The meal was a hymn to every little thing Gower. Canapes of welsh rarebit made with Gower Gold ale, and umami-rich pots of cockles with cheese, bacon and an ingredient I used to be newly transformed to – laverbread (not bread however seaweed).Then got here fats asparagus from Manselfold Farm, a few miles from our Airbnb, and maybe the peninsula’s best-known speciality, saltmarsh lamb baked in a single day, with bone marrow gravy, roasties and no fewer than six recent greens from Murton Farm, a number of miles within the different course. Dessert included gooey brownies laced with sloe gin from the Gower Gin Firm.The magican of this feast of Welshness was Greek. Chef Christos Georgakis first cooked at his father’s taverna in Piraeus, however has been benefiting from Gower components since settling right here 20 years in the past, successful awards for finest pub meals – on the King Arthur within the village of Reynoldston – and reaching the semi-finals of MasterChef: The Professionals.Throughout lockdown he supplied takeaways and now works as a personal chef (4 programs from £50pp), which has proved a preferred Covid-safe choice with holidaymakers like us – no mingling in busy eating places, no babysitter, no driving.Cockles and laverbread, with quail egg, by Christos Georgakis. {Photograph}: Colin BoulterThe Gower peninsula has a protracted historical past of fine meals, due to fertile farmland, gentle winters and miles of coast, and was self-sufficient till the twentieth century, as street hyperlinks had been so poor. However we’d been drawn to this fist of land west of Swansea by a mini explosion of latest foodie ventures combining conventional produce with prime Twenty first-century flavours: seasonal, natural, low-carbon…The arrival of Covid, at a time when a number of of them had barely obtained going, was a blow, however the temper amongst proprietors was buoyant as a home tourism increase and large demand for really native merchandise regarded set to maintain everybody busy after lockdown laws had been lifted.Fishy fantastic eating at Môr restaurant, MumblesIn October 2019, Matt Heaven and George Cooke fulfilled a longing to translate the low-fuss east London bistro concept to south Wales once they opened restaurant Môr (it means sea) in what had been an unremarkable Chinese language on Mumbles seafront. Regardless of costs larger than common for Swansea (three programs about £45), it was a success, as individuals noticed the worth of what they had been doing: making associates with fishers and farmers, shaping their menu round their finest components.They’ve a number of “lobster guys”, scallops come from the island of Lundy, and an area fishmonger alerts them when he’s “going bassing” off a Gower seashore. The meals could also be high-end, however the vibe is casual – our pleasant waitress was in cycle shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. A shock success in Elwyn, the bar they added up the street in 2020, was an ox-tongue sandwich, prompt by their butcher. Its chewy, house-made crisps had been unbelievable too.Mumbles may very well be the brand new Padstow, stated Matt and George, who raved in regards to the Iraqi kebab store a number of doorways away, with genuine Basra tabbouleh and hummus. This a part of city is known as Oystermouth, for its shellfish historical past, and oysters lately reseeded within the bay by Mumbles Oyster Firm ought to come on stream in a few years (till then, Môr’s oysters come from the Menai Strait). The opening of a 16-room boutique lodge at Oyster Wharf later this yr might seal the deal.Snugl, a wise new Airbnb studio in ReynoldstonWe self-catered on the brand-new Snugl, a wise, secluded studio – you’d by no means understand it was as soon as a storage – in Reynoldston, useful for a lot of foodie sights. Wild ponies graze the moorland round right here, and from Arthur’s Stone, a 15-minute stroll away, views stretch south previous Oxwich Bay to Lundy and north to the Burry estuary.South Gower’s seashores are beautiful, however for meals lovers the north shore, with its miles of marsh, is an enormous draw. We had been too early to assemble samphire at Whiteford Sands, with its cast-iron, wave-washed lighthouse, however loved watching the tide-canny sheep looking the tough floor.Sheep grazing at Whiteford Sands. {Photograph}: KM Lucas/AlamyThe dwelling of Gower saltmarsh lamb, 14th-century Weobley Citadel, is an attraction in its personal proper. Will Pritchard and household elevate 1,500 lambs a yr on marsh under the fort, the animals’ weight loss plan of sea lavender, sorrel and samphire giving the meat a novel flavour. The fort ruins stay formally closed however these visiting the store can wander informally round its partitions and retains. In regular years it’s an atmospheric setting for people and beer festivals – maybe in 2022. The lamb sells out yearly, with new-season meat accessible from July.Excessive-quality lamb would as soon as have been just for the wealthy, however a number of miles east in Wernffrwd is a shrine to what odd folks ate – cockles and seaweed. Data present the Jones household agency, Selwyn’s Seafoods, first paid tax in 1950, however on the cafe and customer centre they opened final smmer, Brian Jones advised me his ancestors had gathered cockles from the estuary lengthy earlier than then.Weobley Citadel with saltmarsh past. {Photograph}: Martin Bache/AlamyA {photograph} on the wall confirmed his mum, now almost 90, who “has picked extra cockles than anybody”, bent double with rake and riddle as a younger lady. The molluscs – nonetheless small after we had been there in chilly Could – are historically eaten with vinegar and pepper, and in addition accessible at Gower chippies such because the Roma Fish Bar in Penclawdd.Selwyn’s additionally sells what Richard Burton referred to as “Welshman’s