Matt Powell is, by his own admission, a man who’s magnetically tied to Pembrokeshire.

His restaurant, Annwn, bears the name of the pagan underworld described in Arthurian legend as 'a world of delights and eternal youth, where disease was absent and where food was ever-abundant'.

And if one has to sum up the ethos of its 21st century equivalent, the restaurant in Lawrenny is a very close model to its predecessor in the pagan underworld.

Earlier this week Annwn was named by the Good Food Guide 2022 as one of the UK’s most exciting restaurants.

Given that it is barely a year old, this is one considerable accolade. 

What's more, the restaurant recently had a visit from the Michelin team who left with some extremely positive reviews.

“I came here 12 years ago and ever since then, Pembrokeshire has been my inspiration,” says Matt from his kitchens at Annwn.

It’s midday on Thursday and as he chats, he’s constantly preparing for another full house of discerning diners who will be arriving at his Potting Shed later that evening.

And the dishes on offer bear testimony to Matt's passion for the environment, ecology and history of his county.


All of his vegetables are homegrown in his immaculately tended raised beds, many ingredients have been skilfully foraged from the hedgerows and coastlands around his home in South Pembrokeshire while his fish and meats are sourced with excruciating care.

Just for the record, the Annwn lamb is home cured which means it’s salted for two weeks and then dried for four months before being served.

Western Telegraph: Annwn's home dried lambAnnwn's home dried lamb (Image: Annwn)

“Our food is based on the Welsh landscape and our aim is to allow our diners to get back to their roots and taste things in a very pure but very original way," explained Matt.

“For example, the oysters around here are truly amazing but I know a lot of people may not enjoy eating them au naturel. This is why I’ve turned them into a puree served with a seaweed cracker.”

Western Telegraph: Kilpaison oysters with sea purslane, lemon verbena and golden samphireKilpaison oysters with sea purslane, lemon verbena and golden samphire (Image: Annwn)

A native of Bridgend, Matt left home at 17 to train under the inimitable Raymond Blanc with whom he remained for many years.

After settling in Pembrokeshire in 2010, Matt began exploring the wild ecosystems around the coast as well as the incredible quality and diversity of the local sustainable producers. This led to the launch of Annwn in 2021.

The Good Food Guide 2022 recognises that restaurants are 'run by extraordinary chef-proprietors who are redefining the profession and pushing the boundaries of what eating in a restaurant is all about.'

According to the guide, "It's the stuff of bucket lists, the vision and talent drawing not just national but international recognition – especially from chefs world-wide".