food

North Wales is a beautiful region but not one known for its exotic cuisine. When you think of North Wales your mind would likely picture mountains and pretty little seaside towns, it's doubtful you'd even think about food, but let me tell you there is some good grub to be had there.


Throughout my trip I munched my way across Conwy, Llandudno, Anglesey, and more, so here's everything I ate in North Wales...


4 photos of different meal we ate in North Wales (Fish & Chips, Full English Breakfast, Battered Sausage and Chips, Ice Cream)



Finley's Sandwich Bar - Llangollen

5 Abbey Rd, Llangollen, LL20 8SN


In the tiny picturesque town of Llangollen you'll find Finley's Sandwich bar and cafe. The dog friendly eatery serve's all sorts from full breakfasts and burgers to sandwiches and salad, and they delivery it all with a smile.


This was our first pit stop in Wales and being hungry tourists we all ordered the largest breakfast option - Finley's Big Breakfast. For £7.50 you'll receive 2 slices of bacon, 2 sausages, 1 egg, 2 hash browns, black pudding, mushrooms, baked beans, or plum tomatoes, and 2 slices of bread. But if something doesn't take your fancy they had no problems swapping a couple of items up!


The breakfast was delicious and it was clear that they only serve really good quality ingredients. Not only that everything was cooked just right - hello perfect dippy eggs! 


Would I recommend a breakie at Finley's? Absolutely I would, and I think my pooches who were also well looked after would recommend a trip too!


The Big Breakfast at Finley's Cafe Llangollen

Finley's big breakfast 


Llangollen train station nestled among beautiful rolling hills
Llangollen Railway station opposite Finley's Sandwich Bar



Windsor Fish Bar - Abergele

Towyn Road, Towyn, Abergele, LL22 9HE


Eating fish and chips on the beach was high on my to do list for my Welsh holiday. Luckily for us we found a chippy not too far from the seafront where I was able to make my dream a reality. 


Windsor Fish Bar near Kinmel Bay looks like your bog standard chippy, and well it is, but take a short drive (or a 10 minute walk) and you'll find yourself on a beautiful beach. Now this stretch of land from Rhyl to Abergele is packed with other takeaways and fish bars and I can't tell you if this one is the best, but I can say that we all thoroughly enjoyed our boxed up chippy tea. The batter on the fish and sausage was delicious and the chicken kebab my sister ordered was cracking quality for a takeaway! 


There was quite a queue when we went for our food, this is to be expected at tea time in the school holidays, but it might be worth keeping in mind if you're looking to eat in the area.


Overall I very much enjoyed my tea by the sea, and I didn't even have to fight back any seagulls this time - bonus!


A tray of battered sausage and chips

Battered Sausage and Chips on the beach 


A table full of our chippy tea (Battered sausage and chips, fish and chips, chicken kebab)
Our chippy tea which we ate on a bench on Kinmel Bay

The Menu for Windsor Fish Bar. Our food can be seen in the background.
The Menu for Windsor Fish Bar Abergele



Horizon Shine Kiosk - Colwyn Bay Beach

Promenade, Colwyn Bay Beach, LL29 8HH



Is it even a UK holiday if you don't have an ice cream in questionable temperatures? Well I don't think so, which is why I treated myself to a little chocolate ice cream at the beach kiosk the second the sun appeared.


Regardless of the temperature (which was not at summer holiday levels) I wolfed down my delicious icy treat while the rest of my family sipped on hot chocolates from the same kiosk. 


Would I recommend? Of course!


Two cups of coffee and a chocolate ice cream
Coffee's and Ice Cream from Horizon Shine Kiosk

Holding my melting Chocolate Ice Cream in front of the beach
My very melted Chocolate Ice Cream


The Mulberry - Conwy

Conwy Marina, Ellis Way, Conwy, LL32 8GU


Conwy is very quickly becoming my favourite seaside town. It's gorgeous castle, fantastic history, and quirky little streets have so much to offer tourists, and that's ever before you take in the gorgeous views across the harbour. One thing it doesn't specialise in however is dog friendly pubs. Now we could have very easily missed them (so feel free to drop your recommendations in the comments) but we did struggle to find somewhere we could sit inside with our little angels. 


