Rose hips can be made into an infusion as rose-hip tea, and also lend themselves well to marmalade. Their high vitamin C content led to the popularity of rose-hip syrup soaring during the Second World War, when other sources of vitamin C were scarce. The best for cooking purposes are those from the Rosa rugosa variety. Like the damson, they should be harvested after the first frost when they are bright and plump, but not overripe. Don’t forget to remove the hairs, which can cause irritation-they were once used in itching powders.
Where to stay
For those not yet au fait with this sparsely populated south-westerly tip of Wales, there are lots of places that promise to extend a warm welcome, even in November
For thawing out
On the northern coast, at Newport, Llys Meddyg (01239 820008; www.llysmeddyg.com) on the edge of the Nevern Estuary provides guests with roaring log fires, down duvets and woolly Welsh blankets
For peace and quiet
A little further down the coast at Solva is Crug Glas Country House (01348 831302; www.crug-glas.co.uk), surrounded by the owners’ 600-acre working farm. Another secluded gem, this time hidden at the end of a 1½-mile private road five miles east of Haverfordwest, is Slebech Park (01437 752000; www.slebech.co.uk). Making great use of the original stable building at the heart of the Philipps’ family-run private estate, this hotel enjoys sublime views over the Daugleddau Estuary
For gothic glory
The impossibly pretty Penally Abbey (01834 843033; www.penally-abbey.com) should be on your itinerary, too. Looking out over Carmarthen Bay, the country-house hotel and restaurant is an ideal place from which to explore the walled seaside town of Tenby, with its picturesque harbour and pastel-painted Georgian houses
For a family break
Consider Monkton Old Hall (01628 825925; www.landmarktrust.org.uk). Dating from before 1400, it sleeps seven and was probably originally used as the guest house of a small priory outside the walls of Pembroke
Famous for its 186-mile long Pembrokeshire Coast Path and numerous offshore islands teeming with wildlife, the county has been described as ‘God’s Little Acre’ by locals. Since 1952, flora and fauna have benefited from the protection of the 153,600-acre Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.