Riverside Cottage, Tintern, Wye Valley
Whether you want to enjoy some of the finest dining in the UK, or just relax with a pint of real ale and a ploughman’s beside a roaring log fire, Tintern and its immediate environs offers it all.
Monmouthshire was named Wales’ first Food Tourism Destination at the 2009 ‘Wales The True Taste’ Awards for good reason. Food and drink is an important aspect of any leisure trip, be it a day out or holiday. And eating local food is just as important.
Fortunately, that’s not a problem in the Wye Valley. The area’s blessed with committed producers of food and drink. And with such raw materials to hand, our talented local chefs cannot fail to deliver.
But it needn’t be fine dining all the way. True, we currently have one of only three Michelin-star restaurants in the whole of Wales. And the Sunday Time’s Best Restaurant in Wales (The Hardwick at Abergavenny). And the AA Welsh Pub of the Year for 2 years (The Inn at Penallt). There are also popular restaurants, pubs, cafes and tearooms across the area. And the town centres provide a range of alternative cuisine from around the world, should the local specialties leave you feeling a little too well indulged.
We are blessed with two excellent restaurants in the vicinity of Tintern; one of which has a Michelin star as follows:
Walnut Tree Inn, Llandewi Skirrid, Near Abergavenney
Contacts: Phone: 01873-852 797, Internet: www.thewalnuttreeinn.com
Originally known for its excellent Italian cuisine under Franco Taruschio for more than 30 years, but forced to close in 2007 after a change in ownership and following one of Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmare” programmes. The restaurant is now run as a joint venture between Shaun Hill and William Griffiths and offers both set and a la carte menus with an eclectic mix. The food is based on Shaun’s personal taste, paired with sound cooking techniques, rather than a particular country’s cuisine. A unifying feature is the core of excellent ingredients. Awarded a Michelin star in 2010 (at that time to join The Crown at Whitebrook). Advisable to book in advance and to plan your route very carefully before you set off from Tintern! Open for lunch from 12.00 to 14.30 and dinner from 18.30 to 22.00. Closed on Sunday and Monday.
The Crown at Whitebrook
Contacts: Phone: 01600-860 254, Internet: www.crownatwhitebrook.co.uk
An excellent restaurant (with rooms) and the first in Wales to be awarded a coveted Michelin star in 2007 when under different ownership. The Crown is now owned by Chris Harrod who trained under the world famous Raymond Blanc at the two Michelin starred Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire. The Crown offers a set lunch menu, an a la carte menu and tasting menus, and has introduced a Sunday lunch menu with roasts. Chris intends to continue with the French influenced British style of cooking using the abundance of local Monmouthshire and Welsh produce on his doorstep. It is only about 10 minutes drive away from Riverside, but imperative to book early either for lunch (easier to book at short notice) or dinner. The Crown is now open for Lunch and Dinner for six days a week from Tuesday thru Sunday.
For many years, Tintern has boasted some nine pubs and hotels, and – with one exception – all within walking distance from Riverside Cottage. Unfortunately, The Cherry Tree finally closed in 2011, and The Abbey Hotel closed in 2013; both to be converted into residential use leaving only seven to visit in the village.
With the frequent change of Landlord and/or chef, it is advisable first to check both the type and variety of food that is available. We have found that the quality can vary quite considerably over very short periods of time following the change of Landlord, and/or Chef!!! At quieter times of the year, it’s also wise to call ahead to check that food is being served and – equally important – will still be available when you arrive.
We also take note of the recent comments contained in the visitors’ book at the cottage. The seven remaining licensed establishments (in alphabetical order) in Tintern are as follows:
The Anchor Hotel, Tintern
Contacts: Phone: 01291-689 582, Internet: www.theanchortintern.com
Re-opened in December 2009 by new owners following a total refurbishment. The menus offer a cuisine of excellent local produce along with a range of locally brewed ales, beers and cider. Walkers and their dogs, and children are all welcome. Complimentary WiFi is also available for those who can’t switch off from the outside world to enjoy a quiet meal with a pint.
The Fountain Inn, Trellick Grange, Tintern
Contacts: Phone: 01291-689 303,Internet: www.fountaininntrellech.co.uk
The one ‘Tintern’ establishment that is not within easy walking distance from the cottage – it’s about 2 miles up the Angiddy Valley at Trelleck Grange. The Fountain was recently taken over by Steve and Jill – the last owners of The Cherry Tree. The menu uses ingredients that wherever possible are locally sourced and cooked fresh to order. Only fresh fish that is not in danger of extinction is used, and all poultry products are free range and sourced within a mile of the premises. The menu also offers a wide selection of meat, vegetarian and vegan meals.
