Last updated: 05:37 PM ET, Fri October 07 2016

4 Ways to Embrace the Cuisine Renaissance in Wales

Destination & Tourism | Visit Wales | October 07, 2016

4 Ways to Embrace the Cuisine Renaissance in Wales

Photo courtesy of Visit Wales

WHY IT RATES: Eating your way through a destination is a time-honored traveler tradition, and a great way to get to know local culture. On these Welsh tours, some of most superb renditions of regional dishes will be available, and a lot more. - Michael Isenbek, TravelPulse Senior Editor

Known for its hearty country classics made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, the country of Wales offers a unique culinary culture and mouthwatering food adventures for every taste and appetite.

Take Cawl, for instance, a National Dish of Wales consisting of lamb, leeks, salted bacon or beef along with a savory stew of farm-fresh veggies. Welsh lamb is prized through the United Kingdom and some say its salty flavor comes from the sea-misted grass the flocks nibble on.

Welsh food and drink is renowned for its freshness and flavor, and the country’s chefs have been praised for their innovation. Will Holland, for instance, head chef of restaurant Coast in Pembrokeshire was recently named “U.K. Restaurant Chef of the Year 2016” at the Annual Craft Guild Chefs Awards. Coast, like its name, is right on Coppet Hall Beach and features fresh caught seafood like local mussels and oysters.

The U.K.’s Guild of Fine Food’s “Great Taste Awards” listed a whopping 178 winners from Wales in 2015. From grass-fed lamb to award-winning cheeses, Welsh ingredients provide inspiration to chefs in restaurants and hotels around the country.  Home-cooked legendary classics like Welsh cakes (pancake-like cookies prepared on a griddle) and Welsh Rarebit (savory cheese on toast), provide a glimpse into the centuries-old food culture of Wales.

Wales is also known for a myriad of ales, beers, Welsh wine from over 12 vineyards and fresh spring water bottled right at Welsh springs.

Four Ways for Travelers to Discover the Foods of Wales:

1. Take a culinary adventure in Cardiff and nearby foodie capital, Abergavenny   

Cox & Kings: Undiscovered Wales takes travelers on a city and country food discovery tour where they’ll have a six-course meal at six different restaurants in Cardiff and taste Welsh whisky at the Penderyn distillery. 

They’ll visit the quaint village of Abergavenny that holds Britain’s third largest food festival, the Abergavenny Food Festival. To top it off, guests will stay at Llangoed Hall, a country-house hotel awarded the best restaurant in Britain and Ireland at the 2014 Conde Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence.

2. Go on a food safari 

Sceptre offers a gourmet food safari with an expert guide during a seven-night Wales Castles, Coast & Celts vacation package. Travelers will visit a working Welsh farm and the award-winning Bodnant Food Centre. Lastly, they’ll stay at Y Talbot where Head Chef, Dafydd is committed to preparing local, farm-fresh food.

3. Add Wales to a British Food Journey

Senior Discovery Tours dedicates a whole itinerary to experiencing British Culture and Cuisine, saving Wales for last. Travelers will visit a local farm famous for its delectable ice cream in the rolling hills of Brecon Beacons. The second day in Wales features lunch at the Kings Arms in Pentyrch — a 16th-century Welsh longhouse pub serving food. Then, a whole day will be devoted to a Welsh food excursion, where guests will visit a fruit farm and dine at a restaurant on the coast of South Wales. Lastly, they’ll watch a Welsh cake demonstration and sip on Welsh wine at Meadow View vineyard.

4. Learn to cook the Welsh way 

Tauck’s 14-day tour of England, Scotland and Wales, visits the acclaimed Bodnant Food Centre, explores the medieval walled town of Conwy, lets travelers explore the mighty castle of Caernarfon and stay at the Quay Hotel & Spa in Wales.

The foodie highlight of this tour includes a group cooking demonstration with some of Wales’ best-known chefs and food experts, followed by dinner at the former 18th-century farming estate turned gastronomic haven, The Bodnant Food Centre. 

SOURCE: A Visit Wales press release

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