – updated seasonally, there are always some delicious concoctions on there invented by the staff alongside old classics. I chose a ‘Jolly Rancher’: Peach vodka with blueberries, honey and cranberry juice. It was delicious and too easy to drink!
The menu is inspired by British and American favourites with some dashes of Asian flavours, the panko prawns stood out to me as an intriguing option! My mum chose the lamb, but substituted the mashed potato with some sweet potato fries, and after enquiring after the vegetarian options I chose the vegetarian special: Piri piri halloumi burger with citrus ‘slaw, and curly fries! The burger was amazing, not too spicy with fresh flavours coming from the american inspired ‘slaw. Mum’s lamb was perfectly cooked and mouth wateringly tender.
Fresh always seems to have a vibrant atmosphere, with gorgeous local photography and artwork displayed on the walls and the very inviting well-stocked bar. The bar is often host to a number of events, especially live music from local musicians (one of them being myself at one point!) and throughout the low season their quiz nights on a Sunday are fantastic fun! One event coming up on Fresh’s calendar is a charity event very close to co-owner Heidi’s heart. On Friday the 28th of June staff and volunteers will be painitng the outside of the building bright yellow to raise money and awareness for Dog’s Trust. This is guaranteed to be a sight to behold so if you find yourself in the area around this time, be sure to pop along to offer some words of encouragement and give what you can. You can also donate through their JustGiving page.
Fresh will remain one of my favourite places to eat and drink, speaking as someone with some fussy food tendancies they are one of the most accomodating places I’ve visited, nothing’s too much trouble, it’s just a case of chatting to the staff about your dietary requirements or preferences. And I haven’t even mentioned the steaks – I of course am veggie but having worked in various establishments around Abersoch in the past, the one thing that remains consistent when people speak of Fresh is: The Steak. I’ve heard it said they are the best steaks in the village, on Llŷn, that they’ve ever tasted! Of course I cant personally vouch for them but if you go try them be sure to let me know what you think!
Thanks again for reading, for more from Fresh Abersoch you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
I always love to hear recommendations from you about where to eat, or even place to visit on Pen Llŷn, so either comment on this blog, write on our facebook wall or tweet us your suggestions! And don’t forget to tag us in your pictures, especially if you are enjoying a meal from one of these fabulous places! Tag us in your food pics on instagram!
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Over the course of 2016 we featured different walks in each of our magazine editions. Here we have compiled them in case you missed any.
Read on for 4 marvellous hand picked walks across the Peninsula, fully tried and tested by our wonderful editor Jo Toft.
1.Edern – Morfa Nefyn
DISTANCE: 4 miles
DIFFICULTY: Moderate – some rough and marshy ground
SUITABLE FOR KIDS: Suitable for older children who can walk a few miles and cope with uneven ground. There are some steep sections and open drops along the coastal path which are not suitable for young children!
FACILITIES: Parking at the National Trust car park in Morfa Nefyn; village shop and pub in Edern.
TIME: Approx 1 ½ hrs
Start at the National Trust car park in Morfa Nefyn. The first section of the walk is on roads; exit the car park and turn left. After a short way turn right on to Lon Las, then right again at the end of the road to join the B4417 which takes you out of Morfa Nefyn towards Edern. As you leave the village you’ll see Garn Fadryn in the distance to your left.
There is a wide footpath and within 10 minutes you’ll reach the Edern sign. As you enter the village the path takes you over a footbridge which runs parallel to the double arched road bridge. Continue on through the village, past a small shop and Y Llong/The Ship.
Keep on until you reach a large, imposing chapel on your left. Take the right turn opposite the chapel onto Lon Cae Glas. This quickly becomes a minor road which wends its way through farmland. After about a mile you’ll see Bryn Gwydd on your right, just after this, as the road bears to the left, there is a gate on the right hand side which leads you to a public footpath.
After a short way you’ll see a cove ahead of you as the path begins to fork. Take the higher path, to the right, and follow it as it bears right along the coast. This section of the walk offers some spectacular coastal views. You’ll pass a couple of interesting rocky coves and you should also be able to see Nefyn & District Golf Club’s famous ‘point’ in the distance. Continue along this path which hugs the coast. Take care as it’s uneven in places and there are a couple of steep drops so make sure you keep a tight hold of any children!
This part of the walk may become a little boggy so pick your path carefully and take care not to slip. You’ll reach a series of three bridges which take you over the boggy ground and across a small inlet. Once across turn left and onto the coastal path; hug the coast and follow it around until you reach a short path which crosses the golf course and joins up with the private road from Porthdinllaen. As you meet this road turn right and follow it back along the golf course, through the golf car park and along the road back to the National Trust car park.
If you like a walk that includes a pub lunch there are two options; either begin and, as this is a circular walk, therefore end, in Edern which gives you the opportunity to enjoy lunch at Y Llong/The Ship or deviate slightly from this route and take a detour to the Ty Coch at Porthdinllaen. To do this simply turn left rather than right once you have crossed the golf course, follow the main track to the left, it will shortly bear right down a steep hill and into Porthdinllaen. From here you can either retrace your steps, continuing the walk as you would have otherwise, or take an alternative route across the beach from Porthdinllaen to Morfa Nefyn, then up the hill past The Cliffs and back to the National Trust car park.
– Walking boots are a must as this walk covers uneven ground!
– This walk is not advisable in wet weather or after a heavy rainfall as the ground can become quite muddy/boggy in places.
DISTANCE: 5 ½ Miles
DIFFICULTY: Moderate – several steep uphill and downhill sections
SUITABLE FOR KIDS: Unsuitable for young children
FACILITIES: Car park, public loos, shops, cafes etc in the centre of Aberdaron
TIME: Approx 2 ½ hrs
Begin at the National Trust visitor centre in Aberdaron. From here turn left, following the road uphill directly behind the car park. Even at this first stage of the walk the views are striking, looking down towards the village and across the sea to Ynysoedd y Gwylanod, the Seagull Islands. On a fine day you may see Colin Evans’ bright yellow boat ferrying passengers back and forth to Ynys Enlli/Bardsey Island which lies just a short way around the coast.
Continue uphill until you see a National Trust sign for Porth Simdde and a kissing gate which leads onto the coastal path. Follow this well-trodden path, continuing for some time with farmland to your right and the sea to your left. You will shortly come to an unusual bench which has been carved with the wording ‘Time and tide wait for no man.’ It’s just one of many lovely spots on this walk to pause and take in the view.
