As well as having a burgeoning reputation as an adventure capital of the world, North Wales is also making its name as a foodie destination. It’s no surprise, really; with lush forests, plentiful farmland and lots of coastline we’ve got access to some of the very best ingredients.
On your next visit here you’ll naturally be making plenty of time for the natural scenery and historic and local landmarks, but you definitely shouldn’t miss out on our foodie highlights! We’ve put together some of the unmissable gourmet treats in our region so you can plan your menu ahead of time.
It’s also worth noting that during your stay at the Royal Victoria you’ll be able to dine on our seasonally changing menu, inspired by Welsh influences and classic flavours – wherever possible, we source locally from only the finest producers.
Snowdon Honey Farm & Winery
With a staggering selection of honeys and always friendly service, the Snowdon Honey Farm & Winery in Llanberis is a real gem. Well worth a visit, here the proprietors are incredibly knowledgeable and encourage visitors to ‘try before you buy’, allowing for a real understanding of the top-quality wares on offer.
As well as honey, you’ll find mead, truffles, liqueurs, fruit wines, chutneys and a range of other local treats to tempt you. The tearoom here is a great place to stop for homemade cakes and bara brith, and is easily accessed from the hotel.
Gin is very in fashion at the moment, and there’s nothing more trendy than small-batch gin. At Dinorwig Distillery (based in a tiny village above Llanberis), each distillment of Blue Slate Gin (Jin Llechen Las) only produces enough for 65 standard bottles, and is made with no ingredients that can’t be harvested from the North Wales countryside.
The combination of seasoned Welsh oak bark, raw heather honey and fresh water drawn from the distillery’s own well is truly exceptional. Dinorwig also produces seasonal gins, according to which botanicals are in season in Wales.
You know a restaurant is good when it opens a second location – but when it opens a third you know you’re in for some exceptional eats! Dylan’s in Menai Bridge is the original restaurant, with other outposts in Llandudno and Criccieth.
The menu here showcases the very best in local produce, and is particularly famous for top-notch seafood. Some of the highlights include Roasted Local Lobster, Dolmeinir Lamb Shoulder and the Menai Strait pizza – topped with prawns and crab meat.
Pant Du Farm
A beautiful location in the Nantlle Valley is complemented by a rich array of produce at Pant Du Farm. The vineyard was established in 2007 and, to date, eight different grape varieties have been grown here – leading to several awards.
The vast orchard also produces cider and apple juice, though the most remarkable thing about Pant Du may be its commitment to sustainability; this was the first solar-powered farm in Wales. To really sample farm life, there are open Wine Tasting sessions held at various times throughout the year.
Think of Betws-y-Coed and you likely picture babbling streams, outdoor specialist stores and awe-inspiring natural views. You might be surprised, then, to learn that the town is also home to spectacular tapas.
Olif offers two menus – by day you can sample gourmet burgers, afternoon tea and a range of brunch options; by night, a Welsh-themed tapas menu is a unique fusion of local and Spanish cuisine. Combined with a selection of local ciders and Welsh wines, this is a great pitstop for a one-of-a-kind meal.
Halen Môn is a true global icon; the pure Anglesey sea salt famously tops Barack Obama’s favourite sweets, was served as part of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding meal, and is a favoured ingredient of superstar chefs including Heston Blumenthal.
Alison and David Lea-Wilson were best-known as the founders of the Anglesey Sea Zoo until they boiled a pan of Menai Strait water and discovered perfect salt crystals. Head to Brynsiencyn on the island to tour the facility and browse the excellent on-site shop.
The Marram Grass
When you first arrive, you could be forgiven for thinking the Marram Grass’ beautiful Newborough location can’t be beaten. But then you’ll try the food. A seasonal, weekly menu uses only the very freshest ingredients – a heady combination of local stars and imported highlights.
An eccentric building and incredibly friendly service add to the unique experience of dining here; whether its Welsh lamb, local fish or Baked Alaska flavoured with yuzu, this is a place not to be missed.
The Royal Victoria is the perfect base for exploring these Welsh gourmet highlights, and many more besides. Browse our rooms here, and get in touch to start planning your perfect getaway.