Allister Barsby, October 2016

The transition between Summer and Autumn is a fantastic time of year for any chef. The ‘Glorious 12th’ signals the start of the Game and shooting season with the first Grouse hitting the menus, matched with Wild Berries, you can’t go wrong. Quail will make way for Pigeon which is shot locally by our MP Simon Hart, and Lamb will leave our menu to be replaced by Venison. I love it, and although every season is beautiful in its own way, Autumn is possibly my favourite!

This change in season is emphasised even more by our kitchen garden.  Managed by Jerry and his team we are never short of the most amazing produce.  Having worked with kitchen gardens most of my career, the garden here at the Grove is the most productive yet.  Rows upon rows of crispy Chards, Kales and Cabbages, sweet Beetroots and Parsnips are in abundance, and all hit our menus as soon as they are ready.  And the anticipation of waiting for the first real frost to sweeten up the Jerusalem artichokes…  I can’t wait to get them on the menu! 

I feel truly lucky to be working with such amazing produce here in Pembrokeshire.


Get to know our chef


Executive Chef

Age : 28
Duration : 9 months
Previous : Gidleigh Park, The Bath Priory Hotel,
Read’s Restaurant with Rooms
Style : Refined, elegant and classic

Allister arrived in West Wales coming from 2 Michelin Starred Gidleigh Park where he was Head Chef for 3 years under the legendary Michael Caines. Having been moulded by one of the best chefs in the UK, Allister’s cuisine is a distinctive modern British style with a delicate touch of the unexpected. He focuses on extracting full and exciting flavours from every ingredient on the plate.


If your kitchen was on fire, what would you save and why?
The chefs and staff… because without them it's impossible!

If you weren’t a chef what would you be?
Probably something involving art or martial arts (two very different things I know, but I was very good at both)

What’s your foodie guilty pleasure?
Wine Gums, I have an addiction

Sweet or savoury?

What is your favourite food shop or market?
Rungis in Paris is insane, and most oriental markets

And for a blow-out dinner?
The Ledbury every time

What would your death row meal be?
Steak and a bottle of red wine

What is your favourite cookbook?
Eleven Madison Park or The Square: Savoury

What’s your top cooking tip?
Focus on flavour first, presentation last

What is your favourite foodie destination in the UK?
Devon and Cornwall, really great food and restaurant scene in the South West

And abroad?

What ingredients are really worth forking out for?
Fresh, bright fish and quality meat


The Good Food Guide has awarded the Grove of Narberth a score of 6 in their 2017 edition. The accolade comes to Executive Chef Allister Barsby after just 8 months into his new role. This is a huge achievement for the 29 year old chef and takes the Grove from a score of 5 which they have been awarded since 2011.

The Good Food Guide is the UK’s bestselling restaurant guide which reviews the best restaurants, pubs and cafes throughout the UK. The prestigious guide scores selected restaurants through an extensive scoring system to ensure that benchmarking around the UK is accurate. The score of 6 strengthens the Grove’s position as being in the top 3 restaurants in South Wales.

The guide described Grove restaurant as ‘classical, smart with bucolic views is developing into one of Wales finest. Executive Chef Allister Barsby hails from Gidleigh Park, where he was Head Chef for three years under Michael Caines for three years – it shows. Expect dazzling flavours at every course. Mr Barsby is a dab hand at intensifying everything from earthy cauliflower in a velvety veloute to the really massive beautiful umami hit in a mushroom risotto.’

Allister Barsby, Executive Chef at Grove said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have received a score of 6 from the Good Food Guide. An acknowledgement like this is a real privilege to receive, especially in my first year and gives us a lift to push on in 2017.”

Grove’s sister business Coast under the leadership of Chef Will Holland has once again been recognised in the Good Food Guide with a score of 4 which it has now held for 3 consecutive years.

Six New Suites and more at Grove of Narberth

We are incredibly excited to be revealing our new suites which take the level of luxury we are able to offer at Grove of Narberth to a whole new level with the help of acclaimed interior designer Martin Hulbert.

Six new suites have been magically brought to life in our cottages, taking plenty of inspiration from the local landscape and Welsh crafts and materials. Meanwhile, in the main house, the Daniel and Elizabeth suite has also been reimagined.

Six new suites

In our secluded setting, the new suites are warm, cosy, simple yet sophisticated and full of charm. They are incredibly private spaces for total escapism with inspiring views over the Preseli Hills and beyond.
Though each suite is a one-off, the collection is united by touches of the local culture, environment and expertise. The interiors champion local materials at every turn – coal, slate, wool, wood, granite and stone – while original art from local artists hangs on the walls. Colour schemes take inspiration from the soft rolling landscape with chalky hues, plenty of light and shade and interesting textures throughout.

Four poster beds sit invitingly under lofty ceilings with original exposed beams. Leather-lined wardrobes, walk-in showers and deep roll-top baths add a touch of glamour and seductive comfort. Locally-sourced antiques and intriguing found items are balanced by contemporary touches. Traditional Welsh items are reimagined; vintage Welsh blankets appear upholstered on sofas and miner’s lanterns are converted into lamps.

These are places to relax; to feel at home and unwind in an uplifting environment.

Daniel and Elizabeth Suite

Elizabeth was once a maid at the Grove of Narberth; Daniel the owner of the house in the 17th Century. The two became lovers and this suite, with triple aspect views over the gardens, a ceiling open to the rafters and plenty of space, keeps their story alive.
The design has a deeply romantic feel; ivory and nude tones give a soft atmosphere, accented with a leather four-poster bed, timber flooring and antiques. Dividing screens separate the space, with an open bathroom at one end.

The interior takes inspiration from ancient Welsh folklore and the art and crafts history of the building, which dates to the 16th Century. The interior is rich with intriguing elements including an installation of carved Welsh love spoons which set the scene.
Daniel and Elizabeth is our star suite at the Grove of Narberth; perfect for romance and a secret space to enjoy together.

The next chapter

“Working with Martin Hulbert Design has been a revelation for the Grove of Narberth. Our eyes have been opened to just how much is on our doorstep here, and the hotel has been bought bang up to date at the same time. We are so excited to be stepping into the next chapter of our story with Martin’s interiors at the forefront”

The partnership between the Grove of Narberth and Martin Hulbert Design will continue; phase two will see Martin Hulbert Design refurbish three drawing rooms.

Allister Barsby joins Grove of Narberth as Executive Chef

We are delighted to announce that Allister Barsby has now joined the team as Executive Chef. 

Allister joins from two Michelin-starred Gidleigh Park in Dartmoor, where he has been working as Head Chef for 3 years under Executive Chef Michael Caines.

Having been moulded by one of the best chefs in the UK, Allister has the experience and natural talent to transform our kitchen. He will be working alongside our hugely capable Head Chef Peter Whaley, who was promoted from Senior Sous Chef in May 2015. Peter joined from the Fat Duck in Bray in February 2014.

‘Hotel of Year 2015’

The Grove Narberth has been named Pride of Britain Hotels 'Hotel of the Year 2015'.  It is a real privilege to be part of such a prestigious consortium of independent UK luxury hotels that is Pride of Britain, and it is very special that all the hard work that goes into The Grove gets acknowledged like this.  Huge well done to our outstanding team!