Food and wine matching evening.

I had the good fortune to get hold of an exclusive ticket to the recent Six Course Gourmet Dining Evening in association with N D John Wines Merchants and Moet Hennessy at The New Gower Hotel, Bishopston, delightfully hosted by co-owner Linda Clayton-Evans, (Thank you Andrew Whitty for arranging my attendance!). Having not yet had the opportunity to try out their fine dining restaurant, Monroe's, since Linda and Executive Chef Mark took control of the venue, I was really interested to see what lay ahead for this special evening. 

I've known all the previous owners for the last 14 years or more, when the premises was named Winston's Hotel, and I was keen to see what slant Linda and Mark had introduced to ensure its long term success. As a hotel venue it has always appeared to be a great peaceful location away from the busy main road, but as a restaurant venue past history suggests it hasn't really delivered. 

You need a tradesman to sort an immediate problem at your home. You've called him and he's agreed to visit your property at a pre-arranged time. You may have even had to take a day off work, or had to change your arrangements for that day.

The agreed appointment time arrives, and there's no tradesman to be seen. What's more you haven't received a call from the said tradesman to say he's going to be late. Nothing. No communication. A blank. Thirty minutes later still no word. Your call goes straight to answer-phone. He never shows up. The cost to you? Maybe financial and/or maybe purely that of wasted time and inconvenience. Naturally, you are upset!

the front room café

Just in time for a busy season experienced Pâtissier Ben Cripwell and his equally experienced front of house business partner Ken Higgins, have taken on the front room cafe in Mumbles, and already they are becoming a go-to venue. Here we catch up with Ben and discover a few things you didn't know!

What was the first meal you ever cooked?
The first meal that I can remember cooking was during my teenage years. I was trying to lose a little weight at that time so I decided to become vegetarian. This was long before my passion for cooking, so I would have to say that it would have had to have been a very simple pasta dish with vegetables and a tomato passata.

I'm sure it won't have escaped your notice that the Taste Swansea logo has changed somewhat on this new website. Of course it's deliberate as we intend to slowly roll out the magazine further afield to take in West Wales, and the catchment area will also extend a little more north, with Hay-on-Wye being the invisible boundary. But before parochial readers become upset regarding the need to retain both Swansea and West Wales in the logo title, there are good commercial reasons why this is the case. This is why we made the changes in the way we did...

For those of you who have followed the magazine since its inception in 2015, you will understand that the brand Taste Swansea has always been supported by an active website. The website has therefore three years worth of search engine optimisation, and by merely changing the title of the url/domain we stand to lose all the traction that those three years have built-up. As the owner of the magazine, I'm not prepared to do that regardless of the circumstances.