An award-winning luxury hotel on Anglesey has opened a new Italian restaurant that will use local produce and ingredients from its own walled garden.
The £15,000 investment at the four star Tre-Ysgawen Country House Hotel and Spa near Llangefni has been hailed as a valuable boost for tourism and the local economy.
The restaurant called Il Giardino – The Garden – is set in a high ceilinged light and airy circular room with large windows looking out at the ever-changing seasonal colours of the hotel gardens.
It was unveiled at a celebration dinner for specially invited guests including local suppliers, spa members and friends of Tre-Ysgawen, which has for four years running been the winner of the best large hotel accolade at the Anglesey Tourism Awards.
The hotel is renowned for its Noëlle’s restaurant, which has earned a reputation for excellence across the UK.
The roll call of VIP guests has guests who’ve stayed there includes the Queen of Lesotho, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Sir Richard Attenborough, along with pop stars JLS, Alicia Keyes and David Essex who got married at the hotel
According to chief executive Neil Rowlands, the new venture offers a more relaxed, less formal setting designed to perfectly complement the fine dining experience of Noëlle’s.
He said: “There is currently nothing else like Il Giardino on Anglesey. The idea of opening a new restaurant is something we have been looking at for some time now.
“We gave careful consideration to the interior design and to the menu and we think we have come up with something quite exceptional and special in Il Giardino. It takes the hotel forward in an exciting new direction.”
The opening has been greeted with a wave of enthusiasm from Anglesey’s business community, including Keith Thomas, of Llangefni-based J Thomas and Son butchers, who has been supplying meat to Tre-Ysgawen for 15 years.
Keith said: “A valuable addition to the culinary scene like this can only be good for Anglesey. It’s a tempting proposition not just for tourists visiting the island but for inhabitants of Anglesey and elsewhere in North Wales looking to extend their dining out choices.”
Jason Pumfrey, of Gaerwen, whose Total Produce company provides fruit and vegetables to the hotel, agreed: “Tre-Ysgawen is a quality venue, with a reputation that extends far afield so any new development here is bound to draw a lot of positive attention to our region, plus it’s a great way to celebrate our fantastic and diverse food suppliers.”
Also at the restaurant launch were Rhian and Ffion Jefferies who run the dual businesses Cwt Mwg smokery, supplying smoked salmon, meats and cheese to Tre-Ysgawen, and Cwt Caws goats cheese producers.
Ffion, of Dulas, said: “I’m thrilled to get the chance to eat out at Il Giardino as I love Italian food. The menu looks gorgeous and I know I’ll be heading this way a lot more often.
“There’s a growing interest in food choices across Wales at the moment, with the culinary options for diners extending all the time, so to have a new quality Italian restaurant central to the island right now and in such a breath-taking location, is something to be truly celebrated.”
Tre-Ysgawen Hall Hotel director, Neil’s wife, Emma Rowlands, said the restaurant came as a positive response to increasingly high demand at the hotel’s spa bistro.
She said: “We realised an expanded menu and increased space was needed to meet that growing demand, but at the same time we wanted to maintain the casual atmosphere of the spa restaurant to provide guests with a real alternative to our more formal Noëlle’s.
“We have been very pleased with the results and the work that our chef and his team have put into developing the traditional Italian menu has been a credit to him.”
Head chef Iwan Williams, took about three months to devise the menu from scratch, using locally sourced quality ingredients including herbs grown in the hotels own gardens to create authentic and traditional Italian dishes, including some with his own twist.
He said: “It has been challenging but also very rewarding. It’s always nice to take on board an important new project like this and hopefully help turn it into a long term success. The launch night was the first time of going ‘live’ with the menu and everyone seems pleased with the choices on offer.”
“People have asked more and more for Italian dishes, such as pastas and risottos. Whenever we’ve included them on our menu they’ve always been a top choice with diners of all ages.
“So when we were looking to open this completely new restaurant, Italian was the most natural way to go.
“The style of food, including its sharing platters, antipasti and pizzas, offers a great opportunity to create an informal, relaxed dining experience, which is exactly what we were looking for with Il Giardino.”
Iwan has yet to develop a ‘signature’ dish for Il Giardino but says he expects his lobster ravioli – ravioli all ‘aragosta – to be a clear favourite.
Set in stunning gardens, which feature an old well, sculpture exhibition and a snowdrop wood, Tre-Ysgawen Hall was built in 1882 at Capel Coch, Llangefni, as a grand mansion house and home to the Pritchard-Rayner family.
More than a century later in 1996 it was acquired by a charitable trust, who are the current owners.
Today it is run as a luxury hotel by Neil and his family, offering 29 rooms, including suites, some with four poster beds, plus a range of function and conference rooms, a health spa and fine dining amenities.
It has become widely renowned as a quality location and wedding venue, offering beautiful views and high standards of service.
Il Giardino is open to hotel guests and non-guests from 6-9.30pm Monday to Friday, it opens at 7pm on Saturdays and from noon-9.30pm on Sundays. Booking is advisable.
For more information about the restaurant and Tre-Ysgawen Hall hotel and spa, visit the website: www.treysgawen-hall.co.uk or to make a restaurant reservation telephone: 01248 750 750.