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Michelin-starred restaurant group expands with Development Bank backing

Jamie Henstone, Sous Chef; Corrin Harrison, Head Chef; Jake Garstang, Bar Manager; Amelia Eiriksson, Creative Director

A world-renowned restaurant based in mid-Wales has opened a new site in the heart of Machynlleth, thanks to the support of the Development Bank of Wales.

Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms, Eglwys Fach, is the only restaurant in Wales to ever have held two Michelin stars, and was named the UK’s best restaurant at The Estrella Damn National Restaurant Awards 2022.

Multi-award winning chef Gareth Ward has led the kitchen at Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms since 2013, earning Five AA rosettes and scores of accolades from across the world of fine dining.

Now, thanks to a £100,000 loan from the Development Bank of Wales, the Ynyshir Restaurant Group has opened Gwen, an intimate eight-seat restaurant offering a communal dining experience, led by chef Corrin Harrison.

The loan, provided from the Wales Flexible Investment Fund, allowed Ynyshir to refit the former bistro for a new restaurant and wine bar and open in time for the tourist season.

Named after Gareth Ward’s mother, Gwen has a cosy wine bar offering carefully-sourced wines and craft beers from around the world. The menu will make use of the same world-leading ingredients used at Ynyshir, including A5 Wagyu beef, British lamb and fish.

Amelia Eiriksson, creative director for the Ynyshir Restaurant Group, said: “We’ve been looking at potential expansion for ages, but we wanted to make sure that we got the right venue which could convey the atmosphere we wanted. Gwen will be more of a casual and relaxed dining experience than at Ynyshir, and the new venue fits that smaller, more communal dining vision we had in mind.

“We’re really pleased we were able to find this great venue right in the heart of Machynlleth, just up the road from Ynyshir. We love this area and want to make it a real food destination. The support from the Development Bank of Wales has meant we’ve been able to refit Gwen the way we wanted in time for the spring, and we’re really glad to have worked with them.”

Will Jones, Investment Executive at the Development Bank of Wales, said: “Ynyshir obviously have a fantastic reputation and their award-winning work at Ynyshir has earned them acclaim worldwide, so we were delighted to help them open Gwen in Machynlleth town centre, allowing them to bring their fantastic dining experiencer to a wider audience.

“Ynyshir Hall has been key in bringing people to this part of Wales from around the world, and the addition of Gwen will strengthen the offering in Machynlleth thanks to the work of a well-established business.”