Jubilant staff at a top Mid Wales country house hotel are celebrating a notable double success.
Llangoed Hall, located in the scenic Wye valley at Llyswen, near Brecon, followed up the Best for Green Practises award at the 2016 Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence at The May Fair Hotel, London last week by being listed at 29th in The Sunday Times’ top 100 UK restaurants at the weekend.
And the hotel’s successful run may not be over yet, as it’s the only Welsh hotel shortlisted for The Caterer’s Hotel Cateys 2015 at London’s Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel on November 27, having been selected in the Sustainable Hotel of the Year category.
A reference guide for independent travellers, Condé Nast Johansens created its awards to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across an exclusive collection of hotels, spas and venues. The awards are a trusted mark of quality, recognised by luxury consumers and travel professionals alike.
“We are delighted to bring a prestigious Condé Nast Johansens award back to Wales,” said Llangoed Hall’s managing director Calum Milne. “It’s very rewarding that Llangoed Hall’s sustainability policy has been recognised and it shows the impact a small hotel in Mid Wales can make to the environment.
“Llangoed Hall recognises its environmental responsibility and is wholly committed to working towards a sustainable future. Our mission is to become a leader in environmentally friendly hotels.”
The Sunday Times’ top 100 UK restaurants is published in association with and based on Harden’s annual survey of restaurant-goers. Llangoed Hall is one of only two Welsh restaurants – the other being the Walnut Tree, Llanddewi Skirrid, Abergavenny at 95th – to make it into the top 100 list.
“Discerning diners and readers of The Sunday Times and Hardens Guide have spoken and voted Llangoed Hall the top restaurant in Wales,” said Mr Milne. “It has been a fantastic year for our head chef Nick Brodie and this accolade is an enormous pat on the back for him and his talented brigade.”
Mr Brodie said to be listed as the 29th best restaurant in the UK was a reward for the hard work put in by the whole team at Llangoed Hall.
“I really do think that it’s just the start because there is so much more we can achieve here due to the huge amount of effort that the kitchen brigade and restaurant staff put in,” he added. “We work as a close team, which I think makes a difference.”
Earlier this year, the hotel was also listed in the Waitrose Good Food Guide’s top 50 UK restaurants, achieved a double listing in The Good Hotel Guide 2016 for Great Britain and Ireland and was runner up for the Eco Hotel of the Year at the AA Hospitality Awards.
Mr Milne has overseen £3 million investment in Llangoed Hall, formerly owned by Laura Ashley co-founder Sir Bernard Ashley, since rescuing it from administration in 2012. The investment included making the hotel much more sustainable.
In the last three years, the hotel has reduced the amount of energy consumed by 31 per cent per customer, equating to nearly 138 tonnes of CO2 a year and water consumption has reduced by 54,000 litres a year through a range of measures.
The garden has been expanded to supply chefs with 95 per cent of the vegetables, herbs and fruit used on the hotel’s summer menus. The winter total drops to around 45 per cent of garden produce, but the mission is to get vegetables, herbs and fruit from the garden to the plate in two minutes to preserve flavour and freshness.
The hotel also has its own chickens, quails and ducks to provide guests with a choice of fresh eggs for breakfast and also produces its own honey thanks to beehives in specially created flower meadows.
Inside the hotel, energy-saving light bulbs and timers on light fittings have been introduced, cooking oil is recycled for bio-fuels and toilets use 50 per cent less water than the average lavatory. Rooms have energy-saving hairdryers and motion sensor taps.
Rainwater is harvested to water plants and fill the duck pool and the hotel sold 4,000 plants from garden cuttings last year. Waste has been reduced and the hotel has a policy of reusing and recycling wherever possible.