Also known as ‘The Cardiff Capital’ region, this economic area comprises of the capital city Cardiff and nine other Local Authorities. The region produces food and drink national favourites. Welsh cakes, bara brith, whisky and award winning beers, wines and spirits can be found throughout the area supporting a thriving hospitality industry. Many national and international businesses are located in this commercial and industrial region who work closely with universities and Welsh Government in research and development of new products and initiatives.
The Vale Resort is located just 15 minutes from Cardiff city centre, and surrounded by 650 acres of beautiful countryside. The Vale offers various dining options. The restaurant uses locally sourced seasonal produce including award winning Welsh black beef, and has an extensive wine and champagne list. Informal dining can be found in the Vale Leisure Bar which has a Best of Wales menu. Afternoon tea is served in the conservatory with views toward the golf course. Its conference facility can cater for up to 700 delegates, and also offers, golf, sport, spa and leisure facilities. Hensol Castle, a luxury venue is also located at the same site and can be hired exclusively.
The Potted Pig is located in a former bank vault in central Cardiff. The seasonal menus reflect the relationships forged with local suppliers of quality ingredients, ensuring diners get to eat only the finest Welsh seasonal produce. Try the feasting menu for a minimum of 8 guests. The gin cocktails are a speciality.
The Clink Restaurant at HMP Cardiff is consistently in the top 10 restaurants in Cardiff and champions quality, fresh and organic produce sourced from across Wales. It offers two and three course lunches, afternoon tea and dinner. Seasonal food is prepared and cooked in an open plan kitchen enabling diners to see the chefs at work. Available for exclusive hire, The Clink has a private dining room that offers corporate facilities and can be used for meetings, conferences and events.
The menu at the 5* voco® St David's Hotel draws inspiration for the best of seasonal Welsh produce. The all-day menu showcase some of the best meat and fish in Wales such as dry-aged Cefyn Manor beef and Carmarthenshire lamb, whereas the afternoon tea features Welsh smoked salmon, Snowdonia cheddar and Welsh cakes. The hotel in Cardiff Bay is well established as a host for small and large events and incentives. The leisure and spa facilities provide the opportunity to relax.
The menu at the Bistro in Nant Ddu Lodge, just north of Merthyr Tydfil, highlight the best of real Welsh cuisine including locally sourced seafood, Welsh sirloin steaks and roast rump of Welsh lamb. The drinks menu offers a wide range of fine wine, great spirits and local beers. Its afternoon tea with Welsh cakes and handmade desserts are not to be missed. With 28 bedrooms and business facilities, it is an ideal base for an event, or to take part in local team building activities including a tour of Penderyn Distillery or cycling at Bike Park Wales.
The Celtic Manor Collection has seven restaurants each with mouth-watering menus and different dining options to choose from. From the Steak on Six restaurant and afternoon Welsh teas at the Celtic Manor Resort to fine dining at the two AA Rosette award winning Newbridge on Usk restaurant. From stunning views across the Twenty Ten Ryder Cup golf course and elegant cuisine at Rafters situated in the clubhouse to a sociable dining experience bursting with Asian flavours in the Manor House. The Celtic Manor won the UK’s best hotel at the prestigious Meetings & Incentive Travel Awards in London for 2019 and has been voted the UK’s best hotel eight times in the last nine years. It has 46 meeting spaces to choose from each can be tailored for specific events.
The International Convention Centre Wales (ICC Wales) at the resort, with 15 flexible meeting rooms, a 4,000sqm pillar free hall and 2,000 car parking spaces. ICC Wales can cater for 3,080 delegates for dinner or 4,100 theatre style as well as smaller events.
Gliffaes Country House Hotel in the Brecon Beacons National Park near Crickhowell has an award winning restaurant offering fine dining and seasonal menus of local, responsibly sourced produce. It can host corporate events for up to 40 delegates. Visitors can try freshwater fishing under expert guidance on site, one of the many activities on offer in the area. Other nearby attractions include tours at Penderyn Distillery and the nearby Wye Valley vineyards.
Abergavenny has a lot of gastronomic delights to offer including the annual Abergavenny Food Festival every September. Enjoy award winning afternoon teas (by the UK Tea Guild - equivalent to the Oscars) at The Angel Hotel. Prepared by the hotel’s baker, it offers a choice of teas, sandwiches and cakes. The hotel’s meeting and conference facilities are able to cater events from large conferences to smaller meetings.
