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The Anglesey Golf Club, Rhosneigr
Okay; I’m rather loathe to do it but I’m going to let you in on a little secret about one of the best places on the island to eat a terrific Sunday lunch. The place is the dining room of the Anglesey Golf Club, situated on the main road between Rhosneigr railway station and the village itself, and the caterer is the renowned Cordon Bleu-trained Anne Wilson. Anne is modest to a fault, but I promise you her food is just about faultless. To give you some idea of her pedigree, last year Anne catered for over 40 weddings all over Anglesey, north Wales and the wider north-west of England gaining a prestigious second place in the Great Northern Wedding Caterer Awards for 2016 in the process. An amazing feat for a small company working out of the golf club’s modest, but immaculate, kitchen.
Lunch is served most Sundays from 12.30pm. There is always a choice of three starters, two roasts and a vegetarian main course option, and three wonderful puddings. Everything is spot on, and it is hard to choose any one dish to mention because they are all so very good. Having eaten there many times my favourite starter, so far, is a heavenly ramekin of smoked haddock baked in a rich, creamy cheese sauce; my favourite main has to be the pink-on-inside-but-charred-on-the-outside roast beef with all the trimmings and vegetables while Anne’s trio of puddings (served on one plate) usually a gooey meringue, red berries and a ‘chocolate pot’, has to be experienced to be believed. Once a month, on special Sundays, Mothering Sunday, Remembrance Sunday and the Sundays nearest Christmas and St Valentine’s Day, for instance, there is a larger and more varied choice.
The club’s recently refurbished main dining room, which seats around 30, is nicely decorated and furnished giving it a cosy and warm atmosphere, while any ‘overflow’ can be catered for in the nearby Centenary Room, created in 2015 to celebrate the club’s one-hundredth year and to house its memorabilia and artefacts. Here up to twenty further people can eat under the watchful eye of some of Rhosneigrs’ most famous names as they gaze down on you. A fascinating trip through local history and a ‘must’ for any Anglesey golfing enthusiast.
The main lounge and bar, shared with golfers enjoying a drink and a snack after their round, stocks the usual range of beers, spirits and soft drinks but best of all there is a small choice of very drinkable wines modestly priced at under £12 per bottle. The house pinot-noire is especially recommended.
Two courses of exceptional food will cost you £12.75 a head; three courses are a further £3. Tea and a range of coffees are also available, as are vegetarian and gluten free options. And don’t worry, the club house is open to members of the public and there is no need to dress up; smart casual is more than acceptable. But be warned, early booking is a must, especially now that the secret is out!
Reviewed by Mike Shaw.
For further information visit the club’s website at http://angleseygolfclub.co.uk or Anne Wilson’s website at http://annewilsoncordonbleu.co.uk or phone the club on 01407 811127 and ask to be put through to the kitchen. Enjoy!
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The Gaerwen Arms
There are quite a few pubs on Anglesey busily trying to turn themselves into gastro pubs – that is to say shifting their emphasis from drinking to the service of good quality modern English food. Of course, the one they all have to match is our own White Eagle which for some time has set the standards on the island.
Among those playing catch-up is the Gaerwen Arms which, as the name suggests, is on the eastern outskirts of the village of Gaerwen. Do not be put off by the exterior, this unassuming looking building houses a recently refurbished dining room with a restful décor featuring lots of oak, nicely spaced tables and comfortable seating.
The Gaerwen Arms has set out its stall to become “Anglesey’s most innovative dining experience.” Heading up the challenge is a young Welsh chef, Daniel Owen, who was trained at the White Eagle and later gained valuable experience working at The Adobe, a two-star Michelin restaurant in Canterbury.
Daniel’s menu is large, well-constructed and, indeed, innovative. I have eaten there twice recently and was agreeably surprised on each occasion. During our most recent visit a starter of scallops with pea puree, asparagus and broad beans, followed by twice cooked belly pork served with an apple and ginger puree had Mrs Shaw’s eyes rolling with delight. My own classic prawn cocktail (how I love retro food!) followed by a large bowl of creamy seafood spaghetti (salmon, mussels, scallops and prawns) topped with Parmesan shavings was spot on.
