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Ty Mawr Mansion country house hotel, Lampeter

(December 01, 2009)

Review: Ty Mawr Mansion country house hotel


One of my favourite pastimes is to spend short 'staycation' breaks at some of Wales' best hotels. Wales has many excellent hotels, and restaurants with rooms (grading criteria are different), and a stay in one of these venues can be very relaxing, enjoyable and - especially for the gastronauts out there - a real pleasure, in terms of sampling local produce and modern Welsh cooking techniques.
Ty Mawr Front of Hotel
Main entrance, Ty Mawr Mansion
In the first of (what we hope will be) many hotel reviews to be featured on Cymru Culture, we review the beautiful Ty Mawr Mansion, a country house hotel in Cilcennin, near Lampeter, Ceredigion, at which I enjoyed a three day break during September; on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis.
  Ty Mawr Gardens
 Early morning mist, Ty Mawr Mansion
Ty Mawr Mansion is a Grade II listed Georgian mansion, described as a 'restaurant with rooms', as opposed to an hotel. The grading structure is a little different  -  no requirement for a 24 hour concierge, for example. But, if not having 24 hour room service is not something that bothers you (and interestingly enough, if you were to call the owners, Martin and Catherine McAlpine, to ask for assistance with something, they would happily oblige), then this should make no difference to you.

Ty Mawr Gardens
Early morning mist II, Ty Mawr Mansion
Having achieved two AA Rosettes for their food, together with 5 star ratings being awarded by both the AA and Visit Wales' Cymru/Wales, the Ty Mawr Mansion is a real find in terms of its culinary expertise.

The food at Ty Mawr is exceptional, and one can see why it, with head chef Jeremy Hywel Jones, has won the paludits it has, which I am sure are just the start of many more.
Ty Mawr Restaurant
Table laid for dinner
Of particular note is the roasted pork belly (which was so delicious I chose it as a main course on another evening too), accompanied by creamy, buttery mash potatoes and served in a pool of rich jus.
My partner, not a meat-eater, is always nervous about eating at venues, but was delighted with the sweet potato gnocchi he was served the first evening, and was very complimentary about the hake and salmon dishes on other nights too.
Ty Mawr Restaurant 2
Breakfast/dining room, at a quiet time
Vegetables are perfect; served al dente, with a lovely variety to choose from. Ty Mawr Mansion pride themselves on sourcing over 90% of their seasonal produce from within ten miles of the hotel, and some is grown on site. Their kitchen garden could be seen from our bedroom window and, on one occasion, we observed one of the the proprietors and chef gathering rhubarb. Also of note was the divine lemon tart we were served, which was both tart and satisfying at the same time, with the curd velvety smooth.
Wines are supplied by Ballantyne's Wines (Pontcanna, Cardiff), and as Richard Ballantyne is, coincidentally, our resident wine critic, we could be accused of bias. But, we both really enjoyed a delicious, chilled Mâcon on two evenings. The wine list was extensive and offered something to suit all tastes, dinner choices, and (most) budgets.

Ty Mawr View
Room with a view, Ty Mawr Mansion
Each bedroom is decorated individually, benefiting from high-end bathrooms (roll top and jacuzzi baths) and fittings. Lots of clean, fluffy towels and a selection of lovely toiletries to use in the rooms, coupled with a jar of homemade biscuits alongside the tea and coffee facilities, and lovely bed linens, really makes one feel that the proprietors have considered all aspects of your stay.
Ty Mawr Bath 1
One of the individually designed bathrooms at Ty Mawr Mansion
The mansion has two lovely reception rooms (in which we were served delicious tapanade with home made crisps whilst making our dinner and wine choices), plus a summer room immediately outside the tastefully decorated restaurant in which you are invited to read the daily newspapers provided, or use their broadband service.
Ty Mawr The Green Room
One of the reception rooms at Ty Mawr Mansion

One of the novelties of Ty Mawr is that they have their own cinema, and we really enjoyed watching recent releases on two of the three nights we stayed. They have a wide variety of films to choose from and we were invited to make our choice before dinner. The cinema room being prepared for our immediate use after dinner.
The acid test though is, of course, 'would you go back'? Our answer: 'we'd go back there tomorrow!'
So, if you are thinking of getting away from it all for a couple of days, Ty Mawr Mansion is an excellent choice.
Claire Meredith, December 2009

Ty Mawr Mansion Mansion Country House
SA48 8DB
+44 (0) 1570 470033
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