We did however take a suggestion from one of the local sales assistants who recommended we take a walk to The Mulberry which is roughly a 20 minute walk from the main town of Conwy. 


Looking through a window to the Marina. Lines of boats can be seen.
The view from the dog friendly seats inside the Mulberry Conwy

Conwy marina. The sun is setting in the background.
The view across Conwy Marina


The Mulberry overlooks Conwy Marina which makes for a beautiful setting to have a relaxing meal. They are also dog friendly which is essential for us. Dogs are allowed on several tables inside the restaurant and at all of the outside tables as far as I am aware. Water bowls are placed in various locations across the venue, though we did have to ask for these to be refilled as it seems that must have had lots of little visitors that day.


The menu at the Mulberry is fairly standard for a more upmarket pub, though I did find several dishes I quite liked the look of which is very unusual for a picky eater like me. I ended up ordering the Chicken Schnitzel and let me tell you I left feeling very full.


I would absolutely recommend a trip here if you don't mind a short stroll (which is actually quite lovely) and you need somewhere dog friendly. 

 

A plate which chicken schnitzel, chips, egg, and salad
Chicken Schnitzel with egg, chips, and salad

Steak pie and Katsu chicken burger
Steak Pie and Katsu Chicken Burger at The Mulberry Conwy



Pound bakery - Llandudno

54 Mostyn Street, Llandudno, LL30 2RP


I'll be honest, I didn't even realise this was a chain until it was too late. I thought I'd stubbled across a nice little local bakery but nope. We all had cheap little Cornish pasty's here which filled the gap but were actually pretty rubbish. I didn't even get a proper photo of them but believe me you're not missing out on much.


It wasn't horrible but I wouldn't rush back to buy from there again. I mean what did I expect for £1 really?


Holding a half eaten traditional Cornish pasty
£1 Cornish Pasty from Pound Bakery in Llandudno

Holding a traditional Cornish pasty in a slightly different angle
The £1 Cornish pastry from a different angle - it doesn't look anymore appealing from this side


Emperor Chinese Restaurant - Llandudno

2 Mostyn Street, Llandudno, LL30 2SW


If there is one thing I love it's Chinese food. I could happily eat noodles, spring rolls, and satay chicken every single day - no seriously. But I didn't expect to get good oriental grub in the pretty little seaside town of Llandudno. 


Well how wrong I was! While hunting for food one night we stumbled across a fairly well hidden all you can eat restaurant, jackpot! For just £14.99 per person we stuffed our faces silly with a mix of buffet food we could plate up ourselves, and main dishes which were cooked to order.


Everything we ate was super fresh and very tasty which was a pleasant surprise. The dishes we ordered were also good portion sizes so we left very happy and very full. 


Unlike many of the other places I visited, this one isn't dog friendly but we were able to park on the street below and check on them frequently. 



Several plates of Chinese food (Rice, chicken, prawn crackers,etc)
Some of the cooked to order dishes at Emperor Chinese Restaurant Llandudo

A buffet of Chinese food
The buffet which includes favourites such as Spring Rolls, Spare Ribs, Chips, Etc


Pantri Beach Cafe - Abergele

Promenade, Abergele, LL22 7PP


Abergele wasn't actually a stop on my to do list but we were absolutely starving one day as we were heading towards Conwy so stopped at a little beach cafe. It was serving a good breakie, had parking, and was dog friendly - perfect.


Pantri Beach Cafe is exactly that, a cafe overlooking the beach, and so we thought it would be an overpriced venue targeting tourists but we gave it a go anyway. We ordered our meals and waited, and waited, and waited a bit more before asking when our breakfasts were likely to be served.


It was clearly quite busy so we didn't expect have our meals immediately but in all honesty I think our order may have been misplaced. It wasn't ideal but it happens from time to time and the staff were so lovely about it even though they were clearly under pressure.


All of our drinks were taken off the bill and when our food did arrive it was delicious. The quality of the breakfast was good, and the portions were generous too. We definitely left happy despite the hiccup, which I think the young members of staff handled incredibly well. 


