Tyddyn Llan revisited
It’s more than 2 years since I last stayed at Tyddyn Llan and I must say nothing has changed my opinion that Bryan Webb is one of the best chefs in the UK and probably the best fish cook in the country. Our 3 day sojourn was truly fantastic as a quiet holiday celebrating my 80th birthday with a couple of our dearest friends – the food and service were outstanding and the breakfasts probably the best in Britain.
The chintzy decor and the lack of piped music was a plus for us – I couldn’t care less about so-called atmosphere because I only came here for the attention to detail, the hospitality, and above all for the FOOD and I was really impressed by the quality and imagination of the cuisine – and as for the wines – this is one of the best value quality wine lists in the country.
This is a place for SERIOUS eating. Whether you have the 3 course dinner menu (£65) or the 6 course tasting menu (£75) or the 9 course tasting menu (£90), you will not be disappointed with the quality of the cuisine – and the lunch menus, which are a bit scaled down, which are prepared with the same care and attention to detail. And talking of care and attention, they do go out of their way to cater for oddities such as children, vegetarians and people with allergies, so they are not made to feel like second class citizens. All dishes are made from the freshest of ingredients and skilfully executed – not over elaborated or with flavour combinations that are too clever by half – this is true wysiwyg heaven on a plate.
Describing individual dishes is probably a bit superfluous, but what impresses is succulence of the fish and meat (nothing is ever overcooked) and the somewhat trencherman portions which could perhaps overawe people with small appetites. Seasoning is always balanced, but they are not arrogant enough to deny you salt and pepper on the table as some restaurants are wont to do.
As for the wine list, this is a model of a list that is large enough to give sufficient variety, but small enough for you not to feel lost in it and the price/quality ratio is outstanding. I will be posting a separate analysis on the merits of the wine list in the Members section in due course. However, to give some examples of the value, Ancre Hill Sparkling Rosé from Monmouth, retails at £30 a bottle, is on the list at £50, but it is at the upper end of the price spectrum where you can really score, with Phelp’s Insignia 1991 on the list at £175, and is currently showing an average retail price on the Wine-Searcher website at £337 ex tax – an absolute rich man’s bargain!
The bedrooms vary very much in size and décor and are therefore very individual – those who come here regularly will have their favourites – and of course they do vary in price. But there are various deals that can be done and it is wise to look at their website to see what the current ones are. Service is efficient without being too stuffy and formal but certainly not lackadaisical. Breakfasts are a model of what a decent British breakfast should be, freshly cooked with first class ingredients and plenty of it if you wish.
All in all, this is a place worth going a long way for, probably among the top 10 restaurants in Britain and accompanied by staying in a relaxed atmosphere without being overawed by the staff is an added bonus.
Tyddyn Llan Restaurant with Rooms
Llandrillo, Nr. Corwyn, Denbeighshire, LL21 0ST
Tel: +44 (0) 1490 440264
Wine list 18
Value for Money 13
For an explanation of the ratings go here