Llanerch, the UK’s largest vineyard hotel, has unveiled a new 100 cover restaurant overlooking its vineyard in Hensol, South Wales.
The new 200 square foot dining space is an extension to the vineyard’s current award-winning restaurant.
The vineyard has also announced plans for the planting of a further six acres of vines on the open countryside next to the site’s woodland area, giving its Woodland Marquee uninterrupted vineyard views and allowing Llanerch to increase its future wine production.
Ryan Davies, owner of Llanerch, said: “We chose to use the time that we were forced to close due to COVID restrictions to action our plans for a new, larger Llanerch Restaurant, removing the need for any disruption to operations, and ensuring were well-prepared to make a positive come back when restrictions were lifted.
“The new building has allowed us to more than double the number of covers we can offer, as well as providing us with more flexible indoor space, and weather-dependent outdoor spaces, that can be used for different events, as well as dining.
“We are feeling very positive for the future and we’re looking forward to a great summer of eating and drinking as we open the doors to the new restaurant and further increase our wine production.”
The open plan restaurant features full sliding glass doors that open out on to the vineyard and a split level, ensuring every table has a vineyard view. The restaurant also has a separate dog-friendly dining area on the lower level.
As well as the new dining room, the build includes a new roof terrace with panoramic views across the vineyard. The popular lower-level outdoor patio area in front of the vineyard has also been extended and refurbished, providing more outdoor dining and drinking space, and the indoor bar has been refurbished in keeping with the new restaurant.
Ryan added: “We’ve been working with a great team of local contractors and designers to create a functional, yet beautiful, dining space inspired by our surroundings and we hope our guests enjoy the new experience.”
Inspired by biophilia – the concept that people have an innate connection to nature – the restaurant’s design is influenced by Llanerch’s woodlands and vineyard. It features a large central tree, living walls of plants and a living moss wall, as well as natural oak throughout.
The restaurant was designed by interior designer Jo Cadenne from Design Management Partnerships in Cardiff. She said: “Llanerch Restaurant enjoys spectacular views over the vineyard and we wanted to extend that experience of nature further. As well as lots of living plants, which boost air quality and create a sense of well-being, we have used plenty of glass so guests can take in the views and enjoy the natural light. We also added a brass wall, brass light fittings and darker natural colours and textures to add warmth and depth to the space to keep the dining experience intimate and cosy.”
The restaurant was designed by CFW Architects and constructed by Westgate Building Services, which specialise in high-end restaurant fit-outs.
Llanerch has seen tremendous growth in recent years, including the opening of the UK’s first vineyard hotel in 2019, offering 37 rooms and suites and meeting and conference facilities.
Ryan Davies took over the vineyard, which is one of the oldest in Wales, in 2010 with the aim of replicating the successful wine tourism models he had seen whilst working in vineyards in New Zealand and Australia, where vineyards are tourist attractions in their own right.
Since then, Llanerch has become the UK’s largest vineyard hotel and attracts visitors from around the world with its award-winning restaurant and bar, marquee and lodge wedding venues, on-site cookery school owned by Angela Grey, and popular wine tasting and vineyard tour experiences.
The new Llanerch Restaurant, run by head chef Andy Aston, will serve lunch, dinner and afternoon tea throughout the year.
Image copyright: ALS Photography