This countryside pub and restaurant has a chequered history but has become something of a Welsh institution since it was taken over by veteran chef Shaun Hill in 2008. Situated two miles east of Abergavenny in a wooded valley, The Walnut Tree has held a Michelin star since 2010 for its eclectic food offering.
Hill has had a long career in top restaurants, previously winning Michelin stars at Gidleigh Park in Devon and at The Merchant House in Ludlow, and he continues to ‘shake up the pans’ at The Walnut Tree with a menu based on his personal taste, rather than a specific cuisine. With its wooden tables, colourful art and vases of fresh flowers, there’s no hint of high-end stuffiness at this country inn.
The lunch and dinner à la carte menus change daily depending on the availability of ingredients, with a focus on top quality produce and seasonality. Expect hearty flavour first dishes such as twice baked Lancashire cheese souffle; veal sweetbreads with pig’s head cromesqui; and Middle White pork with glazed cheek and pressed belly
There’s also good value set lunch menus, starting at £35 for two courses or £40 for three, that feature classic Hill dishes such as a starter of Kerala fish curry; and cherry soup with almond ice cream.
Visitors can also stay overnight in two cottages, just a short walk away through The Walnut Tree’s garden. Both have their own outside terraces and kitchens well stocked for snacks or breakfast.