Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms
“One of the most innovative and unique dining experiences in Britain.” - AA Inspector
EGLWYS FACH, CEREDIGION
Our Inspector's view
Deep within a 2,000-acre RSPB reserve, this country manor is one of the Principality's most treasured restaurants. The house and its lush green gardens are framed by the imposing Cambrian Mountains, and with chef-patron Gareth Ward at the helm, Ynyshir has been on the foodie trail for some time. The stylish dining room is darkly comfortable, with exposed stone walls, wooden furniture and sheepskins to soften the look. You get a view of what’s going on in the busy no-shouting-zone kitchen as the dishes are constructed. Everyone who works here is passionate about what they do – Ward’s delight in his food is clearly infectious. He’s endlessly curious and the team do plenty of pickling, salting and fermenting, as well as preserving fruits, leaves and berries. Neither lunch nor dinner is a hurried affair – with literally dozens of courses, how could they be? – so expect at least a four-hour sitting. (There are rooms – and three tipis in the grounds – if you want to stay over.) Each of the six small tables is served by the chefs, who happily explain the genesis of the dishes, or what Gareth calls ‘Alternative British Snap’. Using only brief descriptions, the menus signpost what's to come. There’s a DJ, so this is not the place for a quiet meeting.
Facilities – at a glance
Credit cards accepted
- Seats: 18
- Private dining available
- On-site parking available
- Wheelchair accessible
- Steps for wheelchair: 2
- Accessible toilets
- Assist dogs welcome
- Closed: one week April, 2 weeks Summer, one week October, 25 December to 8 January
- Wines over £30: 60
- Wines by the glass: 50
- 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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