“ Conwy Valley, North Wales. „
I have decided that it is about time that I wrote some reviews about the excellent places in my new home of North Wales. We have lived here for almost 6 years now and have travelled around the area extensively. Both mom and dad loved us to take them out for a ride in the car and we visited many places together from castles to restaurants and cafes to villages.
It will also help me at the moment as I try to come to terms with the loss of my mom to remember the places that she used to enjoy visiting with us.
The first of these places about which I would like to tell you is the Dutch Pancake House & Restaurant at Rowen, near to Conwy in North Wales.
We first heard about this place from mom herself. She used to go to a local memory clinic one week in five for respite care. She came back one time telling us that they had been out in the car and stopped somewhere for a cup of tea. The place was in the middle of lots of trees. It could have been anywhere if it existed at all but mom seemed convinced so I asked about it and they said yes, it was the Pancake House at Rowen.
We foolishly headed off to Rowen to find said Pancake House which we now know wasn't actually a clever idea as it isn't in the village!
The Pancake House is actually part of Conwy Water Gardens which includes 3 fully stocked coarse fishing lakes plus numerous ponds and woodland walks, an aquarium with over 100 species of fish, a reptile house with all sorts of creepy things and a shop selling all sorts of fish and pond supplies. So in total it is quite a large site so finding it in the village was never going to be an option!
The best way to find this jewel of a restaurant is to start at Conwy and take the B5106 towards Trefriw, after about three miles turn right towards Rowen where you see the Groes Inn on the corner. Incidentally this place has a nice restaurant but it is quite pricey. The entrance to the water park is about one mile down the road on the right hand side just look for the signs to Conwy Water Gardens and Dutch Pancake House.
There is a small but adequate car park to your left along this road and there is a little play area for the children here too.
The Dutch Pancake House is right in front of you as you get out of the car. There is seating outside where you can take advantage of the sunshine (when we get some) and generally enjoy the scenery of the woods and lakes and listen to the birds singing.
As you approach the door to the restaurant you go past a fish pond stocked with large gold fish - they may be coy carp but I am no expert so I can't say for certain! You can buy fish food in the restaurant and feed the fish if this takes your fancy and if you happen to stop and look at the fish they all come swimming over expecting food!
As you enter the restaurant the cooking area is on your right and seating to the left. There are enough seats for about 40 people and it can get very busy in the summer.
The restaurant is decorated in Dutch style, with lots of tulips, clogs etc. and plenty of light wood. It is light and airy with pleasant views out of the windows. There are bird feeders outside which attract blue tits, finches and sparrows to name but a few and I love watching them as we wait for our meal to arrive.
The menu is comprehensive and doesn't just consist of pancakes although they do boast a choice of 65 different pancakes! They also do meals such as chilli and rice, fish pie, crab salad and sausages and mash. They also do starters such as garlic mushrooms and black pudding and sweets such as rhubarb crumble, chocolate mousse and Dutch apple cake. The restaurant is also fully licensed but we always have a pot of tea with our meal!
Personally I don't see the point of going to the Pancake House and not sampling a pancake but each to his own!
The pancakes are split into three basic categories - breakfast, savoury and sweet.
Not unsurprisingly the breakfast ones consist of various combinations of sausage, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes and eggs. The savoury ones consist of Mexican, Indian and Chinese as well as more traditional British Fayre and of course there are always vegetarian alternatives.
The main menu as far as I am concerned is the sweet pancakes and there is a comprehensive list of fillings such as the basic lemon and sugar, maple syrup, apple, banana, raspberries, strawberries etc. There are also speciality pancakes such as the Welsh B which consists of slices of apple, whipped cream and rum and raisin ice-cream - which is gorgeous - or the Dutch Sweet which is hot cherries and whipped cream topped with vanilla ice cream.
You can also choose your own selection of ingredients to make a personalised pancake!
They also have a specials board which usually has a couple of main meals and a couple of sweet pancakes on it. The one they did last November called the Bonfire Pancake with caramel ice cream, apples and whipped cream was amazing. Mom and I both loved that one!
All the meals are made to order using fresh ingredients so there can be a bit of a wait when it's busy, but believe me it is worth it!
The prices are reasonable too. Each pancake is available in two sizes large or medium and I find that a medium is plenty for me. I did have a large one once but I confess I felt a little queasy afterwards! The large ones are about £6 each and the medium ones about £5 each so it isn't something you would eat on a regular basis but it is great for a treat now and then!
The opening times are as follows:
Monday - closed (unless it is a Bank Holiday)
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday - 11.00am until last orders taken at 5.30pm.
Friday and Saturday - 11.00am until last orders taken at 8pm.
They also cater for parties and groups of up to 40 people for special occasions so if you fancy a pancake party for your birthday or anniversary give them a ring on 01492 651063. Obviously you will need to book in advance.
The number for general enquiries is 01492 650063
Finally another thing that I enjoy when we go here is to buy a bag of duck food from the restaurant and head for the lake which is just through the gate from the car park. It is great fun feeding the ducks and geese and they soon come to you as soon as they see the bag in your hand - they're not daft! It is lovely to feed them here by the side of the lake in such a beautiful setting.
All in all I can thoroughly recommend a visit to the Dutch Pancake House; I think almost all the people who have visited us here in Llandudno have been taken there at some point!
Select from 65 different pancakes cooked in the traditional way.