Discover Tyddyn Llan, an elegant restaurant with rooms which combines fabulous food with a warm welcome.
Do you ever feel like switching off your phone and escaping from ‘all of this’ for a while? Heading off to a place where you can totally relax, and the most strenuous thing you have to do is deciding which delicious food to try next?
And although Storm Ciara did her very best to make my journey more difficult, I discovered that this restaurant with rooms is just the place to switch off, relax and indulge yourself.
About Tyddyn Llan – a Restaurant with Rooms
Tyddyn Llan is set in a beautiful Georgian house close to the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales.
It’s run by Bryan and Susan Webb, who have been at Tyddyn Llan since 2002. They’ve created a restaurant with rooms which combines the excellent service and high quality food that you’d expect from a high class hotel, with the comfort and warm welcome you get when you stay with a good friend.
During my visit, I chatted with some of the other guests. I found that many of them return to Tyddyn Llan time and time again, and I can certainly see why.
Bryan and his team work their magic in the kitchen, using excellent seasonal and local produce where possible.
Meanwhile Susan takes charge of things front of house, making sure that everything runs smoothly and every guest is perfectly happy.
Their passion for what they do shines through in every detail.
Inside you’ll find thirteen individually decorated bedrooms. Each is equipped with everything you could need for a relaxing break in the beautiful Welsh countryside.
Keep reading for a look around a bedroom at Tyddyn Llan
The hotel has a large sitting room with plenty of comfy seating. Piles of magazines are dotted around, and Bara Brith and shortbread are served in the afternoon.
If you’re visiting with a group of friends or family, this is the perfect place to sit and chat over a glass of something.
And outside, the gardens would be a lovely setting for tea or coffee on a warm day, taking in the beautiful surroundings.
About Welsh Rarebits
Tyddyn Llan is part of the Welsh Rarebits collection of 39 luxury, boutique hotels in Wales. The hotels are all very different, from relaxing spas, to historic inns, to country houses.
But what they all have in common is that they offer excellent hospitality in luxurious surroundings. And they all have the kind of personal touch that is a million miles from a bland, soul-less chain hotel.
You’ll find Welsh Rarebits all across Wales, from the Cardiff in the South, through the Brecon Beacons and Mid Wales, to Llandudno on the North Wales coast. You’ll even find them on the island of Anglesey!
I’ve been fortunate enough to stay in two other Welsh Rarebits: Peterstone Court and Hotel Portmeirion. On both occasions, the food and service were truly excellent, and I was sure that my stay at Tyddyn Llan would be no exception.
How to get to Tyddyn Llan
With no local train station, you’ll need a car if you’re planning on visiting Tyddyn Llan. But getting to Tyddyn Llan by car is very simple.
The route will take you through North Shropshire and then out into North Wales on the A5. You’ll travel through the historic town of Llangollen and out to Corwen, and then turn onto the B4401 towards Llandrillo.
Tyddyn Llan is clearly signposted from the road, and the sweeping driveway takes you down towards the hotel, which has plenty of parking space on site.
I travelled to Tyddyn Llan on the day that Storm Ciara swept across the country, so my journey was made more interesting by flooding and fallen trees.
But when I arrived, I soon found out that the effort was certainly worthwhile!
Dinner at Tyddyn Llan
Whether you are staying overnight or just visiting for the evening, dinner at Tyddyn Llan has a relaxed elegance.
You can enjoy a three course dinner for £70, or a six or eight course tasting menu (£85/95).
My evening began in the sitting room, where a real wood fire was roaring in the open fireplace. This is also where tea and cakes are served to guests in the afternoon, as well as the perfect place to sit and chat over a gin and tonic.
It’s the sort of sitting room where you feel you could kick off your shoes and put your feet up!
And I was joined in the sitting room by Sheba, Bryan and Susan’s 20 year old cat. She is obviously the one who is really in charge at Tyddyn Llan, and kept an eye on me while I looked around the sitting room.
Sheba isn’t often allowed through into the sitting room, but she curled up next to me on the sofa, purring away while I sipped my wine. There’s an extensive wine list of around 250 bottles to choose from, many of them sourced from small wineries.
As I was dining alone, I ordered a glass of Pinot Grigio to start the evening.
And while I pondered the choices available on the menu, a plate of canapes was brought out to me. This included a light salmon mousse, and a delicately seasoned quail’s scotch egg – my favourite from the selection above!
I made my selection, and after a short while was taken through to the hotel’s dining room.
