By Nathan Lloyd
That inevitable phone call comes – “We’ll come and see you! Just before Christmas, we’ll pop down to bring your things home. You can show us around!”
At which point you’ll be regretting spending most of your first term in the Tav, the Mill or the Brunnie. Except of course, YOU have read this article, in which case you’ll be able to comfortably come back to mother and father dearest with a handy list of places to stop by with a rough price guide in tow! Tidy, as the locals say.
Fine dining £££
A relative newbie, Slice offers fine dining Sketty style. Owned and run by Adam Bannister and Chris Harris they’ve already garnered the attention of the Michelin Guide and the Good Food Guide (your mother may even have seen Adam on the Great British Menu). With the lunchtime 3 course menu starting at £30 a head you’ll be eating well but not bankrupting them before Christmas. Expect mackerel, bass, pigeon and steak to be on the menu, cooked with a local flair. It’s a small restaurant so you’ll need to book in advance and make sure your party is on the intimate side.
Fine dining £££
Make sure they’ve brought a car for this one as it’s at the other end of the Gower near Bury Green. Fairy Hill offers some of the best dining in Swansea and is situated in one of the most scenic areas of South Wales. After you’ve taken them to Rhossili to see Worm’s Head, remind them that their faith in you is not misplaced by booking a table. With AA and Good Food Guide recommendations, this one is simmering under Michelin Star so won’t totally break the bank but will mightily impress. Courses are exceptional and quite generous for fine dining – tell dad “no jackets required” but don’t rock up looking like you’re recovering from the night before.
The Grape & Olive
Restaurant & bar ££
What trip to Swansea would be complete without a jaunt up the Meridian tower to soak up the view from the tallest building in Wales? That might not sound like much but given the expanse of Swansea Bay and the surrounding hills the sight is one to experience and savour. Owned and run by SA Brain’s, the G&O offers a large menu of upmarket pub food – so expect fish, pasta and steaks etcetera. The food is a little pricey for pub food, but that’s to be expected considering you are paying in part for the view. I would personally take them up to the top for coffee, regale them with stories of long hours spent in the library, beavering away at your assignments and use the view to avoid awkward conversations about overdrafts and how the shadow of the tower is decidedly phallic in nature.
The King Arthur
Pub lunch ££
This is a real gem, nestled in the heart of the Gower and very, very popular with locals for everything from Saturday lunch to full blown weddings. The King Arthur is a proper old fashioned country pub that does great food and has a brilliant atmosphere. Curl up in the front bar next to the log fire and soak up the Swansea atmosphere or chat to the staff about King Arthur’s stone (a local legend) or about that time Elijah Wood came there to drink, while you’re waiting for some reasonably priced pub grub. The menu is stocked with some corkers – the bangers and mash is always made with local sausages while the lamb burgers are worth the drive by themselves – go off piste with the specials menu if you want a wider range of fish or meat dishes. Beloved by TripAdvisor and anyone with any sense, you’ll leave with smiles on your faces and the belt knocked down a notch or two.
Joe’s Ice Cream
If you don’t take them anywhere else, make sure you stop by Joe’s Ice Cream parlour at the bottom of St Helen’s road to sample a true Swansea treat. South Wales has a long history with Italy as thousands of Italians flocked to the region during the Industrial Revolution to start a new life. They opened cafes, chip shops and ice cream parlours, many of which are still around today. You could try Verdi’s or Fulgoni’s ice cream, but show your true Swansea affinity and take them to the best. Joe’s is a rich and creamy ice cream that comes in a variety of traditional sundaes and cones, best eaten on a warm summer’s walk along Oystermouth road, but blustery autumn strolls are good too. Make sure you warn them not to be too ambitious – it’s so creamy you may want to book a coronary bypass in advance.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]