Over the decades, this cluster of lead-mining cottages has morphed into a solidly comfortable family hotel, filled with country antiques and warm hospitality. And if its prime position overlooking Cardigan Bay and the mountains of Snowdonia isn’t enough, Porth Tocyn never lets you forget its impeccable sourcing – locally caught seafood, Welsh-reared meats et al. There’s no disputing the quality on the plate, either: hot crab cakes attempt to steal the show, but don’t ignore other treats including beef fillet with steamed suet pudding, roast root vegetables, horseradish mash and red wine sauce or roast loin of cod with rocket-crushed Jersey royals. Rightly cherished as a champion of luscious nursery puds, the kitchen fulfils expectations with the likes of warm orange and almond sponge pudding accompanied by caramelised oranges and egg-custard sauce.
This is an excellent example of a country-house-hotel wine list. There are enough wines (about 120) for it to be wide-ranging in scope, but not so many as to make it daunting, and the disciplined approach to listings means there’s enough space for useful tasting notes for every wine. With helpful sub-divisions by style, and amazing pricing (plenty under £25), this is a list that works hard, but does so effortlessly.