The Good Food Guide 2019’s chef of the year Gareth Ward is the man behind Ynyshir, a restaurant with rooms in Machynlleth.
His proudly “fat-fuelled, meat-obsessed” food has been awarded countless accolades. Now the top-rated restaurant in Wales and the fifth best in the UK, with five AA Rosettes, he gained a Michelin star the first year it opened, in 2013.
When he and his partner, general manager Amelia Eiríksson, aren’t busy looking after their guests, here’s what they like to eat and drink in the area themselves…
“This hotel and pub is Aberaeron is a beautiful old building, with a view of the harbour on the seafront and great pub food. Expect friendly people and a great laugh. I’ll have gin and tonic every time, or rum and ginger beer.”
1 Quay Parade, Aberaeron SA46 0BT; 01545 570755; harbourmaster.com
“Dyfi Original gin is the best. It’s class. The owners, Pete and Danny, were nominated for Best UK Gin 2018 in the Great British Food Awards, and the distillery – you can visit for a tour – is in Corris, an old slate mining village. It’s near King Arthur’s Labyrinth, so it’s a great day out.”
Dyfi Distillery, Corris, Machynlleth, SY20 9RF; 01654 761551; dyfidistillery. com
“This seafood café-bar has views of the sunsets over Cardigan Bay and the Rheidol river. It’s run by the husband and wife behind Jonah’s Fish Market, a brilliant fishmonger nearby; lobster, spider crabs, scallops, simply done. It’s tiny – it blows me away how they do it, because the kitchen is minute.”
Pysgoty, The Harbour, South Promenade, Aberystwyth, SY23 1JY; 01970 624611; pysgoty.co.uk
“We often go out to Baravin in the evening, together or with the staff for pizza and cocktails. It’s a really cool place. I like the Caesar salad and they do a banging espresso martini.”
1 Marine Terrace, Aberystwyth SY23 2AP; 01970 611189; baravin.co.uk
Rob Rattray Butchers
“I go to Rob Rattray for gorgeously fatty Ystwyth Valley Welsh lamb from his own farm, to slow-cook for the restaurant and to eat at home. He’s an incredibly talented guy, a real support and great to work with. The lamb in Wales is the best in the world – there’s no doubt about it.”
8 Chalybeate Street, Aberystwyth SY23 1HS; 01970 615353; robrattray. co.uk