One of Wales’ top chefs is opening his own restaurant in Mid Wales with an emphasis on modern British cuisine strongly influenced by the best Welsh ingredients.
Nick Davies, 42, from Llanidloes, a member of the Welsh National Culinary Team for 16 years, has created six jobs by taking over the Lion Hotel in the village of Llandinam, famous as the home of Lord David Davies. The hotel opens on Friday, December 2.
He and his wife, Jo, who is front of house manager, have completely refurbished the bar and 80-cover restaurant, which is situated alongside the busy A470 between Newtown and Llanidloes.
Second phase of the £50,000 investment will see the refurbishment of the hotel’s four en-suite letting bedrooms, which should be ready by April.
Davies, who has travelled the world with the Welsh National Culinary Team, winning medals at the Culinary World Cup and Culinary Olympics, was a gold medallist at the 2009 European Global Chef Challenge in Dublin.
He has worked across Wales and Scotland over the past 26 years, recently serving as a director of award-winning Cambrian Training Company and WelshMeatOnline in Welshpool.
“I used to drive past the Lion Hotel every morning on my way to work and thought what a shame it was that another village establishment had closed,” explained Davies. “After nine years at Cambrian Training Company, giving advice to businesses and mentoring chefs, I felt it was the right time in my life to open a venture with my wife.
“We have received a lot of encouragement from family and friends and I think the hotel is ideally situated close to my family roots and in prominent position alongside a busy road.
“The food that we will be serving will have universal appeal and we are keen to welcome families to the Lion Hotel, as we have young children ourselves. We hope to establish the hotel as the hub of the village and the positive comments that we have received from local people have been very encouraging.”
Davies is committed to supporting local suppliers wherever possible. Guest local beers from the local Monty’s Brewery and Waen Brewery will be available at the bar and the restaurant will serve locally sourced game, Celtic Pride Welsh Beef, Welsh Lamb from WelshMeatOnline, pork, bacon and gammon from neighbouring Neuadd Fach Baconry, Llandinam and Welsh cheeses.