Gwen is an intimate, fine dining restaurant in Machynlleth, Wales, owned by Ynyshir chef patron Gareth Ward. The restaurant seats just eight guests at a time, with two tables of four set up right in front of the kitchen pass, putting guests right at the heart of the action.
Head chef Corrin Harrison was an integral part of the team that won two Michelin stars at Ynyshir, and has also spent time at two Michelin-starred Steirereck in Austria, and with Lee Westcott at The Typing Room. At Gwen he cooks a ten course tasting menu that is built around the use of a charcoal grill, which is also a centrepiece of the restaurant. Gwen also uses the same suppliers and quality as Ynyshir, including meat aged in Ynyshir's salt chambers and produce grown in the kitchen garden.
Though Gwen is unquestionably a fine dining restaurant, it has been designed to be relaxed, cosy and intimate, and Corrin and team are at the heart of a fun atmosphere. The space’s interior design uses upcycled materials and mixes wood and steel with dark green tiling to create a sophisticated environment for enjoying fine food. The two tables are often communal and guests are encouraged to enjoy the meal together, whilst being immersed in the theatre of the whole experience. As for the name itself, Gwen was named after Gareth's late mother.
The menu doesn't give much away so there's an element of mystery about each dish as it arrives, but example dishes include an eel chawanmushi (a Japanese savoury egg custard) with broccoli, a quail curry, barbecued pork with jalapeno hot sauce, Brazilian Yellow Bourbon coffee with orange and olive oil, and sourdough ice cream.
Whilst the restaurant only accommodates bookings, Gwen also has a wine bar that accepts walk-ins. This is a cosy space, separated from the restaurant by a black curtain, where you can enjoy a glass of wine and a bite to eat. The wine list is made up of the team’s favourite wines and was designed by beverage director Rory Eaton, offering a varied and broad collection of wines.