Travel Trade Wales

Wales' Michelin Starred Restaurants retain their prized status

Wales' Michelin Starred Restaurants retain their prized status


All four Michelin-starred restaurants in Wales have retained their prized status in the definitive food guide’s 100th edition.


The Walnut Tree in Llanddewi Skirrid, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire; Tyddyn Llan in Llandrillo, Denbighshire; and Ynyshir Hall in Machynlleth, Powys, all join the Crown at Whitebrook in Monmouthshire in the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2011.


Paul Cordle, Michelin’s PR manager, said: “The quality of cooking keeps going up in the UK and these four restaurants in Wales are still delivering food that deserves a star.


“We have issued a total of 143 stars this year, more than ever before, as we celebrate our 100th year.


“They include four three- stars, 16 two-stars and 123 one-stars.

“Meanwhile Stephen Terry at the Hardwick, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, is once again mentioned in our Bib Gourmand rating, which highlights restaurants offering good food at moderate prices.”


The Crown, which was the only Welsh entry in the prestigious guide in 2009, retained its coveted star for the fifth year in succession, with executive chef James Sommerin from Newport at the helm. He said: “We’re elated, ecstatic, over the moon at retaining our Michelin star, after gaining one first in 2007.


“The star is a tribute to the tremendously hard work put in by all the extremely talented and dedicated staff at the Crown at Whitebrook.

“It’s good to see that the three other Michelin star restaurants in Wales also retained their single stars, which is great news for Monmouthshire as a county, where we have two one-star restaurants, and the country of Wales as a whole.


“However it’s a little bit disappointing that there were not more restaurants in Wales awarded stars this year.”


Bryan Webb, head chef at Tyddyn Llan, said: “Retaining the star reflects all the hard work we have all put in over the last 12 months.

“My wife Susan makes the guests feel so special but everyone at Tyddyn Llan, front of house and behind the scenes, work so capably and willingly, to make this happen.


“It’s not just about the star, however, fine cooking, combined with great service was what we always did, as that’s what our guests deserve.


“I always set out to please my guests first, and to make meals I know they will relish.


“But retaining the star is wonderful, as it makes us all feel that the effort is being rewarded with one of the highest accolades in the business.”


He became a Masterchefs fellow in 2009 and Tyddyn Llan was also voted the Good Food Guide readers’ favourite restaurant in Wales.

Shaun Hill, who now runs the Walnut Tree, formerly owned Merchant House restaurant in Ludlow, which was once named the 14th best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine.


And the luxury Ynyshir Hall, that was once owned by Queen Victoria and has played host to guests including actor Richard Gere and Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant, regained a star for the fourth time, with chef Shane Hughes.


Wales has already come a step closer to gaining its first ever two-Michelin-star restaurant with last month’s arrival of celebrity chef Martin Blunos.


His former restaurant, Lettonie in Bath, held two Michelin stars before it closed in 2001 and in 2003 he was the head chef at Bath’s famous Royal Crescent hotel.


Now he is to join Crown Hotels & Restaurant, the umbrella organisation behind the Michelin-star Crown restaurant at Whitebrook and the three AA rosette Crown at Celtic Manor.


Mr Sommerin, who is working with him to improve on the single Michelin star status, said: “We will be constantly striving to improve in all areas, continuing to create great food in a truly wonderful environment and aiming to keep the restaurant full.”


The first Michelin Guide to the British Isles was published in 1911, with the aim of helping motorists on their travels.


The guide’s editor-in-chief Rebecca Burr said: “This centenary edition underlines the UK’s greatest strength, which is the rich diversity and variety of its restaurants".

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