The location is superb literally next to Tintern Abbey and a stones throw from the river Wye. Parking costs £3 but is really free as your £3 is refunded when you make your first purchase of at least that amount (Don't forget to take part two of your parking ticket in with you).
The building has three distinct areas - the Restaurant which which looked (from a quick peep) to be full of character, intimate and welcoming in the lunchtime daylight and would probably be even more atmospheric at evening time - the Bar which was again characterful, comfortable and with the feel of a proper pub and beyond that was the Garden Room which we had seen from the outside was a much later and not very appropriate appendage to the original ancient building.
We decided on the Bar, chose a comfortable table, ordered our drinks at the bar and succesfully cashed in our parking ticket. Drinks prices were very reasonable. I knew from the website that a snack menu was available and that was all we required but only the lunch menu was on the table.
I asked for the snack menu to be told that snacks could only be ordered in the Garden Room but we were welcome to bring our food back into the bar.
So through we went to the Garden Room and back in time to a 1960s Seaside Cafe. It was order and pay for at the counter, an eclectic mix of unmatched tables and chairs, collect your own cutlery and condiments and wait for your selection to be brought to your table. All that was missing was the steaming tea urn! The food when it came though was very good. I had a ham & cheese ploughmans with more than ample trimmings - so much so that more bread than the one small roll would have helped, my partner's baked potato also had plenty of everything with it and the whole was tasty, fresh and of good quality. Our food having arrived we decided against moving our food, our drinks, our coats, our cutlery, our condiments, etc. etc. back to the bar and enjoyed the views out to the Abbey which were superb.
The Snack Menu (which was extensive) seemed much better value than the lunch menu which was fairly restricted and a bit basic with Burger (albeit homemade), Fish & Chips (albeit with Hake) and Shepherds Pie (albeit with Welsh Lamb) all at £9.95 and from what we saw with not particularly large portions.
Apart from the culture shock of moving from the bar into the garden room and another world this was overall a pretty good lunch stop with the staff all being very friendly and helpful. But why oh why not let customers order from the snack menu while enjoying their drink in the bar? I wonder what they would have done or what we would have had to do if one of us wanted a sandwich and the other a main meal!
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