Two big breakfasts
Our breakfasts at Pantri Beach Cafe

A close up of the Pantri Beach Cafe breakfast
A Closer look at the Pantri Beach Cafe breakfast

Anglesey Arms - Anglesey

Mona Road, Menai Bridge, Anglesey, LL59 5EA



Another stop were weren't planning on making was to Anglesey. We only really stopped as I saw we were quite close to the fabulously named town of Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch (YES that is it's real name) and I couldn't resist taking a photo with the sign at the train station! Once I'd snapped away we really needed some grub so stopped off at the first dog friendly pub that served fish and chips.


And that pub was The Anglesey Arms! The pub/ restaurant was surprisingly nice inside and had a cracking menu with several options for us all. It also had a lovely view of the Menai suspension bridge which I think is quite famous? Anyway, it was a good choice for our final meal in the wonderful North Wales.


I ordered the Brewery Tower burger with 2 beed patties, pulled beef brisket, bacon, cheese, relish etc etc and it was just as massive and delicious as it sounds. I would definitely recommend. Mom went for the fish and chips - standard. And Dad opted for the Slow Braised Lamb Shank which I think he probably still has dreams about now.


The Service at the Anglesey Arms was also very good and one of our waiters was even from the Midlands which we very much enjoyed. 


Braised Lamb Shank with greens in a deep plate
Slow Braised Lamb Shank

Traditional fish and chips on a plate
Fish and Chips at The Anglesey Arms

A large burger, fries, and coleslaw on a big round plate
The Brewery Tower burger


So that's it, every single thing I ate in North Wales!


Now while I'm no food, critic I did experience some tasty eats (and some not so tasty ones) on my trip so hopefully this gives you a good idea of where to eat well in the North of Wales.


Let me know your favourite holiday snack or meal in the comments!


Thanks for reading!



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North Wales, UK

EVERYTHING I ATE IN NORTH WALES (CONWY, LLANDUDNO, ANGLESEY, & MORE)

* AD - PR Visit 

   

They say you eat with your eyes before you even bite into your food. So what happens when you take that part of the dining experience away? What if you can't see the meal you are about to devour? What if you decide to dine in the dark...?


Dans Le Noir, which literally translates to "in the dark", is an international company specialising in sensory dining experiences. The group have several locations across the world including, London, Paris, Madrid, and now a pop up at Swinfen Hall Hotel in the beautiful Staffordshire countryside. 


The pop up runs from Wednesday to Saturday until the end of March and is priced at £95 per person for 3 courses. 



the reception area at Swinfen Hall hotel. In the foreground a large black grand piano can be seen.
The reception area inside the 18th Century Swinfen Hall hotel


So what can you expect for almost one hundred Great British pounds?


Well this is no ordinary meal. From start to finish, you will dine completely in the dark. No phones, no glow in the dark watches, absolutely nothing that can cast any light is allowed into the dining area. Before entering the darkness you are greeted by a visually impaired server who will carefully escort you to your table and wait on you throughout the evening. 


The three courses you are served cannot be chosen beforehand, and you will only truly know what you have just consumed once the meal has finished and the team can talk you through the menu. To avoid any issues you can let the team know in advance if there is anything you can't or wont eat.


The entrance to the dining in the dark experience
The entrance to the dining in the dark experience


What did I think of the dining in the dark experience?


The event was unlike anything I had done before. As a fussy eater I felt like this was completely out of my comfort zone, and while there were times I was slightly unnerved by the idea of eating something unknown, the experience as a whole was very enjoyable. I very quickly realised just how much texture plays a part in whether or not I find a dish appealing, and believe me, it is very important. I also learned that I actually can't tell what I'm eating by smell or taste alone. Madness!


Though I did spill a drink or two, I thankfully didn't make too much mess, and I did very much revel in the novelty of dining in the dark, or should I say Dans Le Noir! 


I was incredibly surprised by the menu at the end of the night and even found myself enjoying things I would never even dream of ordering in a regular restaurant. My comfort zone was well and truly smashed and I'm actually okay with that.


So what was on the menu at Swinfen Hall? I guess you'll just have to find out yourself by dining in the dark...


Thanks for reading!



If you liked this post don't forget to click here to follow me on Bloglovin!



