Llansantffraed Court, Clytha, near Abergavenny
This country house hotel makes sure that more than three quarters of its ingredients come from within a 20-mile radius. Many are grown in its own walled garden. Dine here and you’re talking food yards, not food miles!
When Mike Morgan, the current owner of Llansantffraed Court, bought the William and Mary style house and 20-acre gardens in 1997, the one-acre walled garden was not its finest asset. In fact it was a sea of brambles.
Now it provides the hotel with an enviable three quarters of its fresh fruit and vegetables in summer. Mike says for the last two years they’ve broken even in terms of veg-growing costs – and they’ve certainly gained on quality and freshness.
Guests can enjoy afternoon tea in the garden as the hotel’s two full-time gardeners gather produce for their dinner.
As well as the walled garden, a 60m polytunnel gives year-round salads. There is also a huge 20m greenhouse and eight vegetable beds. Heritage varieties add interest to the food – a recent successful experiment saw black salsify on diners’ plates.
Mike also likes to plunder "the fantastic local larder" – dealing with 75 suppliers, some of them very small, to ensure he gets the best meat and vegetables. Lamb, for example, comes from Tretower near Crickhowell or Llantilio Crossenny near Abergavenny. Beef tends to be local and Welsh or from nearby Herefordshire.
Awards and accolades
Such fresh food helps explain Llansantffraed’s awards tally – which includes a Wales The True Taste silver award for the best place to eat out in Wales in 2011-12. The hotel has held two AA Rosettes for its food for the last 15 years and an AA Notable Wine List award for the last seven years.
Daily, all year round.Llansantffraed Court, Clytha, Llanvihangel Gobion, near Abergavenny NP7 9BA, Wales, tel 01873 840678