From the bench continue along the path; you will begin to descend the first of several sets of steep steps which leads to a foot bridge at Porth Simdde. On the other side of this bridge more steps lead you back up onto the path. Continue to the left along the grassy path and you will eventually pass the remains of small cottage to your right. Make sure you keep to the higher path which continues to wend upwards through an area of fragrant gorse bushes. The path follows the coast around the grassy headland. This is a very pleasant stretch of the walk and there are clear views towards Ynysoedd y Gwylanod to your left.
Pass through a small wooden kissing gate marked with a coastal path sign and continue to follow the path which leads you towards Porth Meudwy, the embarkation point for passengers to Enlli. Descend the (steep!) steps to the pebbly cove of Porth Meudwy: opposite you’ll see another footbridge, cross this bridge, go up the steps and through another wooden kissing gate. It must get muddy here at times as someone has thoughtfully laid a plank on which to walk.
Continue along this path and you’ll shortly see more steps rising ahead. At the top of these steps follow the path as it runs alongside a field, twists and turns and takes you up yet more steps to a rocky outcrop known as Craig Cwlwm. This is a good place to stop for a drink and take in the impressive view which has likely remained unchanged for thousands of years! Continue over this outcrop and hug the coast, (do not go through the metal kissing gate behind you as this leads inland).
This is a very scenic section of the route and you’ll soon find yourself walking along the edge of a beautiful but somewhat dangerous looking cliff. The waters below are the most fantastic blue. A little further on there is a series of large holes in the ground, a badger sett perhaps?
You’ll shortly reach a kissing gate with a National Trust sign for Pen y Cil. Go through the gate and continue uphill – you’ll soon be greeted by clear views of the enigmatic Ynys Enlli. The path continues uphill and past a small cairn. If you pause at the cairn you can also see the old coastguard hut at Uwchmynydd.
Continue past the cairn to a small metal kissing gate. Turn left and continue through the next gate, following the coastal path signs. The path takes you through a field, past a National Trust sign for Bychestyn and continues along the rough ground of Mynydd Bychestyn headland.
When you reach a five bar field gate, go through it and onto a small track, which will gradually become a larger track and eventually a road. Once you’re on the road you’re on the home straight! Continue along the road, passing Bodermyd Isaf on your right and a small post-box on you left. Further along the road you’ll pass the National Trust farm of Cwrt and the small parking area above Porth Meudwy.
Soon after you will reach a T junction, turn right and continue on to the next T junction. Opposite the junction you will see a sign for Ffynnon Saint/Saint’s Well, one of a number of holy wells in the area. Turn right again at this junction, continue downhill and you’ll shortly be back in the centre of Aberdaron where there are a number of shops, cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy a well-earned drink or a treat – we chose an indulgent Glasu ice cream from Y Gegin Fawr. You might also be lucky enough to spot the resident village heron who likes to perch above the Spar shop!
– remember your camera as the views along the coastal path are stunning
– take binoculars as you may spot seals and puffins along this stretch of coast
– take a bottle of water as some of the steep steps are tiring, you may well want to pause for a drink and a rest!
DISTANCE: 4 ½ Miles
DIFFICULTY: Moderate – There are some steep and eroded sections which require care
SUITABLE FOR KIDS: Suitable for older children who can handle the eroded paths and rock scramble at Porth Towyn!
FACILITIES: Public toilets in Tudweiliog, small cafe (Cwt Tatws) en route, The Lion Hotel (pub) in Tudweiiog.
TIME: Approx 2- 2½ hrs depending on stops.
The walk begins in the centre of the small village of Tudweiliog on the northern coast of Llŷn. From the small shop/post office walk downhill in the direction of Edern. You will shortly see a public footpath sign pointing along a track to your left, towards Tyn Llan Caravan Park. Follow this track towards the entrance of the caravan park; here take the footpath to the right, through a kissing gate and into a field. Follow the left side of the field towards the next gate. Ahead are panoramic sea views and to the right the mighty Y Eifl/The Rivals.
Go through the next gate, continuing straight on, with the hedge on your left, until you reach a third gate. Continue along this track and through Towyn Farm. Here you will reach a small public road, in the opposite field is the charming Cwt Tatws (see more about Cwt tatws on page 16), though near the beginning of the walk it’s a lovely place to stop for a drink. From Cwt Tatws continue across the field until you reach the point where the track splits. Go left here, down to the small beach of Porth Towyn, a wonderfully quiet beach with the same ‘squeaky’ property as nearby Porthor/Whistling Sands. At the far end of the beach carefully (!) climb the rocks up towards the grassy slope, following a lumpy ridge until you meet up with the coastal path. As you reach the path turn to your right. You will shortly come to a grassy slope, follow this down to a kissing gate and across the wooden footbridge over a pretty stream. Here there is a small collection of caravans just above Porth Ysglaig. Continue past these, across a small track and follow the footpath up a grassy slope ahead.
At the top of this slope continue through a wooden gate and along the path. Tread carefully here as it is very eroded in places! The path reaches a field where you will see a trig point to the right. Continue towards this, following the bank to the right side of field. Below lies Porth Cychod, and several small corrugated iron huts which store fishing gear.
From here you will be able to see the end wall of an otherwise ruined cottage which once stood in the most beautiful location on the grassy clifftop just above Porth Ysgaden. In the 1700s the cottage was home to the customs officer in charge of Porth Ysgaden; this small bay forms a natural harbour and in the 18th and 19th centuries it was an important little port, bringing a variety of legitimate goods from Liverpool as well as cargo smuggled by local ‘pirates’. The cottage was abandoned in 1935 and is now a much photographed landmark.
Continue to follow the coastal path signs. You will pass the Grade II listed lime kiln on your right, another relic of Porth Ysgaden’s past. Continue through a wooden kissing gate, into the small car park, past an old coal yard, through another wooden kissing gate and over a small bridge. Follow the path up a grassy slope and along a wide grassy path. You will come to another kissing gate, pass through the gate and to your right is Porth Gwylan. You can either explore this little cove or continue on the walk. We chose to follow the rough track and steps down to this pebbly cove and stop here for lunch.
From Porth Gwylan return up the steps and rough track, heading for the footpath sign which can be seen to the right. Here turn left along a track to a farm and continue through this farmyard until you reach a rough track. You will see a sign to show that you are now on National Trust land. Continue along this track, turning left onto a lane at the end of the track. Follow the lane which bears to the right past Tyddyn Mawr farm. Continue along the lane as it bears right again until you reach the junction with the main road. Here turn left, signed Tudweiliog and continue back into the village. You will pass The Lion Hotel, a good place to stop for a drink or bite to eat.
