I decided to visit the Mulberry Inn after seeing the success they had after winning the North-East Wales pie competition and being awarded the winner of the ‘Large Accommodation provider’ at the Wrexham tourism awards.
The Mulberry Inn is situated in the quiet setting of Llwynmawr village in the beautiful Ceiriog Valley and is surrounded by beautiful Welsh countryside. I parked up around the back and took in the breath-taking scenery of the valleys as I walked around to the front entrance which was clearly marked and easily accessible. Daffodils surrounded the venue and spring lambs were playing in the fields, so I reminded myself how lucky I am to live in this part of North East Wales!
Upon entering the building we were greeted by a lovely young lady who took care of me and my friend efficiently and pleasantly, we sat at the bar and were presented with menus by a smart young waiter and he advised of the soup of the day (chicken and asparagus) and left us for a few minutes to get settled.
On the boards displayed around the place where descriptions of the wines available along with specials that the chef had on that day. On the bar was a small choice of known spirits and a few choices of draught lager and bottled beverages. The young lady took our drinks order as we studied the menu carefully. Our drinks arrived quickly and my choice of Merlot I quickly decided was a good one!
After a couple of minutes the manager came over the take our order, my friend was stuck between two choices…. The award winning ‘Battle of’ Crogen Pie' or ‘The Dafydd Burger’ which has been listed at Number 4 in the Welsh Food Bucket List; 100 things to eat in wales before you die! … Both dishes laced with welsh local ingredients I could see why it was a difficult one.
After careful deliberation and a discussion with the manager we decided the Burger was the best option, (who can resist a bucket list challenge!). We ordered ‘Olives in Oregano Dressing with Feta Cheese’ to enjoy with our drinks at the bar and once we had finished the appetiser we were shown to the restaurant. The smart young waiter took our drinks on a tray and showed us through to our table.
The restaurant is open plan with large windows showing off the surrounding views, the table was large and set with white linen napkins, fresh flowers and polished glasses. We were offered an ice-cold bottle of water for the table which was a nice touch.
It only took a couple of minutes for our starters to arrive, I had opted for ‘King Prawn and Chorizo sautéed in a garlic herb butter with fresh chilli and warm bread’ and my friend had ‘Baked Camembert with warm bread and crudités’.
The presentation of both dishes was picture worthy, the king prawn and chorizo was generous, the sauce had just the right amount of chilli to give it a good kick and the warm bread melted the salted butter and soaked up the remaining sauce from the dish. The camembert was baked to perfection, gooey and warm, it was served with a cranberry dip and baked with rosemary and garlic, served on a slate with a mini skillet it was the perfect size for one, with warm bread, celery and carrots to enjoy.
After our starters were cleared it gave me a chance to take in the atmosphere, around us the restaurant was filling up with hotel guests and casual diners. I noticed that the choice of music was calming and restful, loud enough to set the mood but quiet enough to have a conversation. The tables were large and spacious and we were not crowded, artwork on the wall was colourful and the candles were lit.
Our mains were served by a friendly professional waitress, I had opted for the ‘Ceirog Valley Duck’ – Duck breast and confit duck leg, served with garlic pomme puree, sautéed shallots, wilted Pak choi and a rich blackcurrant sauce. My goodness, the portion size was incredible, the duck was pink and the potato creamy, the Pak Choi hot and the blackcurrant sauce added vibrant colour and zest. I glanced across at the ‘Bucket List’ choice, ‘Welsh black beef – burger, rippled with laverbread and glazed with rarebit, topped with bacon and cockle fitters, served with crispy leeks and a ‘welsh dragon; sweet chilli dip!! Big, welsh and delicious! The rarebit oozed out of the burger and the bacon and cockle fritters were to die for! The waitress checked back on our main course and there were no complaints at all!!