Around Town rounds up some great mini-break destinations for those who are always thinking about what’s for dinner on holiday. Book a night or two at one of these hotels, where the quality of the food is top priority…
1. Ynyshir, Powys
Sitting on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park and set amongst 14 acres of garden, Ynyshir actually considers itself more a ‘restaurant and rooms’ destination that your classic country hotel. Let’s just say, don’t expect to be greeted by your standard burger and chips or steak and ale pie. With one Michelin star, four AA rosettes and 12th place on Waitrose’s prestigious Good Food Guide 2018, the whole enterprise has revolved around food since chef patron Gareth Ward became a partner in January this year. His motto is: “Ingredient led, flavour driven, fat fuelled, meat obsessed,” and his food focuses on the best British produce while taking inspiration and techniques from Japanese cuisine. Eat, walk, visit the Ynyshir RSPB and enjoy the nearby coast.
2. Miskin Manor Country Hotel, Pontyclun
Treat yourself to high tea at this Grade II listed AA Rosette restaurant. Offering your classic scones with jam, cream and pots of tea, for those with less of a sweet tooth, Miskin Manor’s savoury high tea promises miniature burgers and pies with crisp pastry crusts. The hotel itself featured as Dr Watson’s wedding venue in series three of BBC drama Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and has also appeared in Doctor Who. So, when you’re not dashing around pretending to solve crimes (just us?), indulge in bread and cakes all handmade on site, then work it off with a swim in the indoor pool.
3. Llechwen Hall Hotel & Restaurant, Nelson, Pontypridd
If romance is on the menu, you won’t go wrong booking a table in Llechwen Hall Hotel’s orangery for dinner. Supported by oak beams and lit by candles, the setting is as smart and considered as the food. Expect seasonal and locally-sourced produce, from lightly battered salt and pepper whitebait and rump of Welsh lamb, to steak and the specially selected Llechwen cheese slate, complete with homemade chutneys and moreish table biscuits. Once you’re full on that lot, take a long walk in the nearby Brecon Beacons, or explore the Dan-yr-Ogof caves at Wales’ National Showcase Centre.
4. Fairyhill by Oldwalls, Reynoldston, Swansea
The vegetables and herbs come direct from the walled kitchen garden at Fairyhill, a Grade II listed hotel and wedding venue on the Gower peninsula. Book yourself in for the eight-course tasting menu (think pear with Pembrokeshire crab, pan-fried rack of Welsh Salt Marsh lamb, and a deconstructed lemon meringue pie to finish), then settle in for an evening spent sampling the dedicated gin menu in the modern orangery, before sinking into crisp sheets in the luxury bedrooms.
5. Morgans, Swansea
Built in 1902, Morgans was an imposing red brick figure in Swansea docks’ heyday. Now, it’s a hub for proper gourmet pub grub in the city’s maritime district. Snag a table in the hotel’s glass-roofed atrium and you’ll be able to eat cockle popcorn, chargrilled swordfish and rum and raisin bread and butter pudding beneath the stars. Then retire to the grown-up Champagne bar or make the most of the cocktail menu. When it comes to staying overnight, it’s possible to book a sleek but traditionally decorated room in the main hotel, or one across the street in Morgans Townhouse, an updated regency property that’s next door to the Dylan Thomas Museum.
6. The Dragon Hotel, Swansea
You can drink and dance with views out over Swansea at The Dragon Hotel’s piano restaurant. In the Dragon Brasserie the menu features modern European-influenced dishes, while you can cosy up with afternoon tea in the Margam Lounge. The bedrooms are all en suite with complimentary wifi, and there’s a sauna and heated indoor pool for relaxing after a day spent shopping in Swansea of exploring the Mumbles.