Today is St David’s Day, and you don’t have to be Welsh to take the opportunity to celebrate all that is great about Wales. Why not keep a welcome in the hillside by sampling some of the finest Welsh food and drink this wonderful country has to offer?
We know you’re thinking of leeks, Welsh lamb (and daffodils), but when it comes to culinary rituals associated with St David’s Day, there doesn’t appear to be a particular one that stands out. So here are some of our suggestions for distinctly Welsh ways to celebrate.
Lick a Bodnant Ice Cream
The ice-cream at Bodnant Welsh Food Centre is made from the creamy milk of fresian cows. Alongside traditional flavours, there’s Bodnant rose, inspired by the roses growing in the neighbouring Bodnant Gardens. Or how about milk and honey? It’s made from local honey collected by the centre’s beekeeping team.
Sip a Purple Moose Ale
Take a tour of Porthmadog’s award-winning Purple Moose Brewery and sample the delights of Welsh real ale made from the fresh mountain waters of the Glaslyn valley. The Welsh Highland railway starts running in early March so you may prefer to sip your ale in style from one of their first class carriages.
Drizzle Some ‘Ugly’ Welsh Honey
Visit the Ugly House tearooms in Betws y Coed and buy some of their famous Welsh honey to drizzle over your morning porridge. While you’re there, try their secret recipe Welsh rarebit or wander along the riverbank to Betws y Coed for fish and chips.
Sprinkle the Halen Môn
Take a tour of Halen Môn’s saltcote where Welsh salt is harvested from the fresh waters of Anglesey’s Menai Straits. Hire a bike and take in some of the sites of this beautiful island, stopping off for lunch at the Marram Grass Café, in Newborough.
Butter a Slice of Bara Brith
Literally meaning ‘speckled cake’, this moist Welsh bread is baked with currants, raisins, candied peel and sweet spice. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a pot of tea, a good book and a comfy chair by the fire.
Pour a Glass of Welsh Wine
According to the Welsh Vineyards Association, there are 17 vineyards in Wales which produce over 100,000 bottles of wine a year. If you’re visiting North Wales, make a detour to Pant Du vineyard, near Caernarfon, where you can taste Welsh wine but also Welsh ciders and apple juice.
Swig a Wee Drop of Welsh Wisgi
Do the Penderyn distillery tour in the Brecon Beacons and taste Welsh wisgi. Be warned, it’s fiery stuff!
Eat a Welsh Feast at Castle Cottage in Scenic Harlech
Stay at Castle Cottage in Harlech where Glyn, chef and owner of this award-winning ‘restaurant with rooms’, will cook you a Welsh supper showcasing the area’s rich local produce including delicious seafood.
Bite into a Juicy Bison Burger
Stop off at the Rhug Farm Estate Farm Shop to stock up on provisions and to buy an organic bison burger from their On The Hoof takeaway. The 6,700 acre organic farm in Corwen, Denbighshire, runs its own herd of Wild Bison.
Have a Pizza in Portmeirion
Wales has a strong connection with Italian food. From 1890 onwards, Italian migrants started opening up Italian cafés and ice cream parlours. At Portmeirion Village, you can celebrate this by eating wood-fired pizza and ice cream made using traditional methods.
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The Foodie Travel Guide
Sally is the founder and editor of The Foodie Travel Guide. She travels around the UK and beyond in search of the best foodie days out, tasting experiences and delicious places to stay. She loves a glass of English sparkling wine, afternoon tea with friends and escaping London for gastronomic adventures.