caviar” – laverbread, created from Gower seaweed; however a slimy, darkish inexperienced blob along with your Welsh breakfast is difficult at first. It could have saved daylight-starved miners wholesome, however I discovered it extra acceptable the wimp’s approach: on sourdough toast with cockles on the Plough & Harrow pub in Murton. Selwyn’s now additionally has a machine from Japan to dry the algae into seaweed snacks – moreish, wholesome tasting and bought in packets like crisps. What subsequent, Gower sushi?Brian Jones with some uncooked Selwyn’s Seaweed. {Photograph}: Liz BoulterGreat meals tradition wants nice agriculture, and a Gower tour can soak up a number of inspiring farms. Within the far south-west, the Wales Coast Path runs by way of Paviland Farm, the place the Harry Thomas household’s dedication to “regenerative farming” additionally has advantages for guests. Its change away from intensive strategies has seen the clifftops change into extra walkable, due to free-range Welsh Black cattle trampling the brambles and bracken and permitting wildflowers to reappear. GPS collars maintain the beasts from getting too close to to people!Data boards clarify how diversifying into natural fruit, veg, buckwheat, quinoa and pumpkins permits extra built-in farming that offsets decrease yields. Its oats, for instance, go into regionally made vegan ice-cream. Verify @pavilandfarm for open days – the primary is in September.Hardy Welsh Black cattle graze clifftops in south-west Gower. {Photograph}: Stavros ApostolopoulosOne crop introduced sudden penalties final summer time. Chris Harry Thomas planted sunflowers – for oil and fowl meals – on Nationwide Belief land close to Rhossili. The flowers turned a social media sensation, with individuals coming for miles to snap themselves amongst fields of gold. Gower Seafood Hut, from Mumbles seafront, arrange an outpost right here to feed the crowds, whose £4 parking charges put the entire southern division of Wales Nationwide Belief on a agency monetary footing. The sunflowers will likely be in bloom once more from mid-July.Liam Connick does comparable work on smaller Killan Fach Eco farm, preserving pigs, sheep and hardy Black Rock hens, and producing solar energy on the market to native households. Guests are invited to stroll a nature path from its gate, with info boards and an honesty field promoting duck, goose and hen eggs. His subsequent plan is so as to add some glamping items.Sourdough almond croissants and raspberry swirls from Bogan’s BakeryJust as spectacular are self-taught younger locals Billy and Tash of Bogan’s Bakery, who’ve been making sourdough loaves, croissants and pastries at their home in Loughor since December and promote out on daily basis. Altering merchandise every month – together with a raspberry and almond swirl in summer time – they ship to vacation properties, campsites and bakeries (order on Fb or WhatsApp).A superb place to see a number of meals champions in a single place is Gower Heritage Centre, primarily based at a Twelfth-century watermill restored to grind Killan Fach’s grain. We browsed its Saturday makers’ marketplace for gooey brownies (made with Liam’s eggs and native butter) by Tir a Môr Bakes, goat’s cheese from current arrivals Alun and Angela of Wobbly Backside Cheeses and relishes from meals historian Chendore Luan, who additionally provides bread, pickle and cheese-making courses, when permitted. Extra options are reopening every month, so examine on-line.Gower Gin within the tasting room close to Port EynonOn our final day, we obtained within the temper for Christos’s feast at one other relative newcomer. Gower Gin Firm opened in fairly Port Eynon in 2017, and its transformed bike shed claims to be the UK’s smallest micro-distillery. The climate being moist, we had been glad of the glass-walled tasting room in house owners Siân & Andrew Brooks’s sea-view “gin backyard”, the place we spent a giddy hour making an attempt six award-winning gins: my favourites had been Dylan Thomas-themed Rhosili, with foraged sea buckthorn, gorse and linden flower, and a Christmassy Bara Brith selection. E-book free tastings on-line.We raised the final glass with a “Iechyd da!” – wishing “good well being” to all of the passionate producers safeguarding Gower’s meals future.Extra Gower food and drinks favouritesBeers from Gower BreweryLook out in retailers for Welsh Brew tea, from a Mumbles firm that blends Assam and Kenyan Purple varieties to make an ideal cuppa with tender Welsh water.Sally “Cupcake” Steadman opened her Gower dwelling bakery in 2019 and can ship scones with clotted cream, Welsh desserts or a bespoke birthday cake to vacation properties.Ask any native they usually’ll say their favorite beer is Gower Gold, from Gower Brewery in Crofty, made with barley from Paviland Farm. The brewery additionally lately added GG Gelato, made with Paviland fruit and bought at an ice-cream parlour subsequent to its Estuary Bar and Rooms in Penclawdd, opened in 2019.If you happen to’re coming to Gower from the north, refill on udder-fresh un-homogenised milk at Llaeth Beynon in Llanelli. When orders from espresso chains dried up in lockdown, the farm began promoting its milk from a merchandising machine simply off the M4, in reusable glass bottles. Going for a contactless milkshake from its machines turned a lockdown sensation.Drivers needn’t miss out on Gower ale: Mumbles-based Drop Bear beers was began by two – once more self-taught – twentysomething ladies in 2019, to convey “true craft” to the alcohol-free market, with a Yuzu Pale Ale, a tropical IPA, a stout and a beer. Purchase it at Cheers in Mumbles or on-line. Lodging was offered by Snugl (on Airbnb, £80 an evening, two-night minimal) This text was amended on 5 July 2021. Cockles are molluscs, reasonably than crustaceans as an earlier model stated.