Under the Castle…..what a pretty image this phrase sums up, made even more magical by the Welsh language. Tan Y Castell Bakery. The Bakery Under the Castle, it sounds both beautiful and delicious! Welcome to an amazing Around Tenby success story.
“They taste like a scone and a pancake had a baby”. A perfect description of the perfect Welsh Cake.
When you taste Wales, really taste Wales. You’ll be hard pushed to find a more unique and delicious item to sample than a Pice Ar Y Maen or Welsh Cake. There is a time of day, morning or afternoon, when a hot drink is just heaven, but to really perfect it requires something. Something sweet, definitely something crumbly, biscuit sized but more substantial. Cake-like, but not an actual cake, scone-like but not scone sized, fruited but not heavy. The fluffiness of a sweet pancake, but with a slightly drier, less spongey mouth feel.
And most definitely with the taste of Wales through and through, traditional and true. What you need is a proper Welsh Cake (or two), cooked on a griddle to an old family recipe, handed down through generations.
The story starts over twenty years ago. Paul and Linda Mear began in their farmhouse kitchen under the stunning Preseli Hills, in Pembrokeshire. Their spare time was spent making their gorgeous little Welsh Cakes on an Aga, twelve at a time. Their business flourished selling the much loved and tasty little cakes to local shops. By 1998, demand was outstripping their kitchen and hand-mixer.
They needed a purpose-built bakery. It was very important to the couple that they kept the handmade ethos of their Welsh Cakes, but with updated production methods to allow supply to meet demand. With specially designed equipment to replicate the hand-mixed traditional taste of their baking, they were able to produce consistently perfect products, add to their range and expand.
Today, Tan Y Castell is still a family business, with three bakery units in Narbeth, at the West Wales Business Park, employing over 100 local people. They produce an incredible 28 million Welsh Cakes per year and sell via the big five supermarkets nationally, as well as their Bakery Shop and a host of independent retailers.
The online offering proved a huge success during lock-down as regular visitors to Wales sought out Welsh favourites, reminding them of happy holidays while restrictions prevented travel.
The family’s commitment to taste and tradition means that anywhere in the world can enjoy the taste of Wales. They have even sent their products as far afield as Japan and Australia. Another quirky fact about this great local business is that they hold a Guinness world record for the largest ever Welsh Cake!
The centrepiece of the range will always the perfect, award-winning classic Welsh Cake, warmed or toasted and buttered with the best salted Welsh butter. Or if you are a purist, plain and broken into quarters, nibbled between each sip of tea. For the decadent, go for Welsh Cakes dessert style.
Absolutely divine warmed, stacked and served with ice cream and Welsh honey. A Welsh Cake is also a perfect carrier for flavour. Tan Y Castell Welsh Cakes come in seasonal favourites. The lovely Christmassy taste of Winter Fruit and Spices.
The sweet citrus freshness of Springtime Orange and Honey. Fresh and fruity Summer Strawberry and White Chocolate. Autumnal richness and warmth from Ginger and Dark Chocolate. When the nights are drawing in, what could be better? These limited editions sell out quickly. Each season fans greet them with delight.
The yummy Lemon Split or Chocolate Chip Griddle is available year-round. This is a thinner recipe of Welsh Cake perfect for those who don’t like fruit or just want something different. Tan Y Castell also make beautiful biscuits. Their heavenly Welsh butter shortbreads also come in chocolate chip.
With skills like these of course they make a superb Bara Brith, in loaf size and slices. Bara Brith is a traditional farmhouse rich fruited tea loaf. The vine fruits are soaked in tea, and the recipe contains marmalade and spices.
All of the products can be ordered online. If you are Around Tenby, Tan Y Castell products can be found easily. We never leave Tenby without a good supply! If you are out and about on Upper Frog Street, just slip into Team Tenby favourite Loafley to get your fix. Perfect to tuck in to down by the harbour with a gorgeous sea view.
Due to the success of Tan Y Castell many national supermarkets carry Welsh Cakes from the brand. As you enter the bakery aisle in your local supermarket, keep an eye out. You may just see the famous blue and red Tan Y Castell packaging peeping over the stand. Dash home and put both the kettle and the grill on. You are in for a treat.