The Big Six: Gourmet retreats in Wales

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Ynyshir Hall, Machynlleth

Once owned by Queen Victoria, this country-house hotel is set amid extensive grounds and mature gardens. Today, guests sleep in rooms named after artists, each decorated with bright wallpapers and paintings that reflect their namesake. The fine dining restaurant regained its Michelin star this year and makes use of local produce, even down to wild garlic gathered from the woods outside.

Ynyshir Hall, Eglwysfach, Machynlleth, Powys SY20 8TA (01654 781209; ynyshirhall.co.uk ). Doubles start at £380, including breakfast and dinner.

The Crown at Whitebrook, Wye Valley

This rural restaurant with rooms retained its Michelin star this year for head chef James Sommerin's creative fare: braised tongue with langoustines, or confit sea bass with quinoa and crab, are just two dishes from an enticing tasting menu. There are eight handsome bedrooms to retire to: one with a sleigh bed, another with a four-poster, and all with country views.

The Crown at Whitebrook, Whitebrook, near Monmouth, Monmouthshire NP25 4TX (01600 860254; crownatwhitebrook.co.uk ). Doubles start at £115, including breakfast. Three-course dinners cost £45 per person.

The Walnut Tree, Abergavenny

The Walnut Tree has been going since the 1960s – current owner Shaun Hill has restored its Michelin star with his informed but informal menu. Two cottages are available for guests.

The Walnut Tree Restaurant, Llanddewi Skirrid, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire NP7 8AW (01873 852797 www.thewalnuttreeinn.com) . Three-course set lunch is £23 per person.



The Drawing Room, near Newbridge-on-Wye

This pale-stone Georgian house offers stylish lodgings and highly rated dining on an intimate scale. Bedrooms are thoughtfully decorated in either bold hues or soothing antique-style wallpapers, and there's a cosy sitting room complete with crackling fire. Meanwhile, the dining room makes the best of local produce, with Cardigan Bay crab, Brecon Mountain lamb and Welsh cheeses.

The Drawing Room, 'twixt Cwmbach and Newbridge-on-Wye, Builth Wells, Powys LD2 3RT (01982 552493; the-drawing-room.co.uk ). Doubles start at £80, including breakfast. An average three-course dinner costs £30 per person.

The Bell at Skenfrith, near Ross-on-Wye

This former coaching inn has been voted Michelin Pub of the Year and awarded two AA rosettes, plus a clutch of other accolades. The ambience is cosy, with flagstone floors, oak beams and well-worn sofas.

The Bell at Skenfrith, Skenfrith, Monmouthshire NP7 8UH (01600 750235; skenfrith.co.uk ). Doubles start at £110, including breakfast. An average three-course dinner costs £32 per person.

Tyddyn Llan, Llandrillo

The best British ingredients are sourced for Tyddyn Llan's modern menu, which has just gained a Michelin star. There are a dozen handsome bedrooms surrounded by preened gardens; Snowdonia is on the doorstep.

Tyddyn Llan, Llandrillo, near Corwen, Denbighshire LL21 0ST (01490 440264; tyddynllan.co.uk ). Doubles start at £230, including breakfast and dinner.

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