We had an early lunch at
St Mary’s Church Institute Ffwrn. As you approach Fishguard’s main square (coming from Dinas) it’s on the left, opposite the church. From the outside, it doesn’t look much changed and once you are through the main doors it’s thoroughly Church Hall – long gloomy corridor and dark doors.
But as you burst through the double doors at the end of the corridor the ffwrn itself comes into view, a wood-fired oven with a promise of fabulous food.
The names of the builders, written in Ogham around the edge of the oven, the big ceramic wood stove, the old stage reconstituted as a massive communal table, the clouds of fringed lampshades shielding the light bulbs, the red velvet sofa, the piano and the mismatched bone china cups give Ffwrn an attractively quirky feel but we loved it particularly for the quality of the food, the friendliness of the staff, the spaciousness of the room and the wonderfully varied programme of events.
Our vegetarian pasties came hot straight from the oven and there were also plenty for meat-eaters. They were delicious and substantial enough to satisfy us for lunch. We could have had crêpes (made in the best Breton-style) or sandwiches made with Ffwrn’s own bread, which can be bought separately. The owner/resident baker is Welsh, from South Wales but with years of experience working in France; Beatrice, the co-owner, is a Frenchwoman with experience of working in Wales. A wonderful combination. Along with great food there was a good choice of drinks. It was all tempting and most satisfactory. We intend to go again, and again and again.
Each time we’ll find new events. Our first visit, during fish week, taught us about plankton*, from projected photos on the wall and explanations from marine biologists. There was ‘an alternative fashion show’ scheduled for the following evening and over the next few weeks they’ll be ‘Aberjazz’ events. For the programme, click here.
*I learnt that what distinguishes plankton from other marine animals is their inability to propel themselves forwards. They can go up and down but not swim against the current. Their name comes from the Greek word for ‘drifting’.