The market city of Abergavenny in Wales sits on the fringe of the Brecon Beacons Nationwide Park, with a vigorous ambiance that makes it the best spot for a weekend break. Lots of the issues to do in Abergavenny appear to revolve round meals, from the annual Abergavenny meals competition, to the various implausible eating places and meals retailers, to the bakery college and winery we visited.
However there’s way more to this Gateway to Wales, packed full of fashionable impartial retailers, with artwork galleries, markets and Medieval citadel, surrounded by lush inexperienced hills the place the alternatives for strolling are boundless. Learn on for our information to what to see in Abergavenny Wales, the perfect locations to eat and the place to remain.
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Meals in Abergavenny
There’s a excessive focus of wonderful eating places in Abergavenny, many that target native and seasonal produce and would give any fashionable London restaurant a run for his or her cash. Add within the well-known Abergavenny Meals Pageant that takes place in September, in addition to the lined market and artisan meals retailers and also you see why Abergavenny would possibly justifiably declare the title of high foodie vacation spot in Wales.
Let’s begin with the Abergavenny market which hosts many stalls each inside and out of doors promoting nice native produce.
The Victoria Market Corridor in Abergavenny sits on the coronary heart of the city with a gothic stone entrance giving strategy to a light-weight and ethereal corridor supported by iron pillars. Behind the principle constructing there’s an out of doors house that hosts extra market stalls, from common items, to fruit and veg, fish and recent eggs after we had been there. We couldn’t resist shopping for some vibrant and regionally grown chillis to take residence from the fruit and veg stall.
Contained in the lined market corridor, a common market takes place on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday with an eclectic mixture of handmade desserts, recent produce, crafts, jewelry and odd specialist stalls promoting crystals, rag rugs or knitwear.
On Wednesday the corridor hosts a weekly flea market, with a craft truthful and artisan farmer’s market happening as soon as a month. When you’re there remember to lookup on the themed decorations hanging from the roof, which change annually to coincide with the meals competition.
To search out out in regards to the common markets and different seasonal occasions, verify the Abergavenny Market Fb web page.
Take a look at this information to Large Pit and the Blaenavon Industrial Panorama in South Wales
Greatest eating places in Abergavenny Wales
With so many nice locations to eat, it was onerous to decide on on the day we visited however listed below are some Abergavenny eating places and cafes we tried or heard good issues about;
For espresso in Abergavenny
Bean and Bread (36 Lion Road)- we liked this gentle and ethereal veggie and vegan cafe with a boho really feel. It was busy all via lunchtime and we lastly dived in there within the afternoon for a warming and autumnal pumpkin latte and a few scrumptious residence baked cake.
Different contenders for a espresso cease are
The Gaff espresso store and deli (14 The Excessive Road) – an offshoot of The Gaff restaurant, serving espresso and cake (strive their Abergavenny bun with frangipane, chocolate and flaked almonds) in addition to a few of the sauces and different merchandise used within the restaurant.
Fig Tree Expresso (15 Nevill Road) – in a Georgian townhouse with a secluded backyard on the again serving connoisseur tea and low and delectable desserts.
Harry’s (3 St John’s Road) – this take away snack bar with an Italian flavour is thought for panini and sandwiches however they do nice espresso and cannoli too and have some exterior seating.
For lunch in Abergavenny – The Chapel
Our selection for lunch was Kitchen at The Chapel, near the Market Corridor which is a part of the Abergavenny foodie empire that features The Angel Lodge and Walnut Tree restaurant.
The cafe is on the decrease ground of the outdated chapel constructing, open for breakfast, lunch, espresso and desserts till 4pm, whereas the higher ground is used for musical occasions and poetry readings. The ambiance is refined however relaxed, with the scrubbed floorboards, wood benches and and chairs nodding in the direction of the constructing’s earlier incarnation as a spot of worship.
The chapel additionally features a part of ceramics, jewelry and different inventive treasures, with a spread of inspiring artwork and literature books to browse, many from Welsh writers. We couldn’t resist treating ourselves to a replica of The Seasonal Vegan cookery ebook which was very a lot within the spirit of the meals on the menu.
I ordered a thick and warming Cauliflower soup with crumbled Kirkham’s cheese and their blue cheese and pumpkin seed scone, whereas Man had Shakshuka with mint yoghurt and sourdough toast from their close by Angel Bakery. Apparently they’re well-known for the cheese and pumpkin seeds scone and I observed folks shopping for them to remove.
