Friday, 12 June 2015

Where to Eat in... Tenby

I've been to Tenby so many times, that it feels odd to review any of my usual haunts. Instead,  I thought I'd introduce you to a few of my fail safe favourites in my home from home. No visit to the 'Little Town of Fishes' (or Dinbych-yn-Pysgod to give it's full Welsh name) would be complete without stopping off to one or more of these brilliant eateries.

The Coach & Horses

The Coach & Horses is a bright yellow pub at the top end of Upper Frog Street. It's been a firm favourite of ours over the years that we've been visiting Tenby, and we've always tried to pop in whenever we're in town. I mean, if it's good enough for Dylan Thomas...

It's one of the cosiest pubs in Tenby and well away from the rowdier ones in the square. It ticks all the boxes on the good pub checklist, with great ales on tap, a log fire and an extensive jukebox.

The Coach & Horses boasts a large menu, one side full of traditional pub grub, and the other, surprisingly, of Thai food. The standard pub food is always a winner, especially the  'mega boozy cod' and the Dragon's curry, but the best meals I've had were from the Thai menu.

On our most recent visit, I had a garlic and black pepper prawn dish, which was gorgeous and so full of flavour! Plump juicy prawns, fresh vibrant veg and the sauce was so moreish I was mopping it up with everything I could.

We visited during lent, so I had given up meat, and I was pleased to see an abundance of vegetarian options on the menu. They would also replace any curry/Thai dish with Quorn pieces on request if possible, which I thought was a nice touch, and one which I didn't see replicated anywhere else during my forty days of hell vegetarianism.

For a chilled out night with a couple of beers and some hearty dinner, this is the one. However, if you feel like livening it up, they do sell absinthe if you're after a nightcap. I've always been too scared.

Plantaganet House

If you're after somewhere a little more fancy, try Plantaganet House. An unassuming little building from the outside, it's harbouring something more exciting behind those doors. Bare stone walls, beautiful iron candelabras and a medieval Flemish chimney make this an interior design dream. A perfect date night spot away from the rabble.

The menus, from outside, look like traditional seaside fare with colourful words scrawled over blackboards and handwritten menus adorning the walls. But contained in those menus are some pretty special meals.

Whole lobster and fresh fish of the day, alongside traditional Welsh lamb and butter roasted belly pork. An extensive wine list makes this the place to go if you want to impress. Be prepared to pay to impress however, as it's a lot more expensive than anywhere else I've eaten in Tenby town. It's worth it for a treat, however expect to pay around an eye watering £24 for a meat/fish based main.

However, that seabass biryani above though? Worth every penny - hands down the best meal I've eaten in Tenby.

Fecci & Sons Fish Bar

You can't come to the British seaside and not get fish and chips. It's the rule.

There are a few fish and chip shops dotted around, but we've always found Fecci's to be the best around. They've got an extensive menu, cook their fish fresh to order and also provide gluten-free fish and chips for those who require it.

Crispy batter that's not too greasy, hiding flaky white cod inside is always a winner in my book. A pile of highly salted-and-vinegared chunky chips on the side and a pot of curry sauce and it's heaven. Mushy peas if you're feeling virtuous, they're pretty good here too.

Look out for when battered Mars Bars are on the menu. Holiday calories do not count.

Top tip, get your chips wrapped up to take away, turn left out of the shop and then left again. Eat them on the benches there, staring out at the sea and over South Beach. It's the best view. Just watch out for the seagulls.

The Baytree

You can't miss the Baytree, in prime position in Tenby's Tudor Square. It's positioning not only makes it easy to find, but if you get a window table, the perfect place for people watching too. My favourite holiday activity.

The Baytree is the antidote you need when you get to that point on holiday where you just can't take anymore chips or anything in batter. Saying that, the calamari is pretty good, and the homemade aioli just excellent. Keeps the vampires away too.

With mains ranging about £15-£20, and starters around £6, it's a step up from the pub grub on offer throughout the town, but considerably less than the Plantaganet above. However, they always have a very reasonable early bird style set menu that makes this a very viable option for both lunch and an evening meal.

During the summer months, there's usually live music on weekends too, such as an acoustic guitarist or a singer. Unobtrusively enhancing the chilled out atmosphere, it's a great place to unwind with a bottle of red and some good local food.

These are some of my top picks, but there's so much choice in town that I've still not eaten everywhere yet! Any favourites of yours that I should try out? Let me know!

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