Wandering to the Wolfscastle in Wales:
It’s been many years since I have been to Wales, my family used to take holidays there during my childhood and I remember countless car journeys driving through the valleys on a rainy day, squabbling with my siblings whilst squashed in the back of my father’s Wolsey.
This trip was a much more peaceful affair and a wonderful opportunity to escape the stresses of city life and to breathe in the fresh air whilst discovering the beautiful Pembrokeshire countryside. We did experience the obligatory Welsh rain, however, we also managed to enjoy some moments of glorious sunshine too.
We were staying at the Wolfscastle Country Hotel, in north Pembrokeshire. It was a fairly straightforward journey from London – up the M4, fifteen minutes from the market town of Haverfordwest and 9 miles from the coast. We arrived after a long yet picturesque drive; we turned off the main road to find we ourselves in the driveway of this inviting boutique country hotel.
We were warmly welcomed by the friendly staff and shown to our comfortable and simply furnished room, with en-suite bath and shower, tea making facilities and a lovely view over the hills.
The Wolfscastle is a family run country hotel, brought in 1976 by Andy Stirling who along with his wife Mandy, helped by an enormous passion for food and extensive knowledge of the catering industry have created an award-winning hotel, now known for its culinary excellence. It has 20 rooms all with en-suite, a large function room, a luxurious spa, restaurant and a newly refurbished brasserie dining room and is surrounded by pretty gardens. The decor is an eclectic mix of old and new.
The Wolfscastle Hotel is renowned for their Observer Food Monthly Award-winning cuisine served in the two AA rosette stylish fine dining restaurant and contemporary brasserie. We ate dinner in the bustling atmosphere of Brasserie, which has been recently refurbished, decorated in modern hues of grey and greens with elegant checked furnishings. It’s great to see a small country hotel with such a strong focus on food, reflected in the choice of dishes and restaurants in addition to the excellent culinary skills in the kitchen
We were offered both the restaurant and the evening market menu and chose to eat from the restaurant menu, which provided a wide variety of tempting dishes using fresh Welsh produce from both the sea and the land. The food was exceptionally good and beautifully presented,
Both of our starters were highly inventive, I kicked off with a divine creamy goats cheese & horseradish mouse, complemented by the delightfully sweet flavours of caramelised beetroot and a playful white chocolate crumb.
My friend’s perfectly smooth and sumptuous sweet pea pannacotta was served with cured salmon and Little Haven crab all delicately infused with anise, and a fresh cucumber ketchup.
For my main course I enjoyed a deliciously tender lightly spiced fillet of beef stroganoff with a rich brandy and sweet paprika sauce served with aromatic rice & crunchy skinny fries. It is years since I have enjoyed a stroganoff quite so much!
My companion relished her bountiful bowl of heartwarming smoked haddock chowder enhanced by a touch of curry oil and some light crispy kale.
This was washed down their Wine of the Month, a perfectly chilled bottle of Duc De Morny, Picpoul de Pinet Coteaux Du Languedoc. A full-bodied dry white wine with green notes and fruit and citrus aromas.
Pudding was a sight to behold; the lovely lemon meringue pie was served with fresh berries, and a raspberry sorbet, which provided a great mix of tart and sweet.
On Sunday morning, after comfortable night’s sleep and a leisurely breakfast in the hotel restaurant, which offered a good selection of cereals, fresh fruit, yoghurts and cooked breakfast of your choice, I headed to the luxurious Beauty and Wellness Spa. There are plenty of treatments to choose from, and to be honest I would have happily spent the day indulging myself if I hadn’t also planned to see a few of the local sights.
I enjoyed a heavenly facial with my lovely and highly adept therapist Megan that put a spring in my step and a glow in my face.
Exploring Pembrokeshire from the Wolfscastle Hotel:
There is plenty to see and do in the surrounding area, with gentle or challenging walks along the Pembrokeshire coastal path in an area of outstanding natural beauty that blends the allure of sea with towering cliffs.
We briefly visited Fishguard, a charming ferry port, rather enchanting despite the Welsh rain.
Also on the far West coast is the city of St David’s, Great Britain’s smallest city. It was granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II because of the presence of the cathedral but St David’s is, in reality, a small attractive village. Set upon the site of an earlier sixth-century monastery built by St David, the patron saint of Wales, it has been the site of pilgrimage and worship for more than 800 years. Today this splendid building remains a vibrant, living church.
We arrived rather late in the day as the final church service was spilling out onto the hillside, but we managed to get a quick glimpse inside. I was overwhelmed by the enormity of this imposing yet magnificent cathedral, which has the most beautiful and serene interior.
For a change in atmosphere and if you fancy a trip to the seaside, I can recommend Tenby on the western side of Carmarthen Bay. It took us less than 40 minutes to drive there from the Wolfscastle Hotel to find one of the most iconic seaside towns in Wales. Tenby is surrounded by an imposing medieval stone wall and has stunning stretches of long sandy beaches lined with pretty candy box coloured houses and hotels along the seafront. The sun came out during our visit and we took a stroll along the beach and enjoyed a coffee at the impressive seafront bar and restaurant, it’s easy to see why it is such a popular destination for holidaymakers.
The Wolfscastle Hotel proved to be a wonderful location as is ideally situated if you want to explore Pembrokeshire.
Our room was clean and comfortable and the food was truly delicious, but what made our stay so especially enjoyable was the tremendous hospitality of their charming staff that made you feel very at home and that nothing was too much trouble.
The Wolfscastle Hotel is part of the Signpost group.
Signpost has been recommending the UK’s top privately owned hotels since 1935. All Signpost members are visited every year, to make sure top standards are maintained. Most are near areas of outstanding beauty with plenty to do or see in the area; many are hidden gems and all have award-winning cuisine. For more details and to receive news about great hotel offers, visit the Signpost Hotels Website
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Disclosure: I was a guest at the Wolfscastle Country Hotel. All content is editorially given.