The stars align for Wales’s best restaurants
Our best restaurants in Wales are celebrating success, with some achieving new awards while others retain their existing awards from the UK and Ireland’s most prestigious restaurant guide – the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2022
In total, seven Welsh restaurants were awarded. Already previously a one Michelin star restaurant, Gareth Ward’s Ynyshir in Machynlleth has been promoted to a two Michelin star, boasting the first ever two-star to be awarded in Wales. The restaurant already holds 5 AA rosettes, the highest ranking in Wales in the Harden’s Guide, and the title of best restaurant in Wales in the 2021 National Restaurant Awards.
Chef Gareth Ward said, “It’s a huge achievement for the whole team and we are completely blown away and proud to have been awarded two stars. It is also massive for Wales and really starts to cement the food scene as equal to the best in the world. Now let’s go on to get 3 stars!”
Out of the 19 newly awarded one Michelin star restaurants in the UK, one was awarded to James Sommerin’s Home in Penarth, while the other was awarded to SY23 in Aberystwyth, which also received a Special Award for Opening of the Year.
Hot on the heels of his success going through to the final of the BBC2’s Great British Menu, part-owner and chef of SY23 Nathan Davies said: “Receiving a Michelin star is the things of dreams, it’s an award of quality that’s globally recognised. I have worked in kitchens that have had Michelin stars and was the Head Chef of Ynyshir for a few years, a great local restaurant that have just received their second star on the same day!
“So I have been in this environment for a number of years but nothing quite prepares you to receive your very own star for a restaurant that you’ve designed and built from the ground up. I have an outstanding team and it is as much their award as it is mine. Opening a restaurant months before the pandemic started and being closed down for several months on more than one occasion has been very, very difficult but to not only have survived this far but to have thrived and picked up one of the highest respected awards in the industry has been massive. As well as the Michelin award for Opening of the Year for Great Britain and Ireland was truly amazing too.
“Our food here at SY23 restaurant champions the best of the local produce available to us; from local lamb and beef from the nearby hillside to fish and shellfish landed a short walk away in the local marina. Ingredients that have been preserved, dried, fermented and pickled allow us to use amazing local produce all year round. We are grateful we have such amazing food producers on our door step and also have had fantastic support from our local community and for that we are very thankful.”
Chapters in Hay-on-Wye has been newly awarded a Michelin Green Star for excellence in sustainable gastronomy, while Palé Hall in Llandderfel has retained its Michelin Green Star from last year.
Opened in July 2019, Chapters restaurant aims to support small scale producers and other local independent businesses.
Chef Mark McHugo (Pictured with fellow owner Carmaine Blatchford) said: “We are delighted to be awarded a Green Star, it is a fantastic achievement and as the only new entry announced for Wales we are especially proud – thank you Michelin! It means so much to us being recognised for what we work so hard to achieve and love doing is simply amazing.
“Creating a restaurant with sustainability at its heart is the basis of all our decision making. We believe it’s important that people know that when they enjoy a meal here they are also supporting the local economy with local produce being at the centre of our menus. We are so grateful for the support we have from our staff, guests, family, friends and suppliers.”
Restaurants celebrating their continued success from last year, retaining a one Michelin star, are the Beach House, Oxwich; Sosban & The Old Butchers, Menai Bridge; The Whitebrook, Whitebrook and the Walnut Tree, Llanddewi Skirrid.
Commenting on Wales’s achievements through Michelin’s globally recognised standards, the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd, Lesley Griffiths said:
“A big congratulations to all of our Michelin-starred restaurants – those receiving new awards and those who have maintained their excellent standard to retain their stars.
“The attention to detail our award-winning chefs put into creating their amazing dishes truly pays homage to the passion and dedication our producers devote to producing our unique food and drink.
“The Welsh Government is committed to supporting every aspect of our food and drink supply chain, and with our first-rate ingredients inspiring and gracing the tables of the top restaurants, it ensures Wales continues to have a global reputation for excellence.”
Minister for the Economy, Vaughan Gething, said: “This is a huge achievement and a real boost to our hospitality sector, after what has been a difficult and testing two years. It is a testament to the talent and resilience of the sector in Wales and I am delighted to congratulate all the businesses for these accolades. They are putting Welsh hospitality on the map, becoming destination establishments that boost local economies. I wish them every success for the future.”
Full results of the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2022 can be seen here.