Proper Welsh Grub for St David's Day!

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant hapus!

St David’s Day is the feast day of the patron saint of Wales, and falls on the 1st March every year (believed to be the anniversary of his death). It’s celebrated across the world by parades, eisteddfodau and concerts, and of course food. Oh yes, St David’s Day is a fantastic excuse to eat copious amounts of comforting Welsh fayre - bara brith, Welsh rarebit, cawl and welsh cakes. Don’t have a recipe? Don’t know a lamb stew from a posh cheese on toast? Fear not, we’ve chosen the best from across the web to make the whole thing easy for you. We’re good like that.

So, first things first ...


Welsh Rarebit

Often referred to as posh cheese on toast (by heathens), Welsh rarebit is a dish first heard of in the South Wales valleys in the eighteenth century. It consists of a savoury sauce containing cheese, eggs, mustard and various other ingredients poured over slices of toast and served hot. So a little bit like cheese on toast, possibly. Regardless, it’s awesome and the perfect accompaniment to a decent Welsh ale.

We’ve found Jamie’s recipe to be head and shoulders above others we’ve tried, largely due to the utilisation of chilli jam. Have a look at it here.



Cawl is often considered to be the national dish of Wales, and traditionally consists of a salted bacon or beef stew or broth containing swede, carrots and other seasonal vegetables. A contemporary cawl might contain lamb and leeks, largely due to their association with Wales. Recipes for cawl date back to the fourteenth century and were traditionally eaten in South West Wales over the winter months. An authentic cawl demands being cooked in an iron cauldron over an open fire, served with a bread and cheese accompaniment and eaten with wooden spoons. You can use a range cooker though, of course.

This superb variation from is particularly hearty -


Welsh Cakes

Welsh cakes, or bakestones as they’re known in Wales, are scone-like cakes traditionally cooked on cast-iron griddles over a fire. They are made from flour, sultanas, raisins and currants and can be spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. They’re served hot or cold, dusted with sugar.

Delia’s recipe is quick, easy and delicious served with a little jam or Welsh honey.


Bara Brith

Right then - we’ve saved the best ’til last. If nothing else was eaten in the studio for the rest of time other than bara brith, we’d be happy. ‘Bara’ means bread, and ‘brith’ means speckled - speckled bread. The name bara brith was originally used in north Wales only, and in the south it was referred to as Teisen Dorth (‘teisen’ meaning cake and ‘dorth’ meaning loaf). It was usually the last thing to be baked in the village oven in the evening, and dried fruits were added to spice up the doughy mix.

This recipe from BBC Good Food is nice and simple - try glazing it with Welsh honey as soon as you take it out of the oven, leave it to cool and serve with salted butter. It is reputed to last a week, but we can’t imagine bara brith remaining uneaten after a day. Also the recipe suggests it’ll make ten portions - it will, however, only make enough for two or three right minded individuals.

So, through a mouthful of bara brith, we wish you a happy St David’s Day!