I visited Swansea city centre for the first time on Saturday. Me and my husband were in the area for a birthday party so I thought we could have a nice wander around. However it wasn't really the day for wandering around, with biting winds and sideways rain.
I was told Swansea was badly damaged during WWII and it shows. Grey, 70's rows of shops sit next to beautiful Tudor buildings. We found ourselves round the back of buildings, in litter strewn alleys quite a bit, wondering where we were going. We found ourselves in a huge modern shopping centre with all the usual shops and then discovered another mall on the other side of town that felt like something from a post-apocalyptic world.
There was a cute little market in Castle Square (if you ignore the worrying, blood red water feature), and most of the stall holders were selling local produce or at least locally produced products. There was a good mix of local cheese, bread, cake, pasties, hand sewn and painted items with a Welsh theme, Welsh slate products - with added paella, pizza and brownies. (I tried to find out if this market is regular, but couldn't see anything online.)
*Edited to add that I've just found out that this was part of the 'Get Welsh Festival'! http://www.bigheartofswansea.co.uk/event.php?id=57
Being St David's Day, I was hankering after a Welsh cake. I spotted a sign that said 'GF available' and did my best, dignified 'squeal, jog, arm wave' approach to the stall. And predictably, they were sold out. The nice lady said that they deliver anywhere in the country and gave me a card - www.jloccasionalcakes.co.uk but it just ain't the same on any other day.
Down Whitewalls, which seems to be one of the main shopping streets, sits a very busy café called The Crepe Vine (we Welsh love a pun) and there was a blackboard outside saying 'Gluten Free No Problem. Soya Milk Here'. I wanted to go in (or at least try and find a table) but my husband was really not in the mood for a crepe. Which is fair enough I guess.
There are no contact details on the website, so if you're reading this guys - can you confirm what is GF?
The Crepe Vine
We then went into the fabulous indoor market and although I didn't spot anything specifically GF, this is still the place to go for amazing meat, fish, seafood and cheese. (I found my favourite cheese 'Perl Las', it's a meltingly soft and creamy stilton, definitely recommend).
The indoor market, spot the kiddies in traditional dress
No GF here. Oh, how I miss Corned Beef Pie!
Slightly out of town, we spied the legendary Rossi's Fish and Chip shop. I've read good things about their GF fish and chips.
If anyone knows of anywhere else in Swansea serving GF food, I'd love to know about it!
Download a Swansea map (PDF)