Llanerch Vineyard Restaurant & Bistro
It was hard to believe that we were just a short distance from Cardiff, as we drove up the gravelled lane toward our destination. Nestled in a secluded spot amid spectacular countryside, Llanerch Vineyard is Wales’ oldest commercial vinery, and it’s absolutely gorgeous.
On entering the 18th-century farmhouse, we made our way to the rustic bar where we were greeted by welcoming staff and ushered to our table. Passing through the smart bistro area, we were seated in the light, airy restaurant – a recent addition to the building, which looks straight out onto the vines and far beyond. Decorated in muted colours and with atmospheric lighting, it was open yet intimate, elegant yet relaxed, and the scene was set for the evening ahead.
As we perused the select seasonal menu, we could see that we were in for a treat. To start, I chose the hand-dived Scottish scallops, which were juicy and cooked to a soft finish, with pea purée, bacon shards and crispy kale, while wine from the estate provided the perfect accompaniment to our meal. Just as we thought it couldn’t get any better, our eagerly awaited mains arrived at the table. My Welsh lamb rump, sourced from Duffryn Bach Farm a few miles away, was beautifully tender and worked wonderfully with the potato terrine and red wine jus. My partner sampled the local corn-fed chicken, served with fondant potato and a creamy fricassee of wild mushroom and leek, then finished with a delightful Parmesan crisp. To round things off, I indulged in sticky glazed pineapple with thyme and cinnamon, served with rum-poached pineapple, candied lime zest and refreshing lemon sorbet – the perfect palate cleanser. My companion opted for the equally tempting Chocolate Passion, comprising decadent chocolate ganache sprinkled with chocolate soil and crushed amaretti biscuits, with passion fruit gel and raspberry sorbet. The flavours and textures of both were perfectly balanced.
Llanerch Vineyard is dedicated to showcasing the very best Welsh ingredients, and everything, including the service, is executed to the highest standard. Blown away by our wonderful experience, my partner and I will definitely be returning to explore this rural retreat some more.