Cymru Culture

Articles / Erthyglau


(September 01, 2013)

Tenby / Dinbych-y-pysgod

 Tenby Harbour Sept 2013

My family and I have been visiting Tenby (Dinbych-y-pysgod) for years. Having stayed in a range of properties over the years - bed and breakfasts, three and four star hotels, and luxury flats and houses - I feel qualified to discuss and extol the virtues of this wonderful, quaint seaside town. We love the place so much, that we often make the pilgrimage to this beautiful, walled town two or even three times a year. Even in bad weather it's lovely ... it's hard to beat a brisk walk along the beach in heavy rain, in Wellingtons and all wrapped up against the elements, coming back to a warming drink in front of the log fires of the Quay Room, the downstairs/cellar bar at Plantagenet House. One of the other positives for us, is that it is only a one and a half hour drive from our home. And a mid-way stop in Carmarthen is always an enjoyable experience.

Tenby has a great mix of independent shops including: Jago - featured in a previous article in Cymru Culture - offers a wide range of quality clothing such as Superdry and French Connection; Equinox, with an eclectic mix of goods, including clothing and home accessories; TJ Hughes, a delightful independent department store, scattered over several buildings; and the Laugharne Bakery. Many familiar names are on the high-street (including Barclays; HSBC; Lloyds; Nat West; Santander; Boots, Greggs; Peacocks; WH Smith; Sainsbury; and Tesco), so if it's something unique (such as the beautiful and handmade, scented bath bombs and handmade jewellery in Jewellery Junkee in Upper Frog Street) or just convenience you're after, all needs are catered for.

One of the things Tenby is especially known for is its stunningly picturesque harbour. Many a pleasant hour can be spent watching the still-working harbour, with its various arrivals and departures bobbing past. Many of the local fishermen and women provide delicious, fresh ingredients for the restaurants in the town, with a visit to the fishmongers in the old Harbourmaster's office highly recommended, especially for their sweet, plump scallops.

Tenby/Dinbych y pysgodFlag of Pembrokeshire, flying on North Beach, Tenby


Tenby HarbourTenby Harbour

Tenby Harbour


Tenby's old lifeboat stationTenby's old lifeboat station

Tenby BeachCastle Beach, Tenby

The town is surrounded by a number of picturesque, and clean, beaches of golden sand, which can be enjoyed regardless of the season. Nearby is Barafundle beach (about 11 miles down the coast), recognised as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Tenby BeachTide coming in at South Beach, Tenby

Tenby, and the surrounding area, is becoming something of a foodie destination, offering wonderfully fresh, local and seasonal dishes and ingredients. Nearby, for instance, is the beautiful 'The Grove'. Just outside Narbeth, about ten miles north of Tenby, The Grove offers excellent food and service in its contemporary and stylish restaurant/hotel.

Back to Tenby ... the Tenby Indoor Market is a must. It sells a wide range of local produce, from seafood to locally baked cakes, meats, jams and preserves. We tried the locally smoked salmon from the fishmonger. It was announced with great pride as smoked in Newcastle Emlyn (another excellent place to stay - see previous articles on Gwesty'r Emlyn Hotel and photographic study of Newcastle Emlyn), which was deliciously rich and strong in flavour, a perfect and decadent breakfast, served on toasted rye bread.

Tenby Sept 10 Plant FoodNewcastle Emlyn smoked salmon, available from Tenby Indoor Market

Tenby now has its own deli. Opened in the summer of 2013 in High Street, The Tenby Deli has proved popular with locals and tourists alike. We made regular trips to this foodie destination during our recent stay, enjoying the excellent marinated olives, artisan bread and large selection of Welsh (and other countries') cheeses, we can highly recommend Perl Las and Perl Wen - both from Caws Cenarth. They also stock a good, and high quality, selection of teas, coffees, cordials and vintage-style fizzy drinks – I especially recommend the Rose Lemonade, if only for its stunning colour and beautiful vintage style bottle (not the point, I know). They also stock Welsh liqueurs, whiskies and other tipples, often offering the undecided purchaser a 'taster'. Certainly worth a visit.

The Tenby Deli

Eating establishments are plentiful in the town, with all budgets and tastes catered for. We have enjoyed excellent meals at the Blue Ball, Mykanos and Ocean Restaurant, however our favourite has to be the Plantagenet House Restaurant.

We have eaten many times at The Plantagenet, which can be quite pricey, but can highly recommend its excellent Sunday lunch, priced at £9.95. The Yorkshire puddings were huge, the home-made horseradish sauce rich and a wonderfully powerful accompaniment to the moist and generous slices of roast beef piled up on the plate, complimented by the excellent house Merlot (not included). In the week (and evenings), the menu is extensive, with at least three menus to choose from (delightfully designed by Dorian Spencer Davies, interviewed in this issue), its speciality being seafood.

A few steps from Tudor Square, where High Street and St Julian's Street meet, The Plantagenet may be Tenby's oldest house, possibly dating to the 10th century. Now quirkily furnished, its dark wood predominates. But they have plenty of candles and comfortable cushions, making for a lovely atmosphere, and very relaxed. Ask nicely, and they'll show you the 12th/13th century Flemish chimney (about 40ft tall) in one of their three dining rooms, if you haven't managed to secure the table within its hearth. We recently enjoyed an amazing meal there, of seared scallops with beetroot (to start), swordfish Niçoise and lemon sole for main, accompanied by excellent house wines, with liqueurs and beers reasonably priced. Whilst not the cheapest place to eat in Tenby, it is a must for people who appreciate seasonality and freshness. When the quality of the food is experienced first hand, it actually strikes me as well priced.

The Plantagenent


The Plantagenet

The Plantagenet

The Plantagenet


The Plantagenet

The Plantagenet

 At the Plantagenet House Restaurant, Quay Hill, Tenby

Claire Meredith, 1 September 2013

Links to restaurants mentioned above:
     The Grove, Molleston, Narberth, SA67 8BX:
          Tel: 01834 860915, website:

     Mykonos, South Parade, Tenby, SA70 7HZ:
          Tel: 01834 843355, Facebook: Mykonos Tenby

     Ocean Restaurant, St. Julian Street, Tenby, SA70 7AY:
          Tel: 01834 844536, website:
     Plantagenet House Restaurant, Quay Hill, Tenby, SA70 7BX:
          Tel: 01834 842350, website:
     The Blue Ball Restaurant, Upper Frog Street, Tenby, SA70 7JD:
          Tel: 01834 843038, website:


Also by Claire Meredith:
The Old Chemist Inn, Saundersfoot
; September 2013

The Bunch of Grapes, Pontypridd
; September 2013

Gwesty'r Emlyn Hotel, Newcastle Emlyn
; June 2013

Photographic study of Newcastle Emlyn
; June 2013
     Lake Vyrnwy Hotel; December 2012

     The Drawing Room, nr Builth Wells; December 2012
     3 Pen Cei Guest House, Aberaeron; June 2012
     Escape 5* B&B, Llandudno; June 2012
     The Bunch of Grapes, Pontypridd; June 2012
     Photographic study of Myddfai; February 2011
     The Crown at Whitebrook; February 2011
     The New White Lion, Llandovery; February 2011
     Ty Mawr Mansion Country House, Cilcennin, Lampeter; December 2009
     George Thomas Hospice 'Style In the City' event; May 2009



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