15 November 2016

Tuck in! Welsh nods at the Observer Food Monthly Awards

Image of Samantha and Shauna outdoors playing a harmonica and guitar

Samantha Evans and Shauna Guinn, Hangfire Smokehouse, Glamorgan Heritage Coast 

 by Hangfire Smokehouse

Looking for foodie inspiration for your next weekend away? How about a food safari celebrating Welsh gastronomy?

Fourteen Welsh food producers and eateries were finalists in this year’s Observer Food Monthly Awards, a prestigious annual list of the UK’s best places to wine and dine. Some places even scooped nominations in multiple categories.

In addition, three Welsh markets were given a nod as runners-up in the best market category: Riverside Farmers’ Market in Cardiff, St Dogmaels Local Producers’ Market in Pembrokeshire and Uplands Market in Swansea.

Welsh runners-up

Image of Brad and Gazz from Tiny Rebel holding a beer

Brad and Gazz, founders of Tiny Rebel and Urban Tap House, Cardiff 

 by Tiny Rebel Brewing Company

Bar 44, Penarth (runner-up: best place to drink)
One of three tapas bars in the South Wales Bar 44 chain, it serves authentic treats including aged sherry, meat boards and Med-inspired platters.

Blasus Delicatessen, Carmarthen (runner-up: best independent retailer)
Tasty by name and by nature, this place is known for nibbles, particularly farmhouse cheeses and antipasti.

Hang Fire Southern Kitchen, Barry (runner-up: best restaurant; best cheap eats)
The permanent residence of one of the UK’s biggest names in slow-cooked Southern style barbecue food won three accolades.

Milgi, Cardiff (runner-up: best ethical restaurant)
This plant-based restaurant and cafe treads the middle ground between fussy and innovative cooking, winning over veggies and non-veggies alike.

The One Mile Bakery, Cardiff (runner-up: best independent retailer)
A simple idea well executed, this home-based company makes bread, soups and preserves then delivers them to customers within a one-mile radius.

Penylan Pantry, Cardiff (runner-up: best ethical restaurant; best independent retailer; best cheap eats)
On a corner between Roath and Penylan sits this deli and cafe. It serves quick but wholesome meals and sells plenty of Welsh produce, organic ingredients and colourful salads.

Plum Vanilla Cafe, Narberth (runner-up: best cheap eats)
This humble family-friendly cafe punches above its weight with fresh seasonal mains and everyday favourites.

Porters, Cardiff (runner-up: best place to drink)
A place with many hats (hosting open mic nights, comedy shows, quizzes, talks and highly-acclaimed theatre), this is a comfy spot for a pint and a chat.

Ridgeway Bar & Kitchen, Newport (runner-up: best Sunday lunch)
As well as prime Welsh beef and pork, this cosy restaurant offers great roast alternatives including the likes of seasonal gratin, fresh fish and halloumi fingers.   

Transition Cafe, Fishguard, Pembrokeshire (runner-up: best ethical restaurant)
This non-profit café combats local food waste, using unwanted produce to cook substantial, enjoyable meals.

Urban Tap House, Cardiff (runner-up: best place to drink)
The original bar owned by Newport-based Tiny Rebel Brewing Co, stocking craft ales and a lively atmosphere.

Walnut Tree, Abergavenny (runner-up: best restaurant) 
This Michelin-star restaurant is known for its modern classics and timeless dishes.

Wolfscastle Country Hotel, Haverfordwest (runner-up: best restaurant; best Sunday lunch)
The Allt yr Afon restaurant here has perfected the classics using premium Welsh produce.

Y Polyn, Carmarthen (runner-up: best Sunday lunch)
This small bar/restaurant serves inventive Sunday lunch options with zero pretentiousness.