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Caffi @ Pen y Pass 10/06/2010

The café at the most popular starting out point for walking up Snowdon, Pen y Pass, has reopened under new management after closing in November 2009 for refurbishment.

Manager, Huw McDarren (right), is an Italian trained chef, well-known locally together with his wife Ursula, for establishing the popular 'pizza 'n' a pint' evening at the Gallt y Glyn Hotel just outside Llanberis in 2002.

Huw has no shortage of energy or plans for this new venture. He said: "We are aiming to serve high quality mountain café food that includes hot meals such as tartiflette, chicken piri-piri and pasta dishes. You'll be able to get a full Welsh or veggie breakfast throughout the day."

The café's sandwiches and cakes (made on the premises) are proving very popular, especially Huw's fabulous (soon to be famous) mountain flap-jack. He couldn't make it fast enough over the last bank holiday weekend. Take-away food comes in bio-degradable packaging.

Huw said he has plans to eventually mark up the GI (glycemic index) values for food on the menu so people can choose a low-GI meal for a day out in the hills. He added: "I'm focusing on keeping the 'food miles' down by buying local as much as possible, as opposed to sourcing organic foodstuffs. We get our bread delivered by the first bus from Llanberis in the morning. It stops on its way through the village to pick it up from the bakery."

"I'd like the café to be used for evening functions such as lectures, presentations etc. and in the long term it'd be great to open it as a restaurant in the evening, if there was a market for it. In fact, I'm totally open to suggestions or ideas for the café."

The previous Pen y Pass café had a bit of a reputation for being dark and cold, but the freshly renovated space being leased by the Caban Café from the Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA) is a lot lighter and now has heating. The kitchen is totally new as is the furniture. Undoubtedly, the most popular place to sit will be the bay-window table with its fantastic view of Crib Goch at the far end of the café.

If you get to the café and discover you've forgotten or need an important bit of kit for a day on Snowdon then you may be grateful for the Joe Brown outdoor equipment shop on hand.

Although the SNPA car park fills up quickly and costs £10 for the day there is a regular Sherpa Bus service from Llanberis (S1/S2) and Betws y Coed (S2) for a £1. The car park is free for café customers after 6 p.m.
  • Opening times: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. (later if busy)
  • Caffi @ Pen y Pass, tel no: 01286 870500
You can download the Sherpa Bus network timetable (29/03/10 - 04/09/10) here .

Topic: Snowdon Café, Pen y Pass Café

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