Now Open – The Swan at Hay, Hay-on-Wye, Wales
7 Feb 2017
- Fully refurbished with entirely new look in the heart of Hay-on-Wye
- The Swan at Hay works with local companies showcasing the best of Wales
- Rising star Head Chef Jerry Adam has created seasonal menus using local produce
The Swan at Hay has launched in the heart of Hay-on-Wye, Wales. The hotel underwent a complete refurbishment and is home to 19 bedrooms, a restaurant, separate bar and a wedding and events hall. The grade II listed Georgian building was built in 1812, however a coaching inn on the site was first mentioned in the early 1700s. The hotel is located on Church Street in the heart of the famous market town Hay-on-Wye, which over the years, has become internationally recognised, as the ‘Town of Books’ thanks to the bi-annual Hay Literary Festival.
Hay-on-Wye is a book lover’s dream, filled with almost 40 bookshops. Each May the literary world floods into the delightful market town. The Swan at Hay is at the heart of so much in this iconic town. There are also plenty of galleries, antique shops and craft shops highlighting local creative talent.
Local Talent – The Swan at Hay hotel works with many local companies from Hay-on-Wye and today guests will experience the following whilst staying at the hotel:
- Myddfai Trading Company for the bathroom toiletries. Myddfai is a social enterprise working with challenged adults, helping them achieve more. The company offers innovative and environmentally friendly products made in Wales all Paraben and cruelty free.
- The artwork at the hotel was purchased from one of Wales’s best galleries – The Lion Street Gallery, also located in Hay-on-Wye. The gallery mainly promotes artists who work in Wales and the Borders.
- Crockery has been handmade bespoke for The Swan at Hay by Pauline Patterson.
- The hotel’s coffee supplier, also based in Hay-on-Wye, is Black Mountain Roast who offer small batch coffee, fresh from Wales.
- Each bedroom has a selection of books purchased from Hay on Wye Booksellers, a bookshop located in the town for over forty years. The owner Mike actually started selling books from the Swan at Hay hotel many years ago.
Dining – In total, guests and visitors can dine in three spaces – The Garden Room Restaurant, 1812 Bar and The Market Bar. The 30 cover Garden Room restaurant is open daily under Head Chef Jerry Adam. The Garden Room dinner menu is available Tuesday – Saturday and the aim is to offer as many seasonal Welsh dishes as possible using local produce. The Garden Room’s dinner menu is priced from £40 per person and each guest will effectively enjoy five courses. The guest selects a First, Second and Third dish and in between two other smaller courses are served. The First dishes, of which there are four choices include ‘Charred Prawn, Pink Peanut, Bean Sprouts, Coriander, Lime’ and ‘ Potato, Charred Onion, Smoked Eel, Fermented Onion Dressing’. The Second dishes, again of which there are four choices include ‘Partridge Breast, Jerusalem Artichoke, Mushroom, Back Fat’ and ‘Poached Trout, Brown Shrimp, Mace, Cucumber, Sea Vegetables’ or ‘Crisp Tofu, Celery, Mushroom, Hemp’ For Thirds, guests can select from four choices including ‘Passion Fruit Curd, Coconut, Meringue, Yogurt’ and ‘Dark Chocolate Tofu, Coffee, Hazel Nut, Vanilla’.
Jerry’s most recent role was at Michelin-starred Ynyshir in Wales. Jerry also worked at The Swan at Hay’s sister hotel Llangoed Hall for three years, under head chef Nick Brodie. Prior to that Jerry spent time at other Michelin-starred destinations including the Bath Priory.
Jerry also oversees the two more casual bars. A bar menu is served in either the 1812 Bar (named after the date the hotel was built) with 25 covers or The Market Bar. The Market Bar overlooks the functioning market and dogs are welcome in this bar. The design is rustic with wood salvaged from the original stables. Mains include ‘Welsh Pork & Leek Sausage, Mustard Mash, Shallot’ (£13.50) and ‘Pappardelle, Butternut Squash, Sage Beurre Noisette, Goats Cheese, Pine Nut’ (£13.50). There are around 12 main dishes to select from. A Monday – Saturday set lunch menu is also available throughout the dining spots priced £20.00. Guests and visitors are free to dine selecting from any of the menus where they like at the hotel.
Hay-on-Wye Bookshop Trail and Hay Gallery Trail – A guide to second hand and antiquarian booksellers around the town is available to download, the guide showcases 26 very different bookshops explaining what they specialise in. Each of these bookshops is identified by a number in the window linked to the guide.
Fans of contemporary painting, sculpture, pottery and glass will be spoilt for choice in Hay-on-Wye.
A total of seven galleries have come together under the ‘Hay Gallery Trail’ all from different disciplines. Hay-on-Wye has the highest concentration of galleries (in relation to the size of the population of the town) to anywhere in Wales.
Events at The Swan at Hay – The Swan at Hay will unveil a selection of Literary Salons in 2017 and 2018 hosted by journalist and author Liz Hoggard. These salons will include lunch or afternoon tea, a Q&A with the author and a book signing at the end. The hotel is also teaming up with several chefs throughout the year for Guest Chef Evenings including with Great British Menu runner up Andrew Scott of Restaurant 56 in Faringdon. Several Wine Dinners are also scheduled with leading sommeliers including a dinner supported by Tanners Wines and hosted by former Le Gavroche Head Sommelier, Thierry Tomasin. For the more adventurous Murder Mystery Events will also be hosted with event partner Murder on the Side.
The Swan at Hay is licensed to hold civil ceremonies and the hotel can cater for up to 120 guests. The hotel is also home to a smaller meeting and events room which can cater for up to 12 guests.
The Swan at Hay is family friendly, pet friendly (4 rooms allow pets for a £15 fee) and offers a car park at the side of the hotel. The hotel is the perfect base for exploring the north-easternmost tip of the Brecon Beacons National Park, ideal for outdoor activities including walking, cycling and canoeing close by.
Ronan Hunter is the General Manager at The Swan at Hay and he oversaw the final phase of the refurbishment. Ronan has vast experience across the hospitality industry including five years at the five-star Celtic Manor Resort. Ronan also spent time at Michelin-starred Castle Hotel in Taunton and Michelin-starred Restaurant with Rooms; Crown at Whitebrook.
Church Street, Hay-on-Wye, HR3 5DQ http://www.swanathay.com 01497 821188
B&B priced from £115 per room per night
Getting there: the nearest train station is Hereford and then it is a 30 minute taxi ride or a bus journey. Bus journeys are not frequent. Recommended taxi firm is Hi-Town Taxis 01432 354321.