Updated: Jun 24
And the winner is... Find the first half of great award winning restaurants and products in Wales below. North Wales (2019 - 2020)
Lowri Haf Cooke takes a look at a spectacular year of Welsh food and drink award winners.
Great news for Porthaethwy (Menai Bridge) as restaurant Sosban and the Old Butchers retained their Michelin star for the fourth year running – ‘iechyd da!’ to Bethan at front of house, and husband Chef Stephen Stevens.
Along the Menai, Welsh food heroes Halen Môn won 3 Great Taste award stars for their Pure Sea Salt Smoked over Oak, and their Smoky Dijon Mustard, plus a star for their Oak Smoked Water.
In Brynteg, congratulations to Deli de Bruin for two stars for their Sun-Dried Tomato, Red Lentil and Cashew Nut Paté. Another two stars were awarded to Bragdy Môn brewery, in Rhostrehwfa, for their Trearddur Bay Extra Special Bitter, and also, Cariad Bakery in Llannerch-y-medd for their gluten free delicacies.
On the Llŷn peninsula, Porth Neigwl IPA secured a star for Cwrw Llŷn brewery in Nefyn. In Y Ffôr on the border between Llŷn and Eifionydd, Welsh Lady Preserves won four separate Great Taste stars; the legendary lemon curd was joined at this year’s Great Taste awards podium by the raspberry curd, as well as the Sôs Coch and the Champagne Marmalade.
North-east towards Penygroes in Dyffryn Nantlle, we toast the success of Pant Du vineyard (a star for the Rhubarb Cider, as well as the Medium Dry Cider), and also Bragdy Lleu brewery. Four different ales were awarded a Great Taste star, brewed by this local co-operative; Bendigeidfran, Blodeuwedd, Gwydion and Lleu – all named after legendary characters of the Mabinogi. Gwydion the magician should surely sober one up, for a healthy visit to Kefir Cymru, Felinheli (another Great Taste one star winner).
Onwards to Abergwyngregyn to visit Aber Falls, who this year earned a star for their Small-Batch Gin, before making a pilgrimage to Edwards of Conwy. The Welsh king of sausage and bacon won two stars for his Thick Cut Dry Cure Bacon and two separate stars for the Traditional Dry Cure Smoke Flavour Bacon, and Traditional Pork Chipolatas. ‘Complimenti’ to chocolatier Mark Baravelli of Conwy Distillery - winner of three stars, including one for his Coacocello, a gin distilled from husks of cocoa beans. Nearby, in Llandudno, if you open Grandma’s Cupboard you’ll find that their Rum and Tropical Plants Liqueur were also awarded a star.
Further down the Conwy valley in Llanrwst, the icing on the cake for bakery Siwgwr a Sbeis was a Great Taste star for their Bara Brith Flapjack. Nearby on Station Road, Deiniol ap Dafydd of Blas ar Fwyd was awarded two stars for the Welsh Baked Cheesecake, along with 5 gleaming stars, including one for the classic Beef Lobsgows.
Back up to the coast for a feast of Conwy mussels at Bryn Williams Porth Eirias, Bae Colwyn. Not only was the restaurant awarded the title of AA Wales Restaurant 2019-2020, but it also retained its Michelin ‘Bib Gourmand’. Further east towards Fflint along the A55, you’ll find another major award winner, The Glynne Arms at Penarlâg, winner of the AA Wales Pub 2019-2020 award.