Flowers and food offer blossoming at Gregynog this spring

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Head chef Nick Giddings and sous chef Linda Jones with members of their team.

Spring has arrived at picturesque Gregynog Hall and it’s not only the famous gardens that are blossoming thanks to a new team in the kitchen at the popular conference and events venue at Tregynon, near Newtown.

Head chef Nick Giddings and sous chef Linda Jones with members of their team.

Head chef Nick Giddings and sous chef Linda Jones have launched new menus for fine dining and the courtyard café, offering a mouthwatering modern twist to traditional dishes as well as many old favourites. Both chefs insist on using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients wherever possible.

A product of Bath College, Nick, 41, has spent his cooking career in top restaurants in Bath, Devon and Wales and was trained in classic French cuisine. Prior to arriving at Gregynog, he worked as a relief chef at The Harbourmaster Hotel, Aberaeron and Rhydspence Inn, Whitney-on-Wye,

“It’s a very exciting job, because the demands are quite diverse,” said Nick. “I particularly enjoy serving up two rosettes standard food for conferences. The feedback we are getting from customers to our new menus is excellent and I anticipate a very busy summer ahead.”

The first Mother’s Day lunch held at Gregynog Hall attracted 87 diners which has persuaded Nick to repeat the three-course Sunday lunch once a month from now on. The next one is on Easter Sunday, April 16, with pianist Callum Blees providing the background music.

Linda, who looks after the courtyard café, previously worked as head chef at Glansevern Hall, Berriew, where she developed an excellent reputation for her food.

She has introduced an Eastern Mediterranean influence to the Gregynog menu, including dishes such as chargrilled halloumi, pomegranate and sultan tabbouleh salad and shakshuka.

“The idea is to do something a little bit different that you can’t get anywhere else locally,” she explained. “We hope to organise themed evenings later this year.”

Gregynog is preparing for a busy Easter, with families expected to explore the gardens on an Easter Bunny Trail from Good Friday to Monday, April 17. The £5 entry per child includes an Easter gift.

There will also be a chance to discover the history of Gregynog Hall at 2pm on Easter Monday with a guided tour led by librarian Mary Oldham.

Other events lined up include a fashion show by designer boutique L’Amoire, Llanidloes for Montgomeryshire Motor Neurone Disease Society on April 20 and Gregynog Young Musician of the Year competition on April 22.

Easter visitors will also have a chance to explore the Grade I listed gardens and a network of walking trails through the 750-acre Gregynog estate, which is a National Nature Reserve.

Gregynog is available for residential conferences, summer schools, day meetings, weddings and celebrations, workshops and team building events. Free wi-fi is available