Royal couple open new £6.5m food centre


Iwan Berry

PRINCE Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited Conwy on Monday to open a new £6.5million centre for Welsh food.

The Royal couple toured the brand new facilities at the Bodnant Welsh Food centre along with members of the public and dignitaries.

During their tour of the site – which includes a dairy, bakery, butchery, tea-room, restaurant and cookery school – they spoke to producers and staff to discover more about what the centre will provide.

Dairy supervisors Ian Holden and Debbie Marshall provided the couple with a taste of Aberwen cheese – which is produced on the premises.

Mr Holden said: “Camilla had about three pieces – she kept looking up to make sure it was okay to take another one. They were both really personable.”

Baker Huw Jones, who offered bara brith and scones to the royals, said: “Camilla had some of my bara brith and called the Prince back to taste it – and she even called him Charlie!”

He added: “She’s lovely – she doesn’t get the praise she deserves.”

The Prince of Wales also sampled sausages made by butchery manager Ian Miles, and visited the on-site dairy to sample cheese made from milk provided by the Tal y Cafn Ucha farm, run by Arfon Jones and his son Gerallt.

They also took the time to speak to members of the Eglwysbach branches of the Women’s Institute and Merched y Wawr, who were training in pasta making under the guidance of visiting chef Angela Grey.

Member Liz Selway had the chance to chat with the Prince on the subject of pasta making – to discover he didn’t like chillies.

She added: “This is my first time here. We will all recommend this to other people – it’s something we need here for smaller groups.”

As well as unveiling the plaque commemorating the opening of the Welsh Food centre, the royals also unveiled a plaque at the National Beekeeping Centre for Wales to mark their visit.

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