As a substitute for The Chapel for lunch I’d additionally counsel Bean and Bread which I’ve already talked about and order one of many cooked dishes from their brunch menu. Or if the climate is okay, purchase some scrumptious bits and items from the meals retailers round city and head to the Linda Vista Gardens or Abergavenny Fortress to eat them within the sunshine.
Dinner in Abergavenny – The Angel Lodge
For a relaxed however positively particular dinner, we ended our day in Abergavenny at The Angel Lodge within the coronary heart of the city close to the market. This 18th century teaching inn was taken over by an area household in 2004 and was fully refurbished, restoring it to its authentic magnificence as a boutique lodge. The identical house owners have pursuits underneath the Home of Caradog umbrella in The Walnut Tree, the Chapel, The Angel Bakery throughout the street and the Artwork store alongside the road, leading to many foodie and inventive collaborations.
There are two fundamental eating rooms at The Angel Lodge. The Oak Room is the extra formal, full of wealthy colors and art work, whereas the wooden panelled Foxhunter Bar gives a extra relaxed ambiance. We settled within the Foxhunter Bar, named after the present leaping champion horse of the identical identify, who received a gold Olympic medal in 1952 together with his jockey Sir Harry Llewellyn.
The dinner was completely scrumptious; I ordered satisfyingly thick items of Brill in a creamy sauce with mussels, pancetta and potatoes. Man went for the meaty possibility with a pork chop from the free vary pigs of close by Forest Coalpit farm, with apple brandy, black pudding and a cheese and onion mash.
Almost stuffed, we may simply squeeze in some desert of aromatic coconut sorbet with Petit Fours for a chocolate repair. The cocktails had been excellent too, making a very pleasant night and a lodge we vowed to come back again to.
Afternoon Tea at The Angel Lodge
It’s price realizing that the Angel Lodge can also be well-known for his or her fabulous Afternoon Tea. Aficionados of the basic English Afternoon tea, will know that it goes properly past the common cuppa and is a chic meal in itself, with sandwiches, fairly desserts and different savoury delicacies.
The Angel Lodge has received a prestigious award from The Tea Guild for his or her Afternoon tea, which will get booked up properly prematurely, so remember to make a reservation in the event you’d prefer to strive it. Excessive Tea is served within the conventional method in a separate eating room with starched white desk cloths, fairly china and silver cake stands, making this an actual event meal. It’s a tea to get pleasure from when you’ve got one thing to rejoice or at any time you wish to deal with your self!
Different eating places in Abergavenny Wales
As a foodie hub, Abergavenny actually does supply loads of selection in relation to wonderful eating places, with many formidable cooks beginning their careers on the well-known Walnut Tree.
The Walnut Tree Inn (Llanddewi Skirrid) – Positioned simply exterior Abergavenny, The Walnut Tree has been a well-known vacation spot for meals lovers because the Sixties, when it was run by Franco Taruschio who introduced his Italian aptitude to the menu. Since 2008 it has been run by native chef Shaun Hill who has retained its Michelin star. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner – count on tremendous eating in a comfortable nation inn with the emphasis on the perfect, seasonal produce.
The Gaff (No 4 The Courtyard, Lion St) – Tucked away in a courtyard in Abergavenny, The Gaff is ready in a big and ethereal eating room, serving small plates influenced by worldwide flavours. It’s earned a Michelin plate, leaning in the direction of a tremendous eating expertise and is open for lunch and dinner.
The Hardwick (Outdated Raglan Rd, Abergavenny, NP7 9AA)- A rustic inn fashion restaurant with rooms, run by Chef Stephen Terry. Anticipate a relaxed however elegant ambiance, with dishes that draw on native seasonal components, ready with care and a focus. place for a particular meal and an in a single day keep of their trendy courtyard rooms.
Mezze Me (15 Frogmore St) – A household run restaurant serving Turkish and Mediterranean dishes in a pleasant ambiance. Because the identify suggests they specialize in mezze sharing platters however there are fundamental dishes too and costs are average, a very good place to share a meal with pals.
Meals Retailers in Abergavenny
For those who’d prefer to take pleasure in a spot of meals buying, we’ve got but extra locations to counsel for meals lovers.
Madame Fromage (16 Nevill Road) – A cheese store and deli promoting a mix of native Welsh cheeses and deli items with some from different elements of Europe, though all supporting small artisan meals companies. They’ve some exterior seating and serve espresso, desserts and snacks like cheese toasties.
