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North Wales

zuriga1 Jun 25, 2013 11:33 PM

I don't know how many readers will be heading towards the Conwy/Llandudno area, but we had some fantastic meals there last week, and it's my duty to report on where we ate,

Our first lunch was at The Queen's Head outside of Conwy. DH had a white onion soup that was perfection, and I had a delicious duck wrap, warm and juicy with hoisin sauce. I also had some onion rings which were good but not the best I've ever eaten.The place is friendly and very nicely decorated and made my local gastropub seem a bit second rate.

Dinners were at three places. First was Jaya, what we thought was an excellent Indian restaurant housed in our B&B. This was true home cooking done by a young woman with Kenyan roots, and the menu is huge and the dishes we had were delicious.. great service and I only wish the restaurant had a branch near my house.

The Hayloft outside Conwy and attached to the Bodnant Farm Shop, was a wonderful evening. The meal begins with drinks in a beautiful lounge where the menus can be perused. I had the best ribeye steak I've had in years (must mention I rarely eat steak these days), preceded by a beetroot hummous dish. DH had his usual fish main.. I think it was sea bass. The emphasis here is on local, fresh produce and now I really know what that term means. It didn't hurt that we were seated near the male harpist who played my favorite show and movie tunes. Dessert was an orange sponge with orange custard.. a bit sweet but delicious. The service is very, very professional and the dining room is rustic in a very sophisticated way.

Paysanne in Deganwy bills itself as a 'tiny piece of rural France.' I think that's a bit overstating the truth, but it was a good meal. My husband felt it was actually 'tarted up' British cuisine, and I had to agree. My guinea fowl wrapped in bacon was fine but nothing to rave about.. same for his fish dish. The veg is not chosen but included some delicious carrots and parsnips and a large casserole of what I call scalloped potatoes. The potatoes were bland and not very good. The meal ended with a good dessert - lemon curd ice cream and a very nice apple tart crumble. The restaurant was filled (it's not very large) with locals who seem to enjoy the food. Maybe they've never been to France?

In Caernarvon we had a scrummy lunch in a small shop and cafe called Sarah's. It was really good value for money with huge portions. I had a good quiche with mounds of potato salad and cole slaw and DH had a soup of the day.

I would make the 4 hour drive again just to eat at The Hayloft,

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  1. h
    helen b Jun 26, 2013 01:48 AM

    Great tips, June, thanks! Our boat's in Conwy so always looking for alternatives to beans on toast!!!

    8 Replies
    1. re: helen b
      zuriga1 Jun 26, 2013 02:40 AM

      I eyed those boats in the harbour, helen b, and I felt homesick. I once had a nice sailboat back in the Stone Age and there are so many happy memories. Do try The Hayloft.. it's not at all fancy, but the food is very nice.

      1. re: zuriga1
        h
        helen b Jun 26, 2013 05:36 AM

        Quite excited about the Kenyan Indian lady too. The slight problem whenever we're sailing though and trying to eat anywhere 'naice' is we wheel in, dripping barnacles and stinking of Davy's Locker! My beloved has never seen fit to invest in a decent shower on board...

        1. re: helen b
          h
          Harters Jun 26, 2013 07:24 AM

          Helen

          For one of those days, when you've both tarted up -

          Bodysgallen Hall - just on the way into Llandudno from the A55. Really rather pleasant in that sort of old fashioned way that's usually rather pleasant.

          Main dining room not the bistro (which is a bit shite).

          http://www.bodysgallen.com/fine-dining/

          1. re: Harters
            h
            helen b Jun 26, 2013 07:27 AM

            Ta. We've got the Kinmel Arms on the list too, following your recc, and my 40th treat is Tyddan Llan and am actually being allowed to sleep there and not on the boat :)

            Else will continue my extensive search of takeaways that will deliver to the marina and report back if any of them is ever halfway decent!

            1. re: helen b
              h
              Harters Jun 26, 2013 11:13 AM

              I look forwad to hearing about Tyddan Llan. It's too much of schlep for an evening, so it looks as though we'll have to stop over . That probably means "celebration". Which probably means not this year - arrangements already made for herself's birthday (Lords of the Manor, Upper Slaughter) and mine (Simon Rogan at the Midland French).

              1. re: Harters
                PhilD Jul 20, 2013 02:10 AM

                John - I see MoL reviews The French in this weeks Grauniad - I think you are quoted....?

                1. re: PhilD
                  h
                  Harters Jul 20, 2013 03:19 AM

                  Nah, not mine , Phil.

                  Me? Review on TripAdviser? Only when there's no other outlet (i.e. Tenerife restaurants)

                  Although I'm sure I'm in complete sympathy with the other old farts about the demise of the old Midland French. I remain disappointed that, after more than 100 years serving the city, the Midland felt there was no longer a case for a "grand restaurant".

              2. re: helen b
                zuriga1 Jun 26, 2013 11:43 AM

                It sounds like we will have to return!

                The cook at Jaya is from London but her mother came from Kenya. Just put on some clean clothes. No one will be worried about the sea salt.

      2. k
        klyeoh Jun 26, 2013 04:21 AM

        Great write-up, June! Felt like I was there :-)

        2 Replies
        1. re: klyeoh
          zuriga1 Jun 26, 2013 04:39 AM

          Thanks for the kind words. My husband is the writer, not me, but it's fun to think back to the nice meals. My photos are on Facebook. :-)

          1. re: zuriga1
            k
            klyeoh Jun 26, 2013 10:26 AM

            Ah, a writer-husband and a photographer-son - June, you can get together and publish a food guide! :-D

        2. d
          DietStartsTomorrow Apr 14, 2014 09:14 AM

          Thanks for the tip re the Hayloft, June. Had a great meal there.

          I have a new recc, too - Watson's Bistro in Conwy. Went there for lunch recently and had the best homemade fish & chips ever. Absolutely delicious. Amazing value at £11 for 2 courses. Great to see a good food place within the walls of Conwy town.

          2 Replies
          1. re: DietStartsTomorrow
            h
            Harters Apr 14, 2014 09:40 AM

            Hi there, DST.

            Any reccs for lunch around Bala & Wrexham? Dinner (and overnighter) is at Tyydan Llan but we'll need lunch both days. At the moment, I'm thinking of the Cross Foxes near Wrexham , which is a Brunning & Price place so will be reasonably decent. Bala seems a desert.

            1. re: DietStartsTomorrow
              zuriga1 Apr 14, 2014 11:54 AM

              I'm so glad you enjoyed the Hayloft! We really had a very good dinner there. I'll try to remember about your place in Conwy. I have a feeling we may get back to Llandudno one of these days. It was a good holiday, even though we are not beach people. :-)

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