The Angel hotel’s sister restaurant is the 70 seater Michelin starred The Walnut Tree. Chef Shaun Hill is responsible for its à la carte lunch and dinner set menus. Subject to the availability of local ingredients and produce, including local fish and shellfish, Welsh beef, fruit and vegetables, the menus can change daily. For an small incentive idea there enjoy a stay in one of its three cottages and make the most of visiting this beautiful part of Wales.
Also near Abergavenny, The Hardwick Restaurant with rooms, has won many awards including Best Restaurant in Wales. Led by Chef Stephen Terry, the menus specialise in offering Welsh beef, lamb, pork and venison, seasonal vegetables and homemade ice creams and desserts. Its aim is for customers to have a relaxed and comfortable dining experience. It’s Michel Roux Jr’s favourite restaurant in Wales.
Less formal otions
For fabulous fast food on the go in central Cardiff, visit the Arcades where you will find Madame Fromage (main picture). Its café, delicatessen and nearby restaurant serve great Welsh and Breton food ; delicious Welsh Cawl, Welsh rarebit, vegetarian dishes, cakes, patisseries and an awesome selection of Welsh and European cheeses.
The New York Deli Cardiff serves freshly prepared American style foods (and portions) and now offers the Cardiff bagel. Vegetarian and vegan options are popular and its outdoor seating allows you to stop and enjoy your food.
Pettigrew Tea Rooms, next to Cardiff Castle, are renowned for their afternoon teas. The sandwiches, Welsh cakes and choice of tea are delicious. Morning visitors can order a full Welsh or vegetarian breakfast, both including a laver bread scone, and the tasty lunch dishes include vegan and gluten free options. Its central location makes it an ideal stop while exploring Wales’ capital.
Ffresh can be found inside the Wales Millennium Centre at Cardiff Bay. The menu devised by Michelin-starred chef Shaun Hill showcases Welsh produce. Enjoy dishes such as pan-fried sea trout with samphire and shrimp butter, farmhouse ciders from Glamorgan, and glasses of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Ancre Hill vineyard in Monmouth. The cocktails are amazing too. Try the Welsh-inspired creations like the Tiger Bay, a shot of orange with Brecon Five Vodka.
Penylan Pantry in Cardiff is a café, delicatessen and food store that promotes local producers, the environment and a healthy lifestyle. Look out for the seasonal groceries, Welsh produce and the range of cheeses on offer. A great lunch break for a coffee and snack from a meeting or a treat stop after exploring the city on an incentive.
Award winning Loving Welsh Food offer multi lingual food tours (French, German, Spanish and Italian as well as English and Welsh) in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. The tour showcases Welsh food and drink in a selection of tea rooms, pubs, delis, markets, cafes, bars and restaurants. It provides an insight into Wales’ food heritage, its people, culture and traditions. Loving Welsh Food also offer cooking workshops, demonstrations, talks and presentations and eco-friendly and bespoke tours.
The Hang Fire Southern Kitchen in Barry offers the best of barbecue and classic Southern American staples with a Welsh twist. Its chefs started out with pop-up street food and went on to win ‘Best Street Food’ in the 2015 BBC Food and Farming Awards, and the Observer Food Monthly ‘Best Restaurant’ in 2018. The Pit Boss Plate gives a taste of different hickory-smoked, ‘slow and low’ barbeque dishes, whilst the Brisket and Burnt Ends with house ‘slaw’ showcases the chef’s craft.
The Greyhound Inn and Hotel in Usk prides itself on the taste and quality of their food. The menu includes fresh steaks and gourmet burgers and produce, and offers an extensive variety of meals and snacks. Proud of its many awards, this country pub has spaces to host events.
Caesars Arms Restaurant and Farm shop is an award-winning brasserie in Creigiau. The menu offers a taste experience of locally sourced produce; award winning beef, venison and lamb from the Brecon Beacons, free range chicken and duck from the Wye Valley, fresh fish and shellfish from West Wales, and organically grown produce from its gardens, which are also available in the Farm Shop.
Blaenafon Cheddar Company is a family run business specialising in speciality handmade Welsh cheddar cheeses and soft welsh goats cheeses. Pwll Mawr cheddar is an award winning cheese that is matured 300ft below ground in the mineshaft of Big Pit National Coal Museum. Other popular varieties are Dragon's Breath - a Great Taste Double Gold winner, which blends fiery chilli with creamy Brains SA Welsh ale, and Christmas Pudding cheddar which is sold to customers all over the world.