Prepare dinner’s Gallery (6 Nevill Road) – An emporium of something a very good prepare dinner would want, with arty china and tea towels, making this an amazing place to buy presents for the aspiring Masterchef contestant in your life.
Rawlings (19 Market Road) – Tucked down the aspect avenue by Abergavenny market, that is THE place to purchase a few of their award profitable sausages in quite a few and assorted flavours.
Neil Powell Grasp Butcher (1-3 Flannel Road) – Additionally for meat lovers, this grasp butcher has a big and open store with meat counters that may depart you salivating in addition to numerous deli and foodie presents.
The Angel Bakery (50 Cross Road) – A part of the identical household as The Angel Lodge, the Angel Bakery is true reverse and sells sourdough bread and pastries, utilizing flour from British mills. They provide bread to different cafes on the town and have a grocery retailer promoting deli merchandise from different small producers.
Meals Experiences in Abergavenny
We will’t speak about Abergavenny as a foodie vacation spot with out mentioning a few of the meals experiences that may spherical off your go to and make it additional particular.
Abergavenny Meals Pageant
Going down over a weekend every September, the Abergavenny Meals Pageant is without doubt one of the fundamental causes that the city has develop into such a foodie vacation spot. The competition was began in 1999 by two farmers as a approach to assist the agricultural neighborhood get well from the foot and mouth disaster that affected so many livelihoods. It has developed right into a thriving impartial competition attracting 30,000 folks to every yr to the city.
The Abergavenny meals competition takes place in a number of totally different places across the city of Abergavenny, with meals stalls and ticketed meals demonstrations by main cooks. Lots of the occasions happen round Abergavenny citadel with a backdrop of the Medieval citadel ruins, with cooking over fireplace and an finish of competition celebration.
If you’re planning to attend, it’s price realizing which you could attain the competition by practice for a stress free expertise, moderately than making an attempt to drive with restricted parking. Take the practice to Newport and alter there for the road to Abergavenny, the place the station is a 15 minute stroll from the city and competition venues.
The Abergavenny Baker
A meals expertise that we actually loved on our go to to Abergavenny was a go to to the Abergavenny Baker. This cookery college that specialises in each form of bread possible is positioned in a beautiful ethereal room above the Bean and Bread cafe and subsequent to The Gaff restaurant.
The proprietor, Rachel, began the bakery college in her personal kitchen however because it grew it discovered a brand new residence within the present location, making a homely ambiance that encourages enjoyable and laughter. The fantastically renovated outdated constructing will remind you of being on vacation with its French Bistro posters, Greek Island blue paintwork and Spanish tile motifs.
Rachel runs workshops right here on bakery themes from world wide (Italian, Center Japanese, Coeliac, Easter or Christmas), every session producing a spread of various breads. Whereas the dough is proving there’s time for a ‘second breakfast’ and a break for lunch to share a few of the bread and pastries which have been produced.
The courses are for teams of 6-10 folks and end mid afternoon, once you’ll go residence with a spread of recent bread that you simply’ve baked your self. Reward Vouchers are additionally accessible in case you wish to deal with somebody to this stress-free, foodie expertise.
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White Fortress Winery
Simply exterior Abergavenny is the White Fortress Winery the place we stopped for a tasting of their award profitable Welsh wines. It made me take into consideration how we love to speak about consuming seasonal produce however have a little bit of a blind spot in relation to supporting English or Welsh wines, favouring no matter’s most cost-effective within the grocery store nonetheless many meals miles it represents.
It was a breath of recent air (actually) to take a mini wine tour of the vineyards with proprietor Robb and listen to about this small scale household run enterprise, that’s nonetheless celebrating their gold medal win within the prestigious Decanter awards for his or her Pinot Noir Reserve. Robb informed me he thinks this yr’s classic of the Pinot Noir will probably be even higher so higher get your order in now!
The winery is open for tastings and excursions at 2pm on Friday and Saturday all through the winter and extra days in the summertime months, or by appointment – greatest to ring forward to verify what’s on and ebook in for a tasting. You get a tasting of not less than 4 wines and can even buy platters of Welsh cheese or charcuterie in the event you’d prefer to make a lunch of it.
We tasted the smooth and fruity Harry Rondo, named after Robb and Nicola’s grandson and eyed up the beautiful pink glowing Rose “Esme Rose” named after their granddaughter – you’ll be able to inform it’s a household affair! Robb confirmed us across the Grade II listed sixteenth century Croft Barn, which has been restored utilizing the standard wattle panels for air flow, and is now used for occasions and tastings. If you’re consuming in any of the higher eating places talked about round Abergavenny, look out for White Fortress Winery wines on their lists to strive.
