We have eaten out for Christmas for several years and have often used the Village Inn in Cardiff. The meal there in 2010 was excellent and the tables are always laid out with style, Christmas balloons, crackers, portion of nuts, sweets, little presents etc. The meal however in 2011 was disappointing and resulted in our change to Bryn Meadows. We had eaten out in Bryn meadows several times during the year and I had a meal there to celebrate my 60th birthday which was very nice. The restaurant also overlooks the golf course which adds to the experience.
We arrived at the hotel a 1250pm and were surprised to find that we were not in the restaurant but were shown to a somewhat claustrophobic room called the barn, no windows and quite small. The tables were laid out in a fairly basic manner and Christmas decorations were very sparse apart from one cracker each on the table. There were no Christmas balloons, small presents on the tables etc. Apart from the very basic small music system playing Christmas songs it was easy to forget that this was Christmas Day.
The staff however were very efficient, happy and made us feel welcome. I cannot fault their efforts throughout the meal. I also thought that Father Christmas was the best I’ve seen, genuine beard and a very nice guy.
I’m a vegetarian and ordered the vegetarian options which consisted of an initial course of cheese steeped in Port, vegetable soup followed by a main course of mushroom risotto. My wife and my son ordered the bacon tartlet accompanied by spiced chutney and the traditional Christmas dinner.
The first course was very poor, a big lump of cold bland cheese, accompanied by a portion of spicy chutney which tasted very unpleasant. The same chutney also accompanied the starters my wife and son had chosen. I left virtually all of mine. The second course consisted of vegetable soup with about 4-5 croutons. This was described in the menu as cream of roasted vegetable soup. There was nothing creamy about it, very thin, consistency of water and tasted like a budget range packet soup, very bland and only edible with plenty of pepper. The only saving grace was the extremely small portion size.
My main course was mushroom risotto accompanied by a sprig of parsley. This was an improvement on the previous two, not because it was in any way exceptional but by comparison to the first two which were utterly dreadful. The portion of vegetables allocated to share was very small I think we had about 4 sprouts each!!! . My wife and sons Turkey was quite good but they were also annoyed by the very mean sized portion of vegetables.
My dessert course was very nice and consisted of 3 separate mini chocolate desserts. This was the highlight of the entire meal and the standard I expect. My wife and son chose the more traditional option, plum pudding which was accompanied by what appeared to be a portion of red cabbage, probably cranberry? They both found this combination didn’t work very well. When coffee arrived I have to say the accompanying chocolate peanut brittle was amazing, amazingly bad!!!. It was so hard it was virtually impossible to eat. It would probably make an excellent alternative to Kevlar for body armour. This was like something a child would make cooking with mummy for the first time. Ironically unlike the soup or vegetables we had a massive portion of this all of which went back to the kitchen. I would imagine the kitchen had the vast majority of this returned. A simple mince pie with cream would have been a quantum leap over this
The coffee was Ok and we declined the cheese course, by this stage we had experienced enough of Bryn Meadows culinary delights. We made a conscious decision not to complain about the food on the day. We didn’t want to upset the staff or cause ourselves undue stress on Christmas Day.
Overall this was very disappointing and we would never return here again for Christmas. This day is very special to us, you only have one chance to get it right, this wasn’t even close.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to a unique luxurious four star golf and spa resort set in over 100 acres of meadowland and hidden amongst the breath taking valleys of south east Wales. Bryn Meadows is one of the leading destinations for spa breaks and golf breaks in Wales, comprising of 42 contemporary, yet classically styled en-suite rooms most with balconies overlooking the beautiful surrounding countryside, extensive leisure & spa facilities and a championship parkland golf course.Only 10 minutes away from J32 of the M4 and just 25 minutes from Cardiff, one of Europe’s most lively and cosmopolitan cities, Bryn Meadows is perfectly located to all the major attractions of the city, yet is far enough away for those searching for a relaxing retreat. For those wishing to explore the local area, the town of Caerphilly is just 10 minutes away, steeped in history with its own impressive hilltop Castle. Just 30 minutes away, the incredible Brecon Beacons renowned for its beautiful and diverse landscape. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bryn Meadows Golf Hotel Maesycwmmer
- Bryn Meadows Golf, Hotel And Spa
- Bryn Meadows Hotel
- Bryn Meadows Boutique Hotel
- Bryn Meadows Golf, Hotel & Spa Maesycwmmer, Wales, UK