A country inn that’s both rustic and refined, exuding quality, authenticity and warmth, with good, reasonably priced food from a top chef. Bags of atmosphere, oodles of comfort – and a great location.
Know the comfortable feeling you get when you slip on a well-cut suit of fine worsted from a classy traditional tailor? We’ll, it’s the same as being in Y Talbot. There’s nothing remotely flashy or faddy about this cosy country inn, set in the heart of rural, Welsh-speaking Wales. Having said that, there’s nothing old-fashioned or fuddy-duddy about the place either.
The bedrooms, a picture of refined simplicity, are finished in neutral tones that accentuate the vibrant colours of the bed throws and arresting art and photography on the walls. In the generous bathrooms – very modern but minus any hint of sharp-edged minimalism – there are torrents of piping hot water in which to languish after a day in the mountains. And when you’ve fully relaxed you still have the best bit of the Talbot experience to look forward to: the traditional downstairs bar and restaurant. A little context here: centuries-old Y Talbot has never been an ordinary kind of place.
Drovers would congregate in the bar before setting off with their animals across the remote Abergwesyn Pass to market. Famous 19th-century traveller and writer George Borrow said that he ‘experienced very good entertainment… an excellent supper and a very comfortable bed here.’ Thanks to the arrival of new hosts Mick and Nia Taylor and chef Dafydd Watkin, Y Talbot is back on song and delivering what Borrow liked, but for 21st-century travellers. Wisely, the inn’s massive makeover hasn’t really touched the stone-flagged bar, where you can tuck yourself away amongst inglenook fireplaces, meet the locals and enjoy Dafydd’s accomplished country cooking (also served in the modern restaurant).
Top tip – ask about the Elephant!