Weekend Visit to North Wales

When I heard the good news about Sosban & The Old Butchers attaining their very first Michelin Star, my first thought was: Why haven’t I eaten their before?

Menai Bridge - Visit North Wales

The tiny restaurant has been on my radar for a while now, after they received a respectable three Rosettes from the AA a few years back.

Tucked away in the centre of the sleepy town of Menai Bridge on the Isle of Anglesey, this is surely one of the more obscure, idyllic places for the Michelin Man to visit. The food prepared for the ‘surprise’ 7-course menu is all locally sourced, but you might have to wait a while before you can taste it.

Sosban only open their doors for three evening services a week and there are only 16 covers in the whole place, that means less than 2500 people a year get the opportunity to eat there and now that the much revered Michelin inspector has paid his visit, their book is filling up fast!

Thankfully, I managed to get ahead of the rush and secure a table for myself and a colleague. This means a trip out of Somerset and into North Wales, a land famed for its beautiful landscapes, diverse culture and delicious produce.

My sous chef, Rod, is a young man with a bright future. He came to me as a lad of 14, over 6 years ago, in need of some pocket money. Back then, all he thought about was Rock and Roll music. His plan was to save up enough money for a flashy looking guitar so that, by the time he left school, he was ready to head to London, to try his luck as a musician. But things didn’t quite work out that way for him.

After spending a year as a pot washer, there were more sheepish looking teenagers asking for work. He’d shown promise fulfilling the role as a kitchen porter, so we took him on in that capacity¬†and added a few more hours. Spurred on by the promotion and the increased heft of his pay packet, Rod began to throw himself head first into the work and soon found himself with a set of chef whites on. A few years later, he’d long forgotten about moving to London, moved out of his parents house and was living independently in a flat of his own.

Today, Rod’s my right hand man. He has a team of his own and has been able to put himself through a string of courses that have increased his skill level, far beyond what he thought he was capable of. So, whenever I get the opportunity to visit a Food Festival or a well-rated restaurant, he’s the first person I think of inviting along. This time around, because of the distance from our little village, we had to think of a few more things to do whilst in North Wales, to make more of the trip.

I was perhaps a little too trusting and gave Rod the company card and set him to work booking some activities for us to do. So now I’m not just looking forward to a Michelin-starred meal, but also a trip down the longest zip line in Europe and a visit to cheese factory in Caerphilly.

It looks like the boy did good!