The serving staff are polite and enthusiastic, the atmosphere is good (despite the piped music, of which I am not a fan) and the portions generous. Too generous, in fact, to tempt us into a pudding, but the confections passing our table looked – well – good enough to eat. All-in-all a good find, and one that I hope you will explore.
For more information visit the pub’s well-designed website at http://gaerwenarms.co.uk.
Reviewed by Mike Shaw
The Sea Shanty, Trearddur Bay
We arrived to find an almost full restaurant but fortunately our table was reserved. The very large room seating over a hundred is delightfully decorated with lots of “sea related ” items and plenty of interest including ten boats of varying class and size upturned in the roof. Another fascinating item is the all wooden clock weighted by a large anchor. Our very pleasant and efficient waitress, Jess, immediately brought water to our table, a refreshing change not to have to ask for it.
There is a comprehensive menu, but not too over facing, my choice was goats cheese and beetroot salad which was delicious if slightly short on cheese. I then ordered a starter portion of haddock, salmon and crab fish cake which was beautifully crispy served with generous tomato salsa and lime mayonnaise. My companions enjoyed calamari, very crispy and lightly cooked another mushrooms on toast followed by lamb rump or seabass both served with very good fresh vegetables. The desserts looked delicious but we declined in favour of teas and coffees. A limited, but adequate selection of wine is available all served in specially commissioned pottery jugs.
The whole place was buzzing with clients of various age, we hope it prospers as it is a great asset to Holy Island if it continues to give such acceptable food and service. Approx £100 for four including pre dinner drinks and wine.
Reviewed by Charlotte Mallinson
The Sea Shanty, Lon St Ffraid, Trearddur Bay, LL65 2YR. Tel: 01407 728 2000; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Open 7 days a week: Breakfast 0800-1030; coffee, tea, cakes 10.30-12.00; lunch 12.00-16.00; dinner 17.00-21.00; ice cream shop 10.00-17.00.
The Lobster Pot, Church Bay
I made my first visit to the Lobster Pot in the mid-1960s, a treat from my parents to celebrate my passing into Sandhurst. I remember the occasion well, but not the meal which clearly left no lasting impression. Unlike the Sunday lunch I enjoyed recently, which, in a word, was sensational.
The Lobster Pot is tucked away down a long and narrow lane leading from the A5025 Valley to Cemaes Bay road; just keep a lookout for the signs as you leave the village of Llanfaethlu and you’ll have no trouble finding it. The restaurant, which specialises in fresh local seafood, is situated in the picturesque seaside village of Church Bay. Originally opened in 1949 in a small bungalow, the building has been carefully extended over the years to form a charming restaurant with numerous dining rooms, including several that are small and quite intimate.
The meal we had was one of the best Sunday lunches I have ever eaten, including those in my own home! The menu features five starters, including a yummy seafood duo of prawns in filo pastry and battered cod goujons, followed by a choice of delicious roast meats, all sourced from Anglesey farms. Beef, pork and lamb are the standard dishes but roast duck is available for a small supplement and several lobster dishes are on offer for a rather larger one. All are beautifully cooked and presented and each is accompanied by roast and mashed potatoes and a selection of nicely cooked but slightly unusual vegetables. On the day of our visit, for instance, we enjoyed warm beetroot and a mixture of leek, broccoli and cauliflower cooked and served in a creamy sauce. A boat of rich gravy is served separately instead of being slopped all over the plate which to my mind is a big plus in any restaurant. Many of the dishes are gluten free and vegetarian options are also available. Puddings change each week; we were spoiled for choice with slow cooked rice pudding (served with a dollop of strawberry jam), lemon meringue pie and a chocolate cheesecake.
In the week an extensive a la carte menu is available.
Visit the restaurant’s website at www.thelobsterpotrestaurant.co.uk for further information and to make a reservation. I promise you will not be disappointed.
Reviewed by Mike Shaw