A wonderful place to relax with friends or family.
Everyone involved with this online magazine is a volunteer and shares a passion for our lovely county of Pembrokeshire, so when we were due to meet up and celebrate progress so far, we needed a great venue. When Bethany Hutson contacted me about featuring the Old Pharmacy Tea-rooms in Solva and its new summer evening opening, the ideal spot had been found!
When Bethany’s grandmother took a reduced role running the business last year, she could not resist the excitement of taking over the tea-rooms and creating a unique venue in her beloved Solva. Quite how Bethany has achieved so much in just four months, while also completing her MA dissertation, is amazing! The family has already undertaken some changes in recent years, in which Bethany had been involved, but she has now re-styled the tea-rooms as a vintage delight and created new menus alongside the traditional famous Solva crab, cawl and cream teas. Bethany’s grandfather has been catching crab from Solva for over 80 years and she ensures the crab in her menu is prepared in the same way as it always has been – nothing added – just the way her Grandad was taught by his mother. Bethany bakes alongside her Nan and is lucky to have her tried and tested recipes to pass on – the cawl and welshcakes are especially well-regarded! Classic cakes are baked by local lady Krista James of the Little Cottage Kitchen.
Inspired by tea-rooms in Cheltenham and determined to indulge her love for all things vintage, Bethany has succeeded in creating a truly stylish, beautiful space with great attention to detail and high standards in everything from the fittings to the selection of loose teas. I was impressed both by her love for Solva and the vision she has realised, but also by her realistic approach – there are plenty of fabulous places to dine in and around Solva, so she is concentrating on creating something new and different. The Summer Evening openings on Fridays and Saturdays offer simple tapas, light meals, lovely cocktails, prosecco and other tasty delights with a relaxing ambiance for families or groups of friends. During the day, the Old Pharmacy offers cream teas, cakes and sandwiches but also vintage milkshakes and sundaes and savoury cheese teas as a different option. As Bethany told me : “we are not a restaurant, but what we do is very special…. and all the things I love!”
Local art, sea glass and pebbles ensure the Solva touch is included and Bethany’s boyfriend has ensured that his webdesign and social media skills have promoted the changes very successfully – Mango Mango design is his hobby after a full day working for the RNLI.
What next for Bethany and the Old Pharmacy?
It is very clear that Bethany is happy to be back home in Solva after her studies away from West Wales and to be developing the family business in the place she loves best.
Some reviews of The Old Pharmacy Tea Rooms:
“…catered for my gluten free diet at a moments notice with delicious bruschetta.”
“. What a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Bethany is lovely.”
” The cheese platter was delicious. A good variety of cheeses and good fresh bread. I particularly liked the selection of dates , apricots and nuts . A nice touch.”
” Lovely cakes. We had the brownie ( very chocolatey) The carrot ( light and tasty) and the Bara Brith ( bursting with fruit and flavour) Yummy! “
” Noticed the paper straws! Well done! And the Orange and Gin cocktail was delicious….”