Rather than starting in Tudweiliog you could park at Porth Ysgaden and stop for lunch at The Lion Hotel mid-way through the walk.
Remember! The early and latter parts of the walk take you through farmland – please be considerate, do not startle the animals and make sure you close all gates behind you!
4. Abersoch – Llanengan
DISTANCE: 2 ½ Miles
SUITABLE FOR KIDS: Ideal for children
FACILITIES: The Sun Inn in Llanengan
TIME: Approx 2hrs
The starting point for this walk is the playing fields on Lon Engan in Abersoch. From here head uphill passing Maes Awel and Gwydryn Drive. At the top of this short hill you’ll see a small post box; take the road to the right marked ‘unsuitable for heavy good vehicles’. Continue along this road, past Tan y Gaer; the road soon becomes a narrow lane, thickly bordered by hedges rampant with blackberry and hawthorn bushes.
Continue past a small sign which says ‘public footpath/private drive’ and round an S bend past a caravan site to the left. Eventually the lane splits, take the right hand track (which leads to Bron y Gaer) following the public footpath sign until you reach a small kissing gate on the left. From the kissing gate walk up the small grassy bank until you reach a sunken path; from here there are views across to Mynytho and Foel Felin Wynt, also known as ‘the jam pot’.
The route continues along the sunken path until you reach what appears to be an old mounting block. From here follow the yellow arrow along the lower side of another small bank and you’ll shortly find yourself above a meandering stretch of river where you may often spot heron and a pair of mute swans. The road which links Llangian and Llanengan is clearly visible, as is Porth Neigwl/Hells Mouth in the far distance.
Follow the grassy path gradually downhill until you reach a kissing gate under an overhanging blackthorn thicket. As you go through this gate the path narrows to a sheep track which takes you steeply downhill until you reach the road. Here turn left and continue along the road into Llanengan. As you reach the village you’ll see a tall chimney rising up out of the hillside ahead, a relic of the village’s lead mining past. Continue into the village, past the 16th century St Engan’s church to your right.
If you fancy a bite to eat or a spot of liquid refreshment then turn right at the junction just after the church and head to The Sun Inn, otherwise turn left at this junction. You now have a choice of routes back to Abersoch; either continue along the road through the village or turn right up the steep hill which leads into Sarn Bach. (If you choose this route then follow the road downhill past Ysgol Sarn Bach, turn left and continue along the main road back into Abersoch.) If you choose to continue along the lane through the village (a slightly easier route for young children) you will notice an old water pump set back on the left. This used to be the sole water supply for the village, pumping spring water from a well below.
As you leave the village you’ll notice a junction with a post box set into a wall on the right. Here again you can choose an alternative route by turning right and following Bwlch Road towards Sarn Bach and continuing into Abersoch that way, or you can remain on the road you’re already on.
If you remain on this road you will soon be greeted with sea views and should be able to make out St Tudwals East and the former Abersoch lifeboat house at Penrhyn Du. From this point it’s not far until you reach the stretch of road on which you started and drop back down into the village by the playing fields.
This is a great walk for children as it’s just the right length for little legs and can easily be broken up with a lunch stop at The Sun Inn. To make it more interesting why not give them a nature list to tick off along the way – the hedges are filled with various easily identifiable bushes such as blackberry, hawthorn and gorse, along with various flowers (depending on the season). There is also plenty of bird life; you will more than likely spot mallard and mute swans and perhaps even a heron on the river. You could also include landmarks such as the lead smelting chimney, Llanengan church and the water pump.
We hope you enjoy!
-Jo Toft and the We Love Llŷn Team
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Last spring Jo Toft spent a day in the lovely local town of Criccieth and wrote all about it for our Spring 2016 edition of We Love Llŷn magazine. Read on to find out what she thought of her day out!
Criccieth is located on the south side of the Llŷn peninsula, close to Porthmadog and Llanystumdwy, and is very much a destination in its own right. Known for its landmark ruined castle and its connection with former Prime Minister David Lloyd George, Criccieth is a small town which became a popular Victorian seaside resort thanks to its station on the Cambrian Coast railway line.
We took a short drive to spend the day in Criccieth and found ourselves with plenty to do!
10am – Cadwaladers
Our first stop is the famous ice cream café and coffee shop, Cadwaladers, located on Ffordd y Castell/Castle Street. Opened in 1927 by the Cadwaladers family, and originally a general grocery store, this is where the Cadwaladers story began when Hannah Cadwalader started making batches of vanilla ice cream in the window of the family shop. Her original recipe was a closely guarded secret, reputedly including ‘6lbs of shan’t tell you’ and ‘a great deal of love and care’. Eventually the ice cream became the family’s main focus and by the 1960s the shop had become an ice cream parlour. To this day Cadwalader’s vanilla ice cream is still made using Hannah’s secret recipe.
At 10am on a grey February morning, in the midst of Storm Gertrude, it’s not an ice cream we’re after but a strong coffee! We sit in the window at the back of the café and watch the huge waves crashing into the breakwater, a lone surfer attempting, and failing, to catch a wave. It’s a nice spot and in the summer would be the perfect place to enjoy an ice cream sundae and take in the view.
11am – Criccieth Castle
The ruined castle really dominates the small town of Criccieth, standing high above the rows of houses on a rocky hill. Despite the howling gale we decide to venture up to the castle. As its low season the visitor centre, a small cottage which has been converted into a shop/ticket office/exhibition isn’t open, however, there is a gate at the side of the building which is left open, allowing free access to the castle ruins.
Although the castle appears to sit high above the rest of the town the path up to the ruins is actually quite short, it is however steep and there is only a simple handrail so it might not be suitable for everyone and certainly not for unruly young children!
Originally built as a Welsh castle, Criccieth was used as a royal residence and prison. Llywelyn ap Iorwerth began work on the inner ward around 1230, the outer walls being added in the 1260s by his grandson Llywleyn ap Gruffudd. By 1283 however the castle was in the hands of the English; Edward I did much to fortify it, heightening the walls and towers and strengthening the North Tower in order to mount a siege engine. Just as well he did as by 1294 the castle was under siege during a Welsh revolt. On that occasion it held, however it was sacked and burnt in 1404 during the uprising of Owain Glyndŵr. It was never rebuilt and consequently is now in a poor state compared to some of our other local castles – See our castles feature on page 52
There are some information boards mounted on the castle walls, along with a map of the original castle outline, so you can just about picture what it would once have looked like. Standing on the sloping ground in front of the ruined gatehouse towers you can image that with men stationed atop the tower, flags flying and the sturdy portcullis down this would have been an imposing and impressive sight.
