Eating in Hay-on-Wye: a report
Sunday lunch: Booked at the Three Tuns. Received a prompt, friendly reply to an email reservation request. Cosy old pub, said to be the oldest building in Hay, from the 1600s. Very friendly and enthusiastic service. We were seated in an upstairs room, which had 3 tables and was a bit of a thoroughfare as it was en-route to the toilets. But there didn't seem to be very many tables for two in the place. They provided a highchair for the baby. Short Sunday lunch menu: 3 starters, 3 mains and 3 desserts (you can view their menus online). My husband had the smoked salmon on potato salad to start with. He wasn't blown away but said it was ok. I didn't have a starter because I wanted to save room for dessert! For mains, I had the roast pork shoulder and hubby had the roast beef. Pork came with gravy, roast potatoes and parsnips, a nice piece of crackling and some applesauce. Beef came with gravy, roast potatoes and parsnips and a towering yorkshire pudding. The roast meats were great: tender enough to cut with the side of a fork. My husband polished off the yorkshire pudding before I had a chance to taste it (I confess I was distracted by the wonderful pork shoulder). We drank Stowford's cider with the meal. For dessert, I had 'chocolate terrine with Bailey's cream'. Quite rich for a summer's day but chilled, so was enjoyed greatly.
Sunday dinner: We had a wander round town. Most of the pub-type places will not admit children in the evenings. Other places to eat are scarce on the ground. Ended up deciding we were too full from lunch and just had fruit in the room of our B&B.
Monday late morning: I tried an icecream from Shepherd's, a local icecream parlour that makes its own from sheeps' milk. I had banana toffee crunch. The icecream was very smooth and not too sweet. Only gripe was a lack of 'crunch', it was more like just plain banana. The waffle cone was perfect. Would highly recommend this place. Regret the fact I didn't go back to try more flavours.
Monday lunch: Bought bits and pieces (local goats' cheese, fig relish, lentil and sundried tomato pate, olives, bread, wine, etc) from a place called (I think) Wholefoods delicatessen. It's a small organic deli selling a wide variety of stuff, reasonably priced. Took the stuff back to our B&B and ate and drank sitting in the lovely back garden.
Monday dinner: Got takeaway from a little joint called Xtreme Organix. It says it is a 'local food hero' chosen by Gary Rhodes in his BBC series. I got a spicy lamb burger with cheese and mushrooms. The burger was very good. Juicy inside but charred on the outside, full of flavour and some spicy hits from bits of chilli in the mince. The lettuce was finely shredded. Hubby got a plain burger which just had lettuce and mayo. He was a bit disappointed that they didn't even put a slice of tomato in. Overall, really good, large (but not unmanageably so) burgers for 4 pounds each. Lots of chips for 60p, which were not great.
Tuesday late morning before heading back to London: Tea and scones at The Old Stables Tea Rooms, which looks like it's won tons of awards and is a member of the Tea Guild, which is apparently a big deal. Very quaint room, family-run business. Offers a selection of teas. We had a Welsh blend. Were a bit mystified when the teapot had teabags in it. Can you get a special local blend made into teabags? We are are a bit ignorant about such things. One scone each was served, with little dishes of local clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam on the side. The scones were light and warm, really good with the cream and jam. Tea was ok. Huge selection of homemade cakes, pastries and other desserts available, as well as light lunches.
Note: A lot of eateries in Hay-on-Wye are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.