Café Hay: Between a cafeteria and a café
The Café Hay is in a building attached to the Craft Centre complex, close to the tourist information and the main bus stop. Since there is also a large parking lot nearby, it was really busy.
It's a mixture of a cafeteria and a restaurant, you order your food and take it to your table, but anything which has to be prepared fresh will be brought to you. The staff were always friendly, even when a large group of bikers came into the café and things got very busy indeed.
I had an excellent Spanish Omelette, very good and not expensive at all.
They have seating both inside and outside, but not too many tables alltogether.
Shepherd's: Sheep's milk ice cream .. and the best coffee
An ice-cream parlour that, as its name implies, specialises in sheep milk ice-cream.
So... the four of us were eating a delicious ice cream, and I, never satisfied with the moment, was reading out the menu of other possibilities. I described how all the ices were made with sheep milk, and my friend, only half-listening, said she 'wasn't going to have one of those '. I refrained, at that point, from pointing out that they all were made from sheep milk. (You may be interested to learn that my friend is a woman who has posters of sheep on her walls!)
The ice creams? Delicious flavour and texture. The coffee, crucially, is very good and strong. They also do sweet waffles, toasted bara brith and lovely looking cakes. There's a tempting shelf where fripperies, such as sugared almonds, are displayed for sale.
An old fashioned look to the place - very slightly 1950s 'Lyon's Tea House', and this adds to the charm. My picture shows the outside of the shop - you'll find it next to a jeweller's shop in Castle Street. The outdoor seats are set by the market square, so you can have your coffee while watching the tourists hunting down books.
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Blue Boar: Pub Grub
I was attracted to this pub because of the literary connections of the name (the pub in Agatha Christie's St Mary Mead is the Blue Boar).
It serves a typical pub selection: pasta, chilli, steak etc. We tried the traditional Welsh cawl (a type of lamb stew) and a ham salad. Both were good.
Favorite Dish: Cawl is a traditional Welsh lamb stew.
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The Granary: Go upstairs for a bit more room
Oh this is a wonderful restaurant. It is cafe style so you get a tray and get in the queue. The food is far from usual cafe fare. It is vegetarian and there are tons of choices.
Favorite Dish: I can't remember what I had, but I know I loved it. I passed on dessert, but wish I hadn't.
Baskerville Arms: Tuesday Night is Curry Night!
The Baskerville Arms is a hotel/pub/restaurant in the village of Clyro, just outside Hay. As well as the usual pub fodder (I had an excellent home made chicken pie), they also serve indian specialities. The fish curry was delicious, even if they did bring me a poppadum when I asked for a naan!
Favorite Dish: The fish curry - delicately flavoured and very unlike the usual pub offering.
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The Blueboar Hay-on-Wye: POOR VALUE FOR MONEY
I have been to this restaurant several times, including a 'big do' for my father's funeral.
I went again on 15th September 2012 and was very unimpressed on several accounts:
The service was slow and when the food arrived, the portions were small and very mediocre in quality. The Lamb Tagine with 4 x 2cm square pieces of meat swimming in a bland source, accompanied by a more than usually dry couscous with a gesture sprinkling of parsley on the top, amounted to £13-95. (I never mind paying this if the quality is good, but this was 'pub' food of below average quality so anything between £9-00 and £10-00 would have been nearer the mark)
The dull chicken curry had about the same amount and dimension of meat with a small portion of rice. £12-95
Pale Lemon Torte on a white plate with a scattering of white icing sugar......not attractive!
The place was very noisy due to an 80th Birthday Party celebration. Is this a reason for the poor food and even worse value for money?
Favorite Dish: I don't know anymore.
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The Blue Boar: Vegetarians don't bother
I recently went into the Blue Boar in Hay on Wye lured in by the promise of Sunday roast with vegetarian options. I was told, however, that the roast was off and I had to choose from the main menu or the specials board. Ok no poblem. Specials board first- Oh nothing vegetarian on there. Never mind - main menu. Lets see I have a choice between two cheese dishes or veggie suasages so, as I can't eat cooked cheese I'll go for the sausages. Served with potatoes adn salad. What came was in fact a kind of fried cheese patti served with the tiniest portion of potatoes I've evr seen, a meer garnish of salad rather than salad and, of course, jam.
So I went up to complain politely and was told that these sausages were Glamorgan sausages so I shuld have known they would have cheese in them. No option then but to pay £9.50 for a meal I couldn't eat and go home and cook.
I asked why there were no veggie options that weren't cheese and surely there was something in the freezer for the Sunday roast I could have had? No the Sunday roast for vegetarians was cheese suasages too.
Please, for any restaurant owners, chefs or creators of menus reading this. VEGETARIANS DON'T JUST EAT CHEESE. In fact many vegetarians don't eat cheese at all. What vegetarians want from a pub meal is what meat eaters want - a hearty, substantial tasty dinner without jam on it. And in case readers can't imagine what a vegetarian meal without cheese and jam might contain here are some ideas - beans, lentils, tofu, soya protein (veggie mince) quorn, eggs. Thank you.
