THIS IS A FEAST FOR THE SENSES
KAREN PRICE STAYS AT A HOTEL THAT’S A SPA TURN
IT’S ONE of the UK’s most popular coastal destinations – so when it comes to finding a place to stay in Pembrokeshire, you’re spoiled for choice.
From holiday cottages to caravan parks and Airbnb to guest houses, camping and even log cabins, you can pretty much get whatever you want.
But if you’re looking for a destination hotel in the countryside where you can enjoy fine dining, spa treatments and get to key places easily, then Wolfscastle Country Hotel has got to be on your list.
In the village of Wolfscastle, it’s between the towns of Haverfordwest and Fishguard ( making it the perfect stopover if you’re heading by ferry to Ireland).
It’s also a short distance from St Davids and the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, so there’s much to explore on the doorstep.
And as it’s a dog- friendly place – the hotel has its very own cocker spaniel called Freddie – you can enjoy a break with your four- legged friend too.
TUCKED away from the main road, the hotel, run by husband and wife team Andrew and Mandy Stirling, dates back to the 17th century.
It was previously a cottage and a vicarage. Now, it’s been completely extended with a modern bar and restaurant as well as a brand new spa area, which is a real bonus ( more of which later). And while, in comparison, the new work makes other areas like the hallways look a little tired, there’s a rolling refurbishment plan.
We arrived just before 1pm on a Sunday and were told our room would be ready by 2pm so we went to explore the area for a while. However, on our return we still had to wait and then there was a mix- up with some clothes we had left there – but these small niggles were soon put right by the friendly and helpful staff and the rest of the stay went without a hitch.
Our double room was very spacious and had a little sitting area with TV and complimentary teas and biscuits and an ensuite bathroom with walk- in shower and separate bath. The room had gorgeous views of the countryside, including the remains of a castle on top of a hill.
ON THE MENU
THE sleek brasserie restaurant has been awarded 2AA Rosettes for excellence and offers lunch, dinner and afternoon tea ( which looked incredible) as well as the most hearty breakfasts – everything from the Full Welsh to kippers – for those staying here.
We had a dinner reservation on the first night and were thoroughly impressed with the meal. Starters are an average price of £ 6.95 and include dishes like chef’s soup of the day and smoked salmon and prawn salad.
My chicken liver parfait was gorgeously smooth and rich and the cherry and orange compote and herb roasted bread were the perfect accompaniments. My partner’s salmon fishcakes were also a hit and were served on salad with a chilli and coriander jam that really brought out the flavours.
The mains range from £ 12.50 for Welsh lamb shoulder to £ 21.50 for a 10oz sirloin steak but I was more than happy with my gorgeously tender duck slices served with beetroot, broccoli, asparagus and baby carrots. The beef stroganoff was also a hit. The meat melted in the mouth and the flavours were spot on, and not too spicy.
Our rich chocolate dessert with a berry sorbet and slices of honeycomb tasted as beautiful as it looked and was extremely indulgent. Afterwards we finished our drinks in the adjoining sitting area, complete with sofas and fireplace, a relaxing way to round off the evening.
THE NEW spa boasts a relaxation area with large windows overlooking the countryside. On offer is a range of treatments, including facials, manicures, pedicures and full body and scalp massages.
As a fan of hot stone massage, there was no other choice for me – and I convinced my boyfriend he’d love one too. He certainly did! After 30 minutes of pure bliss, our clever therapists had unwound the knots in our backs, necks and shoulders ( no easy task) and we felt like we were walking on air as we stepped back into the white fluffy robes they provided us with.
The spa area is such a welcome addition and there are now plans to install a hot tub too.
The chocolate pudding and duck with beetroot were as beautiful to look at as they were to eat
A comfortable room at the Wolfcastle Country Hotel