Hotel of the week: Ynyshir Hall, Eglwysfach, West Wales
Ynyshir Hall is a special foodie destination, surrounded by the Cambrian Mountains, independently owned for almost 30 years, food has always been at the heart of everything. The late Joan Reen developed Ynyshir Hall into a foodie paradise with her husband Rob Reen and they selected Gareth Ward as head chef. Gareth has achieved the very best for the hotel and Wales…
16th-century Ynyshir Hall is home to just 10 luxury bedrooms and suites and is set amid 14 acres of gorgeous gardens. Each of the bedrooms is named after a different artist, with huge beds, television, radio, Wi-Fi and — a lovely touch — a decanter of sherry in each room. The views are all exceptional.
Gareth joined in the summer of 2013 with experience from establishments including Sat Bains. He quickly built a following at Ynyshir Hall helped by the freedom Joan and Rob gave Gareth in the kitchen. During his time at Ynyshir Hall, Gareth has achieved Wales’s best foodie record winning a Michelin Star in 2014 which was retained in 2015. The AA awarded Ynyshir Hall 4 AA Rosettes making this the only place in Wales to have such a sought after award. The Good Food Guide continue to highlight Ynyshir Hall as having the one of the best talents in the country with Ynyshir Hall appearing in the 2016 guide’s top 50. In fact, Ynyshir Hall has appeared in this foodies bible for 26 years now. SquareMeal, once again included Ynyshir Hall in their annual Top 100 UK Restaurants. And the tourist board has awarded the highest standard of ‘Gold’ to all things at Ynyshir.
Ynyshir has always grown its own food, foraged for wild food (the area is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve), and used local suppliers. Menus available at Ynyshir Hall include 11 course, 8 course and 5 course for residents only dinner menus. These are served in the 25-cover restaurant with art by former resident artist Rob Reen. A wine pairing option is available for all menus. Lunch is also served at Ynyshir Hall and 5 course and 8 course menus are available. Not forgetting afternoon tea which can be taken in the lounge, bar or al-fresco in the gardens.
The Chef’s Table, a new dining experience, allows guests to use their senses and see, taste and smell the wide variety of ingredients that go into the ‘Culinary Adventure Menu’ comprising 11 courses as selected by Gareth. The Chef’s Table is located inside the kitchen, so guests really do have a front row seat into all the action.
Ynyshir Hall is responsible for attracting many visitors to Wales who are amazed by the fairytale landscape that so entranced Queen Victoria, who once owned Ynyshir Hall. Surrounded by the rugged Cambrian Mountains, it is far away from traffic, noise or light pollution. The air is crystal clear, the water pure as can be. Its idyllic location, between sea and mountains, means visitors can walk for miles and enjoy the peace, quiet and natural beauty. The hotel is fortunate to share the Dyfi estuary with one of Britain’s finest bird reserves, the RSPB Ynys-hir Nature Reserve, former home of BBC’s Springwatch. The golden sands of Borth beach are a 15-minute drive away; or why not visit beautiful Dovey Valley (“Artists Valley”) where Jimmy Page and Robert Plant wrote Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven.
The Treatment Centre
Joan Reen, the late owner of Ynyshir Hall, always believed in holistic treatments to enhance the day-to-day lives of those with busy lifestyles and she selected leaders in their fields to run the new treatment & therapy building offering a wide selection of treatments that are enhanced by the hotel’s surroundings.
Each retreat starts with a Mindful Walking session which acts like a consultation but instantly introduces the surrounding peaceful environment to visitors who are then immediately in touch with nature. After that a selection of treatments are available including:
Reflexology – the original foot massage focusses on points of the feet which relate to specific parts of the body and head and rebalance energy levels.
Reiki – a form of alternative medicine through palm healing, Reiki involves the laying of the hands to treat unseen life force energy that flows through us which helps combat stress.
Shiatsu Massage – shiatsu is a physical therapy that supports and strengthens the body’s natural ability to heal and balance itself. It works on the whole person fusing physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual.
Mindful Meditation Walk – explore the grounds of Ynyshir further whilst learning about meditation, a healing ceremony and energy healing to help reconnect with nature learning about the energies of the earth and how to use them to facilitate inner knowing and healing.
Thomas Buchi is a leading qualified personal trainer in meditation, Tai-Chi and an expert in Shiatsu massage, reflexology, bio energy healing and osteopathy. Thomas has given extensive courses around the world and has lived in Wales since the year 2000. He believes that Ynyshir Hall is the perfect place to recharge.
Address: Ynyshir Hall, Eglwysfach, Machynlleth, Powys SY20 8TA / 01654 781209