The Walnut Tree Inn
“Blissfully unfussy and focused cooking from a culinary mastermind” - 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
The Walnut Tree Inn has been on the gastronomic map one way or another since the 1960s. Ensconced amid rolling fields a couple of miles to the northeast of Abergavenny, the place is today the preserve of Shaun Hill, for many decades one of Britain's principal movers and shakers. With productive stints at Devon's Gidleigh Park and the Merchant House in Ludlow on his CV, Hill has also been one of the country's great culinary thinkers, and author of some of the more thoughtful chef's cookbooks of recent years. With its whitewashed frontage and potted topiary, the inn looks every inch the rural retreat. The dining area is done in unpretentious country style, with bare tables simply laid up, sprays of foliage, and some striking artworks for sale. Shaun Hill has always taken an eclectic approach, anticipating the current global tendency in British cooking by a generation. He cooks what he himself likes to eat, in a resourceful style that is unified by the core of excellent ingredients on which the kitchen calls. A starter of scallops with lentils and coriander will be just that, the flavours all ringing true, while those with an eye for a more visceral opener could go for caramelised calves’ brains, the lobes highlighted with brown butter, parsley and capers. A taste of the distant sea might come as a main course of cod with Jerusalem artichoke and hazelnut dressing, while meaty ideas could take in a robust partnership of beef fillet with beef shin bourguignon. At the close, expect generous and satisfying desserts – ginger loaf with butterscotch sauce and poached pear, say, as well as the signature somloi, a carefully researched Hungarian trifle of apricots, walnuts and rum, not to mention a clutch of pedigree French cheeses.
Awards, Accolades & welcome Schemes
Facilities – at a glance
- Seats: 70
- Private dining available
- On-site parking available
- Wheelchair accessible
- Steps for wheelchair: 1
- Accessible toilets
- Assist dogs welcome
- Days Closed: Sunday and Monday
- Lunch served from: 12
- Lunch served until: 2.30
- Dinner served from: 7
- Dinner served until: 10
- Wines under £30: 40
- Wines over £30:
- 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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