As part of our Green Traveller's Guide to Pembrokeshire National Park, Paul Bloomfield picks out a selection of restaurants, cafés, and festivals to help you find the best local produce in this wonderful protected area in southwest Wales.
As you may well expect from this uniquely coastal National Park, fresh fish is big business, not to mention a whole range of other locally grown goodies.
The region is full of local specialities and fresh produce; from local diver-caught scallops and St Brides Bay crab to organically-reared Welsh beef and creamy Pant Mawr organic cheese. You'll even get the chance to sample a sustainable portion of fish and chips cooked in Welsh Ale Beer Batter, perhaps served with local scallops wrapped in locally cured Gwaun Valley bacon.
This award-winning tearoom at Lawrenny Quay offers perhaps the best views of any tearoom in Pembrokeshire, hidden as it is at the heart of the National Park on the Daugleddau estuary. The food here is prepared using as much Pembrokeshire produce as possible, from the fresh baguettes and ever-changing specials board to locally-caught crab sandwiches, roast half lobster, Quayside Welsh rarebit and homemade desserts. Guests can choose to either relax in the tearoom itself or dine on the walled terrace that overlooks the water. Plus, if you were in any doubt as to the quality of the food on offer, Quayside Tearoom has been given the 2011 Wales True Taste Gold award, Best Use of Pembrokeshire Produce Award and was a UKTV Food Wales finalist. quaysidelawrenny.co.uk
The Swan Inn
Having been awarded the AA Pub of the Year for Wales 2010-2011, you're going to be expecting something special from the Swan Inn right from the offset. The 200-year old pub is sat right on the water's edge with roaring log fires, oak tables and a spectacular pewter topped bar. The menu is equally, if not more, impressive, with a commitment to seasonal and local produce that results in the likes of local diver caught scallops, St Brides Bay crab and Welsh rib eye steak, not to mention a whole range of real Welsh ales that'll act as the perfect accompaniment to a hearty Welsh meal. theswanlittlehaven.co.uk
You'll find this cosy little restaurant hidden away in one of Tenby's cobbled streets. Having welcomed the likes of Bill Clinton, Plantagenet House has garnered a reputation as one of Pembrokeshire's top restaurants and is a great option whether you're looking for a romantic evening meal or a family outing. Head downstairs to the Quay Room for a less formal, bistro style experience. With a great deal of local produce on offer from regional producers, this is an ideal way to end a day in Pembrokeshire's own 'little town of fishes'. plantagenettenby.co.uk
Having recently been named the 'Best Gastropub in Wales' at the recent Great British Pub Awards 2011, Stackpole Inn offers up nothing but the highest quality home cooked food whether you're after a light lunch or a hearty evening meal. The pub has also been voted the 'Best Food Experience in Pembrokeshire' by Pembrokeshire Tourism and has a daily specials board that specialises in dishes made from locally caught fish. Peruse the menu and you'll spot the likes of Yerbeston Farm Saddleback pork & leek sausages and roast Capestone Farm poussin. stackpoleinn.co.uk
Gwaun Valley brewery
Pay a visit to Gwaun microbrewery in Pontfaen and you'll see the brewers at work, catch the scent of malted barley and hops, and maybe even try a sample or two. Each of these real ales are made from wholesome ingredients and pure spring water and are then either caskwed and taken to local pubs or bottle conditioned and matured to develop a unique flavour. This is well and truly a family operation with Len Davies brewing the beers and his wife Sarah not only designing the labels, but also organising regular acoustic music sessions in the brewery. The coming weeks will also see the release of the temptingly-named 'Pembrokeshire Best Bitter'. gwaunvalleybrewery.co.uk
Pembrokeshire Fish Week Festival
Recently voted the UK's top food festival, Pembrokeshire's Fish Week offers the chance to learn to fish, watch demos by famous chefs and get involved in countless activities, not to mention sample the region's top seafood. From seabass and mackerel to crab and lobster, this is a must for any serious foody, with the added bonus of being able to take part in classes that'll teach you how to fillet, or how to prepare sushi. This festival isn't only about eating, though, there's also plenty of scope for surfing, kayaking, coasteering and general exploration of the stunning coastline. pembrokeshirefishweek.co.uk
Narberth Food Festival
It may not be the biggest food festival in Wales, but, as the website pronounces, it may well be the friendliest. Now in it's 14th year, Narberth Food Festival brings you an entire weekend of culinary excellence from the very best local producers. From sushi masterclasses to hints and tips from top chefs, there's much more to do at this festival than simple sample the food. Having said that, this year promises countless stallholders and local producers keen for you to sample their wares, whether that's top quality locally sourced meat or homemade cakes and pastries. You can also expect top musical acts to enjoy while you enjoy whatever local food tickled your fancy. narberthfoodfestival.com
Cwm Deri vineyard
It's very rare that you'll have the chance to wander through a vineyard in the UK, and rarer still that you'll be surrounded by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. The Cwm Deri Estate is a working smallholding that first opened to the public in 1992 and which has now become one of the country's top attractions. As well as wine you'll be able to taste the very best Pembrokeshire liqueurs, preserves, cheese, cakes and ice cream. You can enjoy tastings in either the shop or the patio and terrace, which offers a fantastic views out over the vineyard itself. cwm-deri.co.uk
For information on characterful places to stay, nearby visitor attractions and activities, see our