Peckish punters are spoilt for choice when it comes to top pub grub in Wales according to a top industry guide.
A record equalling 22 establishments sitting to the west of Offa’s Dyke have been included in the 2015 Michelin Eating Out in Pubs Guide, with one new entry and plenty of old favourites making the grade.
Rebecca Burr, editor of the highly respected guide said: “Pubs are a quintessential part of Welsh life and the standard of food being served in them continues to reach new heights.
“The value of the local pub cannot be underestimated, particularly in rural areas.
“From the local darts team to the village cricket 11, from quiz nights to wine tastings, pubs provide more than just a meeting point – they are often the hub of the community.
“With this in mind, customers are now demanding that chefs use more and more local produce and want to see local recipes and specialities on the menu.
“Chefs and pub owners are not only embracing this idea but some are taking it a stage further by growing their own fruit, vegetables and herbs, and by keeping chickens and rearing pigs.”
12 of Wales’ best pubs from the 2014 Michelin Eating Out in Pubs Guide
There are 70 new entries in 2014 – but only one in Wales – The Talbot in Tregaron, a boozer infamous in Ceredigion for claiming to have a 160-year-old circus elephant buried in its grounds.
Today it is better known for food cooked by Dafydd Watkin, a former premier sous chef at the Ritz in London, who trained under Marco Pierre White for eight years.
Nia Taylor who runs the Talbot with husband Mick said: “It is a real boost to have your name associated with Michelin and we are really pleased, especially as it is a recognition which is unsolicited.
“A man came into the restaurant one day and nobody knew who he was until he started asking questions afterwards and said that they’d been recommended to come here.”
She added: “We have a pub and restaurant and we offer the same menu in both, a mixture of your classic favourites like burgers, gammon, steak and pie alongside more luxurious fine dining options as well.”
Monmouthshire is Wales’ best represented county, with four pubs making the guide: The Raglan Arms in Llandenny; the White Hart in Llangybi; The Inn at Penallt and the Bell at Skenfrith.
But for the first time in years not one Cardiff pub made the list.
Meanwhile two Welsh boozers have been included in the guide’s “Inspector’s Favourites” section, for offering customers “something extra special.”
They are Aberaeron’s Harbourmaster in Ceredigion and the Felin Fach Griffin in Brecon.
Menna Heulyn from the Harbourmaster said: “We have been included in the Michelin guide since our early days almost 12 years ago, and we’re chuffed for all the team of chefs and front of house personnel that are so passionate about the Harbourmaster and really do make it such a special place.
“The staff deserve all the credit for their hard work, and we’re pleased to play our part in promoting Aberaeron as a destination for tourists and foodies”.
This year’s Eating Out in Pubs guide recommends more than 580 pubs across Great Britain, of which 70 are new entries. All the pubs in the guide are selected, first and foremost, for the quality of their food.
Full list of Welsh guide entries for 2015:
Rhoscolyn – White Eagle
Nantgaredig – Y Polyn
Aberaeron – Harbourmaster
Llanfihangel-y-Creuddyn – Y Ffarmers
Tregaron – Y Talbot
Colwyn Bay – Pen-y-Bryn
Conwy – Groes Inn
St George – Kinmel Arms
Hawarden – Glynne Arms
Mold – Glasfryn
Mold – Tavern
Pennal – Riverside
Llandenny – Raglan Arms
Llangybi – White Hart
Penallt – The Inn at Penallt
Skenfrith – Bell at Skenfrith
Brecon – Felin Fach Griffin
Crickhowell – Bear
Old Radnor – Harp Inn
The Vale of Glamorgan:
Penarth – The Pilot
Gresford – Pant-yr-Ochain
Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog – Hand at Llanarmon