Restaurant 1861

Having experienced the majority of the culinary delights that Abergavenny and the surrounding area has to offer, Restaurant 1861 was one that had escaped me…until now.

Situated in Cross Ash, I can honestly say it’s in the middle of nowhere…you can forget getting any phone signal anyway (probably not a bad thing)  However, don’t forget your phone as you’ll need that as a torch for negotiating the car park in the dark!

I certainly found a warm and ‘homely’ atmosphere awaiting – run by Simon and Kate King, the restaurant felt like an extension of their own living space.

With a full range of menus on offer, naturally the blind 7 course Tasting Menu caught my eye!  With indecision banished and being at the mercy of the Chef, at £65 a head I was expecting a gourmet feast…

Never being one to beat around the bush, it was a ‘pleasant’ but I have to say average feast. Obviously, not wanting to spoil the surprise for others, what follows is a broad overview.  The small white loaf which was served initially, looked ‘cute’ but did make one hell of a mess as I tried to ‘saw’ it on the table and was a touch undercooked. Not entirely sure where the pumpkin had disappeared to in the slightly chalky pumpkin risotto, and the hake with spinach in the bouillabaisse sauce, while cooked well had absolutely no taste to it whatsoever.  However, the lamb was delicious and the two courses of desserts that followed were yum.  The cheeseboard with home-made biscuits and chutneys were the stand out element on the menu.

Bonus Points

  • A warm welcome and excellent customer service from knowledgeable staff.
  • Relaxed dining atmosphere
  • Two AA Rosettes and features in the Michelin Guide 2017
  • Very clear that it was fresh and seasonal produce
  • Love that the produce and wine is locally sourced – the medium bodied red wine from the White Castle Vineyard across the road was beautiful.
  • Perfect portion size – I came away full but not needing to be rolled across the road to the car!

Would I go again?

No – personally it was a little overpriced for the food received.  A very pleasant experience but based on the competition in the area, which are a similar price point, I would probably spend my petrol money on travelling for a return visit to one of them…sorry!

Would I recommend Restaurant 1861?

You know what – yes. I think people should experience this restaurant and people’s views do seem to vary.  Check out the website to view their sample menus.

Address | Cross Ash, Nr. Abergavenny, NP7 8PB

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