Perhaps most impressive today are the amazing views which can be seen from the ruins; beyond Criccieth itself you can see along the coast in both directions with Harlech easily visible on a clear day. Due to the incredibly strong winds we stay within the castle walls, such as they are, but on a less blustery day we could’ve ventured outside the walls and enjoyed the view from one of the various benches that are dotted around.
1pm – Dylan’s
After nearly blowing away whilst exploring the castle we are cold and hungry and more than ready for lunch. We arrive at Dylan’s and despite it being a miserable Monday in February there are quite a few other people already seated.
We thoroughly enjoy our lunch here – see our ‘review and recommend’ feature opposite.
2.30pm – Beach Walk
Following lunch we have a brief walk along the esplanade which runs parallel to the beach. Thanks to Storm Gertrude there’s sand and stones all over the road and some quite impressive waves to watch. In the summer this is a popular beach, it’s an easy walking distance from the town and there is a large car park just yards away. This summer Dylan’s will be serving coffees and ice creams on the beachfront from their newly restored retro van. Perfect.
If you want to extend this walk continue along the esplanade (which becomes Lon Felin) past the lifeboat station on your right, and up the hill towards the castle. Once you pass the castle rising up on your left you’ll begin to descend towards Marine Terrace, an imposing row of Victorian houses, now mostly B&Bs and guest houses, presumably originally built to cater for Criccieth’s Victorian holidaymakers. Here you can choose to walk along the road or the beach, which once again runs parallel on your left. Follow the road to your right, over the railway line and you’ll find yourself back on the main road which runs through the centre of the town, here you’re in the perfect place to wander along Criccieth’s main street and enjoy its many shops.
3.30pm – Antiques Shops
We browse the antiques shops, of which there are several. Criccieth Gallery Antiques/Yr Oriel Criccieth is my favourite, it’s a real treasure trove of jewellery, pottery, silverware and small pieces of furniture and is well worth a look if you want to add some unique touches to your home, or if you’re looking for a quirky little gift. There are several other antiques and gifts shops along the high street so take your time and enjoy a good browse.
It’s also worth taking a look at Rousell’s Auction House if you can catch it when it’s open – auctions have been held here regularly on the last Saturday of the month, however the Auction House is currently in the process of being transformed into a shop which will sell a ‘range of home wares, gift ware, antiques and curios’.
4.15pm – On the trail of David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George, Prime Minister between 1916 and 1922 grew up just a few miles down the road from Criccieth in the village of Llanystumdwy (where you can visit his childhood home). In later years he lived in Criccieth and before we head home we have a quick drive around in search of his family home, Morfin. We find this not far from Cadwalader’s, on a small side street called Tanygrisaiu Terrace. It’s an unassuming building, one of a short row of three storey Victorian terraced houses, and was Lloyd George’s home for around 10 years and also the location of his very first solicitor’s office. If this sort of historical trail interests you then take a look at Criccieth Memorial Hall, set back from the main road the Memorial Hall is a large public building, the foundation stone of which was laid by Lloyd George in 1922.
5pm – Time for another coffee!
Here at We Love Llŷn we need at least two strong cups of coffee to see us through the day – before we leave Criccieth we grab a takeaway coffee from No. 46, a lovely coffee shop right on the main street. Along with Cadwaladers and No. 46 there’s also the Blue China Tea Rooms, located close to the Lifeboat Station and Caffi Cwrt, a quaint little traditional cottage tea room set below the grassed area just off the main road, both of which are worth a visit if you’re spending the day in Criccieth.
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My avid blog reading fans (Hi mum!) may have noticed it’s been a bit quiet on the blog front for a little while. Well – We Love Llŷn’s premier blog writer (me) has been busy moving house but fear not! Life is settled and I’m back at my keyboard.
I’ve spent the last few weeks bringing together our lovely Spring magazine, and the whole team is excited to share with you our fantastic 5th edition. We can’t believe it’s been a whole year since we launched WLL, it’s flown by! Our 5th edition is even more stuffed full of wonderful content than ever, here’s a sneak peek at what’s in store when the mag hits the shelves in a weeks time:
1. Getting Married? This issue is for you!
Our Spring issue is a wedding special, so if you are planning a Llŷn wedding you’ll love our selection of the best venues, caterers, cake makers and so much more, all on our doorstep! There has never been a better time to ‘buy local’, we are spoiled by all the quality services we have available to us, to make your special day totally unique and magical.
Aside from our main feature article we also focus on the wonderful Grade I listed wedding venue Pennarth Fawr near Chwilog, the lovely florists Bloda Eluned, award winning cake maker Hayley Hill, and we also feature some gorgeous reader-submitted photos of weddings that have taken place on Pen Llŷn.
2. Three words: Mouth. Watering. Cakes.
Hayley Hill is a magician with cakes, for all occasions! I think my mouth was watering the whole time I was putting together this article. They say you eat with your eyes and these cakes just look so gorgeous. I also have it on good authority that they taste fantastic too – Our wonderful editor Jo met with Hayley several times while writing the article and each time left her house laden with all sorts of free samples! ….Now, I know its essential to do your research while writing an article… but designers need cake too!!! Hint Hint!!
3. Got some rhubarb in? You’re in luck!
I love a good new recipe idea, especially one thats a little bit different. This issue our resident chef Si gives us not one but three recipes based around that wonderfully tart fruit that should be soon gracing our supermarkets and greengrocers. There are a lot of advantages to buying seasonal produce, from reducing your carbon footprint to just getting the best tasting food you can – so give these recipes a try. And don’t forget, if you give it a go, share your food pictures with us on social media!
4. A day out on our doorstep
Only a short drive off the peninsula is the wonderful town of Caernarfon. We all know it’s famous for it’s castle, I myself remember visiting it when I was very little – climbing up the worn spiral stairs to the highest tower to survey the breathtaking view of the town and the water. Theres plenty in the town to turn a little visit into a cracking day out – in our feature Jo Toft went wandering around Caernarfon’s historic streets and discovered some amazing treasures not to be missed.
5. Diaries at the ready – Spring is going to be a busy one!
Our ‘What’s On Guide’ is once again full to bursting – there’s something for everyone to do this spring. Art, music, markets, and of course plenty of easter egg hunts – theres even some amazing looking events for little ones. One reccuring event that has caught my eye is the National Trust’s ’50 things to do before you’re 11 and ¾’ – there are almost weekly events all over the peninsula that help your little ones tick these amazing things off their list – a list that includes things like ‘catch a fish with a net’, ‘hunt for bugs’ and ‘build a raft’! Is it wrong to wish that adults could tick things off the list as well??
