Michelin chef to take over 'legendary' Welsh restaurant

Man in chef's apron outside building
-Credit: (Image: No credit)

A beloved North Wales restaurant, Tyddyn Llan in Llandrillo, Denbighshire, is set to officially change ownership after this weekend. The establishment, which has been a staple of the local dining scene for over two decades, was sold by Bryan and Susan Webb earlier this year.

Tyddyn Llan, which held a coveted Michelin star for over a decade, has been a favourite among food enthusiasts worldwide, as well as its loyal local patrons. The Webbs continued to manage the site while preparations were made for the new team. This weekend will mark their final service, 48 years after Bryan began his culinary career at the Crown at Whitebrook. They anticipate it will be an "emotional one".

However, they are confident that they are leaving the restaurant in capable hands. Acclaimed chef Gareth Stevenson will take over the reins, managing both the hotel and restaurant for the new owner. Gareth previously earned a Michelin Green Star, the first in Wales, at the restaurant at the five-star Pale Hall Hotel in Llandderfel, near Bala. He plans to bring his unique interpretation of Welsh cuisine to Tyddyn Llan's kitchen, with the new chapter beginning in July, reports North Wales Live.

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Reflecting on the opportunity, Gareth said: "Having lived in the village for eight years, I have often dreamed about having the opportunity to run a restaurant such as Tyddyn Llan. It is housed in a beautiful Georgian building once the private shooting lodge of the Duke of Westminster and the opportunity to lead it into its new chapter is both a massive honour and tremendously exciting." For the latest restaurant reviews, sign up to our food and drink newsletter here

Plans are underway for a soft relaunch of a 13-bedroom property, with anticipations of certain internal remodelling and gradual developments over time. The new management team will start on July 18. Gareth pointed out: "We would like the guest rooms to reflect more of our surroundings, led by nature and the beautiful landscape that is the Edeirnion valley."

Bryan stated: "With Gareth as the new Chef Patron and Maria the face of the front of house, together with their highly talented team, they will keep Tyddyn Llan at the top of the restaurant business and ensure that it continues as one of the finest restaurants in Wales, and the wider UK. We wish them every success."

Raised in Leicestershire and having a Welsh father, Gareth initially rose to prominence at Pale Hall hotel, where he launched the restaurant with Michael Caines following an extensive refurbishment of the property. He has always been a strong advocate for supporting local producers and using quality ingredients. He even initiated the growth of food in the kitchen gardens to aid sustainability.

His dedication to transforming these ingredients into fine dining cuisine earned him three AA Rosettes during his seven-year tenure. Tyddyn Llan's transformation is also deeply rooted in a commitment to sustainability. The restaurant aims to source locally as much as possible, featuring premium products from growers and artisans across Wales.

Gareth further explained: "We are aiming to use the Green Star ethos for sustainable gastronomy on a wider scale to help increase our sustainable practices throughout the restaurant and guest rooms. Reducing waste, food miles and energy use, with no compromise on quality, are targets for the kitchen, with a focus on flavour-driven, seasonal cooking in our tasting menus; we have a clear focus right from the start."

But it's not just about the food - the renovation philosophy also emphasises keeping things local to create an exceptional modern Welsh dining experience. This includes showcasing local art, decor, cutlery, and crockery, highlighting the best of Welsh talent.

Bryan expressed his gratitude, saying: "Susan and I have been very proud to have been Chef and Patrons of Tyddyn Llan over the years and would like to thank you as our loyal customers for supporting us. I would also like to thank all the staff who have helped us over the years to achieve the reputation and success we have been able to maintain."

He continued: "I am handing over the kitchen to the very acclaimed chef Gareth Stevenson and his talented team, Josh and Robin, together with Gareth's partner Maria. I am sure they will make a huge success of taking Tyddyn Llan forward over the coming years. Susan and I wish them lots of luck with our kindest best wishes."