Please contact me and I will be happy to provide contact details of all references and referees

To whom it may concern,

I have known Stephen for over ten years.

We have employed the services of Stephens’s culinary expertise for three family Christmases at my father’s home in St.Davids. This involved meals for up to 25 people daily including 5 children.

We were always assured of stunningly presented meals for our festive celebrations. The flavours always beautifully pronounced yet never too assertive. He thrives on displaying his unique creative flair.

Stephen is passionate in his use of locally sourced ingredients and is very conscious of the benefits of using sustainable and organic produce.

Stephen was always discreet, calm and unobtrusive while preparing meals in the small farmhouse kitchen. He is unflappable. Yet cheerful and approachable. Always willing and flexible when dealing with nutritional and dietary requests

Stephen is a professional in his field, with a rare, natural instinct to please.

I would not hesitate in recommending his abilities to any potential employer.

Please feel free to contact me for further information.

                                                                                    Yours Sincerely

                                                                                     Helen Roche

                                                                                     Roches Stores. Ireland

“Stephen Lawton is one of the most gifted chefs I have ever encountered. When it comes to the preparation and presentation of freshly caught sea fish, sea bass and Sewin in particular, he is in my judgment, without peer. The food he produces dwells excitingly in the anticipation, never fails to excite and satisfy the palate on consumption, and remains long in the memory. With he and his wife Kim, the customer receives a unique package of welcome, warmth, kindness and amazing food.”

 Judge David Wynn Morgan, Cardiff Crown Court.

I have known Steve for nearly 10 years. In that time, he has shown himself to be a talented, versatile and efficient restauranteur and caterer.

 We are frequent visitors to his restaurant, “Lawtons  at no 16” which is widely and properly respected as one of the best restaurants in West Wales.

Lawtons is well known for the quality of the locally sourced ingredients, for the exemplary manner  with which the ingredients are cooked and for the warm welcome extended to regulars and visitors by Steve, Kim and their staff.

I should say something about each of these elements of the restaurant’s offer because they exemplify Steve’s approach to his work.

First, the ingredients.  One of Steve’s great skills is his willingness to understand and to work with local produce. As I write this I can see the tide coming into the harbour below St Davids from my living room window. In the summer many of Steve’s seafood ingredients are landed on this harbour wall less than a mile away from the door of the restaurant. This skill at utilising the local catch means that the restaurant gains the benefit of the freshest produce available. The balance of the menu is also sourced locally and has an appropriately regional feel. Welsh Black beef, local venison, potatoes from Porthllisky farm all make for a proper taste of Pembrokeshire.

Next, the food. The food is cooked in a manner which reflects its freshness. The menus are wide ranging and cater to all tastes. They again display Steve’s flexibility and versatility. It would be wrong to identify signature dishes but a flavour of the place can be gained by considering the scallops in tempura served with a chilli dip. Excellent sweet scallops and exquisitely light batter. Or the Bouillabaisse with lobster, sea bass and mussels, all sourced on the peninsula. Or the Black Beef steaks cooked (always as ordered) and served with vegetables (crisp and fresh). I have to earn a living in London. I therefore know that Steve produces top quality London restaurant food here in Pembrokeshire. I never have any hesitation in bringing my London “foodie” friends to Lawtons.

Finally the welcome. Both Steve and his wife Kim ensure that the restaurant is always a welcoming place. It is neither formal nor stuffy but is elegant and friendly. Politicians, judges and journalists mingle with holiday-makers, locals and their children. (Children are always made to feel welcome). Kim’s quiet attentiveness in the restaurant always ensures a smooth service. There is always an appreciative vitality to the place: it is never dead. That unstuffy approach to food is a hallmark of the Lawtons approach to business.

Steve and Kim’s professional career has also included long spells as outside event caterers. This ability to deal with a variety of guest profiles, different kitchen layouts and a myriad of other circumstances is reflected in the flexibility and unflappable way in which the restaurant is run. It also means however that they retain the ability to cater for large events. They have thus catered for both of my children’s christenings and my QCs party with huge success, (and large ravenous crowds) preparing delicate and delicious starters, party food to die for and also desserts and drinks.

I will have no hesitation in booking them for my third child’s christening, or in recommending their talents to anyone who should be reading this reference. Please feel free to contact me further if necessary.

Russell Harris QC


Reference: Stephen Lawton
I recommend Stephen without any hesitation or qualification. My family
and I have eaten at his restaurant in St Davids, Pembrokeshire for many
years and the visits have always been huge successes. He has also
organised and cooked for two private parties at my home for about 100
people. The food was superb and the evenings great successes. My guests
were thrilled by the quality of the food. I have been a guest at similar
parties at friends' homes and they too were marvelous.
Anyone who has Stephen to cook for them is lucky indeed. I have eaten at
many of the finest restaurants in the world and I would count eating out
as one of my great pleasures. Stephen's cooking is amongst the best I
have ever enjoyed.
 He is a delightful and charming man and thoroughly trustworthy.
Yours sincerely,
Rhodri Price Lewis QC