Eisteddfod foodie guide
Abergavenny is the gastronomic capital of Wales. So, from posh nosh to home-baked cakes, we asked Scott Crichton, director of the town's famous food festival, to share his mouth-watering recommendations for places to dine with Eisteddfod-goers. Enjoy!
Here in Abergavenny and the surrounding villages we are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out or going to the pub for a pint - and there should be something to suit all pockets.
For fine dining there are four that stand out. Firstly the Michelin starred Walnut Tree Inn, at Llanddewi Skirrid, where Shaun Hill cooks to perfection a menu that favours fish and seafood as well as beautiful offal dishes.
Next would be Stephen Terry's The Hardwick out on the Old Raglan Road. Stephen offers a fantastic choice of dishes to suit all tastes. You just have to try his signature dish - Confit Duck Hash with fried Duck Egg.
Out at Cross Ash we have the husband and wife team of Simon and Kate King at their restaurant, 1861. Simon cooks locally sourced food to perfection and with great attention to detail. The majority of his vegetables come from Kate's father's nursery out at Nantyderry. The seven course 'Tasting Menu' is a real treat.
At Llanvihangel Gobion, Tim McDougall (ex Celtic Manor) is head chef at Mike Morgan's, Llansantffraed Court Hotel, and uses as much of the bountiful Monmouthshire produce as he can.
Just out of town along the Old Hereford Road you will find the Crown at Pantygelli where Steve and Cherrie Chadwick will welcome you to their gastro-pub. Here Gary Nugent is head chef and on a fine day you can dine out on the patio with a stunning view of the Skirrid Mountain. They also have a wide choice of fine ales and ciders.
Moving into the town of Abergavenny itself, again you have a wide selection of eateries. At the Angel Hotel you can dine in style in the Oak Room or less formally in the Foxhunter Bar where you can enjoy a pint of local ale with your meal. They also serve award winning afternoon teas in the Wedgewood Room.
Up the road in St John's Square (opposite the main post office) is The Kings Arms Hotel where Jim Hamilton cooks up lots of traditional dishes with an interesting twist. Here too you can enjoy some fine local ales in their atmospheric bar.
If you want to try something exotic then there are two restaurants serving Nepalese food. They are just that little bit more interesting than your run of the mill Indian restaurant. The first is Regency 59 at the King's Head Hotel, in Cross Street, where head chef Krishna Bhandari pays great attention to the use of fresh local Welsh produce. The other is the Gurkha Corner in Nevill Street.
Tea and cake
If it is teas and coffees that you are looking for then Abergavenny has an abundance.
The lovely Chapel and Art Gallery in Market Street is a definite destination, and they also cater for those with food allergies. If you have a sweet tooth then Emeline's in Lewis's Lane scores very highly with her fabulous home baked cakes.
In Nevill Street you have a selection of tea and coffee shops. Three that stand out are The Coffee Pot, The Trading Post and Get Together. All serve light lunches too.
Last, but not least, is the Tithe Barn in Monk Street next door to the world famous St Mary's Church. Again, another lovely place to rest a while and have a snack and a drink in an historic setting. It also houses the Tourist Information Centre.
Remember, the annual Abergavenny Food Festival will be held in the town between 17-18 September. Look forward to welcoming you back!