White Fortress close to Abergavenny
After visiting the White Fortress Winery, it’s price persevering with up the hill to go to the White Fortress after which it’s named. It’s run by CADW, however free to go to and open always to stroll throughout the drawbridge and into the courtyard enclosed by 4 towers.
White Fortress is one in every of three Monmouthshire fortresses that had been constructed by King Edward I to regulate the Monmouthshire border. You may as well make a 19 mile round Three Castles Stroll, linking the three Medieval castles of White Fortress, Grosmont and Skenfrith.
Purchasing in Abergavenny
It’s beautiful to discover a market city like Abergavenny that’s residence to so many attention-grabbing impartial retailers, each round city and available in the market corridor with its eclectic mixture of small companies. Whereas the everyday vary of excessive avenue retailers are to be discovered on the Excessive Road, the independents appear to be clustered round Frogmore Road and the aspect streets that lead from it.
Fortunately, a lot of the city centre is pedestrianised, making for a really nice looking expertise. Remember that the buying hours could also be shorter than you’d count on in an enormous metropolis – in winter the retailers appeared to shut by 3pm or 4pm as quickly because it will get darkish.
We’ve already talked about a number of of the foodie retailers, however for presents we preferred the vary of attention-grabbing issues on supply at Mockingbird, That’s Beautiful That and the mini division retailer Nicholls of Crickhowell. For style we browsed in Ruby Redz, Coco Blush (girls) and Revue Mens Clothes (males) and had been prepared to finish our elegant outfits at Alison Todd Milliner, full of hats of every kind, from Ascot worthy to heat and woolly.
Artwork in Abbergavenny
Abergavenny appears to foster a creative spirit of artisans and makers, particularly via the Artwork Store and Chapel, and the related companies like The Angel Lodge and The Walnut Tree, the place native artists are on show.
The Chapel, the place we had lunch, additionally hosts exhibitions and occasions of their upstairs house, in addition to promoting ceramics, jewelry and different crafts at one finish of the cafe. The Artwork Store has a separate premises in a phenomenal Georgian constructing at No 8 Cross Road, which is stuffed with artists supplies and likewise hosts artwork exhibitions of their upstairs house.
It was additionally enjoyable to identify inventive touches round city, within the mural tribute to the NHS and Sir Tom on Baker Road, the Diamond Jubilee Murals of Abergavenny life on St John’s Road. The hanging ceramic plaque on Nevill Road informed us that Abergavenny was a significant producer of periwigs within the 18th century – who knew!
For those who’ve learn this far you’ll be forgiven in considering that Abergavenny is all in regards to the meals and also you wouldn’t be incorrect, however there’s a lot extra! You’ll be able to’t be in Wales with out visiting a citadel or two, and Abergavenny has its personal picturesque ruins of a Medieval citadel which can be free to go to.
The citadel you see in the present day was constructed within the twelfth century and tells a grotesque story of the Christmas Day Bloodbath in 1175. The Norman Lord of Abergavenny William de Braose invited his Welsh rival Seisyll ap Dyfnwal and his knights to dinner, asking them to go away their arms on the door as an indication of friendship, then killed all of them.
Understandably, their kinfolk had been fairly indignant and attacked the citadel, taking it into Welsh possession. Ruins stay of the citadel’s gatehouse, Nice Corridor, tower advanced and cellars, with some data panels to point out you the way they’d have regarded.
There are open grassy areas and benches, making this a very good place to come back and calm down with a picnic, with house for kids to run round. The views over the river valley and plush inexperienced hills that encompass Abergavenny are very fairly too. The citadel grounds are open each day 11am – 4pm.
Inside the grounds of the citadel sits Abergavenny Museum, positioned in a former nineteenth century Looking Lodge. The museum is free to go to and has some attention-grabbing shows that inform the story of the city via the ages.
I notably loved the details about how the Bronze age axes discovered close by had been made, and the reproduction of a comfortable Welsh farmhouse kitchen, with the curly glass strolling stick awarded as a prize to farmers at livestock reveals, displayed over the mantlepiece. The museum is open each day 11am – 4pm besides Wednesdays.
Linda Vista Gardens and Fortress Meadows
To get pleasure from one other peaceable inexperienced house, proceed alongside the street from Abergavenny Fortress to Linda Vista Gardens, which implies “Lovely View Gardens” because it’s set on the slope of the river valley. The backyard initially belonged to the Victorian villa that stands within the grounds which was in-built 1875, earlier than being purchased by the native council and opened to the general public in 1957.
