“People go out to eat delicious food, and for great customer service. Otherwise they would just stay in.”

That’s the ethos of the owner of Carmarthenshire’s newest gastropub.

Two long years after The College Inn, Derwydd shut its doors, it has been given a much-anticipated new lease of life and finally reopened under new management.

The College, as it is lovingly referred to by locals, has been teaming with food-lovers from far and wide since its grand reopening three weeks ago.

The chef, a culinary master, has no less than three AA rosettes under his belt, not to mention the countless trophies and titles from national cooking competitions.

Word his delicious creations has been spreading fast.

South Wales Guardian:

The interior is unrecognisable, with its new and inviting refurbishment.

Chef Emerson’s cooking is underpinned by the selection and sympathetic treatment of the highest quality, fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

His consistently excellent timing, seasoning and judgment of flavour combinations have lead his to receive these prestigious awards.

Diners at The College can be safe in the knowledge that Chef Emerson is among the best in the business.

Great food and great service come had in hand.

South Wales Guardian:

That is where general manager Jamie comes in.

His experience in hospitality and charming character ensures all guests at The College Inn receive nothing short of the best service, where their every need is taken care of.

The menu caters for every preference, boasting an impressive selection of vegetarian options, all far from your traditional ‘pub-grub’.

The extensive wine list also ensures there is a taste for every pallet.

The College Inn is open every day of the week, apart from Monday and Tuesday for lunch.

Bookings are advised but walk-in tables are available too.

Just ten minutes from beautiful Llandeilo, The College Inn is certainly not somewhere you want to miss out on.

Give them a call today and experience what this top-class gastropub has to offer for yourself.

South Wales Guardian:

The Guardian’s Lucy Domachowski was invited to try a taste of Chef Emerson’s creations.

The inside of The College Inn has been refurbished to create an inviting, warm space to enjoy a meal, or socialise with friends in the bar area.

The Inn has managed to retain some of its traditional rural pub feel, while hinting at a more modern, gastro-pub setting.

This is the most dramatic transformation can be seen.

An incredibly attentive and knowledgeable Jamie took my order and presented it to chef, Emerson, in the kitchen.

I opted for the slow-cooked Welsh mountain lamb, accompanied by a cheddar and chive mash, and a sweet red onion and cider jus, on Jamie’s recommendation.

Emerson informed me he sources all of the produce locally, from local businesses.

He explained it was very important to him to have his ingredients locally produced so his dishes are as fresh as possible.

His reputation is world-class, although his humble disposition would never allow him to admit it.

In a large white bowl, the meal was delicately arranged, with the lamb carefully balanced on the mash, and the jus settled around the edge of the dish – a stark contrast from the usual ‘pub-grub’.

I didn’t need a knife. The lamb had been slowly cooked for almost six hours, so the meat parted like butter.

The rich red onion and cider jus combined with the melting lamb and the creamy potato is enough to send anyone’s senses into a spin.

Next came dessert. Cheesecake.

Initially, I’ll admit, I was hesitant about Emerson’s cheesecake reputation.

I have eaten a fair few cheesecakes in my time, and I thought: “Well, how good can they be?”

Utterly delicious, that’s how good.

Emerson’s cheesecake sorcery manages to ensure the plate is packed with the rich taste of your chosen flavour (Baileys and white Oreo for me), while remaining light and a joy to eat after the main dish.

I can’t think of a more delicious and beautifully presented meal I have had in a pub-setting. The gastropub is a hidden-gem, and most certainly worth the travel.