Looking out across the grounds of Swinfen Hall. In the foreground a pond and fountain can be seen.
Overlooking the grounds at Swinfen Hall hotel


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Lichfield, UK

DINING IN THE DARK AT SWINFEN HALL HOTEL (DANS LE NOIR)*

* AD - PR Visit


Estado Da India serves a creative blend of Portuguese and Indian dishes in tapas style portions. The restaurant which is still fairly new to Harborne caters to everyone with a selection of meaty options, veggie options, and dare I say it, even something for those who struggle with spice like myself. 


The beautifully designed food and drinks menus featuring artwork from both Indian and Portuguese culture
Even the art on the menu's at Estado Da India make it clear this restaurant blends two cultures


On my Sunday night visit I ate with a group of people who have very different tastes and so I'd like to think we put the Estado Da India menu to the ultimate test.


We ordered :


  • Wild Mushroom Croquets £5.25
  • Prawn Rissol £7.95
  • Iberico Vindaloo Pork Ribs £6.95
  • Pork Arroz £9.95
  • Tomato Naan £4.50
  • Goan Cauliflower £4.95
  • Masala Fries £3.95
  • Goan Lamb £9.75
  • Lemon Rice £3.95
  • Duroc Pork Belly £8.95
  • Lamb Espetada £8.95


Our waiter recommended each of us to order two dishes and then a further two to share across the table. As we don't often order tapas we were grateful for the recommendation, however we did order an extra sharer which gave us the perfect amount for the four of us to gorge on. 


Grace sitting in front of several tapas style dishes, holding a mocktail
Sipping on fancy Mocktails at one of Harborne's new restaurants


We also ordered a few drinks between us : 


  • Limao Spritz (Mocktail) £5.50
  • Tropic Like It's Hot (Mocktail) £5.50
  • Madri Excepcional Beer (Pint) £4.95 


So what did we think of the Estado Da India...


The food really was full of flavour, and although sometimes it was on the cusp of what I could tolerate when it comes to spice I was pleasantly surprised. I asked for all of my dishes to come as mild as possible and without chilli which I did worry would potentially ruin the taste, but I can confidently say no flavour was lost. I will mention that some of the meats are soaked in a chilli marinate so it's impossible for them to be completely chilli free, but I found the dishes much milder than I was expecting. My family was also surprised by how mild the Vindaloo Pork Ribs were which was perfect.


The Pork dishes really were the stars of the show for me, the Pork Arroz in particular was fantastic. A juicy Pork skewer which is served resting on a bowl of curried rice, both of which were full of flavour. Although I'd admit this isn't the cheapest dish I left wishing I had ordered two as it was just so mouthwateringly tasty.


Holden a Pork belly skewer. Other dishes can be seen in the background
The Pork Arroz - my favourite item on the Estado Da India menu

Another of my favourite plates from the Estado Da India menu was the slightly less adventurous Tomato Naan. Everyone in our group enjoyed a quarter of this fluffy bread which complimented our other bits very nicely. I would recommend ordering at least one of these to share with the table, or even eat completely to yourself. 


For the drinks I usually order something fairly boozy, however I opted for a mocktail on this visit and I am very glad I did. I chose the Limao Spritz which according to the menu is a mix of Raspberry, Lemon and Lime, and topped with a sparkling soda. It was very refreshing but after trying a sip of my sisters mocktail (Tropic Like It's hot) I wish I'd have ordered one of those too. Hers was a combination of Passion Fruit, Coconut Cream, Pineapple, and Mango juice which is something I would never pick myself but it just worked so fantastically well together. The creaminess of the Coconut was extra delicious after wolfing down so much savoury spicy food.


A table full of tapas style dishes at Estado Da India in Harborne,
A whole table full of tapas style dishes


All in all we had a fantastic evening in a beautifully decorated environment which we all admitted would be a lovely spot for a birthday treat or other special occasion. 


Have you been to Estado Da India, the perfect Portuguese Indian in Harborne? I feel this one might soon become a favourite of Birmingham food bloggers. 


Thanks for reading!



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Birmingham, UK

ESTADO DA INDIA HARBORNE*

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