The Hand is a pub and restaurant with rooms and spa, situated in the welsh village of Llanarmon set in the Ceiriog valley - one of the most scenic and tranquil parts of Wrexham County Borough in North Wales. In late 2016, it was only one of eight pubs in North Wales to be featured in the Michelin Eating Out Guide - so we knew we were in for a real treat!
Reservation made, dining companion collected from Oswestry, our SatNav directed us up over the racecourse and into the countryside along a winding single track lane. I never cease to be impressed how lucky we are to live in such an idyllic part of the country. As we drop down into Llanarmon, the Hand is at the village centre and has a lovely cosy village pub presence.
Entering the Hand you immediately feel the warmth only an open fire can provide, this warmth was extended by the friendly welcome from behind the bar. We ordered drinks and opted to go through to the restaurant, as we were shown to our table you couldn’t help but notice the numerous awards proudly framed on the corridor wall.
We were introduced to our waitress who maintained the welcoming atmosphere that had been so evident from the moment we stepped through the door, indeed selecting from the daily changing menu was no easy feat as we were keen to try everything. Decision made, my friend ordered the cream of roasted tomato soup with Netherend butter and warm bread and I opted for the pressed terrine of pork, leek and duck with caramelised onions. For our main course we both chose the roast rump of welsh lamb with cauliflower puree, Earl grey dates and red wine reduction.
Service was prompt and our first course arrived and looked divine. The terrine was topped with crispy kale which provided a great texture combination and the flavours of all elements of the dish were perfectly balanced.
My friend commented on the soup immediately saying “this is no ordinary soup, the flavour is amazing” and we both enjoyed the warm bread with Netherend butter. It had to be said the starter stood us in good stead for a promising evening out with enjoyable food in charming surroundings.
The main event was a real spectacular - the most tender Welsh lamb presented itself giving the feeling of a high end restaurant establishment rather than a village pub. Portions plated generously and side order of seasonal vegetables complimented the dish well.
Following the main course, we had time to look over desserts and found the selection of; sticky toffee pudding with caramel sauce, warm orange and almond sponge with lemon syrup, berry and vanilla bavarois and biscuit crumbs or caramel syrup and blackcurrant poached pear with stewed forest berries - a mouth‐watering selection! We chose the first two. The menu also listed available dessert wines, ports and cognacs.
"It’s a difficult task to keep the local pub feel and provide such high end restaurant quality and service yet The Hand succeeds on all levels".
Desserts arrived and the exquisite presentation that had been apparent throughout the evening continued. Both desserts exceeded expectations the sticky toffee pudding was light and indulgent and the warm orange and almond sponge with lemon syrup was divine.
Our three course meal complete, gluttony took over; as having thoroughly enjoyed each dish the cheeseboard could not be resisted the selection of Llandyrnog Welsh Cheddar, Pearl‐Las and Harlech horseradish cheese with fruit chutney, apple and biscuits was the perfect end to the perfect meal.
Reflecting on our evening out, we are both firmly of the belief that The Hand prides itself on showcasing the best of local produce through its daily changing menus and treating the local ingredients with utmost respect to deliver the finest food.
For a friendly atmosphere, attentive service and sensational food in a warm welcoming environment look no further than The Hand at Llanarmon.
The Hand at Llanarmon is an ancient hostelry with all the attributes you’d expect – bags of character, a cosy, relaxing ambience and a warm welcome from your hosts, Jonathan and Jackie Greatorex. As soon as you arrive you feel the weight of the world dissolving as the surroundings work their magic. All the classic ingredients are here – old beams, roaring fireplaces, a casual mix-and-match of pine and oak furniture, real ale and good food. The latter is seriously good. Thanks to the talents of Head Chef Grant Mulholland and his team, The Hand is renowned for award-winning food; an inventive marriage of country fare and sophisticated metropolitan cuisine.
They also won 'best restaurant' at the 2017 Wrexham Tourism Awards and head chef Grant Mulholland added two AA rosettes to his collection in early 2017.
Bookings; 01691 600666
Click here to make a reservation
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