Plas Bodegroes means Rosehip Hall, a justifiably romantic name. The modest-sized Georgian manor house’s most obviously charming – indeed romantic – outside feature is its distinctive veranda, whose roof is supported by delicate iron columns around which roses, wisteria and wild strawberries are trained. Then there’s the heart-shaped lawn; and then a lovely mature beech tree avenue leading not to a road but to fields. Early spring sees ranks of daffodils spreading along the avenue, succeeded in May by carpets of bluebells. On one side of the house a flagpole flies a long pennant in the colours of the Danish national flag. Owner-chef Chris Chown is married to the elegant Danish-Faroese Gunna, who receives guests and presides front of house.
You’ll see a Scandinavian touch in the ten pretty bedrooms, which are all different in size and shape and where flags and hearts crop up again and again. The romantic feel continues into the dining room, with its duck-egg blue walls and cleverly placed mirrors. Chris Chown grew up in these parts and was aware from an early age how good the local produce was – and how under-exploited in local eateries. His response: Plas Bodegroes’s menu is full of exceptional local ingredients including Welsh lamb and Black beef. It’s all superb, and wine list prices are moderate. He and Gunna rightly describe themselves as a restaurant with rooms rather than a hotel, but the charm and romance give it added value – as does the breakfast cooked by Chris himself. Why follow a top dinner with a second-rate breakfast?
Plas Bodegroes is off the beaten track on the Lleyn Peninsula in virtually unspoiled countryside. Food and a setting of this quality are hard to find at these prices.