Our 7-hour trip to the Quay Hotel & Spa from South East England was an eventful one. The drama of the journey was mainly down to the fan belt of our car, which decided to snap in half as we were bombing along the M4. After many hours of phone calls, recovery services and some charming mechanics who set us on our way again, we were a little frazzled by the time we reached Conwy and the Quay Hotel.
A wedding was in full swing on one side of the hotel, which had us wondering whether dinner would be a hectic affair with the din of celebratory shenanigans serving as a backdrop. It was thankfully exactly the opposite. The restaurant at the Quay Hotel overlooks the Conwy Estuary, which was glittering against the darkening sky by the time we took our seats. Little sail boats bobbed about, whilst the cosy glow of light from the houses across the bay glimmered and winked at us.
The menu continued to take our minds off the stresses and strains of a broken fan belt with its offerings. Beef carpaccio and the smoked salmon (complete with lemon marmalade) started things off. The lemon marmalade almost managed to upstage the salmon, whilst the celeriac remoulade, which was served alongside the beef had a similar effect. It’s slightly hot bite, and creamy dressing turned it into a delicious mouthful and not just a pretty garnish.
We decided to wash our main meals down with some sparkling water (spot the driver), from no further afield than Conwy, and glass of Merlot, which came served at the perfect temperature and had my dear Mum in almost as much culinary rapture as her main course. The Welsh lamb of her choosing, came presented with a contemporary touch. Looking stunning on a plate, it was served with individual helpings of kidney, sliced lamb and the cutest miniature lamb hot pot, which sported some perfectly crispy sliced potatoes on top. The lamb, plus the wine equalled…well, happiness. My halibut meanwhile, reminded me why I should order this big hunk of a fish more often, with its gorgeously succulent flesh and firm texture. It was cooked as you could only hope for: perfectly, with that all-important crispy skin. The butter sauce was a delicious way to clog up the arteries and make your doctor grumble, but I didn’t worry too much as my local GP was a 7-hour drive away.
Which was just as well, as the puddings won on the flavour front, but probably couldn’t thin your arteries – exactly what you want from a dessert if everyone’s honest. We rounded our meal off with the custard tart (served with stewed plums and ice cream) and the crème caramel. Then we sat back in our oversized chairs, content with our lot as we watched the stunning view of the hills disappearing into the clouds. If your fan belt snaps during a 7-hour drive to Wales, this is definitely the kind of place you’d want to finally end up in.
The Quay Hotel: Deganwy Quay, Deganwy, Conwy, North Wales, LL31 9DJ. Tel: 01492 564 100
The Executive Rooms, Suites and Penthouses command breathtaking vistas of the Conwy Estuary, Castle and mountains at the Quay Hotel. Classic rooms benefit from views of the Deganwy Quay Marina or the hotel’s Zen styled courtyard. The majority of the bedrooms also sport outdoor seating allowing you to take in the stunning sea front views.
The Quay Hotel & Spa offers 4 Penthouses, with elegant boutique style furnishings. Amenities include a private balcony with spectacular seascapes over the Conwy Estuary. Rooms start from £105.00. For more information: http://www.quayhotel.com/
Reviewer: Helenka Bednar