I had arrived at Tyddyn Llan at the end of their lunch service (available Friday-Sunday). In the daytime, the dining room is light and airy, with daylight flooding in through the large windows.
But by night the room has a different atmosphere. The overhead lights were turned off for the dinner service, and the candlelight made the room cosier and more intimate. This would certainly be a perfect place to celebrate a special anniversary or other occasion.
A basket of home made bread was brought to my table with a small dish of rich, yellow Welsh butter. The bread was really delicious, and too tempting to leave after just one slice…
Next up was an amuse-bouche of pumpkin soup, served in a miniature china tureen. The soup was silky smooth and full of rich flavour, with a garnish of toasted pumpkin seeds to add crunch. It certainly raised my anticipation for the rest of the meal!
My starter was a delicious plate of griddled scallops, sliced crossways to give a good ratio of seared outer to tender, sweet inner. Talking to Susan Webb later, I found out that they source these hand-dived scallops from the North of Scotland. They are transported to the hotel still live, to make sure that they are super-fresh when cooked.
It certainly explains why the quality of these scallops was a match for those I’ve eaten on the Argyll coast.
The scallops were served on a bed of velvety-smooth cauliflower puree, which had a delicious sweet flavour and perfect texture. A delicate caper and raisin dressing surrounded the dish, and small shards of crisp, salty pancetta added contrast in both flavour and texture.
The menu at Tyddyn Llan changes daily, and on the day I visited, other starters on the menu included a risotto of leeks with truffles, and bresaola of Welsh Black beef.
Altogether this was a delicious starter. But the generous portion size left me wondering if I’d still have room for pudding at the end of the meal!
I was tempted by that Bresaola starter that I mentioned above. But I had decided to forego that so I could try the Welsh Black beef for my main course instead.
Other options on the menu when I visited included loin of venison served with baked goats’ cheese gnocchi, and rabbit served with creamed polenta. I must have changed my mind about ten times before I finally settled on the steak!
Given the option of either a fillet or ribeye steak, I opted for the latter, and it made for a very impressive main course. My photo really doesn’t do it justice, but the romantic candlelight made conditions tricky for photography!
After dinner, Susan Webb explained that when they’d moved to Tyddyn Llan, Bryan worked really hard to find excellent suppliers for the produce he serves. On the evidence from my visit, the work has definitely paid off.
This was a fabulous steak, the aged Welsh Black beef had incredible flavour and tenderness. It was served perfectly medium-rare, as requested, and with a piquant pepper crust.
The steak was served with a classic demi-glace sauce, with a rich, decadent flavour. To make a good demi-glace requires both culinary skill and quality ingredients – both clearly in evidence at Tyddyn Llan.
You can order your steak with either potatoes dauphinoise and seasonal vegetables, or with chips and salad. I went for the latter option, and wasn’t disappointed. The chips were beautifully crisp and the bitter radicchio and frise leaves in the salad cut through the richness of the sauce.
And the glass of Malbec that I ordered went very nicely with this course!
My only complaint is that I couldn’t finish this course – pudding was now seriously in jeopardy!
I was feeling pretty full by now, so asked for a little extra time to look at the dessert menu. Because with options like ginger sponge with custard and the French classic St Emilion au chocolat, I was determined to squeeze in pudding.
As ever, I was very tempted by the cheeseboard, but in the end I decided to try the Yorkshire rhubarb and champagne trifle. I love the bright pink forced rhubarb that is in season at this time of year, and I thought it might be a lighter finish to my meal.
And it was a delicious dessert – light in texture, but with such rich, sweet flavours. The rhubarb was tender but not at the point of collapse, contrasting nicely with the light softness of the other layers. And the fluffy, warm Madeleine served alongside was a perfect accompaniment.
No, I couldn’t finish it all, but I did give it my best effort.
And my delicious Tyddyn Llan dinner ended as it began, with coffee and petit fours in the sitting room.
Curled up on a sofa by the fire with Storm Ciara roaring outside the window, and Sheba purring at my side, it felt like the perfect end to a wonderful meal.
After I’d finished my coffee, I bade Sheba goodnight and headed back up to my room for the night.
A Room at Tyddyn Llan
You don’t have to be staying at Tyddyn Llan to eat in their restaurant. But after so much good food, you might not want to travel any further than upstairs!
Tyddyn Llan categorises their rooms as Standard, Large or Best. All of the rooms are a decent size, but I stayed in Room One, which is one of the Best rooms.
