Eating & Drinking inWales

From grand country houses and traditional seafood bars to boundary-stretching city venues and real pubs, the Welsh food scene is more dynamic and richly varied today than it has ever been. Bolstering it all are Welsh lamb and black beef, laverbread-and-cockle breakfasts, a new generation of outstanding cheeses, and the indispensable leek, supplemented by a wine industry on the up, and a Brecon whisky too.

At our Best Local Restaurant regional award winner, Aberthin's Hare & Hounds, a 300 year-old jewel of a village pub, Tom Watts-Jones celebrates the gastronomic riches of the Vale of Glamorgan, much of it sourced, in best modern style, from his own kitchen garden and nearby smallholding. New listing Palé Hall, just outside Bala, boasts an atmosphere of panelled and corniced Victorian splendour, where Gareth Stevenson cooks a resourceful modern menu.

A visit to the capital, Cardiff, would do well to factor in a stop at the Canna Deli in Pontcanna. Opposite the Pipes microbrewery, it's a stylish spot for Welsh charcuterie, artisan cheeses and an impressive listing of wines by the glass – a Local Gem in every sense. James Sommerin continues to work culinary magic at his elegant self-named Penarth venue, once again featuring in our Top 50, as does Chris Harrod at The Whitebrook on the English border. On the edge of Snowdonia, meanwhile, Gareth Ward moves in to the Top 10 with Ynyshir, a country manor in dress-down mode. His dazzlingly innovative cooking, full of spiky Japanese seasoning and astonishing textures have made him our Chef of the Year.

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Anglesey * Cardiff * Glamorgan * Gwent * North-East Wales * Powys * Swansea * West Wales

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