In most major centres, British and continental food is widely
available. Welsh cooking is generally simple with abundant
fresh local produce, particularly meat and fish. Near the
coast, seafood is widely available. Local dishes include Welsh
rarebit (cheese on toast), leek soup, laver bread, which is
made with seaweed and bara brith (a type of tea bread).
In general, it is similar to that of an English town of the
size, with bars, restaurants and cinemas more common in the
cities and large towns.
St David's Day (March 1) is dedicated to the patron saint
of Wales. Although it is not a public holiday, schoolchildren
celebrate and learn about culture through music, poetry and
cookery on this day. Many Welsh villages hold an Eisteddfod
once a year - a contest for local singers, poets and musicians.
All but the largest ones are generally advertised inside the
town itself but visitors are always welcome to attend.
The following is a selection of special events occurring in
Wales in 2006:
||Mari Llwyd Torchlit
||Folk and Ale Festival, Llanwrtyd
||Hay Festival (literary festival),
||Llangollen International Musical
Music Festival; Welsh Proms, Cardiff.
||Royal Welsh Show (agricultural
show), Builth Wells.
||The Big Cheese (summer festival
in celebration of cheese), Caerphilly.
||Cardiff International Festival.
||National Eisteddfod of Wales,
Herb Festival, Carew; Brecon Jazz Festival;
Bog Snorkelling Competition, Llanwrtyd Wells;
Cardiff Pride (gay and lesbian parade).
||Swansea Festival of Music and the
||Mid-Wales Beer Festival, Llanwrtyd
Wells; Cardiff Round Table Firework Display.
||A Tudor Advent (themed Christmas event
with costume competition), National Botanic Gardens,
Accommodation at festival times should be booked in advance.
Clothing: A tie, trousers and shoes (as opposed
to jeans and trainers) are required for entry to some nightclubs
and restaurants, otherwise casual wear is acceptable.
Use of public places: Topless sunbathing is permitted
on certain beaches and tolerated in some parks. Smoking or
non-smoking areas will be clearly marked.
In hotels, a service charge of 10 to 12 per cent is the norm
and may be added to the bill. Ten to 15 per cent is usual
for restaurants and it is often added to the bill, in which
case a further tip is not required.