The Moon and Sixpence, Tintern
Contacts: Phone: 01291-689 284, Internet: www.moonandsixpencetintern.co.uk
Just a very short walk from Riverside along the river bank and in the direction of Monmouth. After a degree of inconsistency following several changes of Landlord, Lyn and Judy Booth (the owners) took control at the beginning of 2013 and introduced a good menu of freshly prepared and cooked meals in a very warm and welcoming atmosphere. Lyn and Judy returned to their well-earned retirement at the beginning of May 2014. The Moon reopened on Wednesday 21st May 2014 under new Management and will now be open seven days per week. Morning coffee, tea and cakes served from 10.00, lunch from 12.00 to 15.00, and dinner from 18.00 to 21.00. The Moon is also a free house serving locally brewed beers.
Parva Farmhouse, Tintern
Contacts: Phone: 01291 689 411, Internet: www.parvafarmhouse.co.uk
Good wholesome home cooking which has received National Recommendations, and is within walking distance from Riverside. Booking highly recommended.
The Rose and Crown (aka Tintern Steakhouse), Tintern
Contacts: Phone Tel: 01291-689 254, Internet: www.roseandcrowntintern.co.uk
Dog friendly and just a short walk along the river bank, but in the direction of Chepstow. Very good “pub grub” – especially the sizzling steak dishes – and never known to disappoint, but please tell us if you feel otherwise. The Rose & Crown is now a free house and serves locally brewed beers and ciders.
The Royal George Hotel, Tintern
Contacts: Phone: 01291-689 205, Internet: www.bw-royalgeorgehotel.co.uk
Long standing familyrun hotel with separate bar and restaurant which serves the best of local Welsh produce. Now part of the Best Western Group.
The Wye Valley Hotel, Tintern
Contacts: Phone: 01291 689 441, Internet: www.wyevalleyhotel.co.uk
The Dining Room provides a varied and interesting selection of dishes, and an a la carte menu is also available. Fresh local produce is used, and the chef can cater for any special dietary needs. Choices can range from speciality steaks to Welsh and International dishes. A traditional Sunday Lunch Carvery is available. An extensive menu is also available in the Bar for a more informal meal.
Abbey Mill, Tintern
Contacts: Phone: 01291-689 228, Internet: www.abbeymill.com
Coffee Shop, Tea Room and Cider Barn Restaurant offering morning coffee, lunches and afternoon tea. The home cooked dishes use local produced ingredients wherever possible.
The Old Station, Tintern
Contacts: Phone: 01291-689 566, No Internet site.
Located along the riverbank (towards Monmouth). The Old Station was voted the UK’s favourite park in 2011, received the prestigious Green Flag Award in 2009, and retained it in 2010, 2011 and 2012. It also won the prestigious Gold Award at the Royal Welsh Show in the Best Tea Room category. There is a children’s play area, picnic site with barbecues and a souvenir shop. The café serves a range of snacks and meals – usually between (approx) Easter and end October. It may also be open during the Winter months from 10.00 thru 16.00, but only at weekends.
The White Monk, Tintern
Contacts: Phone: 01291-689 339, No Internet site, but on Facebook
A café and a gift shop next to Tintern Abbey that also sells newspapers, maps, gifts, guide books and ice cream. The warm and friendly cafe serves Welsh favourites which are all freshly prepared and cooked.
The Brockweir Inn, Brockweir
Contacts: Phone: 01291-689 548, Internet: www.thebrockweirinn.co.uk
Situated towards Monmouth from Riverside, and on the other side of the river (and therefore in Gloucestershire). Dog friendly, real ales, and good food (quality and quantity). The perfect mid-way “refreshment stop” (if an excuse is needed) when attempting the circular walk from Riverside to Brockweir and back.
The Piercefield, St Arvans
Contacts: Phone: 01291-622 614, Internet: www.piercefieldgwent.co.uk
The Piercefield is just a short distance from Chepstow Race Course (towards Tintern) and is a great place for a pre or post race drink or meal. The menu changes regularly and the dishes are made from locally sourced fresh produce.
The Sloop Inn, Llandogo
Contacts: Phone: Tel: 01594 530 291, Internet: www.thesloopinn.co.uk
The Sloop is situated in the next village of Llandogo (heading towards Monmouth) and has a Bar and Restaurant offering real local ales and good food.