UK’s best restaurant of 2023 might be the ideal Christmas treat – how to book

In the most recent National Restaurant Awards, Ynyshir in Wales bagged the coveted top spot. The restaurant, which has two Michelin stars, also claimed first place in 2022. If you’re looking for a lavish dining experience over the Christmas period, this might just be the perfect destination.

Ynyshir is also home to some lovely rooms you can stay in. They boast king-sized beds and ensuite bathrooms, making it a lovely staycation spot.

Ynyshir is located just south of Snowdonia National Park on the western edge of mid Wales.

According to the National Restaurant Awards body, it promises “uncompromisingly edgy, Asian-influenced food”, courtesy of chef Gareth Ward. Gareth describes the menu as “ingredient led, flavour driven, fat fuelled, protein obsessed”.

But what makes Ynyshir so special? The National Restaurant Awards praised Ward’s “explosive cooking”. His approach is strikingly different to the norm – a peculiar but effective marriage of top-quality produce, Asian flavours and unusual technique served in a succession of tiny bites.

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A post shared by Ynyshir Restaurant & Rooms (@ynyshirrestaurant)

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A post shared by Ynyshir Restaurant & Rooms (@ynyshirrestaurant)

Britons who are looking for something particularly special to do over Christmas should look no further. Expect “an experience unlike any other on these shores”.

It’s important to note that this restaurant aims to provide much more than just food. Ynyshir’s official website reads: “Travel to the far coast of Wales. Take your time. Take a day or two. Arrive with your mind open, ready for an immersive culinary experience in our home.

“Expect our DJ curating the music, the theatre of the kitchen taking centre stage. Expect fire, intense world flavours and the best meat and fish from around the globe. Be aware that Ynyshir is possibly not the best place for a business meeting or an intimate first date, but perfect for that exciting second one!”

But the price of dining at Ynyshir unsurprisingly does not come cheap. For the 30-dish, fine dining experience, each guest must pay £380. For guests who wish to stay at Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms, this comes at an additional cost.

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Guests must arrive for dinner at 5pm, with check-ins for rooms between 3pm and 4pm. Those with specific dietary requirements will not be catered for and no substitutions can be made.

Happy customers have left glowing reviews about Ynyshir on TripAdvisor. Russell Brown said it was “out of this world”. He continued: “Amazing experience from start to finish.

“The place, the vibe the food, all amazing. Well worth the journey to experience this place.”

Amanda, who stayed a night at Ynyshir, added: “You cannot find enough adjectives to describe Ynyshir and the food you will eat here!!! The accommodation is exceptional and above most hotel levels. We had a suite, bedroom, lounge, bathroom, dressing room, and its own front door and porch.

“Gareth Ward and his team do an excellent job of making you welcome to this restaurant with some amazing unusual touches. Gareth is a genius!!! I’m not saying more, you need to go.”

Top 10 restaurants at the National Restaurant Awards – yours to visit over the Christmas period

  1. Ynyshir – Machynlleth, Powys
  2. Restaurant Moor Hall – Aughton, Lancashire
  3. Da Terra – Bethnal Green, London
  4. The Ledbury – Notting Hill, London
  5. Bouchon Racine – London
  6. Restaurant Pine – East Wallhouses, Northumberland
  7. The Ritz = Mayfair, London
  8. Core by Clare Smyth – Notting Hill, London
  9. Frog by Adam Handling – Covent Garden, London
  10. KOL – Marylebone, London

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