Food Trail North
The hunt for the best of West Wales’ produce now takes you to the northern reaches of Carmarthenshire. At the county’s north-west corner, on the banks of the River Teifi, sits Newcastle Emlyn. The ruin of its castle, dating from the 12th century, will give you a clue about how long this border settlement has been strategically important and why it developed down the years into a key trading post. Indeed, the town retains the atmosphere of an important commercial centre, where cattle, sheep and pigs are still brought for sale. But take a stroll along its characterful streets, lined with brightly painted individual shops and boutiques, and you’ll appreciate how this close community likes to keep commerce local.
Glyneithinog Farm, Lancych, Boncath SA37 0LH.
Caws Cenarth Cheese is a quarter of a century old family business producing award-winning cheeses. Thelma Adams started the business in response to 1980s milk quotas and in more recent years her innovative son Carwyn has developed one of Prince Charles’ favourite cheeses - Perl Las, a powerful blue cheese with a mellow creamy after taste. Public access: Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm (call ahead to see cheese-making, which takes place several times per week, 11am-2pm). Mail / online orders available.
01239 710432 cawscenarth.co.uk
Cothi Valley Produce
Cilwr Farm, Talley, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire SA19 7BQ.
Richard and Lynn Beard moved family, livestock and business from the hustle and bustle of the South East to tranquil Carmarthenshire in 2003. Settling on a farm sitting overlooking the Cothi valley in the hills above Talley, they set about installing the goats and cheesemaking facillties. By December of that year they were back producing a range of goats milk cheeses some with names emphasising their Kentish roots and others inspired by the new location. Caws Talley, Caws cynros, Talley Las obviously Welsh and Arzegarzey, Ranscombe, Luddesdown and Twayblade Kentish. Storrington, a little semi-hard cheese goes back to Richards birthplace in West Sussex.
01558 685555 Cothi Valley Produce
Ludo’s at the Coopers
The Coopers Inn, Station Road, Newcastle Emlyn SA38 9BX.
"I want to cook food for the people, not for the high class," says Breton chef Ludo Dieumegard, who serves up a fusion of Welsh, French and English cuisine at this intimate dining room set in a former pub on the edge of Newcastle Emlyn. This one-time semi-finalist of MasterChef: The Professionals has found an appetite among the locals, as well as regulars from further afield, for his innovative food. "Everyone said people here would want gammon and chips, but the frog’s legs are flying out," he laughs.
01239 710588 newcastle-emlyn-wales.co.uk
Jacobi Brewery of Caio
Penlanwen Farm, Pumsaint SA19 8RR.
Owner, manager, brewer and chief bottle-washer, for now... Justin Jacobi wears all the hats at this microbrewery. Having left the world of insurance behind in 2000, he bought the Brunant Arms in Caio, then turned his hand to brewing to pursue his passion for beer. He now turns out 1,200 bottles a week, including a seasonal range and four permanent brews. Try the rounded honey ale, Beekeeper’s Delight; Jacobi Light, a summer ale with elderflower overtones; the old-style Jacobi Dark, with its bitter-chocolate finish; and National Trust Fine Food Award-winner, Red Squirrel - which promotes the red squirrel project in the nearby Brechfa Forest. You’ll find his beers in many local wine merchants and suppliers, such as the Llandovery Craft Centre.
01558 650605 jacobibrewery.co.uk
Harrisons Bistro & Riverside Garden
Sycamore St, Newcastle Emlyn.
Set next to the River Teifi in Newcastle Emlyn, Harrisons Bistro starts the day by serving wonderful breakfasts, followed by hearty lunches, afternoon teas and a great evening menu. Why not treat yourselves while enjoying fantastic views over the castle and river.
The Black Lion at Abergorlech
Abergorlech, Carmarthenshire SA32 7SN.
Found at Abergorlech, at the edge of the extensive Brechfa Forest, the Black Lion is a traditional village pub serving great local food, in beautiful surroundings. The beer garden, found next to the river Gorlech, has been voted as one of the best in Britain by readers of the Times. The pub welcomes muddy mountain bikers and walkers, as they say at the Black Lion "the 300 year floors have seen worse than mud"!
blion.co.uk 01558 685271
The Carrot Cruncher
Newcastle Emlyn Market Hall.
Call in for all your organic foods, fresh veg and fruit. A great selection of organic treats for the environmentally conscious shopper.
The Drunken Sailor
1 Market Sq, Newcastle Emlyn.
A treat for all lovers of local seafood, the Drunken Sailor is the place for fresh local crabs, fish and shellfish, but also try out the homemade dishes such as seafood chowder and other fishy treats for you to take home!
Ty Te Twm
Twm’s Tea House, Rhandirmwyn.
Set in breathtaking countryside, relax with a cup of tea and a homemade Welshcake, overlooking the stunning village of Rhandirmwyn. The café is named after Twm Sion Cati a Welsh Robin Hood character who’s cave hideout can be found nearby at the RSPB’s Dinas Reserve.