The Walnut Tree Inn
“Contemporary flavours in beautiful Welsh countryside” - AA Inspector
- Social distancing and safety measures in place
- Follows government and industry guidelines for COVID-19
- Signed up to the AA COVID Confident Charter
PPE used where 2m not possible front and back of house Reduced capacity to around 50% of usual restaurant covers
Our Inspector's view
Firmly established on the gastronomic map since the 1960s, The Walnut Tree Inn, with its neatly-clipped topiary and white-painted exterior, is the perfect place to relax and unwind. Set amid rolling fields a couple of miles east of the charming market town of Abergavenny, it’s a beautiful location, close to the border with England, and certainly rewards further exploration – it’s surrounded by the mountains of the Brecon Beacons National Park, and only forty-five minutes from Cardiff. The Walnut Tree has been home to Shaun Hill since 2008, and he continues to cook food he himself likes to eat, which sounds so sensible it’s hard to imagine a time when it was almost revolutionary to take such a comfortable, eclectic approach, unrestrained by anything except the ingredients. Hill’s strong classical background and five decades of experience at the top of the culinary tree give a reassuring foundation for contemporary interpretations of flavour and texture which may appear simple but are conceived with extreme thoughtfulness and attention to detail. The dining area is welcomingly informal and unpretentious with bare tables and striking modern art. Daily changing menus reflect season and availability, and there’s an excellent value set lunch, which might see you tucking into pork rillettes with pickles and toast before main course hake with shrimp and dill. The a la carte offers more complex choices, so dinner might begin with squab pigeon and petit pois a la Française, or red mullet with tomato, chilli and ginger, before a main of cod with haricot beans, chorizo, mussels and anchovy dressing, or Middle White pork with glazed cheek and pressed belly. There could be gingerloaf with butterscotch and clotted cream to finish, or perhaps refreshing cherry soup with almond ice cream. The wine list leans towards smaller winemakers, and, like the food, demonstrates the tastes and interests of Hill and his team.
Facilities – at a glance
- Seats: 70
- Private dining available
- On-site parking available
- Wheelchair accessible
- Steps for wheelchair: 1
- Accessible toilets
- Assist dogs welcome
- Closed: false
- Wines under £30: 40
- Wines over £30: 50
- Wines by the glass: 8
- Cuisine style: Traditional British
Also in the area
About the area
In their bid to control the borderlands of Monmouthshire – also known as the Marches – the Normans built a triangle of castles: Grosmont, Skenfrith and White. At first, they were simple wooden structures strengthened by earthworks, but when the lively Welsh refused to stop attacking them, it was decided more permanent fortresses were needed. All three are worth a visit and the views from the battlements at White Castle over the surrounding countryside to the Black Mountains are stunning, as is all the scenery in this area – consisting of a patchwork of low hills, hidden valleys, fields criss-crossed with hedgerows and small belts of woodland.
Monmouth itself makes a great base to explore the beautiful Wye Valley, as well as being known as the home of Rockfield Studios, where Queen recorded Bohemian Rhapsody in 1975. The largest town in the county, Abergavenny is creating a name for itself as the foodie capital of the Usk Valley, and has held a weekly cattle market on the same site since 1863. Its location just six miles from the English border means it’s often described as the ‘gateway to Wales’.
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