We Love Llŷn magazine hits the shelves on the 29th of Februrary, so look out for us in all good local shops, of if you don’t want to miss out, subscribe!
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What a glorious start to the Summer Holidays, though we’ve had our share of thunderstorms and fog, we’ve been lucky to have had some cracking sunshine in between. I was lucky enough to experience two lovely eating experiences in the last week, so I thought I’d share!
The Perfect Sunday Brunch (In my opinion)
You can smell the summer holidays in the air in Abersoch, and last Sunday the village was experiencing the calm before the storm as it braced itself to enjoy it’s busiest 6 weeks of the year. I’ve been to Kin&Co a few times before, as I live near to Abersoch, and it has always been consistent in its welcoming atmosphere and gorgeous food, so I was very eager to finally get to write about it!
You could say I was feeling slightly delicate from the night before, and sometimes you want something a bit different from the usual greasy fry up. So I grabbed last night’s drinking buddy and took her to Kin&Co where we knew we’d be getting exactly what we needed.
We’re always greeted with a friendly welcome and the interior is set up to be welcoming and laid back too, we chose the comfy sofas to lounge about on and people-watch through the enormous windows looking out onto Abersoch High Street. Kin&Co also welcome your furry doggie pals too, and we made friends with a couple of the furry customers ourselves! Coincidentally in our Autumn magazine, which will be out in September we’ll be featuring (spoiler alert!) all sorts of dog friendly locations all over Pen Llŷn, so look out for that!
The specials menu on the wall has almost as many items as on the regular menu, is ever changing and there is always a good variety of choice, especially for me a fussy veggie. I chose a smoky bean quesadilla topped with avocado and a fried egg, and my friend selected a gorgeous bagel with pate and onion marmalade, and a cheese and pastrami croissant – accompanied by a hot chocolate and a latte.
Kin&Co is set up as part cafe, part clothing shop, so as we wait for our food we can casually browse the gorgeous clothes and shoes, and try and talk ourselves out of spending too much money on the lovely things! They also sell packs of the lovely coffee they serve behind the counter, and my friend treated herself to some after enjoying her latte. I agree with her- the ‘Poblado Coffi’ roasted locally in Snowdonia is gorgeously smooth with very little bitterness.
Our meals arrived to the call of our rumbling bellies and definitely hit the spot! My brewing hangover was 100% better after my meal, and the leafy green rocket salad and generous helping of avocado made me feel a little bit like I was making an effort to get my 5 a day!
Of course we couldn’t leave without trying of one of the gorgeous selection of cakes. We both went for the banana cake plus toppings, and oh did it look gorgeous! Almost too perfect to eat! The warm banana cake was served with cream cheese icing, mixed fresh berries and a drizzle of honey, yum! The gorgeous plates and tea sets the food and drinks are served in make everything that bit much more special, just look at the gorgeous patterned plates the banana cake was served on!
I am happy to report we were feeling good as new as we left, we will definitely be returning. The cafe is likely to be busy over summer so get there early to avoid disappointment!
It’s been dubbed all over the media as the hottest day of the year so far (last Tuesday the 20th of July) and it certainly was sweltering!
It just so happened that I had this date in my diary for the past few weeks as an evening out with some friends i’ve not had time to spend quality time with of late. Having not had time to even think about booking a table anywhere, inspiration fell into my lap as I saw that Pontoon, an art gallery come Carribbean/Mexican restaurant on the outskirts of Pwllheli, was hosting a Carribbean themed BBQ in anticipation of the forecast heatwave.
Pontoon opened its doors over a year ago as a short term ‘pop-up’ type establishment for the summer, by a group of creative and ambitious young individuals. I went there in the first couple of weeks of it opening and was blown away by the transformation of the old Offaxis club. The furniture was upcycled and reclaimed, the walls painted and generously slathered with contemporary art and illustrations. This little treasure was such a joy to my eyes, and you could see that there was a lot of hard work and passion gone into the project. You can imagine my joy when I heard they had decided to turn the temporary pop-up into a long term establishment, and Pontoon is still going strong.
We arrived as the sun was still shining on the lawn in front of the little square building, which overlooks part of the Pwllheli harbour. The barbeque was already fired up with some enticing smells and the outdoor tables littered with icy cold drinks and their owners basking in the last of the heat and sunshine. The building sits right on the water and watching the little boats and jet skis go by is definitely a relaxing experience.
Now I’m a sucker for a good cocktail, and the selection was spot on. I tried a few different ones but my favourite was the ‘Sloe Gin Fizz’, tasted a bit like an alcoholic version of my own home made pink lemonade! Special mention goes to the wonderfully exotic ‘Sake on the Beach’ cocktail, which perfectly matched my own hair colour 😉
Every time I go to Pontoon, I’m so seduced by the menu, I often order several dishes, probably more than I should, but I just want to try everything! My friends felt the same way, and we ordered ourselves a little barbequed feast. My vegan burger was lovely, but the side dishes were the true heroes of the meal to me. The ‘chilli and honey griddled peaches’ were like nothing I’ve tasted before, and the gooseberry ketchup was the best burger accompaniment I’ve had! My meat eating companions shared some jerk lamb kebabs, a Jamaican fish parcel, and marinated Edern steak burgers, all barbequed to perfection. They definitely enjoyed their food, there was not a scrap left.
There is always room for desert, and as the sun went down we enjoyed Treacle toffee barbequed bananas with ice cream, superb! They looked so nice, they were gone before I could remember to get a picture…
We were blessed with the perfect weather, but even on a grey day I can’t fault the atmosphere of this lovely hidden gem. Well worth the trip outside of Pwllheli to experience. The menu changes weekly with dishes ranging from Mexican to Carribean and beyond, and they are always accommodating to any diet. If you drop them a message on facebook or call in advance, they can usually cook anything to your preferences and dietary requirements, and are more than happy to do so.
So I’ve had a very wonderful week of food. And it’s not even over yet! (I write this on Wednesday) What else could I have in store for me this summer? I always love to hear recommendations from you, so either comment on this blog, write on our facebook wall or tweet us your suggestions! And don’t forget to tag us in your pictures, especially if you are enjoying a meal from one of these two fabulous places! Tag us in your food pics on instagram!
