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“Ordinary food lacking creativity at inflated prices” 1 of 5 stars
Review of 1861 Restaurant

1861 Restaurant
Cross Ash, Abergavenny NP7 8PB, Wales
0845 3881861
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Ranked #14 of 77 Restaurants in Abergavenny
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $30 - $74
Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Restaurant 1861 is a small rural family run restaurant in monmouthshire using locally sourced produce and home grown fruit and vegetables. The restaurant is a friendly professional relaxed fine dining venue ideal for all occasions.
Monmouth, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Ordinary food lacking creativity at inflated prices”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013

Don't rush to this restaurant. Our visit was very disappointing. I think the positive comments on Tripadvisor must be their friends - the negatives are far more accurate. The plus points are they do appear to source all food locally and it is cooked OK....but it is boring and presented poorly. There is no imagination in the presentation. Having just watched some of Celebrity Masterchef, I am pretty sure Les Dennis could cook better (or even Les Dawson if still alive). I had tempura courgettes as a starter. Bits of courgette, deep fried in batter on a plate with a simple salad thrown on. My wife had beetroot paella which just looked like a pink rice pudding with a cheese wafer stuck in it. Won't bore you with the main courses but the desserts were equally poor. I had an upside down fruit sponge with a dollop of ice cream on it and 4 raspberries, placed at each corner of the plate. Hardly inspirational. My wife had peach fritters. It looked like scampi thrown on a plate with another dollop of ice cream Sure, it was all home made but the lack of visual creativity made it like a meal you could quickly make at home.

The 3 course meal cost us £115 and we only had a glass of wine each, one gin and 2 tonics plus some water. Seems a bit steep. The coffees were served with inedible petit fours.

What was worse, there were only 2 other couples there (on a Saturday night!) and the atmosphere was awful. The environment is depressing unless you like eating in a dark room with artexed walls that is in urgent need of modernising.

Overall, the business appears to lack capital. The chef can probably cook but does not have enough staff to be creative. The lack of money is emphasised by using a premium 0845 number for bookings - I've never known of another restaurant do this. Unsurprisingly, there was an additional charge for using a credit card.

Very poor value for food. There are many other much better (creative) restaurants in the area offering excellent value. This is a place to be avoided.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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283 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Surrey, England
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Well worth finding for a special meal.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013

1861 may look like a pub from outside but it is something special! We had lunch here and were very impressed with the quality and presentation of the food. Pre drinks are taken in a comfortable sitting room with nuts and olives delivered at the same time.
The lamb shank was the best ever! The venison dish was a successful variation of several cuts.
The desserts were fantastic! Recommend the plum soufflé and the raising of the souffle by adding hot plum juice was professionally achieved by FoH and waitress, Charlotte. Extra amuse bouche tasters were also provided pre and during meal. A professional touch!
Pub lunch it ain't! Prices are fair for top quality results. Tastecard helps. Wines are good value too.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff Wales
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Seven course tasting menu”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

We went today as my husband had a birthday voucher from Travelzoo for the seven course tasting menu. Extremely good value as only a third of the usual price. As this is a surprise menu and each course explained when delivered to the table I won't go into detail as to what we had other then to say each course was a lovely surprise very well presented.

The portions were small which meant we could work our way thru the entire menu. The main course and the dessert portions very generous and we did think we would not finish the last dessert course but alas we did. The wine selection is very good and the regular menu looks great

It's a bit out of the way but worth the drive as very lovely venue and the owners and staff friendly and welcoming. Each course was served in a relaxed non rushed manner and forgot to say a glass of Prosecco appeared upon arrival and fresh hot bread came first before our courses. Highly recommend.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Great restaurant and worth the drive to get there.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

I visited here with my family for a birthday lunch. It is slightly off the beaten track on a B road between Abergavenny and Ross, however the road is fine and it is definitely worth the drive there.

We went for Sunday lunch and there is both a Sunday Lunch and an A la carte menu available and the waitress advised us we could mix and match between them. I opted to have a soup from the Sunday Lunch menu (£22 for two courses, £25 for three courses on the day we visited) as my main course, followed by a dessert from the A la Carte menu.

The rest of my family all opted for the Sunday Roast beef which they said was excellent. Two medium rare and one opted for rare, and the beef came as ordered. Two of them also had the starters of Tempura Courgettes with chilli jam which was also excellent. My broccoli and Stilton soufflé soup was very good and the dessert of hot Blackberry soufflé was amazing, not overly sweet and with a great texture. Other family members chose bramble syllabub which was a little too sweet and a trio of chocolate desserts which was a great success. A nice touch was the tray of little petit fours with my coffee. There was also an Amuse Bouche of tomato and chive jelly before the lunches arrived, and a pre-dessert of blackberry and apple soup served in a little cup, both excellent and tasty.

The wine list was good, with some affordable excellent wines - we opted for an Argentinian Malbec which I think was under £20. I think we will take the time to visit here again, as it was good value for such great food.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Exceptional dining experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

We received a warm welcome as soon as we walked through the door. The staff were extremely friendly and accommodating and the restaurant itself was very comfortable and picturesque. Delicious food made from fresh locally sourced ingredients and from an extensive yet reasonably priced menu led to a fabulous meal. Looking forward to going back soon and would thoroughly recommend visiting.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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