Food Swansea

Cornish Pasties in Swansea, Wales

When I moved to Swansea in Wales last September, I wondered where I might find a decent pasty. I’m Cornish, so it’s one of the things we tend to think about.

I scouted around the various bakeries in and around Swansea’s city centre and market, and was not impressed with what I saw. I sampled one or two, and they seemed to contain a mixture of corned beef (which should, in my humble opinion, be made illegal) and grey matter, surrounded by flaky pastry. So, writing off the idea, I mentally labelled Swansea pasties as “Unnatural” and tried to forget about it.

That is, until we were walking to meet our friends Matthew and Amy, who write the Living in Swansea blog. Whilst walking along Bryn-y-mor Road, like a shining beacon, I spotted a sign. And the sign read “The Gower Pasty Company”. I felt that I had been saved. Sadly, at that time of day it was closed, so I had to contain myself and visit it another day.

And come back we did. This photo shows the bucolic display of a basket of pasties flowing out onto a wooden bench next to a sheaf of corn. A sign advertises that some of the baked wares come direct from the Crantock Bakery, which is a good thing in my opinion.

Upon entering the Gower Pasty Company, I learned that as well as selling pasties from Cornwall (in a variety of flavours) they also make their own Welsh black beef pasties, and Welsh Gower lamb pasties. Now, these both contain carrots, so I should warn any Cornish people or pasty┬áconnoisseurs┬áto avoid any untoward shock (proper Cornish pasties never have carrot in them. But these are Welsh pasties, so I feel it’s allowed).

Sadly, they had run out of these tasty-sounding Welsh pasties, because, according to the purveyor of oggies behind the counter, they can’t keep up with demand. Their kitchen did look quite small. So, they are in discussion with the Crantock Bakery to import their ingredients to Cornwall, have them made there, and shipped up with the other pasties. That sounds like a good idea.

I ended up with a normal beef mince pasty, but it was tasty and seasoned just right. Tehmina had a steak and stilton one, and she enjoyed it very much. The pastry was just right on both of them.

So, finally, I can officially say that the best pasties in Swansea are from the Gower Pasty Company on Bryn-y-more Road. If you like proper pasties and live in Swansea, then next time you’re in town nip down there and support them.

Proper job!

Photography Swansea

Swansea Waterfront and the view to Mumbles at dusk

Swansea Waterfront and the view to Mumbles at dusk
Swansea Waterfront and the view to Mumbles at dusk
The view across Swansea Bay towards Mumbles is beautiful, and this is as close as I can get to recording how it really looked at dusk this evening.

This photos was an experiment with a long exposure to get that glassy look to the sea paid off. Taken as RAW at ISO100, this was a 30 second exposure at f/18.0 on a Canon 550d, developed in Lightroom.


Moving to Swansea

The Meridian Tower and its reflection, Swansea

After a year living in London, and enjoying its multifarious opportunities, Tehmina and I have moved again. We have left the country. England, that is.

Our new home is Swansea, in Wales. Tehmina has started a new job at the University of Swansea’s Department of History and Classics looking at the “local and global worlds of Welsh copper”. I continue my role at Wessex Archaeology working remotely and travelling in to WA’s Salisbury headquarters a couple of times a month.

This is totally new territory for both of us, and we’re really enjoying Swansea so far. We are lucky enough to live close to the sea, and words cannot express how wonderful it is to see it every day.

A word of thanks must go out to the authors of the Living in Swansea blog for chronicling their experiences of moving to here, and for some reassuring replies to my comments!

I have also moved this blog away from a shared hosting environment to its own virtual server (OK, so still shared a bit). I am also going to make more time for writing. There’s something about being by the sea that makes me feel more creative!