Llŷn accommodation, bars/cafes and restaurants
Portmeirion Estate and Village.
Self-catering accommodation is located in many of these buildings.
The boutique hotel revolution has yet to reach Llŷn. Many hotels and B & B’s are very traditional in both the food and accommodation they offer. Many visitors rent caravans and cottages or bring their own motor homes or tents. The hotels we have stayed in that do embrace a more contemporary approach are Plas Bodygroes, near Pwllheli [www.bodegroes.co.uk] and Castell Deudraeth on the Portmeirion Estate at Penrhyndeudraeth [www.portmeirion-village.com].
Plas Bodygroes management call the property a 'restaurant with rooms' and has been awarded a Michelin star from 2001-8 and numerous other awards too. The restaurant is excellent, offering a contemporary take on local produce. It's a very pretty largish georgian style house with simple, stylish interior decor. It's closed during winter: December-March, but has reductions during November.
Castell Deudraeth is one of two hotels at Portmeirion, the Portmeirion Hotel, adjacent to the estuary, is the original property attracting famous literary and musical personalities during the 1920's and 1930's. Castell Deudraeth, as it's name implies is a big house with castellations, a welcoming entrance hall with big fireplace and leather sofas, a garden room restaurant and big rooms with views of the garden and/or rural setting. Meals are very good and included in the price of some of the winter offers that are excellent value for money.
Both the above hotels offer a sophisticated take on modern British food, sourcing many ingredients locally, as does the Tafarn y Plu at Llanystumdwy where we have had some very good quality traditional meals. The Castle chip shop in Criccieth is highly recommended and Allports in Pwllheli offers ‘Jazz and Chips’ every Monday 7.00-9.00 pm — prior booking essential! [www.allportsfishandchips.co.uk]
Doug, Greg and Andy at a special ‘Jazz and Chips’ dance band evening at Allports, Pwllheli.
The Tafarn y Plu at Llanystumdwy is a free house, with local Welsh beers, Welsh ciders and Welsh spirits too. Although based in Stockport, south of Manchester, Robinson’s Brewery owns many pubs in North Wales. They’ve refurbished the St Tudwal's Inn, Abersoch and the Glyn Y Weddw Arms at Llanbedrog, while the Sun Inn at Llanengan, the Goat Inn at Glandwyfach, Garndolbenmaen and Tu Hwnt I'r Afon at Rhyd-y-Clafdy are in a more traditional style. The Ty Coch pub, part of the hamlet at Porthdinllaen is right on the beach, near Morfa Nefyn and has numerous event sin the summer. It’s only open at lunchtime on Saturday and Sunday during the winter. For yachting types and ‘people- watching' the Zinc Bar in Abersoch is a must — it’s got a deck so you can have a drink with a view — of powerboats parked in the harbour. It’s only small, but very nicely designed using high quality materials, but not cheap!
The Ty Coch pub [red building] at Porth Dinllaen during a National Trust on the beach event.
Update: December 2013
Wetherspoons opens in Pwllheli! The old Bon Marche shop near the harbour has been gutted and refashioned as a Wetherspoons. The ground floor street frontage is all glass under the refurbished original arcading. The interior is mainly clad in wood panelling pained various shades of grey — and all the fittings are well chosen. It has proven to be very popular particularly at weekends and throughout the summer.
Update: May 2015
D Y L A N S Restaurant, Criccieth — opened on 15 May 2015 in the Grade 2, iconic modernist style building at Maes Y Mor — the far end of the esplanade to the castle, designed by Clough Williams-Ellis [creator of Portmeirion] in 1948/1954? The building is boomerang shaped, the enhanced entrance is closer to the original plans and the original Crittall steel windows have new secondary glazing. Good food well presented, friendly and efficient staff. Forthcoming Seafood Evening fully booked up! A much needed addition to the local dining scene.