Dubbed ‘the gateway to Wales’, the Monmouthshire market town of Abergavenny has steadily gained a reputation as a food hub. There are plenty of local traders, some fine restaurants and one of the UK’s leading restaurants every year since 1999 food festivals.
A short walk from the train station, Abergavenny Castle and Linda Vista Gardens, The Angel Hotel is a good base for exploring the area on foot or by car, as the Brecon Beacons are a short drive away.
Why are you coming here?
The Angel Hotel forms a focal point for almost all of the above. Originally built in 1829 as a coaching inn, the Angel retains the atmosphere of a traditional hotel, but it hasn’t rested on its laurels, nor has it stuck in the last century. Contemporary artwork adorns the walls, there’s good free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and much of the building’s interior, if not the rooms, is light and airy. It also offers several event space options, and for guests who need a little more space, two nearby guesthouses. The Angel is not what you would call a luxury hotel, but it is at the top of the world for welcome, comfort and location.
to eat and drink
Of course there is a fine breakfast on offer The angel, and locally sourced meats reinforce the city’s reputation as a food hub. The hotel also has its own bakery, so the bread and pastries are both excellent and made in-house.
However, beyond the second half of the anticipated “bed and breakfast” offering, The Angel has much, much more up its sleeve. The Oak Room, helmed by chefs Paul Brown and Wesley Hammond, offers an eclectic menu that celebrates local but has a world of influences, with Thai green mussels and chicken tikka pie alongside local smoked salmon, aged Welsh Locally sourced beef and fish. There’s also a popular afternoon tea and a decent local bar, The Foxhunter, with a strong cocktail menu and its own Angel Ale.
There’s of course sister company The Walnut Tree, where Shaun Hill has been serving his simple, modern cuisine for 14 years and has held a Michelin star since 2010. However, this is so good that it deserves one completely separate assessment.
What should I do
As mentioned above, The Angel isn’t what you’d call innovative, and facilities are essentially limited to accommodation, food and drink (plus meetings). However, as a base from which to explore Wales or Herefordshire it’s ideally located and will at least have you well fed before jumping over the Brecon Beacons or the Wye Valley.
The Angel Hotel, 15 Cross Street, Abergavenny, Gwent NP7 5EN; angelabergavenny.com
https://www.theweek.co.uk/arts-life/travel/956340/the-angel-hotel-abergavenny-hotel-review Hotel Rating: The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny