Conwy is a special place. I have been visiting the Conwy area of the North Wales coast for over 30 years. The town, the coast and the area of Snowdonia National Park that it adjoins resonates with me, as a poet, And in the silences in between.

From childhood holidays, sandcastles on the beach that stretches almost as far as Anglesey, to the shimmering sunsets in Summer and the haunting light over the sea in Autumn.

My parents have a static caravan near Conwy nestled under the lower Snowdonia hills with a view over the sea.

Conwy is a small fishing town with a famous castle, and a quaint Cornwall like harbour that is big on fish and has its own food festival in October. It’s a charming town and very popular in the Summer months.

Ruth and I visit often and on this occasion we were there to celebrate my Mums birthday.

Watsons Bistro is our go to place in Conwy, as it’s superb for vegetarians. They regularly change their options and they are always creative and use the best market fresh ingredients sourced locally and at their best, bang in season.

All Watsons food is made in the premises from the bread to the ice creams and sorbets. It’s a lovely, cosy and light restaurant that cares about its welcome and the food it serves.

Watsons Bistro is nestled under part of the historic town walls of Conwy and is a delightful and friendly family run restaurant.

As I’ve said what makes Watsons stand out from other restaurants for miles for me is its superb vegetarian dishes. Watsons offer all vegetarian starters as mains and mains can be made up as starters. They also adapt some of the other dishes for vegetarians too.

Watsons is split into two rooms, one larger room and one conservatory area which is lovely in the sunshine or in candle light. This overlooks a small courtyard which is used in the daytime.





One of the first issues is deciding what to order as their are numerous tempting choices.

We were brought initially some home made bread. For my starter I ordered:

The Ragout of seasonal girolle mushrooms, puy lentils, leeks and soya beans in a mini cob with brandy cream.

It was a lovely dish the deep flavoured mushrooms blended with the lentils and brandy cream created a harmonious texture that sitting inside the warm cob made an indulgent starter.



For my main course I ordered:

Ripe oven baked Perl Wen Brie, with a sweet roast potato, celeriac, home made tomato chutney.

I enjoyed this dish, the local Welsh Brie has a lovely mellow flavour that complimented the sweet notes of the roasted sweet potato that sat next to it. The tomato chutney gave the dish a spicy bite that was delicious, and different. I liked the oven baked Brie, as it gave to a really substantial main course.

All main courses are served with seasonal vegetables and potatoes to share amongst the table. So go to Watsons with an appetite:)




For desert I ordered

A hot chocolate fondant with sour cherry ice cream.

The fondant was delicious, gooey, runny, with a deep chocolate flavour one of the best I have had anywhere. The rich chocolate set against the sour cherry flavour of the ice cream showed a good technique and the fondant as executed perfectly.

We were also given a vegan brownie that was delicious as an extra.




Eating at Watsons is a truly memorable experience that sets it apart from many of the other restaurants in the area. For vegetarians it is unique in that the options are varied, creative and interesting rather than the pasta, risotto norm. The portions are of a good size, a proper dinner you may say and of excellent value for the price.

Watsons is an example to the region in its market fresh and seasonal ethos which uses the superb produce that can be found in Wales well and in interesting ways.

I’ve been a number of times and haven’t had the same dish twice. The standards are always high, from the warm friendly service to the presentation and care in the food.

For delicious and seasonal dishes Watsons Bistro in Conwy i think is the leader on the North Wales coast.

Visit Conwy, for the scenery, for the castle, but visit for the food which is as first class as the welcome.

Watsons Bistro
Chapel Street
Snowdonia National Park
Ll32 8BP
North Wales


01492 596326






Disclaimer: we paid for our own meal and all opinions are my own and an honest assessment of the food we ate.



The Ethical Chef and The Green Gathering Festival 2014

I encountered The Ethical Chef only a few weeks via Twitter and then through his superb website http://www.ethicalchef.co.uk

The Ethical Chef was created in 2010 by Deri Reed. A chef specialising in vegetarian cuisine and one extremely passionate about food, health and the environment.

Born in Carmarthen near Cardiff, Deri Specialises in organic veggie cuisine, he is the ‘chef du jour’ and creates ingenious Welsh recipes from the ingredients on his doorstep in Cardiff. He was trained at Veggie restaurant Cafe Paradiso in Cork, Ireland, and offers a Supper Club for £17.50 for three courses which is available at select venues throughout the year in Cardiff and at Festivals and featured at Cradiff’s street food festival and Abergavenny food festival.

He can also be booked for weddings, events, food festivals and can be seen at Cardiff’s riverside market Sundays 10-2pm.

The Ethical Chef use compostable and biogradable packaging and plant starch cutlery which minimalises our impact on the environment. Deri sees the reduction of food waste as imperitive to a balanced environment and vegetarianism is key to this.

For his recipes and supper clubs he uses seasonal, organic and local where possible ingredients to create sumptious vegetarian and vegan food.

The Ethical Chef appeared at Glastonbury 2014 and created dishes such as foraged fruit in an elderflower syrup on yogurt and museli and an organic smoked chilli on a bed of herbed bulgar wheat, Glastonbury chedder and Yeo Valley yogurt with fresh corriander.

These dishes won The Ethical Chef the peoples choice Green Traders of Glastonbury 2014 award, a major achievement via Twitter.

They will be there again next year to cook up a storm.


The best part of The Ethical Chef website in my opinion is the directory of recipes that make up the Vegetarian ethos of Dewi Reed.

These recipes are available on http://www.ethicalchef.co.uk/recipes or many of them are available on You Tube. http://www.youtube.com/user/TheEthicalchef

Some of my favourites are

1. Vegan Carrot Cake recipe: http://www.ethicalchef.co.uk/recipe/carrotcake-vegan

2. Vegan Courgette Cake: http://www.ethicalchef.co.uk/tagged/vegan courgette cake

3. Butter Bean Cassolet: http://www.ethicalchef.co.uk/recipe/embassy-cafe-butter-bean-cassolet

4. Glastonbury Chilli: http://www.ethicalchef.co.uk/recipe/glastonbury-chilli

There are many others on the website and online.


The Ethical Chef will be appearing at the forthcoming
Green Gathering Festival from the 31st July-3rd August 2014 in Chepstow, Monmouthshire. Wales.


The Green Gathering are a charity that promotes education for sustainability powered by wind-sun-people.

It’s a small festival focusing around all the things that The Ethical Chef stand for. They will be feeding all the hungry people with a supper club throughout the festival. It’s an award winning family friendly festival

For ticketing information and pricing see the website http://www.greengathering.org.uk

For the line up and what’s on see also the website or see twitter for the latest news.

The supper club will be vegetarian and vegan three courses for £17.50.

They will also be serving up CoalTown coffee roasters fair trade organic single origin coffee.



The work of the Ethical Chef is in my opinion to be applauded in our society today. The ethos and attitude, to all things green and to vegetarianism and veganism is singled out in the lovely recipes and awards that Dewi and his team have received.

It would be great to see one of The Ethical Chef’s supperclubs come to The Midlands and maybe Birmingham, well hopefully one day that will happen:)

For further details of the work of The Ethical Chef see the website http://www.ethicalchef.co.uk or twitter @TheEthicalChef