Don’t forget you can download our mobile phone app for FREE on the Apple and Play stores, search ‘We Love Llŷn’ or click here.
If you’ve been lucky enough to pick up a copy of our Summer magazine already, you may have noticed we’ve gone with a bit of a BBQ theme! For our cover shoot I decided to contribute a delicious and refreshing beverage for our faux BBQ-goers, and it turned out so nice I want to share the recipe!
‘Twas the night before the photoshoot… and all through the house… the smell of lemons… was extremely strong!
Let’s just say I have a few more muscles in my arm now after juicing all those lemons. There were at least 12 in the first bag, then when I saw it was nowhere near enough to fill my kilner drink dispenser I had to run to the shops for more! I dont think i’ve ever juiced that much in my whole life!
Of course you lovely people at home wont need to juice so many, the real recipe only calls for one cup of lemon juice, and that produces enough for maybe a small jug full of lemonade. Unless you are having a big get-together and have one of these lovely kilner dispensers to fill (It would actually be ideal for that!) then kiss goodbye to your upper arm strength for a few hours…
Mashing and straining the rasberries
Apart from a tiny bit of elbow grease, this is a very easy recipe, a great one to try making with the kids, its a sweet treat with real fruit in! I’m sure they would enjoy mashing the raspberries and measuring out the simple quantities of ingredients.
The finished drink was so refreshing, I had a cup or two for myself, having spent the day walking on llanbedrog headland in the sunshine (and then burning calories squeezing lemons) it was very welcome. On the day of the photoshoot I added in the sliced lemons for visual effect and added some ice to make it look chilled and refreshing from the condensation on the outside of the glass. We borrowed some of those cute milk bottles to serve and topped them off with a slice of lemon and some cute floral paper straws.
Here’s the recipe so you can try it out for yourself!
You will need:
1 cup rinsed fresh raspberries (6 oz.)
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup lemon juice (fresh is always best!)
2 cups water
In a small bowl, with a potato masher or spoon, mash 1 cup rinsed fresh raspberries (6 oz.) with 2/3 cup sugar. Let stand 10 minutes, to allow the sugar crystals to dissolve.
Press through a fine strainer into a pitcher (at least 1 1/2 qt.); discard seeds.
Stir in 1 cup lemon juice and 2 cups water. Taste and add more sugar if desired. Pour into tall, ice-filled glasses.
If you read my first post on this blog, you might remember me mentioning something about a mobile phone app, some elves, and a mysterious release date that I was yet to know. Well I can happily tell you we’ve had word from the elves and our sparkly magical one of a kind app is live NOW!! *Insert fanfare sound effects here*
The We Love Llŷn App has been in the works for a long time, we felt there was a Llŷn Peninsula shaped gap in the app store for a destination application that would offer a comprehensive guide to businesses, services, and events happening in our wonderful area. If you’ve been abroad on any city break holiday the past couple of years you will see where we got the idea, it seems every must-go destination has stepped into the future and has an app to encourage visitors to get the most out of their beloved city. At the same time, there are apps aimed at local residents of areas such as this too – look at Time Out; Both local residents of the area and visitors can visit the website or browse the app if they are hungry, thirsty, bored and in need of entertainment or even in search of an idea to inspire them to get out and enjoy the local area. We’ve aimed to do this, but with a few extra features too!
I’ve decided to highlight a few of my favorite features on the app to give you a bit of an overview!
1. Area Guide
We’ve divvied up Pen Llyn into eight areas for convenience:
Llyn heartlands (central)
These all include the areas, beaches, villages and towns surrounding each one. Here’s a handy map to help clarify:
You can find out a little bit about each area on their individual pages, and you can also use these areas to help you search in the ‘explore’ feature.
What do you want to do today? Well I’m currently in Pwllheli, and it’s about lunchtime. I have 3 hungry kids (can you guess this is a hypothetical yet? I don’t actually have kids… ha ha ha) who don’t want to walk very far as they’ve exhausted themselves on the beach all morning. I’ll pop ‘Pwllheli’ in my filter, select ‘cafés and restaurants’ then make sure it only shows me results under a mile of Pwllheli, we don’t want to venture. OOH! That looks nice, and on the little map I can see it’s only down the road from that tiny blue dot that shows me where I am standing right now! C’MON KIDS! WE’RE OFF TO GET A PANINI. Oh… but it’s a busy day here in Pwllheli, maybe I should ring to check if they have space, or even if they can book me in. Looks like I can tap and phone them straight from the app! Handy! I can even browse their menu here to make sure they do kids meals and Gluten Free options for my imaginary hubby (he looks like Brendan Frasier circa George of the Jungle in this scenario)
Okay that was an imaginary situation… but that’s pretty much what we want our app to be, not only convenience, but a chance to get you out and discovering places and events you might never have thought to go out and discover.
3.Favourites and upcoming events
When you start up the app for the very first time, you are greeted with a login/sign up screen. This is here so you can personalise your app experience with our favorites and calender features!
When you browse the listings of local businesses, each listing has an likkle heart in the top right corner, if you like this restaurant/activity/pub and want to save it for later, you can tap the heart and find it again later in your favourites! In the same way if you see an event you are interested in, you can tap the top right hand corner to ‘add to my list’, and they will appear there in the favourites section so you can get yourself organised. There is also a handy calendar feature so you can see all the events by month to help you plan your year!
If you have an event that you would like featured on our app it’s completely free to list, make sure you send all the details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
4.Map and coastal path
This ain’t no ordinary map. We have plotted out loads of lovely historical and interesting facts and popped them in their relevant places with a pin, and we’ve also thrown in a few gorgeous photographs taken by local photographers and pinned them to their corresponding places on the map too! If you are bored and want to know more about the area you are in right now, have a browse through them, or if you want to keep it a surprise, turn on notifications and the app will tell you when you are physically near an interesting fact so you can read all about it in situ! The map also shows the section of the wales coastal path that runs around the coast of Llyn, so if you are nearby you can try it for yourself. (dont forget to snap some pictures and use the hashtag #welovellyn or #carullyn to share them with us!)
