Harden's survey result
“Most exciting food is served to the beat of The Prodigy and The National” at Gareth Ward’s “small but super-comfy country house hotel in the wild, wild west of Wales”: “a very different and accomplished” experience, whose many fans say is “well worth the (extensive) detour”: “some of the best dishes I have eaten from a tasting menu of 20 plates in a chilled space with great staff, banter, and fun”. Prices are high, though, and its funky approach including the “sonic assault” of the soundtrack mean that even those who praise “astonishing and inspired” cuisine can be in two minds about (or occasionally dead set against) it: “I quite like hip hop and do think the servers should have a good time, but this is a bit like having an expensive and romantic meal in a room that has been taken over by teenagers”.
“Ynyshir is incredible: something totally unique and somewhere the whole of Wales should be proud of”, according to fans (that is to say just about everyone) who report on Gareth Ward’s “exquisite” cuisine at this “beautifully situated” house (next to an RSPB reserve, and whose history includes having been owned by Queen Victoria). “An exceptional 18-course tasting menu was unlike any other dining experience. Each course is presented at the table by one of the chefs and thoughtfully introduced. Each mouthful is intensely flavoured, often with nostalgic aromas of childhood seaside holidays, or rhubarb and custard boiled sweets. The cooking shows incredible skill, dedication and careful sourcing of local and foraged ingredients”.
“It’s highly recommended that you take the long drive to the west of Wales” to visit this small hotel – a “gorgeous” house once owned by Queen Victoria as a retreat next to the RSPB reserve of the same name. “The level of originality and innovation on show in Gareth Ward’s kitchen is absolutely phenomenal” and – in the year where Ward and his partner Amelia Eiriksson took a stake in the business (and dropped ‘Hall’ from the name) – scores here have headed into the stratosphere, with numerous reporters “blown away” by “an experience like no other”… “the best meal ever”… “the next star on the World’s 50-best”. The 17-course tasting menu is a slow-food journey, and one reviewer describes the “indecently tasty” results as reminiscent of “the good old days of The Fat Duck”. “Interesting, sometimes unusual, ingredients and flavour combinations are in perfect harmony using elaborate cooking processes explained by sous chefs brimming with enthusiasm. Staff are professional but relaxed, approachable and unpretentious. It’s worth every penny!”
“Gareth Ward (ex-Sat Bains) and team are first class” at this “wonderful” high-end hotel in a “lovely” setting “next to an RSPB reserve, across the road from the hills, and within easy reach of the beach”. “We stayed for three nights, and amazingly they produced a different tasting menu each night!”; if you want to max out, “try booking the 15-course option at the Chef’s Table”.
Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms is tucked away in the stunningly scenic Dyfi Valley in Mid Wales offering a refreshingly contemporary dining experience using the very best seasonal ingredients from our gardens, Wales and the UK. Our lunch and evening set menus are 'slow food' meaning much time and care is taken in ageing, pickling, foraging, salting, preserving and souring such as our signature Welsh Wagyu beef, Dyfi Spring lamb or locally foraged sea herbs from Ynyslas beach. Every dish has a harmonious balance of flavours presented by our engaging and passionate team headed by chef patron, Gareth Ward. For the serious food enthusiast we also offer a chef's table experience. Discover the beauty of Mid Wales and enjoy our Alternative British Snap!
|Wine per bottle||£26.00|
Gareth Ward is Chef Patron at Ynyshir, a Michelin star, four AA rosette restaurant with rooms that offers dining experiences of ‘Alternative British Snap’ packed with flavour. It’s location between the Welsh coast and Snowdonia National Park, means Gareth can handpick the best ingredients from Wales, and beyond, seeing the whole British Isles as his larder.
Gareth started his cooking career straight out of school aged 16, working in kitchens in the north east before deciding to move to Rutland and take a job at Hambleton Hall. Working in the 1 Michelin star kitchen for five years, he rose from commis chef to junior sous. When he decided to leave Hambleton he moved back north to work at Seaham Hall, which had just gained its star. He stayed here for two years before taking his first Head Chefs role at Hart’s Restaurant in Nottingham, a part of the Hambleton family. Whilst here he was awarded the city’s ‘Restaurant of the Year’ and gained his first 2AA rosettes.
Gareth’s next step was to move to Restaurant Sat Bains, which when he joined had 1 Michelin star. During his time here as Sous Chef, the restaurant gained its coveted second star and came in the San Pellegrino Top 100 Restaurants, whilst being a regular in the top 10 of the Good Food Guide.
In 2013, Gareth was ready to take the reins again himself and arrived at Ynyshir, then named Ynyshir Hall, as their new head chef. In his first full year, he was awarded his first Michelin Star and then gained 4AA Rosettes shortly afterwards, the only place in Wales at the time to hold the accolade, and the first time for Ynyshir. Success continued as Gareth was also noted as
the Good Food Guides ‘Chef to Watch’, receiving 7/10 and being placed in the top 50 places to eat, as well as being in the final two restaurants in the UK in the Cateys ‘Menu Watch’.
Over the past two years he has kept his place in the Good Food Guide top 50, and Ynyshir was most recently included in the Times Top 100 Restaurants, one of only 4 in Wales.
In September 2016, Gareth was made Chef Patron of Ynyshir, at which point he and his partner Amelia Eriksson, General Manager, made the decision to convert from a hotel to a Restaurant with Rooms, renaming the business as just ‘Ynyshir’. Gareth and the team are hugely passionate about using the best ingredients to create dining experiences that surprise guests with flavour on another level.
2017 will see Gareth and Amelia continue working on the property’s refurbishment, with each stage moving Ynyshir further away from a traditional country house hotel, towards an exceptional destination restaurant with rooms.
Ynshir is open 5 days a week Dinner - Tuesday – Saturday 6.30pm – 9pm, A choice of two 4-hour Dinner Menu Experiences £110pp, Chef’s Table Bespoke Experience £130pp Lunch - Wednesday – Saturday 12pm – 1pm, 2-hour Lunch Menu £39.50pp
For more information, visit www.ynyshir.co.uk or call 01654 781209
Dishes are brought to life by the chefs that serve them in the intimate restaurant, which has just 26 covers including a chef’s table for six. Having created the dishes, the chefs talk knowledgably, passionately and naturally about each element. Suppliers and growers are paramount to the cuisine, and Ynyshir is proud of the relationships it has. The team places the highest level of respect on the suppliers’ work, as Ward sees their role as important as the chefs’.
Eglwys Fach, SY20 8TA
|Wednesday||12 pm‑1 pm, 6:30 pm‑9 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm‑1 pm, 6:30 pm‑9 pm|
|Friday||12 pm‑1 pm, 6:30 pm‑9 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm‑1 pm, 6:30 pm‑9 pm|