“Multi-course menus from an outstanding chef” - AA Inspector
EGLWYS FACH, CEREDIGION
Our Inspector's View
On the south bank of the River Dovey, deep within a 2,000-acre RSPB reserve, this white-fronted country manor is one of the Principality's most treasured restaurants. Once owned by Queen Victoria, the house and its lush green gardens are framed by the imposing Cambrian Mountains, which separate two National Parks, Snowdonia to the north and Brecon Beacons to the south. With chef-patron Gareth Ward at the helm, Ynyshir has been on the foodie trail for some time. At the heart of the operation, as you would expect, are the dining room and a no-shouting-zone kitchen opening off it. While cooking is clearly the kitchen team's priority, they also do their fair share of pickling, salting, fermenting, plus preserving fruits, leaves and berries. Guests here to enjoy a 17-or 20-course tasting menu are invited to assemble in the bar at a given time before taking their seats half an hour later. Neither lunch nor dinner is a hurried affair – with so many courses, how could they be? – so expect at least a four-hour sitting. Each of the five small tables is served by the chefs, who happily explain the genesis of the dishes, or what Ward calls Alternative British Snap. Using only brief descriptions, the menus signpost what's to come, such as one that began with the enigmatic Not French Onion Soup and ended with Welsh Wagyu fudge, having travelled via Goosnargh chicken katsu, aged mackerel with wasabi, pork belly char siu, garlic prawn, yuzu slushy, rhubarb and custard and tiramisù. During the hunting season expect to see local venison, duck, grouse and partridge, and Welsh lamb in summer. The distinguished Old and New World varietals and vineyards on the detailed wine list substantiate the AA's Notable Wine List award. With dinner lasting four hours, it’s a good idea to book an overnight room too.
Facilities – at a glance
- Seats: 18
- Private dining available
- On-site parking available
- Wheelchair accessible
- Steps for wheelchair: 2
- Accessible toilets
- Assist dogs welcome
- Days Closed: Sunday to Tuesday
- Lunch served from: 1
- Dinner served from: 7.30
- Wines over £30:
- Wines by the glass: 68
- Cuisine style: Modern British
Also in the Area
About The area
The name ‘Ceredigion’ takes a bit of explanation. The town of Cardigan gives its name to the surrounding bay, but the county now uses the Welsh word for Cardiganshire – Ceredigion, pronounced with a ‘dig’. Cardigan Bay itself is a large inlet of the Irish Sea and stretches from Bardsey Island to Strumble Head. With many beaches and a unique marine life, it’s the place to come to spot bottlenose dolphins, porpoises and Atlantic grey seals. The area is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), designated under European law to protect its species and habitats. The Ceredigion coastal path is also a major attraction.
Much of the surrounding land is fertile farmland, dotted with towns and seaside resorts such as Fishguard, New Quay, Aberaeron, Aberystwyth, Borth, Aberdyfi, Barmouth and Porthmadog. It’s also a section of coast that major rivers flow into, including the Afon Glaslyn, Teifi, Rheidol, Dyfi, Aeron, Dysynni and Mawddach. Historically, the area supported a strong maritime industry. Cardigan was a major hub, once having more than 300 ships registered in its port, seven times as many as Cardiff. Due to being something of a backwater, in many ways this area remains charmingly unspoilt. The nearby heather-clad Preseli Hills are an additional delight.
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