Look Up and Look Down with Stargazing and Sustainability
Llangoed Hall has been granted International Dark Sky Reserve Status
Llangoed Hall is nestled in seventeen acres of gardens and parkland in Brecon, Wales and isn't a typical hotel. There is no reception desk and guests can enjoy an honesty bar whenever they like. This hotel is also home to a large telescope which guests are encouraged to use after dark to stargaze. In 2013, the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) recognised the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales as the world's fifth International Dark Sky Reserve (IDSR).
An IDA is described as land possessing an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights. Llangoed Hall's location in Brecon by the River Wye is perfect for stargazing. Guests can appreciate the natural night time environment at the Brecon Beacons IDSR which has been designated 'Silver Tier' level, signifying that while the skies above the park do see some effects from light pollution they are still remarkably dark, making it an excellent place to see the Milky Way and other night sky objects.
Throughout the day guests can also enjoy outstanding views of the Black Mountains and embark on various walks to explore this wonderful part of Wales. Using Llangoed Hall's very own ‘Stroll Guide’, guests depart Llangoed Hall and then reach the long distance path that follows the route of the river. Along the path, walkers encounter several fields ideal for picnics. Walkers also pass traditional cottages and later arrive at a metal ‘kissing gate’. A narrow suspension bridge soon takes walkers on a long stroll along the stunning river.
For the more adventurous walker, the Black Mountains await! These red sandstone hills combine plenty of grass and rivers and form a natural border with Herefordshire, England. Ideal for long walks or longer hikes, The Black Mountains surround market towns with many ancient churches and local crafts.
Llangoed Hall has its own sustainability policy and it is keen for guests to witness its green initiatives with each bedroom containing further information. But guests need not spend too much time reading as the green initiatives are all around to witness. In the winter, Llangoed Hall can grow 45% of the vegetables, soft fruits and herbs that they require. It is during the summer that the gardens truly come alive and the hotel enjoys some 95% sustainability, meaning chefs can pick produce and have this delivered to the plate in 2 minutes preserving both flavour and freshness. Guests will also see three busy egg houses in the grounds - Chicken, Duck and Quail, all here for their eggs, some 12,000 eggs were produced last year. At breakfast guests can select the type of eggs they prefer.
Nick Brodie, Llangoed Hall's award-winning Head Chef has continued to fly the culinary flag for Wales. Nick works with a selection of local suppliers including Morgans Family Butchers in Brecon, Swansea Fish and Vin Sullivan. Most ingredients in fact, are sourced within a 5 mile radius. The hotel's award-winning wine card even includes Welsh wine including the Ancre Hill Estates regional white wine, Monmouth and Ancre Hill Estates sparkling wine.
Llangoed Hall's restaurant goes from strength to strength. Last year and for the second year in a row, Llangoed Hall appeared in The Good Food Guide and more notably in the guide's Top 50 Restaurants in the UK. The Top 50 recognises the very best talent in the country. Llangoed Hall offers a selection of menus and is open daily for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. The menus include: lunch menu £25, four course dinner menu £75, eight course prestige tasting menu £85 (available with wine), eight course vegetarian prestige tasting menu £75 (also available with wine flight) and a Sunday lunch menu £30.
In 1987, Sir Bernard Ashley purchased Llangoed Hall converting it into a luxury hotel. Laura Ashley's first ever garment is displayed at the hotel and one bedroom has Laura's original wallpaper and furniture. Calum Milne, the hotel's managing director has overseen the hotel's refurbishment establishing it as Wales's leading hotel and restaurant. He also unveiled the sustainability programme. Today, there are 23 bedrooms, each with their own individual style and personality.
Stars or celebrities including Bill Clinton and Jane Fonda, come to stay for a few days at Llangoed Hall, but it is the stars in the night sky that stay forever, in this unique part of Wales.