Wonderfully remote and gently idiosyncratic, this relaxed pub remains a firm favourite among visitors and locals alike. Tucked away in the verdant Towy valley between Carmarthen and Llandeilo, Y Polyn is all about classic flavour combinations, generous portions and zero pomp. That means no tablecloths, no obligatory wine pouring and fair warning that “sometimes it can be quite noisy due to the sound of people enjoying themselves”.
Almost everything the restaurant serves is made on the premises and readers regularly applaud the kitchen’s commitment to “high quality fresh Welsh produce”, which is carefully sourced by owners Mark and Sue Manson. Culinary inspiration comes mostly from Britain, with typical dishes including the likes of pheasant, partridge and pork terrine with pickled pear; pork with caramelised endive and black pudding; and Welsh sirloin steak with braised shallots, French beans and beef dripping chips. Veggie options are thin on the ground, but there are plenty of fish dishes for pescatarians.
After that, pear frangipane tart or ‘sort of lemon meringue pie’ await – or you can delve into the assortment of prime Welsh cheeses to go with something from the extensive wine list. “Very good value” is also guaranteed, with prices including bottled water and superb home-baked sourdough bread. Y Polyn might not scoop any prizes for innovative cooking, but for good, honest food served by genuinely friendly staff, it’s a clear winner.