The Great House in Laleston, just outside Bridgend, has always had an excellent reputation for its rooms and food. The recent change of ownership has reinvigorated this beautiful building and provided a home for one of the UK’s most talented chefs, Tommy Heaney.
We caught up with Tommy a few days after his partnership with the new owners was announced.
Can we stay?
Absolutely. We have thirteen beautiful rooms here so, if you’d like to dine and then explore the Vale and surrounding areas, you’d be most welcome.
What do you love about the area?
I really love the countryside and the beaches. I’m so lucky to have such fantastic local produce on my doorstep and The Heritage Coast is amazing. I also have a local forager who helps make my job a little easier. The Great House in Laleston, just outside Bridgend has always had an excellent reputation for its rooms and food.
Who has taken over?
Sanjeev and Elinor, the owners of the Court Colman Hotel just outside Bridgend. The opportunity arose and I think they just thought it would be a lovely fit.
Has the transition been easy?
It has been great since they’ve come in. We’re certainly all singing off the same hymn sheet. It’s good to be working with such positive partners.
Are you enjoying it?
Yes, I’ve been here two years now and it just gets better. We’re all on the same wavelength. It’s really fun to be involved with and there are definitely exciting things on the horizon.
What changes have been made?
What was Leicester’s restaurant is now Restaurant Tommy Heaney. I’m very proud of that. It’s got a more relaxed look and feel which fits in more with my style of food. It’s great having Sanjeev and Elinor as partners.
Ultimately, I always wanted to own my own restaurant. Having said that, I’m not an accountant, I’m a chef, so having experienced people around me to look after that side frees me up to do what I do best.
We’ve redesigned the restaurant and the menu has been updated. Don’t get me wrong, The Great House already has a loyal customer base so we’re not really upsetting the apple cart. Many of the existing customers who have dined with us since the makeover have said how much they like it – they’re certainly enjoying the food judging by the numbers of returning customers.
Originally it was the food fitting in with The Great House, now the food is leading the way and driving the offering.
What will the offering be?
Well, I’d like the food to be accessible – for there to be something for everyone. We’re not forcing the menu, just using seasonal produce and working with it to bring out the best in the ingredients. I think that’s what my cooking is all about.
The restaurant has been named Hotel Restaurant of the Year at the Food Awards Wales in 2016 and we were delighted to pick the award up for the second year in 2017. We have also been featured in The Michelin Guide so we really want to push on and not let ourselves get complacent.
Great House Hotel
High Street, Laleston Bridgend