THEY say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach or something like that. If this were true then I am in love. Tucked away on a side street just off the Ty Elwyn building is one of the quaintest and surprising eateries in Carmarthenshire. I would have said Llanelli but this needs to be made known county wide to gastronauts, foodies, the bohemians and the dedicated few in pursuit of beauty, charm and excellence. Don’t take our word for it after we have sampled the delights of Debra’s cooking (an emotional cook) is what she is she tells us. “I go with my emotions and I travel through food” she said. It shows. Within a short space of time we too were on this gastronomic journey with Debra and transported to Galicia and Spain and then to Wales again with a smattering of France and the offer of Italy. Oh yes Debra is more than capable of taking you on a whirlwind tour the likes of which you want to see, taste and experience again and again.
The moment you walk in to Boleyn’s you get Debra. A petit blonde with a happy face. It isn’t the usual ‘wada ya want’ kind of welcome. You instantly feel like you have walked in to a friend’s house and a friend with great taste and a penchant for the eccentric at that. “I can do you some Tappas, or meatballs or some pork ribs or what about my home cooked chili con carne with garlic mushrooms but while you are waiting I will do you a board with freshly baked bread, dipping oil, olives, cheese and chorizo decorated with some coriander” she says casually.
The house cat strolls in, says hello and promptly settles on the chesterfield in a cosy corner. The candles are lit and the tables lovingly decorated with tapestry like cloths, little nick nacks, books and fresh flours. There really was nothing one could find to fault even if being very picky. A nosey around outside yielded a view of the courtyard, which is in effect a spilling over of the interior with eclectic objet d’art, plants and higgledy piggledy seating. The chaos works and you get the feeling that this is yet another part of Debra not just an outside area for having a fag.
The board arrived and the bread, still warm and soft was a delight when dipped in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The cheese was wonderful surrounded by sweet tomatoes, coriander and olives. I would have been satisfied with that, died and gone to heaven but there was more. The chili con carne and baked potato arrived along with the tapas. Savoury meatballs, chorizo, roasted potatoes coated with cayenne pepper, pork ribs and fresh salad garnish. An hour later and there was not enough room for the delicious sweets on offer.
I could have stayed all afternoon, had a read of a decent book and chilled out on the chesterfield and I don’t think Debra would have minded at all. Boleyn’s is a place where you are not rushed to finish and leave. It is a place where you can go to relax, share a large table with family or friends or even sit alone and still get the feeling that you are part of the place. Boleyn’s is for everyone and everyone should head for Boleyns.
Situated at 13 Old Castle Road, Llanelli, SA15 2SL. Parking is limited so it is worth using the local multi storey. Put at least three hours on the meter if you intend making the most of Boleyns. My meal of a shared starter, main course of chili and baked potato and an elderflower cordial came to just under £10. This was exceptional value for money given the quality.