Wines, beers and spirits
Glyndwr Vineyard near Cowbridge is the oldest and largest established vineyard in Wales producing still and sparkling wines and Welsh brandy. The adjoining gardens have been open through the National Garden Scheme, and the apples from the orchards produce Glyndwr’s own delicious cider. Tours with a talk, home cooked buffet and wine tasting are available for corporate events.
In the Wye Valley, Ancre Hill Vineyard is an estate of 12 hectares over three sites and provides great conditions for growing grapes for Chardonnay, Albariño and Pinot Noir. The Cellar Door is the on-site shop and information centre for vineyard tours, wine tastings, purchase wine, adopt a vine or enjoy a wine and cheese lunch.
Llanerch Vineyard and Hotel at Hensol has the first hotel on a vineyard in the UK. It has a 4* AA rating, 37 rooms, a restaurant ,and three meeting rooms. The vineyard produces the award winning still and sparkling Cariad Wine, and offers tours and wine tasting on the 20 acre estate. Fine dining in its award winning restaurant offers Welsh Lamb, local fish and local produce on its menu, and its afternoon teas are very popular. The Angela Gray Cookery School, also located on the estate, offers a wide range of one-day courses and team building cookery classes to develop teams culinary and development skills.
Parva Farmhouse Restaurant with rooms near Tintern produces Seyval Blanc, Pinot Noir and Regent Wines. There is a self-guided tour of the Vineyard and with free wine tasting afterwards. Or for an incentive ,guided tours with a tutored wine tasting can be booked. Its shop is full of locally made produce such as homemade conserves as well as wine.
Sugar Loaf Vineyard near Abergavenny is set in five acres of vines in Brecon Beacons National Park. Its seven varieties of grapes produce three whites, a rosé, red (depending on the weather) and two sparkling wines. Self-guided tours through the vineyard are available and on return, take part in a wine tasting, and have a cup of tea and cake in the coffee shop.
White Castle Vineyard in Llanvetherine produces delicious quality Welsh wines that have won awards and competitions from Welsh Wines of the Year through to the International Wine Challenge. Visitors can join one of the regular wine tasting tours run by the owners and a tasting of four wines available in the on-site shop.
The Apple County Cider Company is based at Whitehouse farm in Monmouthshire, near the Wye Valley's Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It produces real cider and perry using a slow, cool fermentation of freshly pressed juice from the bitter-sweet apples grown in local orchards. Groups can go on a tutored cider tasting and tour.
Kingstone Brewery at Tintern in the Wye Valley, is a four barrel micro-brewery that produces beer using traditional recipes. They offer a brewery tour which includes tasting for up to 20 delegates. For a special incentive there are brew days for a maximum of six delegates can brew beer and have lunch. Access is by car or minibus with parking on site. Combine the experience with viewing ancient monuments, Sugar Loaf Vineyard or a trip on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal.
Tiny Rebel in Newport is a multi-award winning brewery and won the Champion Beer of Britain 2015. It also won gold, silver and bronze in the Champion Beer of Wales competition in its first year. Its brewery tour allows visitors to see the whole brewing process first-hand and masterclass tastings feature a variety of old favourites, seasonal brews and one-off specials.
Hensol Castle Distillery in the Vale Resort offer a tour to learn about the history of gin and the castle, how gins are made from different ingredients and tour the distillery operation, ending in the cocktail bar for gin tasting.
Penderyn Distillery near Rhigos produces award winning whisky and Brecon gin. Penderyn Distillery's Visitor Centre sees over 43,000 visitors per annum, and is one of South Wales' premier attractions. A tour for up to 20 people starts in the exhibition area before heading into the distillery to see where production takes place. It ends in the tasting bar where you can sample the whisky. The distillery also offers in-depth masterclasses which last around two and a half hours. A fabulous experience for an incentive!
Silver Circle Distillery near Monmouth produce premium Welsh gin and batch limited editions of craft gin, spirits, liqueurs and cocktails. During a tour you can see the distillery and learn how handcrafted Wye Valley Gin is produced, sample each of its different products, and learn about using locally foraged botanicals. Visitors can also create their own unique gin recipe, distil it and take it home. Nearby is Humble by Nature farm that offers a rural skills programme which includes bee keeping, dry stone walling, how to make a wood fired clay pizza oven and looking after goats.