I took my wife on the Gourmet Weekend Break at the Angel, Abergavenny for her birthday recently....mainly because it included dinner at the Walnut Tree Inn which we'd been meaning to try for some time. And, boy, were we not disappointed! Firstly, our treatment at the hotel was great and we loved the fact that everything was inclusive....no weighing up whether or not to have a dessert or not....and they even left a bottle of Cava for us on arrival. We had a very pleasant dinner at the Angel on the Friday night and a perfectly nice breakfast the next morning; bed was HUGE....had trouble finding my wife in there! Very peaceful despite there being a big Airforce 'do' on that weekend.
On Saturday night we were picked up by taxi, which also collected us at the end of the evening,and taken to the Walnut Tree; all drinks, wine with food was included. The atmosphere was great....not stuffy at all, just very lively with efficient yet informal service. Much more my cup of tea than the usual Michelin-starred joints. And the food was....well....words fail me! I had a veal tail stew to start that was just sublime; unctuous, deep flavour.....served with amazing bread. I stuffed it all down despite feeling pretty full already (portions are generous, so be warned). In retrospect, I should have had something like my wife's exquisite seared scallops because I was then presented with the most enormous, yet mind-blowingly delicious Cassoulet that I just HAD to finish! Everything about it was just perfection; fabulous haricot beans, amazing sauce, beautiful smoked pork chunks....and, the crowning glory....a wonderful piece of goose breast that was meltingly tender yet with a superbly crispy skin! I was just blown away.....in more ways than one. Meanwhile my wife was struggling through a superb mallard dish that seemed to include the whole duck....not just the breasts as per usual. Tragically, I was so stuffed, I couldn't help her out in my usual selfless manner and both legs went begging! Maybe we should have asked for a doggy bag? Still, we managed to finish with Vino Santo and Roquefort followed by a lovely cafetiere of coffee before our cheery taxi driver came and whisked us back to the Angel. The whole trip wasn't cheap at £500+ but I thought it offered great value considering we had two nights dinner, bed, breakfast....the wonderful dinner at the Walnut Tree plus taxi door to door....all inclusive. It's out 25th next year and we are already talking about doing it again as we enjoyed it so much. We also adored the unstuffy pub-like atmosphere at the Walnut Tree; combined with food that bore comparison with Hibiscus and the Aubergine what was there not to like?? Can't recommend it highly enough. But starve yourselves before eating!
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