As we launch our Green Traveller's Guide to the Wye Valley, Jackie King picks out a selection of restaurants, cafés and markets to find the best local food and drink in the Wye Valley.
The lush pastures of Wales are excellent feeding land for livestock and as you might expect Welsh lamb and beef is among the finest you'll taste... Find innovative meat dishes, slow cooked until meltingly tender or flash cooked with flair, alongside field mushrooms, foraged herbs, sauces and cheeses such as tangy Caerphilly, Peri Wen and Golden Cenarth plus wonderful breads from locally milled grains. Often the traditional meets the contemporary, as in Green & Jenks ice cream parlour in Monmouth where the old dairy business has been revived by the modern-day demand for artisan ice creams and sorbets.
Not every pub has its own sports field, but the Anchor Inn regularly plays host to community football and cricket matches on its own pitch. There’s a play area for children in the pretty grounds, too.The backdrop is stunning, with the Abbey towering in the distance. The Anchor is well known for its meat and fish dishes and does innovative vegetarian dishes, too, such as butternut squash, caramelised red onion and spinach crumble. Good quality children’s meals are £5.95. The ancient mill that’s centre piece in the bar is testimony to the fact that the bar was originally the cider mill for the Tintern Abbey orchard. theanchortintern.co.uk
Dorothy Goodbody and Butty Bach are regulars here – they’re beers not customers - and there are a whole host of other local ales, cider, perry and English fruit wines that are equally popular with The Boat’s regulars and those taking a break from valley walking. The Telegraph proclaimed The Boat “one of the best real ale pubs from the last 30 years”. Good pub grub is appreciated by ramblers and dog walkers. Closed Tuesday, otherwise it’s open from midday everyday. theboatpenallt.co.uk
The Carpenters Arms
Local produce turns up in most dishes here and the rabbit and parsnip pie and local steak pie are favourites. Excellent choices for vegetarians, too, with filo pastry goats cheese parcels, Glamorgan sausages and homemade pancakes bursting with freshly cooked vegetables. As you'd expect, local drinks are celebrated: ales from Rhmney, Wye Valley and Sharpes and perries too. Closed on Mondays. Two 2-bedroom apartments available. carpentersarmsllanishen.com
Green & Jenks
Handmade gelato (Italian ice cream that is slightly lower in fat), sorbet and frozen yogurt produced with local ingredients - yum! There's a cafe inside and a sheltered sunny terrace outside and, upstairs, a Georgian Gallery that can be hired for meetings or private parties. There's a heart-warming tale behind the creation of the icy treats: the family had to close its dairy business in 1958 after it had run for three generations; now it has been relaunched by three female members of the family. greenandjenks.com
Old Station, Tintern
From the old ticket office at Tintern’s station, beautiful smells now emanate for this is where the café’s bakery is housed. Almost everything served up is made on site and the café has won Best Place to eat (café category) in the National Tourism Awards and was a gold award winner in the True Taste of Wales Best Tearoom category. In 10 acres of riverside meadow, with the Wye Valley walk running through the site, the Station also has a small camp site. tinternvillage.co.uk/seedo/tintern-old-station