North Wales Life Luncheon - Ye Olde Bulls Head Inn, Beaumaris, Anglesey
PUBLISHED: 14:44 05 September 2012 | UPDATED: 12:51 16 May 2016
While the nation still revels in Team GB's gold successes, guests at a Cheshire Life luncheon in Beaumaris celebrated a very special silver. Word by Emma Mayoh Photography by Kirsty Thompson
Anyone wondering what it takes to run the ideal hotel and restaurant would do well to visit Ye Olde Bulls Head Inn in Beaumaris.
For centuries the former coaching house has been welcoming people through its doors. General Mytton commandeered the building during the English Civil War and Charles Dickens was once a guest here. But it is under the stewardship of the current directors, David Robertson and Keith Rothwell, that this Beaumaris landmark has charged to success.
The pair met when they were brought into work at a new hotel in Runcorn in 1973. Keith was the chef and David the manager. After 18 months they went their separate ways but a few years later they joined forces again to set up The Seahorse restaurant, which became a popular place in Felinhelli.
It was 25 years ago that, with their combined experience, they spied an opportunity to transform this beautiful old building into a renowned hotel and restaurant.
David said: ‘We’d scraped together the £6,000 we needed for The Seahorse and over the years we’d expanded and done well. We were there for ten years and we were looking for another opportunity.
‘It needed some attention when we first got here but we could see the potential. I never thought we would be here 25 years later but it is very satisfying to see how much people enjoy coming here and how much it has progressed.’
It was to mark this silver anniversary that guests at the latest Cheshire Life luncheon gathered. It is clear that Keith and David never do anything half-heartedly, a matter only confirmed by the Olympic Torch displayed at the entrance to the restaurant. Keith carried it in recognition of his numerous swimming achievements and the thousands of pounds he has raised for charity in the water.
Keith and David have approached the running of Ye Olde Bulls Head Inn with zeal and gained it an excellent reputation. A few years ago they spent £5million pounds converting an historic building next door. They transformed it into The Townhouse, a collection of luxury suites and bedrooms that the likes of Coldplay, Alicia Keys and Neil Tennant have
Their dedication shines through in their choice of staff. Step in Hefin Roberts, who took up his first head chef position at the Loft Restaurant four years ago. The 29-year-old, who was inspired by brother Darren to become a chef, came second in the Gordon Ramsay Scholarship, has appeared on ITV’s Britain’s Best Dish and has worked in three rosette restaurants. But to go one better, he is also a member of the Welsh National Culinary Team of Excellence.
Hefin is joined by front of house manager and his partner Jen Rowlands who had previously worked at the London Weather Centre. But she decided to return to Ye Olde Bulls Head Inn, the place she got her first waitressing job.
With such a skilled team, expectations were high. And the team did not disappoint.
Delicious canapés were served with glasses of crisp Laurent Perrier, setting the benchmark for the proceedings. In the Loft Restaurant, a divine setting in the eaves of the oldest part of the building, starters of delicately poached ballotine of salmon and sole with lightly curried fish quenelle, carrot and vanilla puree and asparagus and peas maintained the standard.
A sumptuous main course of roast loin of rose pink Anglesey lamb, sourced from Llangefni, was served with braised potato, lamb ragout, spiced vegetables and a wild mushroom jus.
The 2008 Chateau Bonnet Reserve Rouge provided the ideal accompaniment. Dessert came in the form of the perfect summer pudding, a light lemon tart with a summer berry jelly and crème Chantilly which caused pleasing murmurs from
What Keith, David and their team have achieved over the past 25 years is quite remarkable. Long may it continue.
Cheshire Life Luncheon Menu
Ballotine of salmon and sole with lightly curried fish quenelle, carrot and vanilla puree, asparagus and peas
Roast loin of Anglesey lamb, braised potato, lamb ragout, spiced vegetables and wild mushroom jus
Lemon tart with summer berry jelly and crème Chantilly
Ye Olde Bulls Head Inn, Castle Street, Beaumaris, Anglesey, LL58 8AP.
Tel: 01248 810329.