A contemporary art hotel located in Britain’s smallest city of St Davids that was once a windmill is now offering for the first time a lunchtime menu.

Originally a windmill built in 1806, Twr y Felin art hotel is, alongside the cathedral, the only high-rise structure in St Davids. Purposely positioned on the peninsula to harvest the ever-blowing winds, it lasted as a working windmill for 100 years, before the sails fell off just one too many times.

Reinvention saved it then, as it has time and again this century. Becoming a hotel gave the building a new life, and it has remained mostly so ever since.

Twr y Felin Hotel, St Davids
Twr y Felin Hotel, St Davids (Pic supplied)

Today it is Wales’ first contemporary art hotel, with over 100 pieces of specially commissioned art, and offering both luxury accommodation and fine dining.

The hotel includes 39 ensuite bedrooms and two suites, Blas restaurant, pre-dinner at lover’s snug, Cornel bar and art inspired lounge, Oriel.

Twr y Felin offers a menu based on seasonality and local produce, with diners able to lunch seven-days-a-week, at the venue.

Hotel guests and visitors alike can now enjoy a selection of Head Chef, Sammy Owen’s AA three rosette cuisine at lunchtime as well as in the evening. The dishes are served in relaxed dining spaces around the hotel surrounded by specially commissioned artworks.

Twr Y Felin lunch
Smoked salmon with fennel and radish (Observer pic)

Sammy’s flavour filled dishes are renowned for their exquisite presentation as ‘art on a plate’ reflecting the hotel’s own interior style.

The lunchtime menu features three choices for each course including plant based options; with dishes varying according to the season and availability of fresh local produce.

The Observer was invited this month to an afternoon summer sitting to sample the enticing delights on offer, with the menu including the choice of cauliflower soup; smoked salmon with fennel and radish; or a chicken liver parfait with walnut ketchup, for starters.

To follow there was the choice of pork with Hispi cabbage and mashed potato; risotto with broad bean, pea and herbs; stone bass with baby gem and peas.

Desserts featured a sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream, butterscotch; rhubarb and custard choux bun; and a selection of three Welsh cheeses.

Twr Y felin lunch
Pork with Hispi cabbage and mashed potato (Observer pic)

Lunch at Twr y Felin is served from 12.30 pm with last orders by 1.30pm, booking advisable. Starters and desserts are priced from £8, and mains from £14.

Set in its own private grounds Twr y Felin Hotel is close to world renowned beaches, just a ten-minute walk to Caerfai Bay and the historic St Davids Cathedral and is located opposite Oriel y Parc National Park Visitor Centre and National Museum Wales Gallery.

Most of the rooms in Twr y Felin have great stories as their names follow the local place names:

• Porth Lysgi is named after the 6th Century Irish Chieftain Lysgi who killed another chieftain Boia of Clegyr Boia nearby.

• Skomer and Ramsey are Viking names from the Viking raiders of the 9th Century who were repulsed by the Welsh Kings (in particular Rhodri the Great in 856) and never succeeded in establishing themselves in Wales as they did in England, Scotland and Ireland.

• Tyddewi Suite was the room from which GCHQ set up their UBoat communications watching base in WW2 on top of the original windmill tower. Also the little watch tower is where the original 1905 St Davids guide was written from, and the original pull out desk is still there.

Twr Y felin
A selection of three Welsh cheeses (Observer pic)

At Twr y Felin Hotel, it is all about the visual, from floor to ceiling, with large artwork hanging on every wall. Nearly all were commissioned with a specific brief in mind – to evoke the Pembrokeshire landscape in a new way. The artists interpreted this individually. Some chose to be literal, some to be abstract, producing a body of work that is full of contrast, colour, design and scale.

There is no denying the visual impact. It greets you as you arrive, takes you on a journey through the hotel and sends you off with lasting memories.

A stylish, new private meeting room is also now available to book at the venue - designed to cater for the needs of business professionals, and provide space for workshops or private events, it offers a comfortable and sophisticated facility for up to 12 delegates.

Highlight of the meeting room is a state-of-the-art TV monitor, allowing seamless connectivity for presentations and audio-visual requirements, whether showcasing new projects, collaborating with teams, or holding board meetings. Being on the ground floor, its fully accessible, ensuring convenience for all attendees.

Special talks and events are also hosted at the hotel, with expert birder Dave Astins recently giving an illustrated talk, taking people on a fascinating journey through the skies, introducing you to Skomer Island’s incredible variety of avian visitors and residents.

Another talk recently presented by Professor Helen Roberts, Professor of Geography and Earth Sciences, at the University of Aberystwyth, delved into the untold secrets of the humble grains of sand, which cover our beaches and landscapes.

Blas Restaurant
Blas Restaurant (Pic supplied)

On Sunday, August 20, renowned Welsh women artists featured in the book ‘HON’ will be showcasing their remarkable creations and discussing their unique perspectives on Wales at the hotel between 12 and 1 pm.

Six artists will each be giving an illustrated talk about their work. Afterwards, there will be a short opportunity to meet with the artists personally and ask any questions. The event is being held in conjunction with the Fishguard Festival of Music.

Featured artists include Christine Kinsey, Sarah Williams, and Julia Griffiths-Jones. Christine Kinsey, who also edited the book, has been an important figure on the Welsh arts scene for over half a century, having co-founded Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff in 1971.

Places booked through TicketSource are priced at £12 for adults, £5 for ages 12 to 17, and just £1 for children aged 2 to 11.

As a bonus, ticket holders will receive a 10% discount for lunch or afternoon tea at Twr y Felin on the event day.

Ahead of that, on the evening of Wednesday, August 16, The Torch Theatre is bringing a special ‘Sunset Cinema’ outdoor screening of the recent highly-acclaimed biopic Elvis movie to the big screen ay Twr y Felin.

Viewers can bring their own picnic to enjoy while watching the sun set for a magical summer evening’s experience; whilst food and drink can also be purchased from the on-site vendors, specially set up for the evening. There is no reserved seating, so guests are advised to bring a rug or folding chairs.

This is an outdoor event so please check the weather forecast beforehand and dress appropriately. If it rains, the screening will continue and only be cancelled in the case of extreme weather, such as dangerously high winds.

Gates open at 7 pm with the film starting when light levels allow. Tickets are £13 per person booked in advance or £15 at the door. Online bookings close at 5 pm on August 16. Ample parking will be available in the nearby Oriel y Parc (St Davids) Car Park, free from 7 pm (charging period 9 am to 7 pm).

Book online at the Torch Theatre Box Office or via the link on www.twryfelinhotel.com.

For more details and to book a table visit www.twryfelinhotel.com or call 01437 725 555.