Last spring, a bout of city fatigue left me dreaming of unplugged pleasures in the countryside. As showers fell in New York City, I charted a road trip through rural Wales—from Pembrokeshire to Snowdonia National Park to Anglesey—where windswept walks on empty beaches and tucked-away hotels with kitchen gardens seemed like the perfect antidote to my city blues.
I wrote about the experience for Food52, in a story called: I Found an Amazing Tomato-Rosemary Focaccia Recipe in Wales. The recipe that accompanies the story is courtesy of Halen Môn sea salt, which is made on the coast of Anglesey. Throughout my trip, I was constantly impressed by the quality of the food I encountered (and the fascinating people behind the food).
On Freshwater West Beach, there was a small food truck called Cafe Môr. Approaching from a distance after a seaside walk, I was hoping for a hot cup of coffee and maybe a snack, but was surprised to find a refined menu complete with a lobster roll bathed in seaweed butter. At Snowdonia Distillery, I sampled local gin made with ingredients foraged in the Welsh countryside. At the Marram Grass cafe, I feasted on mussels pulled from local waters.
Everywhere there were signs of spring. Wild flowers on the side of the road. Kitchen gardens planted and growing. And in the countryside, fields were filled with lambs. When I stopped for a stretch on a turn-off in the road, a local farmer said hello. He saw me looking into his fields at the grazing sheep and lambs, and invited me for a stroll.
We passed through a fence to where two-week-old lambs, fluffy as cotton balls, were finding their feet. He snatched one up and brought it over to me. Reaching my hand out to this newborn creature, I couldn’t have been farther from my regular city life.