8 Coastal Eateries
The taste of the sea – a collection of culinary landmarks on the spectacular Wales coastline that all serve up incredible flavours with views to match.
The Seahorse Restaurant and Bistro, Llandudno, North Wales
Chef-proprietor of The Seahorse, Don Hadwin, thinks he’s spoiled to have so much wonderful fresh fish and seafood on his doorstep – from Great Orme lobsters to plump mussels from Conwy and the Menai Strait. Every now and then Don even sails out on his very own boat to fish for the catch of the day. This buzzing venue in the Victorian seaside resort of Llandudno can seat up to 50 diners split between an intimate cellar bistro and an upstairs restaurant with Mediterranean murals, where your clients can sample fresh anchovies in tempura batter or baked hake with rich thermidor sauce.
Not to be missed: A walk down Wales’s longest pier or a ride on the Great Orme Tramway, one of only three in the world to run on public streets. They’re both just a few strides from The Seahorse.
Visit the Seahorse Restaurant and Bistro website
Sea Shanty Café, Trearddur Bay, Anglesey, North Wales
The Sea Shanty website doesn’t just mention all their delicious food – it gives the times for high and low tide. Very useful information given that this £1.5 million seaside café sits among the marram grass at the edge of Trearddur Bay’s golden crescent of sand. So it’s no surprise the Sea Shanty celebrates the village’s maritime history, with actual rowing boats hanging from the beams and even the radio shipping forecast and sounds of the sea playing in the toilets. It’s open all day until 9pm, seven days a week, for coffee and cakes, ice creams and inventive main courses featuring local delicacies such as Menai mussels, Church Bay crab and Anglesey-cured gammon.
Not to be missed: Breakfast. If your clients are planning a walk on the Wales Coast Path that virtually passes the door, a plate of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs should set them up nicely.
Visit the Sea Shanty Café website
Old Dairy Restaurant, Plas Newydd, Anglesey, North Wales
The elegant 18th century house of Plas Newydd, right on the shores of the Menai Strait, has many attractions. They include spectacular gardens, one of the most famous murals in Britain and a military museum containing the world’s first fully articulated false leg. Not forgetting the Old Dairy, once the haunt of milk maids, now a stylish restaurant serving barista coffee, homemade cakes and hearty local dishes including Welsh pork and “Anglesey Eggs” – which combines eggs with potatoes, leeks and Caerphilly cheese to delicious effect. Opening times vary so please check the website for details.
Not to be missed: Sitting outside the Plas Newydd sunroom with a Ginger Nut ice cream – a flavour created in honour of the Marquess of Anglesey’s favourite biscuit.
Visit the Old Dairy Restaurant website
Hotel Portmeirion, Portmeirion, North Wales
At the heart of the surreal sub-tropical village of Portmeirion created by architect Clough Williams-Ellis is one of the world’s iconic hotels. Your clients can sit in the magnificent curved dining room and look out over the same estuary views enjoyed by famous writers HG Wells, George Bernard Shaw and Noël Coward. But head chef Mark Threadgill isn’t content to rest on past glories. With dishes such as roast sirloin of Welsh beef with hay-smoked carrot or Welsh lamb tagine with harissa chickpeas, he’s constantly developing exciting new twists on local classics. The restaurant is open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Not to be missed: Afternoon tea in the hotel’s new tea emporium with a choice of finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, cakes, tarts and fancies – and a pot of something special such as the floral Chinese oolong tea, Ti Kuan Yin.
Visit the Hotel Portmeirion website
The Harbourmaster, Aberaeron, Mid Wales
Your clients can’t miss the Harbourmaster. Even in a town famous for its brightly coloured houses clustered around an historic quayside, this chic boutique hotel stands out like a midnight blue beacon. In both the lively bar and smart harbour-facing restaurant the emphasis is on good fresh local food – Welsh rarebit with Penlan bacon on sourdough toast for breakfast, bar snacks like crispy cockles with chilli vinegar or salt and pepper squid, the legendary seafood risotto or refined dinner courses such as Cefn Gwyn Farm wild duck breast with burnt apple, blackberries and hazelnuts. The supremely stylish Harbourmaster is open every day from 8am for groups of up to 12.
Not to be missed: Watching the lobster boats bobbing in the harbour with a glass of crystal-clear craft ale from local brewers such as Mantle or Purple Moose in hand.
Visit the Harbourmaster website
Coast, Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire, South West Wales
Coast is all about location. Set right on the sands of Coppet Hall beach in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, this striking modern restaurant offers one of the best dining room panoramas in Britain. But the landscape doesn’t just look good – it’s incredibly productive. With Welsh Black beef from local farms, lobsters from Caldey Island, fish from Saundersfoot harbour and fresh produce from the restaurant’s very own kitchen gardens, head chef Thomas Hine doesn’t have to search too far for inspiration. But the sheer creativity in dishes such as mackerel with crispy oyster, cider, miso and cucumber emulsion or crab with charred sweetcorn risotto, chorizo and egg yolk still dazzles. Coast is open Wednesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner. Tables are always in demand so please book your groups in advance.
Not to be missed: The tasting menu with “wine flight”, pairing the perfect choice of wine with each course, is the ultimate Coast experience.
Visit the Coast website
The Worm's Head Hotel, Rhossili, Gower, South West Wales
Worm’s Head is a tidal island off Rhossili Bay in the Gower Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – often voted by travellers among the top 10 beaches in the world. Hence the strange name of this hotel that commands sweeping views of the spectacle from its Helvetia bar and restaurant. The specials board changes with the season to showcase unique local delicacies such as Penclawdd cockles and laverbread (a seaweed known as “the Welshman’s caviar”), Burry Port mussels and Gower salt marsh lamb. And after their meal your clients can unwind with a glass of Penderyn, a Welsh whisky that’s one of the smoothest in the world, and take in a little more of that incredible view.
Not to be missed: The walk across a rocky causeway to Worm’s Head, accessible with care for just five hours a day.
Visit The Worm's Head Hotel website
ffresh, Cardiff Bay, South Wales
ffresh sits inside the iconic Wales Millennium Centre at Cardiff Bay. But this isn’t just the place to grab a quick bite before the theatre or the opera. This is serious cooking with a menu devised by Michelin-starred culinary legend Shaun Hill that puts Welsh produce centre stage. So your clients can expect dishes such as pan-fried sea trout with samphire and shrimp butter, farmhouse ciders from Glamorgan and glasses of gorgeous Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Ancre Hill vineyard in Monmouth. On Friday and Saturday nights, ffresh turns into its own intimate performance space with live jazz, contemporary music and cabaret.
Not to be missed: The amazing cocktails – not just the usual mojitos and pina coladas but Welsh-inspired creations like the Tiger Bay, a refreshing shot of orange balanced with Brecon Five Vodka.
Visit the ffresh website