The Slate opened in 2017 after months of refurbishments. Formerly, the Abbeyfield, this establishment has undergone a total transformation. There has been a place to eat, drink and lay your head in Talybont for many years. Folk will have fond memories of having stayed at what was formerly the Abbeyfield Hotel, a typical ‘local’ pub where you could also enjoy an evening meal. But as we all know, this sector of business has been under a lot of pressure in recent years and yet, recognising a need in the market and an opportunity to stake a claim in providing a boutique service, Ben & Kelly have now embarked on an exciting new venture together. Ben, who has run a successful installation business for many years is someone who confesses a love of pubs and the unique atmosphere they provide. He came to the conclusion that he would like to run such a business himself. And so begins the next chapter. In renaming the premises to The Slate / Y Llechan, there have been no half measures with the entire hotel having undergone a major transformation, with interior design by Clare Hardy. This venture was the brainchild of Ben & Kelly with the help of some close acquaintances, committed family and friends, they have embarked on an ambitious journey to turn this not insubstantial premises and business into somewhere you will definitely want to return… The Slate is a highly appropriate name, providing a literal clean ‘slate’, a fresh new start, something to really get excited about in our locality. This hotel/restaurant/bar is in the perfect location for any visitor to the area too, sitting adjacent to the National Trusts’ Penrhyn Castle and gardens, the university city of Bangor, which now has a landmark arts centre that’s definitely worth a visit, but you’re right on the doorstep of Snowdonia, the glorious north coastline including the Isle of Anglesey – all made perfectly accessible by means of the A55 express way located nearby. Often its not just ambiance, decor and general feel of a restaurant that make a night out but also the quality of staff, the courteous and helpful nature and most definitely the quality of food, plentiful choice and of course presentation. It all goes a long way in our perception of what a night out should be like and we don’t mind spending that little bit extra either as it’s often the small things that all add up to make an enjoyable experience. The Slate / Y Llechan, draws its inspiration from something we all take very much for granted here in North Wales and that’s our naturally occurring asset of, you guessed it, slate! It’s something which adorns the majority of our roofs and used in countless ways from hearths and fireplaces to clocks, decoration and artwork. The slate theme has been taken to another level in that all eleven guest rooms (all with En-Suite) have been named after a slate quarry/mine in North Wales – so who knows, it may just get you thinking about and exploring the locality, its heritage and rewarding scenery. Two of our nearest slate quarries are Penrhyn and Dinorwic with Penrhyn still a major employer and supplier of slate products. You may have heard that Penrhyn quarry also hosts one of Europe’s longest and fastest zip wire attractions too (ZipWorld), bringing a whole new meaning to sightseeing! The premises has been totally refurbished from top to bottom with some internal modifications to make the most of the space available and to create a coherent and fulfilling place to work, rest and play. Parts of the original building are doubtless quite old (this is after all a former coach house) with thick walls and beamed ceilings, but gone are the dark rooms of yore – the choice use of fitting colours lifts the mood dramatically, with tasteful decor and the general presentation shouting quality, comfort as well as functionality. Outdoor parking space is paramount if you plan to stay a night or two and The Slate can happily oblige, and with a westerly aspect and outdoor seating, you’ll be able to relax in the afternoon sunshine after a day out and enjoy some excellent food and drink. Speaking of drinks, we’d like to draw your attention to something a little different here at The Slate. If you want a real ale then you’re in luck as this is just the place to sample some locally produced beer, but i bet you never thought Talybont would have its own dedicated cocktail bar now did you! Bespoke lighting has been incorporated into the bar to highlight the exciting range of cocktails on offer. You might even relive that famous scene from ‘Only Fools and Horses’ with Del Boy Trotter as he falls through the raised bar door, but then again, maybe not! It’s quite obvious that the vision has been realised and executed as planned, not always an easy thing to see through when faced with mountain-like challenges and yet, here we are at the beginning of a new slate. It takes more than calculations to see a project like this through to its conclusion. It takes passion, a sense of belief and gritted determination to realise the dream and bring it to fruition. So why not join Ben & Kelly this summer at The Slate / Y Llechan to celebrate their goal of providing a place to eat, drink & stay with a twist you’re sure to be talking about for some time!