Beauty and the Bistro

Beauty and the Bistro

What a day!  

Celebrated Welsh Italian chef and restaurateur Giovanni Malacrino delivered a divine pop-up dining experience on Sunday 12th March to launch Pembrokeshire’s inaugural Big Retreat Wales festival.

Joined by Miss Wales, Ffion Moyle, the flamboyant owner of Giovanni’s eateries in Cardiff set up his kitchen on the Old Castle Terrace in Lawrenny – location for the upcoming May festival – and cooked up a magical selection of Italian seafood and pasta dishes using local ingredients cooked on open fires. 

The glorious spring evening event, with the stunning backdrop of the Cleddau river, was set to music with performances by Gary ‘Ragsy’ Ryland (a Tom Jones protégé from The Voice) and newcomers ‘Platform 1’ from Newcastle Emlyn.

The Big Retreat Wales presents 'Beauty and the Bistro' from The Message Company on Vimeo.


“This really was just a delicious taste of what’s to come with this year’s Big Retreat Wales,” said Amber Lort-Phillips, co-founder of the festival (May 26th-29th) that fuses wellbeing, the outdoors, music and great food. “People of all ages will be coming here will be to celebrate the best of Wales, right here in the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Festival goers might want to join our fitness and yoga classes, take a kayak on the river, go on foraging woodland walks or just relax by a campfire, continued Amber. “There will be delicious local food and drink and plenty of space for camping on site as well. We all enjoyed a cheeky G&T whilst selecting perfect gins for our Gin workshops"

Despite living in Cardiff since he was three, Chef Giovanni Malacrino had never been to Pembrokeshire before and said he was stunned by the beauty of the area. “Pembrokeshire truly is at the end of the road,” said Giovanni. “But it is the beginning of a true paradise that I’m only just now discovering. It’s great to be cooking al fresco here and I have had a wonderful time. I am looking forward to returning for the Big Retreat Wales festival.”


Tickets for the three-day family friendly festival are available on Eventbrite (The Big Retreat Wales) and there is more information on Facebook (@TheBigRetreatWales) and online at




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