From Sea to Plate

The catch of the day

For a great taste of Pembrokeshire, dive in to a plate of the freshest seafood you could wish for. You may even get to meet the fishermen landing your catch!

There are lots of pubs and restaurants serving up fresh fish and seafood dishes around the county, from lobster and sea bass to mackerel, if you’re a seafood lover you’ll love what Pembrokeshire has to offer.

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Have you ever stopped to think about how your fresh fish gets to your plate? Fisherman Mark Gainfort, on board Griffin Girl, fishes in and around the Milford Haven waterway. On a calm, sunny day in June it looks like an idyllic job. One of three commercial boats operating out of Dale, Mark goes out to sea alone.

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Mark uses gill nets to catch the fish in the beautifully clean waters around the Pembrokeshire coast. He is one of a handful of fishermen to use gill nets. At some times in the year, when the seaweed can clog up the nets, he goes back to the slower methods of reel and rod.

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The view on board Griffin Girl as Mark returns to Dale and the pontoon, to land his catch. Dale is hugely popular with visitors to Pembrokeshire and boasts a Blue Flag beach pebble beach set in a sheltered bay. It’s a paradise for watersports enthusiasts, and anyone who visits tends to keep coming back for more.

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Landing his catch, Mark can net a huge variety of fish including sea bass, mackerel, pollock, skate, mullet, plaice and Dover sole. Mark has been fishing for 10 years and sells his catch to the Griffin Inn, a stone’s throw away from the shore.

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Anyone for lobster? The two other commercial fishing boats at Dale are lobster and crab boats. Lobster is one of the most popular choices on the Griffin Inn’s menu. More than 90% of the pub’s menu orders are for seafood dishes.

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After the short walk up the pontoon, the fish is carried straight into the kitchen, where the chefs get to work filleting and preparing the fish dishes. It can be a matter of minutes before customers are served the catch. You can’t get fresher than that!

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Wes Markham has returned to the Griffin Inn for his second season to work as a chef.

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Wes is a student and works alongside Lorna Howells and Hannah Jones in the busy kitchen, along with pub owner Simon Vickers. Simon runs the pub with his partner Sian and they have a passion for producing quality home-cooked food, served up with real Welsh ales and fine wines.

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Ready to eat, out on the water’s edge, the fantastic views over Dale bay add to the atmosphere and enjoyment of the seafood dishes, offering a memorable experience for visitors. The fish menu changes from day to day, depending on the catch, so Sian and the front of house staff handwrite the fish menus every day – offering a feast of dishes. The hardest part will be deciding which one to order!

You can find fresh fish dishes on menus all around the county, especially in the coastal towns and villages. Try Saundersfoot, Tenby, Solva, Porthgain, Little Haven, St Davids and Newport for starters!

Tells us about your favourite fish dish you’ve eaten while you were on holiday in Pembrokeshire.

Have you got a favourite restaurant or pub serving locally-caught seafood? Get in touch on twitter or facebook and let us know, so we can spread the word!


 Rugged cliffs, sandy beaches and wild inland hills, these are the elements that define the distinctive landscape of this superb county.  
Griff Rhys Jones

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