Hidden gem cafe at the end of someone's garden that feels like you're overlooking the Serengeti

Cafe seating and view
-Credit: (Image: Paul Turner / Media Wales)

It has one of the most stunning views you're likely to find anywhere in Swansea, anywhere full stop really, but it's probably a place you've never even heard of. Cwm Ivy Cafe and Crafts sits tucked away off the beaten track in the Gower village of Llanmadoc.

In fact, it is not until you walk through its secluded entrance and out into its outdoor seating area that you notice the breathtaking views it has to offer, with wooden tables set up allowing guests to gaze out upon Cwm Ivy marsh, a parcel of land near Whiteford Sands enriched with history and a century-long battle between the sea and farmland. You can read more about that by clicking here.

For Sian Griffiths and her husband Chris, it is the place they call home, but it hasn't always been a cafe. It was in 2016, together with her friends, Allison Thomas and the late Lisa David, that Mrs Griffiths decided to open a craft shop at the bottom of her garden. It led to them selling ice cream, before she went one step further and opened up a cafe, which has become a huge success. For the latest restaurant reviews, sign up to our food and drink newsletter here.

READ MORE: Why there's a ghostly looking dead forest next to a beautiful Gower beach

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Country lane leading to houses
The cafe can be found off the beaten track in Llanmadoc -Credit:WalesOnline
village scene with sign
It is open five days a week -Credit:WalesOnline
cafe menu
The dog-friendly cafe serves up light lunches, good coffee and sweet treats -Credit:WalesOnline

It offers a unique, outstanding view of nature, with marshy grasslands as far as the eye can see, along with a large area which, since the 17th century, was claimed and defended from the sea in order to be farmland with a once sturdy sea wall, which was often breached in the winter months.

Eventually, the National Trust decided to let nature take its course and allow the sea waters to reclaim the land, killing the trees there which are now ghostly shells of their former selves - a skeleton forest of a sort populated by grey trunks and leafless branches. New and different life has, though, grown in its place with a healthy saltmarsh having emerged where once cattle roamed and the sea was held at bay from doing what came naturally.

"I did see a couple of giraffes the other day," Mrs Griffiths joked, as the views were likened to the Serengeti. "I never get sick of it. The view changes all of the time by the season. We get people visiting who have lived in Swansea all of their lives but have never heard of it. Everyone who visits really appreciates it, you don't know what's here when you're coming through the gate - you don't know what to expect - but once you get inside, everyone is in awe by the view.

View of marshland and sky
The incredible view you are treated to from the comfort of the cafe's outdoor area -Credit:WalesOnline
view of marsh land, trees, sea and sky with clouds
It's quite awe-inspiring -Credit:WalesOnline
People working in a cafe
Sian Griffiths, Gwen Davies and Raia Richards pictured in the kitchen at Cwm Ivy Cafe and Crafts -Credit:WalesOnline

Explaining the origins of the business, Mrs Griffiths added: "I was a full-time teacher at the time at Cwm Glas Primary School in Winch Wen. It started off as a craft shop - me and two of my friends, (the late) Lisa David and Allison Thomas were messing about with a few prints.

"People from the village use the cafe, I've got returning customers who feel like family. I spent time chatting to them and getting to know people. We've got a Welsh group here too which meets once a week. I'm very sociable and I love talking to people. We have a varied menu that caters for everyone, with vegan and gluten free options and it is also dog friendly."

Inside a cafe
It has a very modern decor inside -Credit:WalesOnline
Inside a cafe
Mrs Griffiths said her nephew helped design the cafe's interior -Credit:WalesOnline
Inside a cafe
The cafe's menu -Credit:WalesOnline

She added: "We started selling ice cream, and then it evolved and in 2016, I opened a cafe that became really popular. I sell all my own homemade food like corned beef pie and cakes. When I started, I didn't have any background in food at all. My grandmother, May, was a fab cook, she made the best apple tarts. Maybe it was in me somewhere from that.

"It's got its pros and cons. You never have to travel to work, but then when you're closed you do have people coming to the gate asking if you're open. But I get it, as we're right on the coastal path. My nephew has had a big input, he said I needed to do this, that, and the other, he's really got an eye for detail and the decor inside is lovely."

Cwm Ivy Cafe and Crafts is open on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11am until 4pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am until 5pm. It is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It can be found in Llanmadoc by following the postcode SA3 1DJ.