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AA Notable Wine List 2018-19
AA rating

About this rating

Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

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Multi-course menus from an outstanding chef

AA Inspector

At a glance

Private dining
Wines by the glass
Wheelchair access

Deep inside a 1,000-acre RSPB reserve, not far from the fringes of the Snowdonia National Park, Ynyshir may look like a modest enough white-fronted country house but is one of the Welsh nation's treasures. The pastoral tranquillity of the setting makes a stay in one of the 10 guest rooms a restorative treat, and the views over the gardens could hardly be more sumptuous. It should come as no surprise to learn that the house was once owned by Queen Victoria, who had a discerning eye for a country retreat. At the heart of the operation is a dining room in the unmistakable modern manner, done in subdued unpatterned tones, with the hive of activity in the kitchen opening off it. Gareth Ward offers tasting menus at both lunch and dinner, the latter extending to a bravura performance of 18 courses, mobilising the full range of present-day technique in presentations that see dishes turning up on lumps of stone or in knobbly earthenware bowls, among other vehicles. A nibble of bread is elevated into the first division when it arrives with cultured butter and Welsh Wagyu beef dripping (the meat itself will come later, as the centrepiece of the whole show). Along the winding way, the artful combinations of texture and taste take in mackerel, sharp with rhubarb and silky with pork back fat, pollock with shiitakes, and an Asian-style serving of black beans with shiso and garlic, before the principal meat, which, if not Wagyu, could well be premium Welsh lamb. Serving a single cheese in prime condition is always a good idea, as when Beauvale, a soft blue from Cropwell Bishop, is paired with ripe Comice pear, and then the dessert parade begins – Cox's apple with buttermilk and sorrel, miso treacle tart, and wild spins on favourites such as tiramisù, sticky toffee, and rhubarb and custard. Despite the multiplicity of dishes, it's all perfectly weighted. The shorter lunch menu, which might open with the famous Japanese-inspired onion soup made with dashi stock, tofu and miso, and take in a partnering of crab and turnip before the main meat, provides a good entrée to the repertoire.

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Opening hours

  • Closed: 6 weeks during the year
  • Days closed: Sunday to Tuesday
  • Closed for lunch: Wednesday to Thursday
  • Lunch served from: 1
  • Dinner served from: 7.30


  • Chef(s): Gareth Ward

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style: Modern British
  • Wines over £30: 75
  • Wines by the glass: 68

Price guide

  • Service charge
  • Credit cards accepted


  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Steps for wheelchair: 2
  • Accessible toilets
  • Assist dogs welcome

Additional information

  • Seats: 18
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 6
  • On-site parking available

Getting here

On A487, 6 miles south of Machynlleth. 12 miles north of Aberystwyth.

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