My one regret was not arriving early so that I had time to walk around the beautiful gardens. The grand hotel is positioned high overlooking the enchanting Mawddach Estuary, near Dolgellau (10 mins from Fairbourne, 20 mins from Barmouth). Inside, we ordered a gin and tonic and perused menus in a grand but cosy drawing room in front of a fire. There was a very reasonable set menu, but we ordered a la carte, which was not very expensive compared to London and the South East of England. We were very impressed with the food. It was tasty and luxurious (one of the best jus I've tasted), but not as stingy on portions as some michelin establishments we have patronised. The menu was quite gamey, which suited our tastes, but some people may consider that the choices were limited. We ate in the light and airy conservatory, which provided a nice contrast to the drawing room. We had Duo of Duck to start (delicious - although I did need to request another slice of toasted brioche for the rillette), followed by a complimentary lobster veloute, then roast venison, with sufficient and tasty potatoes and vegetables and a velvety rich and sticky jus. For pudding, I found the chocolate tart a little too rich and (unlike me) could not finish it (although my husband did not have the same trouble), the mint sorbet it was served with was unusual and rather good (perhaps slightly sweet?). We took our coffee/tea and petit fours in the drawing room and were very reluctant to leave (and also had some trouble finding someone to ask for and then pay for the bill). Overall, I would really recommend this restaurant (and it looks like a lovely place to stay too). The food is very good, the service satisfactory, the ambiance warm, quiet and grand, and the setting beautiful. Well worth a visit.
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