Culinary Causerie

with Editor Lesley Williams

Sunny side up


Each month we drive up to Dowlais in Merthyr Tydfil to deliver the magazine artwork to Stephens & George our printer. What? I hear all the IT gurus exclaiming. I know it can be uploaded but the 40 minute trip has become a bit of a BAY tradition and to be completely honest, the size of the files makes the upload a lengthy process anyway.

What has this got to do with food I hear you ask?

We made our way back from Merthyr on a beautifully sunny evening and popped into The Butchers on Alltwen Hill to sit on their patio with its far reaching views over the Swansea valley.Bay Template

It’s the perfect spot to sit with a glass of cold wine and a basket of bread and olives, which is exactly what we did while we perused the menu. The choice isn’t vast which is a plus point for me as it indicates that food is cooked to order and not taken out the freezer and nuked in the popty ping. There was a good selection of grilled steak along with special dishes of curry and lasagne – good traditional pub grub. The fresh cod in batter was a winner – crispy, crunchy batter encasing whiter than white cod fillet served with a generous portion of chunky chips. The beef burger was equally good – I was defeated by the bread bun but the well seasoned meat, again served with chunky chips really hit the spot. I don’t know if this could be attributed to eating al fresco – my appetite always seems sharper when I eat outside.

Next time we have a sunny day why not pop up to Alltwen and watch the sun go down over Swansea from this bird’s eye view.

The Butchers at Alltwen, Alltwen Hill SA8 3BP Telephone 01792 863100



Another sun-trap I discovered last month was the cafe cum bistro Tapestri in Llys Glas. They have a huge patio area with stylish and very comfortable furniture. It’s sheltered from passing traffic so there are no nasty fumes to interfere with your taste buds, and it gets the sun. The food is worth writing home about too. Our tuna sandwich with lime and coriander mayo was bursting with filling – the ratio of fish to bread was very much weighted towards the tuna and cost just £3.75. Likewise the Greek style salad – masses of feta and black olives along with crunchy green beans tossed in sesame seeds and anointed with a balsamic dressing would easily have served two –but I wasn’t sharing.Bay Template

This is a little gem of a cafe, not only because it was low cost but also for the smiling, friendly staff – this definitely makes it onto my list of favourite places to lunch.

Tapestri, Llys Glas, Orchard Street SA1 5AJ Telephone 01792 469787



Garbo’s in King’s Road SA1 has made a name for itself in the past few years. It is renowned not only for its food but for its music and entertainment. So I was thrilled to hear that owner Lesley Jones had opened up another branch in Walter Road, and popped in for a quick lunch. It’s much bigger than you’d immediately assume from the outside.

The lunch menu ranges from sandwiches, Panini and homemade soups, to burgers and rustic fries and then cranks up a gear in the evening when head chef Laura Sait can really show her creative flair. Laura trained at the world class Tante Marie chef school in London before working in France as a private caterer. Expect to find fresh fish and steak on the evening menu along with some of Laura’s speciality dishes.

I was only here for a pit-stop lunch, but my smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich on wholemeal bread was positively luxurious and I’m encouraged to return to try out some of Laura’s signature dishes in the future.

Garbo’s Uplands, 55 Walter Road SA1 5PY Tel: 01792 449539



Bay TemplateThings are changing in the North Dock in Llanelli – Sosban has a completely new menu ready for the summer months. The dishes are lighter not only in the eating but also on the pocket, but with no discernible effect on the high quality that we’ve come to expect. The emphasis is still on the best produce available locally with Burry Port mussels and whitebait being two of the highlights we en-joyed along with golden whole grilled plaice that was spanking fresh and refreshingly unsullied with heavy creamy sauces – just perfectly cooked flaky fish. The slow roasted belly pork was served with perfect mashed potato, broccoli and a robust meaty gravy. Demolishing the accompanying basket of home-made bread meant that there was simply no room left for a dessert.

Look out in the future for our competition to WIN lunch for two at Sosban.

Sosban, North Dock, Llanelli SA15 2LF Tel: 01554 270020


Bay TemplateThe OJ Bus

I was contacted last month by a pair of students who have converted a VW T4 and installed a juicing machine and slush maker. Kirsten Robertson and Joshua Jones intend bringing organic orange juice to festivals, fetes and private functions. By the look of the reviews on their Facebook page they are doing something right.

“Friendly, lovely service, top job, fantastic product”

says one reviewer.

Look out for Kirsten and Joshua at events in the area or to contact them visit or call 07816643094



The lovely guys Andrew and Brennan at Mosaic in St Helen’s Road have had their website hijacked by some unscrupulous business aptly named – so please note that their new website is to be found at

All Articles