Updated: Mar 11, 2022
All of the restaurants that have retained or been newly awarded Stars in the 2022 Michelin Guide, plus Wales' two Bib Gourmand dining spots for affordably priced food.
Photo: The Whitebrook
Newly awarded for 2022:
Ynyshir, Machynlleth **
Ynyshir recently became the first ever Welsh establishment to receive a two-star designation by Michelin, who remarked on the ‘truly unique’ dining experience offered by the restaurant.
Chef Gareth Ward is at the helm of this Japanese-influenced restaurant in rural Wales, which is described as ‘an incredible culinary experience with loud music and fire’. The menu is ingredient-driven, using the best produce from Wales and further afield to bring you a wide array of flavour-packed small dishes. Dinner comes in approximately 30 courses (yes, 30...) starting at 5pm – whilst a resident DJ provides a soundtrack for the entirety of the meal –served over three hours.
Taking the less-trodden path has certainly worked out for Ynyshir. They can now count themselves amongst the UK’s most critically-acclaimed restaurants, as well as taking Michelin’s top spot in Wales for 2022.
Home, Penarth *
Home is a family-run restaurant started by chef-owner James Sommerin in 2021, which seeks to provide exceptional food in a comforting and familiar setting. James prioritises creating a warm, welcoming environment in which guests can enjoy their food; he says he wants you to feel ‘so relaxed, you kick your shoes off under the table’. He and his daughter Georgia are the kitchen’s sole chefs, whilst the other members of the family take responsibility for front of house.
Home’s surprise tasting menus – available as four or eight courses, with optional wine pairings – are heavily influenced by the seasons and by the fresh produce available from their Welsh suppliers. As such, you can expect a dynamic and constantly evolving menu which champions high-quality local ingredients.
Retained for 2022:
SY23, Aberystwyth *
SY23 is a restaurant opened in Aberystwyth in 2020 by Welsh chef Nathan Davies, who was previously appointed Head Chef at Ynyshir by Gareth Ward. Nathan places great emphasis on sustainability, locality, and flavour when it comes to crafting the dishes on his menu. Many of the ingredients used his the kitchen originate from the SY23 postcode and are either used fresh or preserved for use throughout the year.
The food, which is all foraged, farmed or fished locally, is cooked over an open fire and presented in simple yet beautiful style. The Michelin Guide highlights how the dishes on the 10-course tasting menu are ‘modern and original with some good textural contrasts and real depth of flavour’.
Beach House, Oxwich *
With spectacular views across Oxwich Bay and set in a stunning stone building that once served as a coalhouse for a nearby estate, the Beach House is the creation of decorated Welsh chef Hywel Griffith. A fluent Welsh speaker and passionate supporter of
local farmers, fishermen and producers, Hywel’s menu showcases some of the best ingredients available in Wales – such as Gower Salt Marsh lamb and Llandelio fallow deer.
Griffith’s cooking style is described as classical and sophisticated, with an emphasis placed on celebrating the central ingredient of each dish.
Sosban & The Old Butchers, Menai Bridge *
Sosban & The Old Butchers is a two-person operation run by husband and wife duo Stephen and Bethan Stevens. The renovated butcher’s shop seats only a small number of guests at any given time, lending the restaurant an intimate and exclusive atmosphere. Their surprise seasonal menu offers an ever-changing range of bold and modern dishes, drawing heavily upon a wealth of high-quality produce originating mostly in North Wales. Sosban & The Old Butchers is a great choice for those seeking a true food adventure in a more quiet and personal setting.
The Whitebrook, Whitebrook *
Located in the breath-taking Wye Valley, and making use of the natural larder that its rural setting affords, the Whitebrook sources almost all of its ingredients from within a 12-mile radius of the restaurant. Plants grown in the Whitebrook's garden or foraged from the surrounding valley and estuary feature prominently on the menu, making the restaurant one of the best in this year's Guide for vegetarian diners. Meat and fish are also available and are sourced locally, either from suppliers in Monmouthshire or the day boats from Cornwall.
Chef patron Chris Harrod and his wife July have created a truly environmentally-minded restaurant which pays homage to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which surrounds it. Since rooms are also available, the Whitebrook represents a fantastic destination dining spot in some of Britain's most spectacular surroundings.
Walnut Tree, Llanddewi Skirrid *
This inn in Llanddewi Skirrid near Abergavenny has been a firm favourite of both locals and visitors alike since the 1960s. Chef Sean Hill, who has been at the restaurant since 2008, has over 50 years of kitchen experience and a deep knowledge of classical cookery. The Walnut Tree offers both a la carte and set menus, which change daily depending upon which ingredients are available from local suppliers. Sean focuses on producing dishes which he himself enjoys eating. As such, you can expect a number of more familiar classics on the menu, albeit executed with exceptional attention to detail and using the finest ingredients available.
With an open fire, a broad range of art pieces adorning the walls, and rooms available for those wishing to stay, the Walnut Tree is another fantastic choice for those seeking their next location for a food-oriented getaway – particularly if you tend to prefer the warmth and comfort that comes with pub dining.
The Bib Gourmand : Great food at affordable prices, as certified by Michelin.
Whilst there were no new awardees of the Bib in Wales this year, two restaurants were able to retain their designation as top value-for-money offerings…
Hare & Hounds, Aberthin
If you love fresh, quality food, but tend to prefer a good pub lunch to a 10-course tasting menu, then Aberthin’s Hare & Hounds might be the perfect place for you. This centuries-old pub describes itself as ‘a thriving local watering hole that has been keeping locals’ thirst at bay for over 300 years’ – which it achieves with a broad array of wines and real ales.
The food at the Hare & Hounds is certainly no afterthought, however. Head chef and Aberthin local Tom Watts-Jones prepares a menu which changes twice daily (for lunch and dinner), making use of farmed, foraged, and hunted ingredients from the Vale of Glamorgan. Unpretentious yet exceptional food is the result.
Bryn Williams at Porth Eirias, Colwyn Bay
Bryn Williams at Porth Eirias is perched right on the beach, boasting a bright, modern interior with floor-to-ceiling windows. Expect fantastic views of the beach at Colwyn Bay and delicious, reasonably priced dishes in which local seafood takes centre stage. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner – as well as afternoon tea from 3pm on weekdays.
Like the Hare & Hounds, main courses at Bryn Williams’ restaurant are available for around £20 pounds or less, which means you can enjoy a Michelin-recommended meal without spending too much.