The gardens are laid out like a standard public park with bushes and grassy areas, engaging shrubs and floral shows, picnic benches and a youngsters’s play space. Inside one of many small outbuildings, a neighborhood cafe Ambika Social has opened, the place you will get a espresso and cake (open each day besides Tuesday)
From the gate of Linda Vista Gardens, proceed additional down the hill via the parking space to get to the Fortress Meadows, a big inexperienced house beside the River Usk which is a favorite with walkers and handgliders who descend from the close by Blorenge Hill to land right here.
The place to remain in Abergavenny
If you would like a really particular place to remain in Abergavenny, I can advocate The Angel Lodge which gives 30 boutique bedrooms and suites. This outdated teaching inn has been fantastically restored with elegant however cosy furnishings in the principle constructing and the outdated Mews behind the lodge.
This may be my selection for an expensive celebration break, mixed with dinner in one of many two eating places or their well-known afternoon tea. The Angel Lodge is a part of the identical enterprise that features celebrated Michelin Star Walnut Tree restaurant, they usually supply packages for lodging and taxi service to take you to dinner on the restaurant simply exterior the city centre.
Test right here for extra inns and visitor homes in Abergavenny
Different good lodge choices to remain within the city of Abergavenny embrace:
Kings Arms Lodge – a sixteenth century inn with 8 bedrooms which have been adorned in recent, up to date fashion.
Hardwick Farm – a mattress and breakfast in a working dairy farm simply exterior Abergavenny, with elegant vintage furnished rooms.
Test right here for extra inns and visitor homes in Abergavenny
Cottages close to Abergavenny
Whereas visiting Abergavenny and touring round different elements of South Wales, we stayed at Roundhouse Farm close to Nantyglo. It’s about 20 minutes drive from Abergavenny and makes a wonderful base in order for you self catering lodging that’s near a spread of points of interest, such because the Blaenarvon World Heritage website, Welsh Valleys and Brecon Beacons.
One quirk of the farm is that it consists of one of many Spherical Towers, constructed by the native ironmasters, Joseph and Crawshay Bailey who owned the native ironworks. They constructed this and one other close by spherical tower in 1816, as a spot of refuge, when their employees rioted on account of their wages being lower. The towers had been fitted out with forged iron from the foundry and the Grade II listed cottages the place we stayed additionally had uncommon forged iron roof helps.
There are three cottages in a terrace at Spherical Home Farm constructed from the unique barn that varieties one aspect of an enclosed farm yard. Up to now working ponies from the mines and foundries can be saved securely in farmyards like this, since with out them the works couldn’t perform.
Ours was a two bed room cottage, Henrietta, and it was a pleasure to remain in a Welsh cottage that was cosy and properly outfitted, however with recent, up to date furnishings. The open plan floor ground with stone flags and areas of ornamental uncovered stone partitions, included loads of seating, a eating desk and a kitchen space.
Upstairs had been a double and single bed room that may be ultimate for a household, styled with tasteful trendy furnishings and a big lavatory with bathe. We discovered it very stress-free to look out on the inexperienced fields from our bed room to see the sheep and horses grazing close by.
Ebook right here for Roundhouse Farm Henrietta Cottage or their different cottages, Mary and William.
Different cottages in Abergavenny
For those who’d choose a cottage in Abergavenny itself, check out Caradog Cottages, the household of companies that owns The Angel Lodge, as they’ve quite a lot of fairly cottages which can be in Abergavenny city itself or simply exterior, near the Walnut Tree.
Plan your go to to Abergavenny
There’s loads to see in Abergavenny and you’ll find out extra on the Go to Abergavenny web site and for different issues to do within the surrounding space of Monmouthshire, check out the Go to Monmouthshire web site. On social media comply with the @SouthernWales, @VisitMonmouthshire and @Dargandecymru (Welsh language) instagram feeds for extra inspiration.
To discover extra issues to do in South Wales, learn my information to Large Pit and the Blaenavon World Heritage Panorama
This text was sponsored* by Go to Monmouthshire and Southern Wales who offered a few of the experiences and lodging talked about.
* Extra information on my insurance policies web page
Picture Credit: All pictures by Heatheronhertravels.com besides the next: Angel Lodge Afternoon tea from Keith Davies, The Angel Lodge | White Fortress from CADW | Angel Lodge Bed room from Angel Lodge | Abergavenny Meals Pageant by Tim Woodier, Abergavenny Meals competition.