Blue Boar Pub: Avoid like the plague
I have eaten in the various restaurants and pubs around Hay-on-Wye for over 30 years now. A few years ago I would have rated the Blue Boar as one of the best places to eat in Hay. NOT ANYMORE! I went in with my partner for a meal Jan 2009 and the first thing that struck me was the apalling service. The bar staff had no concept of who was next to be served and I saw people just walking out muttering that they had been waiting for half an hour and were being ignored while the bar staff immediately served people who they knew who had just walked in. When I eventually got served the dithering lady who served me seemed to have no concept of how to use the till or PDQ machine. After about eight tries and four cancelled transactions we eventually managed to order. 40 minutes went by........ my partner and I had ordered bangers and mash. Mine to be fair was OK however my partners mashed potatoes were freezing cold in the middle (had obviously been superficially microwaved) we brought this to the attention of the rather sulky young dark haired waitress who took it off and microwaved it again. she gave no apology whatsoever and seemed rather annoyed to be bothered. We should have learned from this but were back at Easter. Because I have had excellent meals there in the past we decided to give them a second chance. Half of the menu was unavailable. I foolishly chose the curry option (always risky in a pub) again the dithering lady couldnt work the till. The curry was vile. Boiled white rice that hadnt been drained properly sitting in a pool of grey water. A half cooked poppadum and the watery grey chicken casserole (no spice) looked like it came out of a tin! Seriously I have had better from a foil packet on camping trips. My partner chose faggots with mashed potato. Again the mashed potato was freezing cold in the middle. We didnt bother complaining this time. I was also astonished to overhear the grumpy young dark haired waitress, lecturing the elderly couple next to us, on how she hadnt given them very many vegetables because she didnt want them to waste them!!! It gets worse...... 15 minutes after my meal I was rushing to the bathroom. The meal cost £30 for two I worked out that was about a pound spent for every minute this disgusting meal stayed in my system! needless to say I will never eat there again!
Favorite Dish: sadly None
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- Family Travel
Blueboar Hay on Wye: Very disappointing!
I recently visited this pub and was very disappointed with the food and service. I ordered the chicken & mushroom pie. When it arrived it was salty and very greasy. It arrived with a salad! When the bar man asked me for feedback I told him my concerns I had eaten my meal but wanted him to be aware of my comments for future diners. A few minutes later I heard a very loud discussion kicking off in the kitchen about my comments. The language was distasteful and quite frankly rude. I found the staff to be unprofessional and unhelpful. Please Mr pub manager take a good look at your staff they are poor.
The Blue Boar: Fantastic Food! Fantastic Staff!!
When venturing into new parts of the world I always check reviews of local restaurants and eateries. At first, likie many, I was put off by the innitial negativive reviews of this charming pub. I looked at some of the competition and found that none appealed. While shopping my friend and I were discussing the fact that Hay seemed to have no where to get good food when the little lady who worked in the shop piped up and suggested the Blue Boar. When I mentioned the bad reviews she just said that we should see for ourselves. So, along with my party I wandered up and we looked at the menu in the outside cabinet. The range was quite impressive, with a good selection of starters, mains and vegetarian (Not all of which contained cheese!) We deceided to eat there later, not thinkintg it necessary to book. however, when we turned up the place was buzzing. We didn't htink we would get a seat but the lovely young girl behind the bar (Who turned out to be the Owners daughter) Went and moved tables around for us and managed to fit the four of us comfortably in the restaurant. We were given specials menu's and served drinks quickly at the bar. Two of my party chose to have the moules Mariniere as a main course, even though it was listed as a starter. My partner had the Chicken curry and I myself had the Chicken and mushroom pie. Although the food took a little while it was well worth the wait. Once I had tucked into my pie i was thoroughly suprised. It was full of big chunks of chicken, perfectly cooked mushroom and the gravy was divine. one of the nicest tings was that5 it was a proper pie, not filling with a puff pasty on top. I was not the only one to enjoy my food. My partner said the curry was fantastic and I must admit it smelled wonderful. The rest of my party said the Moules was tasty and I tried a little of the sauce and had to agree. Our plates were cleared very quickly, there is nothing I hate more than being sat with dirty plates in front of me! We decided to share two desserts, the summer fruits pudding and a raspberry cheesecake. They were absolutley divine and obviously home made. I must say I was extremely impressed. The service was fantastic, the young lady behind the bar was extremly efficient. I don't know why other people have had bad experiences but I would reccomend this place to anyone. My partner and I plan to return around christmas and hacve already booked ourselves in for dinner!!!!! EVERYONE SHOULD TRY THIS PLACE!!!!!!
Favorite Dish: The Chicken pie was fantastic!!!
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