Updated: Jun 24
And the winner is... Find the second half of great award winning restaurants and products in Wales below. South Wales (2019 - 2020)
Heading south towards Tremeirchion, a stone’s throw from St Asaph, a ‘faultless’ two Great Taste stars were presented to Dovecote Brewery for their Dove Down Under – a New Zealand hopped amber ale. Not far away, in Rhuddlan, Welsh Speciality Foods won three stars each for their Welsh Honey Marmalade, Apple Chutney and Chilli Chutney.
In Llanefydd, Denbighshire, Welsh food ambassador Llaeth y Llan captured three separate Great Taste stars for their bio-live yoghurts, while Rhug Estate Organic Farm won two, for their Dee Valley Goose and Bronze Turkey. You’ll be spoilt for choice at Christmas as Argae Cottage in Llandrinio, Powys was awarded two stars for their Free Range Bronze Turkey.
Just a touch further south in Buttington, along the Montgomery canal, Trailhead Fine Foods secured another Great Taste star for their Beef Jerky Spicy Chilli. In Montgomery itself, Monty’s Brewery was awarded two stars each for three fabulous products, including the festive ‘Figgy Pud’ rich chestnut ale.
Two ‘faultless’ Great Taste stars were awarded to Pantri Swswen, Caersws, for their Rowan Berry Jelly and also to Dyfi Distillery in Corris for their Dyfi Original Gin. South of Machynlleth, in Eglwys-fach, Gareth Ward of Ynyshir retained his Michelin star for the 6th year running, and jumped from 5th place to 4th in the Good Food Guide’s top 50 UK restaurants for 2020. A hearty ‘llongyfarchiadau’ too to Gareth and partner Amelia, who welcomed their own little star – baby Karl – earlier this year!
Further south in Ceredigion, two Great Taste stars were presented to the aptly named Seren Kitchen, Aberystwyth; one for the Dark Seville Orange Marmalade (medium cut) and another for the Traditional Christmas Pudding. Over in Lampeter, Conti’s Ice Cream also enjoyed a banner year; they were awarded a ‘close to perfect’ one star each for the Coffee, and Vanilla ice cream, and two stars each for both the Pistachio and Traditional Dairy flavours. The cherry on top was securing three Great Taste stars for the Welsh Whisky ice cream. 20 miles south-west along the river Teifi, there was much jubilation at Glynhynod Farm, near Ffostrasol. Three stars were presented to Da Mhìle Apple Brandy, two for the Oak-Aged Whisky, and a star each for the Orange 33, and Seaweed Gin. They also secured two stars for the Celtic Promise cheese, and a star each for Saval and Teifi Organic Welsh Halloumi.
Just a few miles west, New Quay Honey Farm earned three stars for Afon Mêl Honey Mead. Down to Pembrokeshire where four separate stars were awarded to Lochmeyer Farm Ice Cream of Llaneloy (including Ginger, and Lemon Dairy flavours) whilst Pointz Castle Ice Cream at Pen y Cwm secured two Great Taste stars for the raspberry flavour, as well as five single stars, including for their Christmas Pudding ice cream. Not forgetting the Wickedly Welsh Chocolate Company in Haverfordwest itself, who secured a star each for three products (including the Lime, Chocolate and Chilli Puddle), while Farmers Food at Home (of Mathry) won a Great Taste star for the Summer Berry Jam.
The area around Narberth also drew plenty of acclaim, including the AA Wales Hotel 2019-20 award for The Grove. Two Great Taste stars were presented to From Our Farm’s Chilli, and Original, Biltong, and another two stars for their Beef Dripping. Mabel George at Cilrath Fach Farm was presented with a Great Taste star for four different types of fudge (Honey, Clotted Cream, Vanilla and Welsh Seaweed flavours) and a star was earned too for the Spring Woodland and Hedgerow Honey by Native Bee Honey of Clunderwen.
Heading east, and there was jubilation at The Warren in Carmarthen, as the Mansel Street restaurant was named by the Good Food Guide as Regional Winner (for Wales) of the Local Restaurant Award; also representing The Warren, Deri Red scooped the Food Made Good Chef of the Year award by The Sustainable Restaurant Association. Garej Spirits Co also made Carmarthenshire proud, by scoring three Great Taste stars for Jin Talog – Organic London Dry Gin, as did Carmarthenshire Dairy Products for COPA Blue cheese. Their COPA white scored two Great Taste stars, and so did Tinworks Brewing Company in Five Roads, Cwm Gwendraeth for their Kidwelly Pilsener. Further east, Gower View Foods scored two stars for Shirgâr Welsh Butter, as did Morton’s Fine Foods’ Original Biltong; Mario’s Luxury Ice Cream were awarded two single stars (for Dairy Vanilla Pod, and Bueno ice cream), with all three businesses flying the flag for Cross Hands.
On the Gower peninsula, how about a celebratory lunch at Beach House Oxwich, where Chef Hywel Griffith became the latest Welsh Chef to be honoured with a Michelin Star. Nearby in Reynoldston, Gower Cottage Brownies earned a shiny Great Taste star for their Rhubarb Crumble and Custard Brownies. Boss Brewing Company in Swansea scored a star for Boss Black (Chocolate Orange edition) ale, whilst Cold Black Label in Bridgend won a star each for the Nutty Ale and Brecon Red, and three stars for Pirate Bay IPA.
Staying in the Vale of Glamorgan, congratulations to Chef James Sommerin who retained his Michelin Star for the fourth year in succession in Penarth. In Aberthin, The Hare and Hounds retained their Michelin Bib Gourmand, lauded for quality and value for money. Slade Farm Organics of Southerndown secured three stars for Shoulder of Pork on the bone, while Welsh Coffe Roasters secured two stars for Môr seasonal espresso at Ogmore by Sea. And nearby in Llandow, do prepare to bow to the two-star awarded Sloane Home for their Lone Star Frisky Fruits Chef’s Accompaniment – Herefordshire Farm Red Cherries.
In Caerffili, Castle Dairies won four separate stars for four types of butter, including The Butterworks butter with Hillfarm Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil. In Aberaman near Aberdare, Grey Trees Independent Craft Brewers secured two stars for Diggers Gold golden ale. Dugan’s Patisserie returned to Three Cocks near Brecon with two stars for their Orange, Honey and Walnut Tart. In Monmouthshire, three local companies each won two-stars, including Black Welsh Lamb of Llanverthine organic shoulder of pasture-fed hogget, Tŷ Gwyn Jam of Castell-Newydd for their Blackcurrant Coulis and Chepstow’s own Wye Valley Meadery for their Honey and Hops Mead. Congrats too to Parva Spices of Tintern for three one-star wins, not forgetting two restaurant triumphs as both Chris Chown of The Whitebrook and Shaun Hill at The Walnut Tree retained their Michelin stars, for the 6th and 10th year, respectively.
In Cardiff, Heaney’s restaurant in Pontcanna secured a new entry in the Good Food Guide for 2020. In Llandaf, Seidr y Mynydd earned top honours, winning three Great Taste stars for the bottle-conditioned cider that uses the traditional method of keeving to retain the cider’s natural sugar. A further shower of stars rained down over Cardiff; two for Holy Yolks’ Pork Fiction scotch egg, one for The Crafty Devil Pie of Pieporium, Canton; Green and Jenks Deli’s Vegan Mango and Coconut Gelato in Roath Park, as well as a star each for both the strawberry and raspberry sorbet at Coco Gelato in Cathays. Llongyfarchiadau to all!