As part of our Green Traveller's Guide to Llŷn, Paul Bloomfield picks out a selection of restaurants, festivals and farmers' markets for local food and drink in this wonderful Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in northwest Wales.
Llŷn AONB is rich in fresh produce with a variety of organic produce also available. There are a growing number of excellent restaurants, pubs, tea-rooms and farm shops all offering the best produce the area has to offer.
Traditionally it’s a mixed farming area, so you’ll often find delicious local lamb on the menu, as well as beef, pork and game. Some farmers are choosing to rear traditional breeds and using traditional production techniques, to ensure the best quality and flavour.
The surrounding sea also provides a rich harvest of fish and seafood, especially crab and lobster.
The Ship Hotel Restaurant
With its open fireplace and local ales – meriting a regular mention in the Good Beer Guide – this cosy bar and restaurant harks back to its roots as the original village inn. The Harrison family that owns the hotel also go lobster potting, so they can guarantee that those bright red claws on your plate are as fresh as the village’s sea air. The emphasis is on local ingredients. The crab is caught locally and the lamb and beef comes from local farms. theshiphotelaberdaron.co.uk
The Dining Room
This small, family-run restaurant, with sea views, changes its menu weekly to make the most of fresh local produce. You might find yourself choosing between starters of potted crab with tomato, red onion and mint chutney or carrot and ginger soup followed by pan-fried sea trout with warm samphire salad and laverbread dressing or Welsh rib eye steak with brandy and black pepper sauce. To round it all off, how about strawberry and elderflower trifle? The restaurant, which is, literally, the dining room in a detached family house, is ‘small and intimate’ and does not cater for young children. Vegetarian choices are available. thediningroomabersoch.co.uk
Tremfan Hall, Pwllheli, Llŷn
The lovely views of the Llŷn sea and Snowdonia mountains and the artfully arranged food will vie for your attention at Tremfan. What a position. Tremfan Hall prides itself on a big welcome and its wide range of food, from Sunday lunch specials, 2-course set price dinners and children's menu. You can stay here, too. tremfanhall.webs.com
Y Gegin Fawr
Y Gegin Fawr means ‘the large kitchen’, an appropriate name for this white-washed stone cottage that was once a communal kitchen where 13th century pilgrims were given food and a welcome on their way to Bardsey Island. Today’s travellers can treat themselves to homemade cakes such as the traditional Welsh tea-and-fruit loaf, bara brith (whose name literally means ‘speckled bread’) or scones, served with fresh, local cream. There is locally caught crab and lobster to eat in or take away. Dogs are welcome on the outside terrace and by an attractive riverside area. Continue on your pilgrimage refreshed, praying to return one day. penllyn.com
Treddafydd Organic Farm
This small family-run organic farm in Llinthfaen supplies local hotels and restaurants with their fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables including raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackcurrants, potatoes, artichokes purple-sprouting-this, pink-that and a whole rainbow of colours more. They produce organic jams and chutneys under the Treddafydd Organic label, supply delis, including Rhug Farmshop, and attend markets and food fairs. If you’re walking the Llŷn Coastal Path and are feeling peckish, the route goes right past the back of the property. It might be worth making a detour to their farm gate, where they sell surplus produce. After all, they are the holders of a Gwynedd Taste and Talent Award. treddafyddorganic.co.uk
Glasfryn Farm Shop
Glasfryn Farm Shop employs two butchers fulltime to hang, cut and cure the meat reared on one of the largest farms on the Llŷn peninsula. Bacon is smoked over a fire of local oak – rather than painted with liquid ‘smoke’ extract as sometimes happens. There are no shortcuts with the beef either which is hung for at least 21 days until it’s ‘black’. It’s not surprising that the produce – such as Welsh black beef burgers - has won national ‘Great Taste’ awards. The farm shop is bulging with other produce from Wales – organic flavoured milk from Pembrokeshire, Anglesey salt, vegetables, fruits and ice creams. You could fill a holiday hamper here and enjoy an exquisite taste of Wales. glasfryn.co.uk
Cadwalader's Ice Cream
Back in 1927, this small shop in Criccieth, half-way up to the castle, began selling vanilla ice cream. Now the growing number of flavours is unstoppable and the Italian style ice cream is going global (well, almost) with cafes in Criccieth, Porthmadog, Portmeirion and as far away as England. As well as ice cream sundaes as colourful as the Llŷn coast in springtime, the cafes serve speciality teas and coffees, cakes and sandwiches. You can sit overlooking the beach at the Criccieth café. As they say, whether you’re half-way up to the castle or half-way down to the beach, you deserve an ice cream. It’s not a holiday without one. cadwaladers.co.uk
The market in Pwllheli, the main town of the Llŷn peninsula, was established over 600 years ago under a charter granted by Edward III in the 14th century. Today, organisers claim it to be one of the largest markets in the country. Held every Wednesday, rain or shine, this outdoor market sells everything from local produce to cheap clothes, cleaning products to plants. If you’re on a self-catering holiday, this is the place to come to stock up your larder (and your cleaning cupboard) at reasonable prices. During the summer, between May and September, there is a smaller market on Sundays, with more of an emphasis on crafts and local produce. On the first Saturday of the month there is a produce market at Sarn Village Hall. visitwales.com/things-do/attractions/some-best-markets-wales
For information on local food and drink, nearby visitor attractions and activities, see our