‘Thomas is a happy boy who smiles and laughs all the time’
A MICHELIN-starred restaurant – that was booked out for the whole of 2018 by the end of last January – is releasing a new batch of tables for next year.
Sosban and The Old Butchers Restaurant, in Menai Bridge, was opened six years ago by Stephen and Bethan Stevens and became an instant hit with foodies.
By 2016 it had received its first Michelin star – the ultimate accolade for restaurants – and securing a table has become a challenge.
WThe couple last opened their reservation book in January, and within 48 hours it was booked out for the remainder of 2018.
But bookings for 2019 opened on Monday morning and food lovers who are quick off the mark should hurry to secure a table on their website.
The release will cover the first six months of next year.
The restaurant has 16 covers and opens three nights a week, with a lunch service in the summer. HEN little Thomas Williams was born, his parents, Lucy and Paul, and big sister, Emily, were delighted to welcome the new addition to their family.
Everything seemed fine, but the next morning, Lucy noticed a rash on her baby’s face and hands. The infant had an infection and was rushed to the neonatal unit where medics noticed that Thomas’ head was small.
He was just 11 days old when he was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain condition that limits his mobility and movement.
It was a moment that changed the family’s lives forever.
Never able to walk, talk or even support his own head, the family took Thomas home, not sure what the future had in store.
But he continued to surprise them and now they want to raise awareness of the children’s hospice that supported them and helped make their lives easier.
Thomas, from Tyn-y-Gongl, Anglesey, is now seven years old, he needs to be fully supported in a wheelchair, struggles to see properly, is fed through a tube and his communication is limited to crying and laughing.
But it’s his laugh that makes everything worthwhile.
Lucy, who had to give up her career as a solicitor to care for Thomas, said: “Soon after Thomas was born, he developed an infection and, while he was on the neonatal unit, they measured his head and noticed it was small and out of proportion to his body.
“After tests, he was diagnosed with polymicrogyria and microcephaly, which we’d never heard of at the time. We just knew it would have an impact on his development.
“He had other connected problems too but, after three weeks, we took him home, not knowing what to expect as they couldn’t tell us how severe his
Despite the huge demand, there are no plans to expand.
Bethan told our sister paper the Daily Post: “We are not driven by lining our pockets, we want to create a dining experience and our drive is to keep improving what we do.
“We never stand still, we always think we can do things better.
“Steve is a perfectionist so always thinks a dish can improve.” condition would be.
“The only difference between him and his sister when he was such a small baby was that he had trouble sleeping because of reflux.
“It was when he was 18 months old that he was fitted with a tube.”
As Lucy and Paul cared for their baby, they were encouraged to think about getting support from a children’s hospice.
“We were reluctant because we were afraid to see what his future may hold,” admitted Lucy. “It wasn’t until Thomas was one that we decided to take him.
“We needed support and a break so we could recharge our batteries and the opportunity to spend some quality time with our daughter, Emily.
“We also wanted Thomas to be able to interact and have fun with other children.”
She added: “When we came to Tŷ Gobaith Children’s Hospice, we were so glad we did. It wasn’t what we thought it would be, it was better and it felt right.”
Since then, Thomas has been going to Tŷ Gobaith for respite and, often, Lucy, Paul and Emily stay with him.
Emily gets the chance to spend time and have fun with Thomas, and other brothers and sisters who understand what it is like to live with a sibling with a life-threatening condition.
Lucy and Paul can take the chance to relax and recharge. They don’t need to worry about Thomas, the nurses are there to look after his medical needs so they can concentrate on spending precious time together and making special memories.
Lucy added: “Thomas is a happy little boy who smiles and laughs all the time.
“He loves being surrounded by people, going on trips on the minibus and having fun in the playroom.
“But, his favourite activity is the Eye Gaze, a special computer which enables him to communicate and interact, just using his eyes.
“We all work tirelessly to look after him and coming to Tŷ Gobaith gives us a chance to switch off from being full-time carers and focus on being a family.”
For more information on the hospice visit www.hopehouse.org.uk
Thomas Williams with his mum Lucy, dad Paul and sister Emily. Thomas was just 11 days old when he was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain condition that limits his mobility and movement
Sosban and the Old Butchers in Menai Bridge