I feel very fortunate to live on the bank of the Menai Straits in Y Felinheli. This idyllic village is nestled between Bangor and Caernarfon in North Wales – two very different places, each offering unique experiences. We’re also within easy reach of Dinas Dinlle beach and its beautiful views of Pen Llŷn, the former quarry village of Bethesda and the village of Llanberis on the shores of Llyn Padarn – so all in all we’re pretty lucky, location-wise! As a result we try to make the most of our vicinity and one of our favourite pastimes is to support (and eat!) local produce. Here is a selection of our top choices of places that serve or sell Welsh products at their finest.
Llofft, Y Felinheli
We’re very lucky here in Felin that the former sails loft on the seafront has been restored to its former glory and opened as a warm and welcoming café bar and restaurant. The locally sourced seasonal menu serves dishes such as broccoli soup with tofu croutons, Welsh lamb flatbread and Welsh cheese boards. Y Lloft is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and there's no better place to enjoy a cuppa or glass of wine while watching the boats cruise by.
Braf, Dinas Dinlle
Braf is a café on the seaside in Dinas Dinlle, a popular beach outside Caernarfon with panoramic views stretching from the Eryri (Snowdonia) mountain range all the way to Pen Llŷn, and with a fascinating archaeological footprint dating back 2,500 years.
Braf sells seasonal food, homemade cakes and Poblado coffee, but it’s so much more than a café - it's a warm and welcoming community space where a host of events are held, ranging from dance sessions to yoga and baby sensory groups. Owned by two friends from Dyffryn Nantlle, Cadi and Anwen, supper clubs serving tapas-style small plates using local fish and seasonal vegetables are also held regularly – make sure you book ahead as they sell-out quickly!
Bonta Deli, Caernarfon
The Lôn Las bike trail takes you directly from Felinheli to Caernarfon, and forms part of the Wales Coast Path. If we have enough time we'll hop on our bikes or walk to our local town to shop or visit family, rather than jump in the car or bus. Bonta Deli, located in the quirky Hole in the Wall Street in Caernarfon, is an essential pit-stop whichever way we get there! This deli is like an Aladdin's cave, full of lovely treats. On sale is a mixture of the best of Italy and Wales, a winning partnership in my opinion! The coffee is amazing, and indulging in a cake or pastry is of course a matter of duty in order to support a local business, and in fact it, it would be rude not to. The cannoli, pasta de nata, cheesecake, meringue, chocolate cake and cookies are some of our favourites.
The Swellies, Y Felinheli
This excellent café is in the centre of Felinheli, and The Swellies' location in itself is enough to tempt you. On a nice summer's day it could easily be mistaken for a marina in the South of France. Small tables set up on the marina's bank offer the perfect place to eat while watching the ducks and boats come and go. The Swellies' secret is well-prepared Welsh local produce. Fresh eggs from Pen Llŷn, meat from local butcher Tom Hughes, cakes from Bangor’s Amy's Kitchen, beer from Bragdy Lleu and even loose leaf tea from Wales!
Tyddyn Teg, Bethel
Tyddyn Teg is a fruit and veg farm situated between the villages of Bethel and Llanrug, on the edge of the famous North West Wales slate quarry heartland. The narrow bend down a rough lane offers a glimpse between the leafy trees of the dozens of polythene tunnels. All farming and harvesting is carried out by volunteers, and all products are available to buy in an honesty shop. The process of weighing and working out the sums is as much fun as the fruit and veg picking itself!
Poblado, a familiar name across Wales, is a must visit for coffee-lovers. See the process of making different blends, buy a bag of beans and enjoy a ready-prepared coffee. Staff are on hand to tell the story of the organic beans that have been ethically bought from Rwanda, Uganda, Sumatra, China, Guatemala and Colombia, as well as educate visitors about the best things to see and do in the area.
Turn left out of Poblado and up towards Nantlle Quarry with a coffee in your hand – and be prepared to have all your senses awakened whilst enjoying the views across the UNESCO World Heritage Site Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales.
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