You may have noticed we have some pretty lovely photography throughout the app, well some of the photographers that have contributed their wonderful photos have their own space on the app! Just tap the gallery symbol in the top right corner of the homepage, and you’ll find each of their galleries. If you have a look and really like what you see, you can order prints of your favourites right there in the app too. I love filling my walls at home with beautiful pictures! We are hoping to expand this section to include local artists selling prints of their work, as we are all about supporting local arts. If you know somebody who would be interested, get them to send us an email on email@example.com
If you’ve been reading all this and have been thinking: ‘I have a business, I want people to see it when they browse the app’ Well you can! We have packages to suit all budgets and they also tie in with advertising in our magazine too, so you get a lot for your money. Speak to lovely Gill our advertising manager by calling 01758 713 925 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
I could go into so much more detail about all these features, but I don’t want to go on for too long, and I encourage you to go download the app and see this for yourself! The best part is that we will be constantly updating and adding features to the app, so we have so much more up our sleeves in terms of new features in the future! For now we hope you enjoy and find it as useful as we intended it to be. ☀️
To download the app go to the apple or google play app store and search for ‘We Love Llyn’ – it’s free!
You can also scan this QR code to get there quicker 😉
The weather on Pen Llŷn this week has been… well, phenomenal! Unfortunately I’ve been cooped up indoors putting together our summer magazine (if someone finds some sort of computer screen unaffected by sunshine glare please let me know!! I’ll be outside working before you can say ‘ebay!’) So anyway we’ve been truly plunged into the summer mood. It’s a perfect time to look ahead at our summer mag, out in a week’s time!
What a busy couple of weeks we’ve had here at We Love HQ! Between (finally) getting our fabulous mobile app launched, and completing our second ever magazine (you know when a music artist releases an album that people quite like and then there’s the pressure for that ‘difficult second album’? Let’s just say the pressure was on!)
But yesterday once again we kissed goodbye to the digital form of our little magazine and we eagerly await delivery of it’s final physical form… which I can happily announce will hit the shops near you on June the 9th!
Here’s 5 sneaky peeks of what we have in store for you…. I hope you are reading them while outside enjoying the fabulous sunshine. Thats where i’m headed once I finish writing this…. 😇
Time for a new pair of flip flops..
I don’t know about you… but after the usage from last summer and then months in storage my flip flops are looking a bit worse for wear… It’s about time I got a new pair! We’ve picked out a few pairs that might take your fancy, all available from shops on Pen Llŷn! There’s something for everyone, and every budget 🙂
2. Get BBQing!
It’s time to get the BBQ out, from the humble disposable to the mighty gas-run pride of dad’s everywhere! We decided to celebrate some super tasty seafood BBQ recipes, as the humble fish is mightily overlooked when the BBQ’s out. We had a wonderful day photographing our recipes and also our cover photo at Abersoch Beach with photographer John Wormald of Totally Abersoch and the recipe mastermind Si Toft of The Dining Room Restaurant, who did a brilliant job of prepping the food and making it look both tasty and gorgeous! We hope you try out the recipes this summer, be sure to post pictures on our facebook wall, or tag us on instagram and twitter.
3. The launch of our bucket list
We decided to lauch a ‘Pen Llŷn and Snowdonia Bucket List’, full of suggestions from ourselves and from you lovely lot! All so we can all get the most out of this wonderful place. At the moment we filled this page with our own suggestions to start it off, but we need some more suggestions from you! So get in touch with your ideas – email email@example.com or post on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #welovellynbucketlist! One thing that all of us here in the office agreed on was that we all needed to climb Snowdon, something none of us have ever done (shameful, I know! Most of us have lived here most of, if not all our lives!) So we thought we’d make it into a challenge and raise some money for a good cause while we’re at it! We’ve set up a Just Giving page, and we’ve set the date, so wish us luck! -And be sure that i’ll be blogging (and possibly even v-logging!) our epic journey when the time comes 🙂
4. Get your nose in a book
We have chosen 10 brilliant books for you to get stuck into this summer – 5 english language books and 5 welsh, theres something for everyone to enjoy in this lovely little list. As I’m working on improving my welsh (as some of you eagle eyed welsh speakers may have noticed on our facebook, I write the welsh posts, and some of the grammar is a bit dodgy to say the least! I wont be offended if you correct me, I swear!) I plan on setting myself a challenge and trying to work my way through the welsh reads over the summer, wish me luck!
5. You have no excuse to be bored this summer
Our ‘What’s on guide’ this summer is full to bursting – there was so much going on between June and August we had to extend our two page guide to a whopping six pages! Get your diaries out and your highlighter pen and plan your summer, I know i’ve pretty much copied out most things into my own diary as i’ll be trying to get to as many events as I can so I can blog about them. What’s more, is that if you download our app (it’s free did you know!?) our what’s on guide on there is updated daily, so you can make sure you never miss out. If you know of an event we’ve missed out in the magazine or the app, you can let us know on social media, or get the event organiser to email the details to firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s free to list your event!
We hope you enjoy the summer issue, keep your eye on social media so you’ll know the moment it hits the shops, and we’ll also post our list of stockists!
To download the We Love Llyn app, search for it on the Apple or Google app store.
As usual you can follow us on facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest, dont forget to share your pictures of where you are enjoying reading our magazine, we absolutley love seeing them!
I bet you’ve never seen a stand up comedy show with a castle and a sunset in the background before… Dylan’s got the recipe right when it comes to views, windows – and a fantastic events schedule.
In my 25 years of living in Pen Llŷn, I’ve been to several comedy shows. I’ve had to travel to places like London and Manchester for it, but I’ve seen quite a few! I’ve even been to comedy clubs in Amsterdam and California too, so you can call me a fan for sure. But I’d never think this wonderful art form on stage would come so close to my home.
When I saw on Dylan’s schedule of events that there was a comedy night coming up, I booked a slot for myself and my friends as soon as possible. There were no details at the time of what it was or who was performing, but I adore comedy, especially stand up, so I thought I’d give it a go. I naiively thought that it was just some sort of local act trying out their skills on a familiar and friendly audience, I had no idea that Dylan’s had gone all out in securing some brilliant comedians from all over the country. For £9 a ticket, we got so much for our money!
We arrived at 8:30 for the 9pm start having just caught a quick dinner at Mei’s Fusion (see my previous blog post – I wasn’t lying when I said I’d be back!) We were greeted by the most beautiful sunset sky over the castle – Dylan’s views of Criccieth never fail to impress. As it happens the posters on the door into Dylans were the first time I had seen the title of the show – ‘Kill for a Seat’ – which turns out to be a fantastic travelling comedy club setup etstablished in 1994 and organized by the one and only Silky, also the words ‘SOLD OUT’ – made us feel especially excited.
