In October 2007, I wrote the following post in an early blog of mine:
Eating-out in the 60s and 70s meant for many sampling the delights of that staple three course menu promoted by the Berni Inn restaurant chain:prawn cocktail for starters,then steak diane with chips and peas,finishing with black forest gateau and cream,and coffee. Wine if ordered would most likely be a bottle of the ubiquitous Mateus Rose or Blue Nun. So what was wrong with that, you may ask.
Tastes in food may have moved on but thirty-odd years ago there was not the variety and availability of food produce for the table, particularly for a popular and affordable establishment. Abundance of a kind required a very deep pocket from the diner at a top restaurant.
My attention was drawn recently,though,to the report by Frontier PR recently of the Porth Tocyn Country Hotel (above), on the Lleyn Peninsula near Abersoch ,which recently celebrated its appearance in the Good Food Guide for the 50th consecutive year. This still family-owned bastion of good food and service was first listed in the Guide in 1957. Owner Nick Fletcher-Brewer says that keeping high standards year-in-year-out has been the recipe for success – no dishes served in the beginning have survived,though. This is a pity. For those of you who would like to retickle your tastebuds with this retro fare, or experience what it was all about, you can see one revival recipe by clicking here for the prawn cocktail! http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/cuisine/european/english/prawn-cocktail.html
…and the Blue Nun? Well, I am told more bottles per annum are currently consumed than in its supposed heyday in the mid-80s, but then we are consuming more of everything today.’
So why have I resurrected this piece? Well,perhaps only to add that since 2007 I have tasted for myself the culinary delights of the Porth Tocyn Hotel on several occasions while staying there for short breaks. As I write over looking a spectacular view of Cardigan Bay and the Snowdonia mountains beyond, here we are again! Last night’s menu? Oh, an excellent ham hock terrine, with a mouthwatering Welsh beef main course to follow; and all helped down with a glass or two of the house merlot.If you are interested in this “little gem” of a place check out the details at www.porthtocynhotel.co.uk