If you read my last post – What to eat in Wales – then you’ll be primed and ready for this next, boozy installment. And what I learnt on this part of trip is that although Wales is a place of natural beauty, it’s the people of Wales who make it truly amazing.
This time we were venturing into Mid Wales. A place perfect for Cheshire, Midlands and Brummy dwellers to get away to the countryside and quaint villages of this central Welsh region.
And top of the list to visit has got to be the village of Montgomery; a place steeped in natural beauty, great heritage and home to some absolute gems when it comes to eating and drinking.
Cheese Soufflé at Checkers Pantry, Montgomery
Where do I start with this place? Warm hospitality, a stunning and relaxed dining room full of hungry walkers and a lunch menu to die for. Warning; cheese is often centre stage at this lovely lunch spot once home to a Michelin Star. It’s fine-dining days might be behind it, but it’s still run by Kathryn and Sarah (part of the original team) and now focuses on luxury bed and breakfast, lunch and serves cakes and coffees throughout the day.
Their specialty – the cheese soufflé – is an absolute dream of sharp, baked cheddar tang with a creamy, light centre. Served with an array of freshly baked breads we also had a Ploughman’s board and roasted vegetable tart. After exploring Montgomery and it’s many delights we stayed the night here too. The room was so comfortable, and breakfast the following day was a sheer delight. Highly recommended.
Pint of Masquerade (4.6% ABV) at Monty’s Brewery
The owners and masterminds behind this fantastic brewery are Pam and Russ – honestly some of the nicest and most hospitable people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting since starting this blog almost 5 years ago.
Pam’s passion for beer making is so infectious, and since trying it a few years back (having previously been a teacher) – it turns out she’s pretty damn good at it. Her first ale won 3 Gold Stars at the CAMRA awards and since then other accolades just keep rolling in. Almost all of her beers have an award and their brewery is also a busy visitor’s centre firmly putting Montgomery on the map as a food and drink destination in the UK.
We tried the majority of their ales and on the whole were very impressed but my favourite without a doubt was a hoppy, force-carbonated real ale called Masquerade (4.6% ABV). The carbonation makes it a little colder and fizzier than a standard ale which I loved. The light, fruity flavours of this refreshing and original ale has got me wondering where I can get my hands on another pint now I’m back in Manchester. Very moreish and drinkable indeed!
An inspiring cup of tea from Morgan’s Brew Tea
How do you take your tea? A builder’s brew? White no sugar? Geoff, the owner of Morgan’s Brew Tea (specialist suppliers of loose leaf teas and blended infusions) makes his tea centre stage in a variety of creative recipes.
I’ve never met someone so passionate about tea as an ingredient but this man is a firm believer in the use of tea far outstretching our daily cuppa. He and his wife, Anne, prepared us some of their tea-infused creations including; a homemade loaf infused with sage and mint tea, tea braised ham hock and a stunning slow cooked beef stew with tea-infused rice. And that was just the savoury creations. We also tried upside down cake with tea-drenched fruits and a lemon drizzle infused with bergamot Earl Grey. It really was quite an eye opener!
And to drink, we tried many infusions but their hot toddy tea and rooibos with ginger and lemon peel were my absolute favourites. And top tip: use a cafetiere to brew your tea, they’re much cheaper than loose leaf tea pots and do an even better job of brewing. Thanks, Geoff!
Look out for Morgan’s Brew Tea as they be tour the food fairs of Wales from March 2019 onward and remember that tea is not just for drinking, so get creative once you’ve bought one of their amazing blends!
A note on walking in Montgomery
Need to walk off all that booze and food? Fear not, there’s a stunning walk around the grounds of the old castle, so you can get a blast of fresh air and see the village from the best viewpoint!
We did a shorter version of this one we found on Powys Ramblers but on a sunny day this would be absolutely perfect! powysramblers.org.uk/2015/05/05/powys-walks-montgomery-land-of-the-marcher-lords
I hope you’ve enjoyed my round up of all things Wales food & drink.
Do you have a place in Wales you’d like to recommend? Leave me a comment below and I’ll add it to my hit list!