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Award success for Star Carvery and Grill



A SECRET gravy recipe guarded for over a century, and decades of experience in the pub trade helped the landlord of a Llanelli pub win a prestigious award.

The Star Carvery and Grill on Swansea Road recently won the Welsh Hospitality Award for Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year South West. Now in their second year, the awards are a celebration of the success of local professionals and establishments. The winners are a true reflection of high standard and customer service as they are chosen by members of the general public.

The award came as something of a surprise to Landlord Carl Bates, who wasn’t even aware that he had been nominated!

“They sent me an email, but I didn’t receive it, then on the Sunday I saw the event come up on Facebook and the winner was the Star Carvery and Grill – I could’ve hit the ground to be honest,” he said.

Carl has been at The Star since 2013, but his experience in the trade stretches back decades before that. He pulled his first pint in his father Dennis’ pub the Half Moon half a century back when still in school, and subsequently managed a number of popular Llanelli haunts – including Brannigan’s Nightclub.

“My father was the first man to do Sunday dinners and ‘pub grub’ in Llanelli, starting in the late ‘60s. Before that it was all pickled eggs and cockles,” he explained. Food has been a feature of Carl’s businesses ever since, and given that cooking runs in the family it has been a very successful part.

Over the years, Carl gained a reputation for ‘resurrecting’ pubs which were either closed or closing, and the Star Carvery and Grill was no exception. It had been closed for a year when he took it over in 2013, and since then the turnaround has been dramatic, with the restaurant topping Llanelli’s Tripadvisor rankings and being nominated for the Welsh Food awards four years in a row.

He attributes his success at the Star to a mix of good food and live music. Along with a Carvery which is widely recognised as the best in the town, the Star serves a range of traditional pub food at extremely competitive prices. Bands regularly play there, and Sunday night is open mic night.

Customers are also keen to sing the Star’s praises, which is reflected by a five-star rating on Tripadvisor: Customer reviews include:

“After reading other reviews we thought we’ll try the star and booked for Sunday Carvery, It was very nice to see a perfect host in Carl Bates who makes you feel welcome with his experience and knowledge knows how to deliver exceptional service. The Carvery was very good with a choice of three meats all very moist and tasty, there was a good selection of veg all finished off with a good old fashion proper gravy.”

“Literally the best carvery in Wales. I’ve had carvery all over wales and none have lived up to the star. The meat falls apart and all the veg has unique amazing tastes.”

The Star also boasts a team of friendly and professional staff, from Curtis, Kelly (Carl’s daughter) and Evelina in the kitchen to bar staff Adam and Jude, and Carl took the opportunity to thank all of them for their hard work.

When we asked Carl what made a good Sunday dinner the answer was simple – it’s all in the gravy; a secret recipe going back generations.

“My father Dennis was a chef and baker. Everyone talks about ‘Dennis’ famous gravy’ and the recipe dates back to his grandmother – a well-known local cook,” he explained.

“The recipe comes from pre-World War One. It’s all about the way she would prepare the meat, and the spices which go into the water to make up the stock.”

As to his success in a trade which many find increasingly difficult, Carl put that down to ‘a family network over the years’.

“From going into the game as a 14-year-old still at school to now, the one I have to thank for everything is my dad,” he added.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. David Royston Jones

    November 28, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Well done to Carl he deserves it he done a great job in making the Star Hotel What is Today Great Cavery good music and what else can I say great service from all the staff I will be there soon to have that Beautiful Cavery well done Mr Bates or should I say Carl.Dave and Carol xx

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New First Minister announces his cabinet



HE FIRST MINISTER FOR WALES, Mark Drakeford, has today announced his new look cabinet to lead Wales. The First Minister said: “It is an enormous privilege for me to be appointed First Minister of Wales. Every leader needs a strong team around them, and I am delighted to introduce my new cabinet which is a strong mix of experience, talent and passion.

“Brexit is our greatest challenge.  In the extraordinary and regrettable circumstances created by the UK Government, it is vital that we prepare for all outcomes. I have retained Ministers in posts where their experience of Brexit preparation is key, while creating a new post to reflect the priority I attach to international relationships and trade.

“As a government we will continue to speak up for Wales, to fight our country’s corner and make sure the government in London is never in any doubt at all of what matters to the people of Wales.”

Cabinet and Deputy Ministers

Vaughan Gething
Minister for Health and Social Services  – Y Gweinidog Iechyd a Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol

Julie Morgan
Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services – Y Dirprwy Weinidog Iechyd a Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol

Eluned Morgan
Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language – Gweinidog y Gymraeg a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol

Dafydd Elis-Thomas
Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism – Y Dirprwy Weinidog Diwylliant, Chwaraeon a Thwristiaeth

Ken Skates
Minister for Economy and Transport – Gweinidog yr Economi a Thrafnidiaeth

Lee Waters
Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport – Dirprwy Weinidog yr Economi a Thrafnidiaeth

Julie James
Minister for Housing and Local Government – Y Gweinidog Tai a Llywodraeth Leol

Hannah Blythyn
Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government – Y Dirprwy Weinidog Tai a Llywodraeth Leol

Rebecca Evans
Minister for Finance and Trefnydd – Y Gweinidog Cyllid a’r Trefnydd

Kirsty Williams
Minister for Education – Y Gweinidog Addysg

Lesley Griffiths
Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs – Gweinidog yr Amgylchedd, Ynni a Materion Gwledig

Jeremy Miles
Counsel General Designate and Brexit Minister – Y Darpar Gwnsler Cyffredinol a’r Gweinidog Brexit

Jane Hutt
Deputy Minister and Chief Whip – Y Dirprwy Weinidog a’r Prif Chwip

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Man steals 50 tools worth £6000 from B&Q



DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating a burglary at B&Q, Carmarthen, which happened at around 8.25pm on Wednesday, December 5.

Around 50 items were stolen – Dewalt and Makita branded power tools and batteries – which are valued at nearly £6,000.

Officers are keen to speak to the man pictured, who may have information that could help them with their enquiries.

If you recognise the man in the photograph, believe it is you, or have any information that could help officers with their investigation contact PC Christopher Day by calling 101.

If you are approached to buy cheap tools, or see cheap tools for sale, report it to Dyfed-Powys Police by calling 101.

If you are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DPP/2066/05/12/2018/02/C

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Huge RAF plane lands on Pembrey Beach



PEMBREY BEACH turned into a runway on Wednesday (Dec 12) when a gigantic RAF plane landed on it.

The A400M Atlas plane, piloted from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, was being tested on the Carmarthenshire beach.

A spokesperson for the RAF said: “Beaches are routinely used by the RAF for training operations with other tactical airlifters.

“The A400M showcased its superb tactical capabilities on natural surfaces by performing take-off, landing and taxiing manoeuvres.”

Capable of flying over 2,000 miles, with room for 66 patients on stretchers on the board, and can carry a 37-tonne payload.

Despite weighing 120 tonnes it can reach 485mph.

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