Aberystwyth is a small seaside town in the west of Wales, complete with grey stony beach, seagulls and the smell of greasy vinegar from fish and chips shops. It’s pittoresque in spite of the modest way of life of its friendly inhabitants and the university gives it an additional jump in ist step.
Still, when you get off the train after roughly four and a half hours since boarding another, much speedier one in London Euston (which you had to swap for this friendly, regional one in Birmingham), it feels a bit like the end of the world, where life is still as it ought to be (well, nobody really knows exactly how that is, but that’s another story). Miss Marple, anyone? So, to cut this short: the last thing you expect (especially if you are a city person and from another country like me) is a Spanish wine and delicatessen shop carrying an impressive selection of immaculate cheeses from Spain, France as well as the immediate surroundings. Well, folks, Ultracomida is just this. At its origin is one of those improbable stories that only real life can come up with: Englishman from Bristol and Indian woman grown up in Wales meet over Indian spices… And now people like friendly Tom pictured here (who studied English literature at Aberystwyth Uni but ultimately found cheese more nourishing) sell you all this delicious stuff and provide you with a strong reason to take the train to Aberystwyth.
PS: If you really need additional incentive: there is Rob Rattray, a real, knowledgeable, dyed in the wool butcher with perfect Welsh lamb, wonderful bacon and gorgeous blood pudding, and Baravin, a winebar and restaurant overlooking the sea with great food and a well chosen selection of wines that include Tamar Ridge Riesling – life is good.
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