We grabbed some cocktails from the bar and found our seats. The room was packed with a jovial atmosphere, I got the impression a lot of people had just had a lovely meal next door in the dining area of Dylans and were happy, full, and possibly a couple of drinks in- the comedians couldn’t have asked for a better atmosphere and audience. I was delighted to discover that there were four acts in store for us, and the show began with the beautiful sky outside still glowing pink providing an amazing backdrop. Tiernan Douieb, our first act and compere, commented on the view observing that it was very rare that he was upstaged by a sunset. Tiernan brought the energy from the very start, chatting to and bouncing off members of the crowd and cosying up the room by getting us all acquainted. Tiernan was getting some wonderful energy from the crowd (although some more than others!) from the outset so when it came to introduce the next act, the crowd gave them a warm (and loud!) welcome. Jonathan Williams is as close to home grown talent as I think we may ever experience. Hailing from Felinheli (near Bangor) this ‘local’ boy was very familiar with the area and this worked to his advantage as he entertained us with some observations and quips about the local area and it’s people.
We had a short interval in which table service was provided by the lovely waiting on staff, and a large wooden slab full of slices of Dylan’s well known and delicious pizzas was handed around to the crowd. Even though I was full from my meal earlier I still managed to enjoy a slice!
Our next act was Kevin Caswell-Jones. Kevin hails from Wrexham though you wouldn’t have known it from his slightly soft-spoken but distinctly posh accent. We soon learned that Kevin is a nurse by day and a comedian by night, (or perhaps the other way round knowing how NHS shift patterns vary!) Kevin had an air of experience about him, like he was completely comfortable on stage (how true that is from Kevin’s perspective I have no idea) and kept the crowd laughing throughout his routine.
One more interval to keep us well hydrated and it was time for our headline act. Silky kept up the momentum with skill moving fluidly back and forth from the sophisticated to the silly, at one point had the whole crowd in stitches acting out the many uses of a £30 guitar stand. (You have to see it to understand the hilarity – but trust me- it worked!) Between bantering with the now very tipsy crowd and joking about his own life he had us laughing from start to finish. Silky rounded off the evening in style by singing (and might I add – playing his beautiful guitar extremely skillfully) a couple of his funny songs. The first was a soulful but catchy lament dedicated to police community support officers, and the last was an upbeat song that described life from the point of view of a dog with playful accuracy, ending with a hilariously abrupt punch line that brought the rolling energy of the show to a raucous pinnacle.
The whole room was enjoying themselves from start to finish, I know myself and my three friends enjoyed the show thoroughly, we’re looking forward to the next!
Dylan’s do have more comedy nights planned, I will be watching their facebook page like a hawk, from the wonderful success of this night I’m sure tickets will sell fast the next time round.
If you’d like email updates when ‘Kill for a Seat’ might be returning to the area, you can sign up for the mailing list here!
You can also find Dylan’s schedule of events here.
After an impulsive Saturday evening trip to Mei’s Fusion Food in Criccieth, I was inspired to write my first of (hopefully) many local restaurant and eatery reviews.
Impromptu nights out are the best kind of nights out, but when myself and four friends decided we were hungry at 7 o clock on a Saturday evening, we thought we’d have no chance of landing a table at a nice place to eat. I had heard wonderful things about the brand new Asian fusion restaurant on Criccieth High Street, so we tried our luck, and we were very lucky to get a table straight away. After our experience, I would definitely recommend booking to anyone hoping to eat here, between the lovely service and wonderful food i’m sure the growing popularity of this eatery will mean booking is essential in future!
When an Asian restaurant pops up in this area, it’s easy to think its ‘just another Chinese’, but you would be sorely mistaken to think Mei’s was average in any way. We were greeted by friendly staff, a warm atmosphere despite there only being a few tables in so far (it quickly filled up) and gorgeously tasteful Asian decor mixed with framed local artwork. Fresh flowers adorned every table and even the imacculate bathroom smelled sweet with a fresh bunch. We were served drinks swiftly by welsh speaking staff (always a pleasant thing to encounter) and took our time to peruse the menu. And boy did we need time to look it over! I was blown away by the choices, and I hadnt even made it past the ‘snacks and appetisers’ section.
Now is the point where I should admit it – I am a vegetarian – a contreversial topic, as I know very well myself, and people puzzle as to why I am so addicted to eating in restaurants when I am often shunned to my one choice of veggie lasagne and/or goat cheese tartlet (both of those things I loathe FYI) – well places like this bring me joy beyond compare; not only was I spoilt for choice – a rarity – but there were choices galore for vegan and gluten free diets too. I had died and gone to heaven. I can honestly say that I have only come across the word ‘vegan’ on a menu in a Pen Llŷn restaurant once before, (and I’ve been to a few!) and that shocked me! Small note: if you know of any other restaurants I have missed with vegan friendly options, let me know! I would love to compile a list in future 🙂
I apologise for my obsession with finding good veggie food, but I’m passionate about the subject so I’m going to go off tangent a bit! But before you start to think that this is some hippy veggie restaurant, I’d like to say that the meat and seafood choices are top notch too, the most interesting meat dish that caught my eye (and I know a few meat eaters who would be very excited about this) was the Tau Eu Bak – Braised pork belly slow cooked in a clay pot with cinnamon, star anise, rice wine, Chinese mushrooms & soy sauce. – sounds seriously impressive!
We decided to order a few things to share and make a bit of a feast of it, and since there was so many lovely things on offer we couldn’t choose just one each! Special mention goes to the BBQ ribs (good reviews from my peers around the table) and the best crispy seaweed I’ve ever had – yum yum!
After being advised by the waitress on the heat levels of some dishes (I’m a medium-hot kind of girl) I went for the Singapore Fried Vermicelli (without the meat)- it’s an old fallback favorite of mine so I wanted to see how it compared: You know it’s a good Singapore vermicelli when they are generous with the egg, and this was no exception to the rule. Around the table my friends were also very impressed with their meals, there was not a single complaint to be had and we ate until we were full to bursting… but there is always room for dessert!
For dessert I tried the Deep Fried Buns, which I believe were filled with lotus paste. It reminded me of a pastry I tried once when I decided to wonder in to a bakery in Chinatown in London and everything was labelled in Chinese, I had no idea what I was eating then but I was as pleasantly surprised as I was with my fried buns at Mei’s. The outside of the bun was similar to a plain doughnut in taste and texture and the inside was quite a unique but pleasant taste. It was a lovely finish to a great meal.
So to the staff of Mei’s Fusion Food in Criccieth, we say Terima Kasih! Jumpa lagi! Thank you so much and we will be finding you again 😉
Mei’s Fusion Foods also do takeaway food and you can browse their menu here