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“Serious Gastronomy in a Sweet Setting”
Review of Carlton Riverside

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Carlton Riverside
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
75 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Serious Gastronomy in a Sweet Setting”
Reviewed April 3, 2013

This review should really be split in two: the hotel and the restaurant. The hotel first; a distinctive blue building right on the River Irfon at the bridge near the crossroads of this 'town' (although calling Llanwrtyd Wells a 'town' is stretching it a bit), Carlton Riverside has a homely, if slightly faded and sleepy feel to it in general, in the daytime. The Gilchrists are genial and very helpful hosts who have been in the business for decades, Mr. G being a welcoming and attentive proprietor who came and fixed the faulty lock on our room door very quickly. We stayed in one of the Chapel Rooms overlooking the imposing 19th century Methodist Chapel over the road, which was small (some might say cramped) and not dusted properly, but comfortable enough. The small ensuite bathroom was adequate for our needs. Breakfast was nicely cooked and efficiently served each morning. However, when the lights fade in this near deserted area of Wales, the Carlton Riverside becomes something very different. The restaurant is transformed into a classy, gourmet haven which has (rightly) won fame throughout Wales and beyond. Mrs. Gilchrist is a well known and highly respected professional chef and the combination of culinary excellence and locally sourced ingredients made our stay more than worthwhile. If we had a grumble, it was that the portions were on the stingy side (and at £23 for a rack of lamb, you want as much as possible) but the quality of the food and the very good service could not be denied. We would certainly visit Carlton Riverside as a restaurant again, but as it takes approximately three minutes to explore everything Llanwrtyd Wells has to offer (not a lot to be honest), we would probably stay somewhere a little livelier next time.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank owenpd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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152 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
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English first
Brecon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
53 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2013

We stayed in The Oriental Room , which was spacious and well equipped. Dinner was superb, equal to any restaurant in which I have dined including those of celebrity chefs.Our hosts were considerate and helpful and the wines complimented the menu.I will certainly return and will be recommending the Carlton Riverside to friends.

Room Tip: We loved The Oriental Room.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank 944cariad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2013

We went on the Gourmet Break which included Bed and Breakfast and the amazing evening meal.

We went with extended family, so stayed in "the apartment" which was basic, but clean and comfortable. There were three large bedrooms and a lounge, it also had a kitchen and self-catering facilities for longer stays. Fab!!

The evening meal is something to savour... The tasting menu included five/six courses and includes an aperitif and wonderful wine pairings for each course.

Chef, Mary Ann Gilchrist is incredibly talented and innovative, as is her very capable assistant, and Luke Roberts who cooked on our second visit as poor Mary Ann was recovering from a thumb operation. Mary Ann's husband, Alan, is the most knowledgeable and passionate sommelier I've ever met, and his knowledge of local flora and fauna is well worth tapping into if you're interested!!

The Gourmet Break is exceptionally good value for money. The food is fresh and seasonal, and cooked to absolute perfection!! My favourite were the scallops on a bed of orzo, and the superb amuse bouche of leek and potato soup - like you've never experienced before!!!

The hotel is set in an idylic location, right on the river, with great views out of the room. Llanwrtyd itself is a small, quaint village, but the surronding countryside is awesome for walkers, ramblers, and mountain biking - with some superb trails very close by!!

Room Tip: The Grandparents stayed in the Oriental Room, which is particularly nice!! The apartment was excel...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank wanderlust_hawke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here in January and were the only guests. The house is immaculate and the oriental room we were given was large with a big bed and a seating area. The bathroom was large with a bath, shower and toilet. There was parking just across the road.
Breakfast was superb, served by a lovely helpful lady.
There is a restaurant that looked lovely but as we hadn't booked was closed. We spoke to some people in the village who said the food was very good.
The village itself is tiny but there are several good pubs and restaurants in it.
Everyone we spoke to was friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed January 2013
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Helpful?
2 Thank shaggy0804
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester
Level Contributor
352 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2012

We went with some friends who have been a number of times and had the Gourmet Break which includes Bed and Breakfast and evening meal. The evening meal is set (no choice but will be asked if any dislikes) and includes pre-dinner drink and a matched wine with each of the four courses.

Dinner was lovely. Mary Ann Gilchrist and Luke Roberts produce excellent dishes. Highlights for us over the two days were the Crab Cake starter and Spiced Carpaccio of Pineapple on the first night and the Rack of Lamb on the second. Nice little amuse bouches too.

Good value for food of this quality from a chef who has represented Wales in the Great British Menu in the past and will be one of the contestants next year.

And acknowledge that Llanwrtyd Wells might seem to be in the middle of nowhere but we had a great day in Powis Castle and Gardens. Locals very friendly and scenery was fantastic.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank MikeLeicester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed September 20, 2012

We bought a "gourmet break for two" from Buyagift for the princely sum of £104. We had a choice of 6 venues and chose the Carlton Riverside as it was around an hour's drive from where we live. The Buyagift break included one night's B and B and dinner for 2 (drinks excluded).

The B and B was easy to find and parking across the street was handy. The "village" it is situated in is tiny and consists mostly of B and B's and pubs. It is near the Royal Welsh Show though so would be handy if you wanted to visit that. The hotel itself is furnished and finished to a high standard and our room was very clean and pleasantly decorated in an Oriental style.

The owners, Alan and Mary, were incredibly friendly and courteous throughout our stay. Their website describes the hotel as "A restaurant with rooms" so we were particularly excited to try dinner that evening. We arranged a table for 8pm but were kept waiting in a lounge area until 8.40pm when our table was ready. Our starter was brought out promptly and the food was delicious. However the saving grace of this hotel and the reason I gave it 4 stars was because of the quality of the main dish. My partner ordered fillet and I ordered rump steak and both were cooked to perfection, with beautiful accompanying dishes of a "tomato fondant" and dauphinoise potatoes. Dessert was also pleasant; I had sticky toffee pudding.

I had a good night's sleep in our large and spacious room, however to accommodate ensuites in the rooms it appears the owners have installed space-saving saniflo toilets, which do make a horrific noise when flushed!

Breakfast the next morning was again cooked well and tasted very nice. We had a very pleasant overnight stay with a decent meal for around £50 per person for the evening. Had we paid any more then I may have awarded 3 stars as I feel the price we ended up paying was fair, but what we paid was well below what it usually would cost.

I would stay again if in the area but wouldn't make the trip simply for this hotel.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank mseren93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burnley, Lancs
Level Contributor
167 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
Reviewed September 5, 2012

Mary and Alan are excellent hosts, nothing too much trouble, room good, food excellent, what more could you ask for. Three years since we last visited and just as good. The view from the restaurant besides the Irfon river is lovely. Good choice on the menu and also on the wine list, especially enjoyed the Goats cheese souffle as a starter plus the Sea Bass for the main course.
I am sure we will visit again in the future.

Room Tip: Ask for the room overlooking the bridge
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Goldenwords
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Carlton Riverside

Property: Carlton Riverside
Address: Llanwrtyd Wells LD5 4ST, Wales
Location: United Kingdom > Wales > Powys > Llanwrtyd Wells
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 16 B&Bs / Inns in Llanwrtyd Wells
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Carlton Riverside 4*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Well appointed restaurant with rooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Carlton Riverside Hotel Llanwrtyd Wells
Carlton Riverside Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales - Powys

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