Culinary Causerie

With Lesley Williams

The Mill Shop at Gower Heritage Centre

If you haven’t ventured down to the Gower Heritage Centre in a while you’re in for a big surprise. Gone is the shop selling beach balls and souvenirs and in its place is a fabulous little delicatessen. It’s home to Shed Head Cider run by Richie and Hayley Saunders who are artisanal cider makers who use apples handpicked from their orchard in Parkmill that are pressed in a cider press dating from the 1890s. The cider is then fermented and matured in oak casks.

The mill shop is the perfect place to pick up everything you need for a picnic on the beach, freshly baked pasties and sausage rolls, Wobbly Bottom cheese which is produced at the mill, a fab variety of local jams and pickles, Welsh crackers and of course cider. You can also pick up a cup of freshly brewed Gower coffee. I drink my coffee black and sometimes it can be a bit too strong and bitter – not here, this blend is smooth and rich with no hint of bitterness.

Also on sale is flour that is milled at the Heritage Centre’s own 12th century water mill – I’m going to be experimenting with my bread making using this locally produced flour.

There’s a lot happening at the Gower Heritage Centre so check out their website or pop down and see what’s going on.

The Mill Shop, Gower Heritage Centre, Parkmill, Gower SA3 2EH

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Gower Wildflower Garden Centre & Café

If you’re looking for a venue for lunch this summer, look no further than the Gower Wildflower Garden Centre Café. The outside seating space is spectacular and there’s also plenty of room inside if you prefer. We popped in for a quick midweek sandwich last month and found a seat on the sunny terrace.

Katherine and Robert Durber took over the Wildflower site last year, and since then they have made massive improvements and have made it a real destination.  The garden centre has been upgraded and now stocks a fabulous range of not only plants, shrubs and trees – look out for the exotic olive trees, but lots of pots and garden ornamentation – beautifully crafted willow sculptures and intriguing metal bird feeds. Very soon they will be launching a development of luxury holiday lodges which will be a fantastic addition to the Gower visitor accommodation.

But back to the café. The menu is simple; sandwiches, salads, baked potatoes and panini, but the quality is excellent. We ate a classic tuna mayonnaise sandwich and a chicken tikka and mozzarella panini – both came with a salad garnish and crisps and were perfectly fresh and had plenty of filling.

Not only is the setting superb but a special mention has to go to the staff, who were smiling, happy and attentive.

I have no doubt that the café will be expanding when the lodges become occupied, and hopefully we’ll see it open in the evening too. At the moment the café is open every day from 9 until 4.

Gower Wildflower Garden Centre and Café, Blackhills Lane, Gower SA2 7JN

 

 

 

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