This elegant room has windows looking out over both the front of the house and onto the gardens at rear of the house.
And it’s a spacious room, allowing for both a fabulous canopied four poster bed and a sitting area.
The bed was very comfortable with plump pillows and Egyptian cotton sheets, which are standard in all rooms. All rooms are equipped with cotton dressing gowns and slippers as well.
If you’re visiting Wales for some peace and quiet, then you’ll love staying at Tyddyn Llan. There’s no phone signal inside the house but if you can’t resist going online, there is free WiFi throughout the bedrooms and sitting room.
And the bedrooms have a selection of books and magazines, as well as a TV, DVD player and a Bose docking station.
It’s really the perfect place to relax and get away from the world.
All of the rooms are well stocked with everything you could need for a cup of tea or coffee.
My room had a Nespresso machine and pods, a French press and Illy ground coffee, decaff coffee, and a selection of teas. Bottles of mineral water are provided as well, along with some delicious home-made biscuits.
Or if you prefer, you can request an early morning cup of tea or coffee to be brought up to your room.
Through in the bright, airy bathroom, there is a slipper bath and a standalone rainfall shower. Plenty of soft, fluffy towels are provided on the heated towel rails, together with a good supply of toiletries.
What more could you need for a relaxing break in Wales?
Breakfast at Tyddyn Llan
Despite the winds still howling outside, I had a fabulous night’s sleep at Tyddyn Llan.
They have a relaxed start to the morning at Tyddyn Llan with breakfast starting at 8.30am. But if you want to check out earlier, they can prepare your bill for you to settle up the night before.
The breakfast buffet featured cereals, organic Welsh yoghurt, and a selection of fruit juices. Fresh and dried fruits were also available, with each type in its own separate bowl.
A menu was quickly brought over to me, and a pot of coffee and some toasted homemade bread soon followed. A selection of jams was already on my table, together with another pot of that gorgeous yellow Welsh butter. There was also some fantastic, thick cut marmalade from Ludlow Food Centre in my home county of Shropshire.
If you want a cooked breakfast at Tyddyn Llan, you can choose from options like boiled egg and soldier, smoked salmon and scrambled egg, or poached egg on sourdough toast.
But as I was on my own for this trip, I decided to see how Tyddyn Llan does the full Welsh breakfast.
And what a breakfast it was!
Local sausage and bacon feature alongside fried bread cooked in bacon fat, black pudding, grilled tomatoes and fried mushrooms. The two eggs were perfectly fried, but you can have poached or scrambled eggs if you prefer.
There was also a fried leek and laverbread cake. I think laverbread is a bit of an acquired taste, and I’m not totally sure that I’ve acquired it yet. I do keep on trying it though!
After I’d eaten what I could of my breakfast, I had one more pot of Illy coffee to go with a slice of toast with that gorgeous marmalade.
I left my table feeling like I wouldn’t need to eat for a week. But who can blame me when the food is this good!
Things to do near Tyddyn Llan
Personally I’d be happy to do nothing more strenuous than lift a glass or a slice of Bara Brith while staying at Tyddyd Llan.
But if you do feel the urge to explore, there are plenty of walks in the local area. The hotel can arrange a packed lunch for you to take with you if you wish.
If you want to go further afield, the town of Llangollen is around 30 minutes away by car. There you’ll find Plas Newydd stately home, the Llangollen steam railway and Horseshoe Falls.
You can cross the ‘river in the heavens’ at the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a World Heritage site. Or you can also go white water rafting on the River Dee if you fancy something more active.
The Roman walled city of Chester is an hour North-East of Tyddyn Llan, or you could drive an hour westwards to visit the Italianate village of Portmeiron.
Tyddyn Llan: the Verdict
Where do I start?
Should I start with the food at Tyddyn Llan, from the delicate canapes and the tender steak, to the excellent Welsh breakfast? Or the roaring fire and comfortable sofas in the cosy sitting room? Or the elegant bedroom and the gorgeous slipper bath?
Every aspect of my stay at Tyddyn Llan was excellent, but what really sticks in my mind is how welcoming it is.
From the moment I walked through the door, tired and stressed from driving through the storm, I felt the knots in my shoulders ease. Yes, this is a high quality hotel, but Bryan and Susan Webb and their staff make it feel like a home from home.
I can certainly see why guests keep on coming back, and I am sure that I’ll go back again too!
Llandrillo, Denbighshire, LL21 0ST