Holidays and Other Excursions

Tag: Abergavenny


Friday 3 March 2017

The plan today is for a much quieter day than yesterday.  We bumble into Abergavenny and find both the cheese shop and the market where there is of course a cheese stall.  A number of smelly cheeses are acquired.  The weather is nowhere near so nice today and there is ongoing drizzle and  it is not as warm.  Burton have had a shop in the town for many years and it is possible to record evidence of the attractive signage that used to be used and its incorporation in the building structure.  It makes the current one word “Burton” seem very stark by comparison.

The main plan for today revolves around taking lunch at a place which has been on our “to eat at” list for many years.  The Walnut Tree Inn at Llandewi Skirrid has been famous for a very long time.  The original owner (Franco Taruschio) retired and sold on and the restaurant had a few bumpy years before being bought by Shaun Hill in 2008 and has returned to good standing.  The chef we last encountered in Ludlow when it was the centre of restaurant excellence a few years ago.

We both choose the same starters, a Lancashire cheese souffle, and main courses, confit duck, black pudding and pigs cheeks.  Eating the same meal used to be a little more common than it is these days.  As we eat the restaurant steadily fills up and the kitchen keeps the meals coming.  Here are Jackie’s photos of the two courses mentioned:

With lunch complete we return back to our cottage.  I admit to Jackie that the last time we ate the chef’s food it was in Ludlow and we had not been terribly impressed at the time compared with our other meal there.  Certainly this was not lacking in any way.  I know it was a Friday and the restaurant is just a few miles outside Abergavenny but the place steadily filled up with at least one celebratory party and meals were also being delivered to people sitting in the bar so the team were working very hard.  And I have no doubt it is like that most of the time.

Discussing it after the holiday we agree that this was probably the best meal of the week.

Heading to Penpergwm

Wednesday 1 March 2017

A new month and time for a holiday.  The driving is shared out today – I take the first chunk down to Leigh Delamere services for a quick stop.  Then Jackie takes the wheel and we take the old route over the First Severn crossing (now the M48 but of course the original M4)  and we continue into the Wye valley through Tintern; this section is all a bit twisty.  Then we take the turning for Whitebrook and it gets much narrower.  Progress is slower and the sat nav is convinced we have gone past our destination but we do find it and park.

We are at the Whitebrook Inn.  It is almost in the middle of nowhere – a pretty, wooded valley.  We agree that the starters are good but the main courses are a little bland – we both have the local lamb and it seems to lack taste.

Here is the duck confit and liver partfait starter from Jackie Whitbread’s photos:

Post lunch it is my turn to drive onto our final destination of  Penpergwm near Abergavenny.  The first bit is quite narrow as I continue west on the back roads from our lunch break – but some lovely views of the local countryside, as we descend from the hills on the west side of the Wye Valley we can see in the distance the Black Hills.

Our little holiday home is small – but should meet our needs  for the next week.  We are in Penpergwm which is a couple of miles east of Abergavenny and which is in Monmouthshire.  For a long time Parliamentary Acts referred to “Wales and Monmouth” as if it was not part of Wales or England – it is now very definitely in Wales with bi-lingual signs and even though the population is not heavily Welsh speaking.  It is not an area we have visited previously and there are a good number of decent restaurants to be visited this week which is the prime attraction.

And it is not utterly remote either.  As if we were at home Tesco turn up with a delivery so that we have the basics on hand.  It saves having to take the large car if we have the groceries delivered when we arrive.  Another benefit from the internet I suppose!  The owner lives in the main house adjacent – we are in an extension and the chickens are in the enclosure next to us.  There is space to sit outside but we are unlikely to use that this week.  The cottage has two bedrooms but we use the other one to put our cases out of the way.  It has been a longish day!