Oakeley Arms HotelThe Oakeley Arms Hotel is set in the Snowdonia National Park and also offers self-catering cottages to visitors. The Oakeley Arms offers locals and visitors a fascinating history with the Grade II listed building dating back to the 16th century, making it one of the most historic hotels in Wales. The current owners, Ann-Marie and Chris Vanstone acquired the building back in 2003 and have ever since created an established place for the locals and visitors to eat and stay.

They have had many people pass through their doors and leave positive reviews for all to read. If you are looking for a place to eat, stay or both but are unsure on where to go, here is a detailed review from Taste Tester, Angharad Tomos who visited with a few friends who all thoroughly enjoyed their visit.

The atmosphere is cosy and welcoming, with a roaring fire to greet us. You can either enjoy a meal in front of the fire, or on a luxurious sofa in one of the other rooms. With its thick carpet and wallpaper, it had a feel of a grand old-fashioned hotel.

Being served by a Welsh speaker is important to me, and the young man at the bar was pleasant. Tea and coffee comes with a free cup cake, an unusual treat, and a bargain at £1.95. The goat’s cheese and beetroot was served on a brown (or white) bun and artistically presented on a wooden platter, and was filling. I would have preferred the TV off, but that’s an old fashioned view by now. Not that anyone takes much notice of it anywhere…

Bethan Gwanas was very happy with her honey roast ham, Perl Wen cheese and cranberry ciabatta served with side salad and chutney, that was both pleasing to the eye and palate. The ham was really thick and juicy, and the swirly carrots had a lovely taste. Having just joined Slimming World, it wasn’t very low in calories, but she declined the chips, and it was worth every ‘syn’!

Tudur chose the griddled chicken salad with herby lemon chicken. The chicken was slightly over-cooked, and therefore a bit dry, but tasty enough served with two rashers of cured bacon. He couldn’t taste any lemon, but it was enjoyable as his empty plate testified at the end of the meal. The crispy salad was lovely, and served in a subtle glaze.

The meals were sufficient on their own, but the fire being warm, and the company stimulating we stayed on, and ordered afters. Slimming Bethan tried hard to decline dessert, and in the end went for the Sharp Lemon Sorbet, which was very sharp, very tasty, and the perfect cleansing end to a lovely pub meal. Everyone had a spoonful of the sorbet and were jealous of her choice. Bethan Wyn went for the sticky toffee pudding in a big way (she is not on a diet!) and found that it was excellent, particularly the toffee sauce. Served with ice cream, it was delightful.

I chose the light chocolate mousse that was served on a slate and came in three tiers, sprinkled with icing sugar, and a swirl of sauce. Not too filling, but tasty — although I think I’ll choose the lemon sorbet next time.

We were very happy with our choice of hotel. It was excellent value and well presented, and of a higher value than the usual ‘pub lunch’. Run by a local couple, it’s very popular with the locals and tourist alike. We saw quite a lot of local people eating there, and that’s always a good yardstick. Not feeling any pressure to leave, we ordered another coffee, and the cupcakes came out once more, but we had to decline them this time.

The Breakdown:

The Bill
Creamy goat’s cheese ciabatta, served with homemade chunky chips £7.95
Honey roast ham & Perl Wen ciabatta served homemade chunky chips £7.95
Griddled chicken salad served with homemade chunky chips £7.95
Honey roasted root vegetables £2.50
Sharp lemon sorbet £3.95
Homemade sticky toffee pudding £4.95
Chocolate mousse £4.95
Tea & cupcake £1.70
Coffee & cupcake £1.95
Total: £43.85

The Facts
Service: Very good and Welsh speakers
Parking: Free, behind the hotel. Same level
Disabled access: Almost everything on ground floor, but toilets upstairs. Other toilets (public) opposite hotel, near bus stop.
Opening hours: Breakfast 7am to 12noon.
Monday to Thursday: Lunch 12noon to 3pm, evening meal: 6pm to 9pm.
Friday to Sunday: All day, 12noon to 9pm.
Carvery on Sunday 12noon to 3pm.
Summer: Food every day 12noon to 9pm

Review kindly written by Angharad Tomos

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