The Best Restaurants in Monmouthshire and The Black Mountains

Photo of Hannah Freeman
2 December 2017

With more Michelin stars than any other Welsh county, and home to the internationally renowned Abergavenny Food Festival, Monmouthshire has certainly made its mark on the culinary map of Britain over the past couple of decades. Together with the Black Mountains, which take in both Monmouthshire and neighbouring Powys, it not only offers outstanding views, but some pretty amazing restaurants, too.

The Whitebrook

Boutique Hotel, Hotel
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One of only seven Michelin-starred restaurants in Wales, The Whitebrook sits high above the River Wye in the rather hidden village of Whitebrook, and offers a sublime dining experience. The tasting menus comprise foraged and locally sourced seasonal foods, whilst the accompanying wine flights have some very surprising additions. Chef patron Chris Harrod wants to offer diners the ‘valley on a plate’ and he never fails. You may need to book several months in advance, but it’s well worth the wait.

The Walnut Tree

Restaurant, Italian, French, British, $$$
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The Walnut Tree, Llanddewi Skirrid
The Walnut Tree, Llanddewi Skirrid | Courtesy The Walnut Tree

Historically, one of Wales’ finest Italian restaurants. Opened in the 1960s by husband-and-wife team Franco and Anne Taruchio, The Walnut Tree is now in the very capable hands of top Chef Shaun Hill. This Michelin-starred restaurant, in the shadow of Skirrid Mountain a little outside Abergavenny, should certainly go on any foodie’s bucket-list. The menu is described as ‘eclectic’ and is very much based on the chef’s personal tastes – be assured it will not disappoint. Booking essential.

The Felin Fach Griffin

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Nestled between the Black Mountain towns of Brecon and Hay-on-Wye, The Felin Fach Griffin is the sort of gastro-pub that ticks every box. With cosy log fires, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, this pretty, red-painted restaurant with rooms is an ideal base to explore the surrounding area. Awarded a coveted Michelin Bib award in 2016, this cosy, welcoming restaurant should be on every visitors to-do list. Booking advised.

The 1861

Restaurant, British, Vegetarian, $$$
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This elegant restaurant in the Monmouthshire village of Cross Ash was once the Three Salmons public house. Owners Simon and Kate King have got everything right in this exclusive eatery. Vegetables are sourced from Kate’s father’s nursery in nearby Nantyderry, and the menus are truly mouth-watering. A little off the beaten track, but well worth going that extra mile for.

The Hardwick

Restaurant, Hotel Restaurant, British, European, $$$
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Chef Patron Stephen Terry is well-known in the industry. The Hardwick is located a short drive from Abergavenny and the Black Mountains and has been described by iconic chef Michel Roux junior, as ‘my favourite Welsh restaurant’. With superb quality produce, prepare to experience a meal to remember. Booking essential.

#7 Church Street

Hotel Restaurant, European, British, Contemporary
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Located in the heart of the picturesque border town of Monmouth, #7 Church Street sits on the side of a brutally cobbled street leading to the church. Roux Brothers-trained chef and owner Mark Turton’s menus appreciate seasonality and are a real tribute to field to fork philosophy. Classical dishes sits beside more contemporary flavour combinations and there are some seriously delicious sides dishes, not to mention puddings.

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