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Monmouthshire is a foodie paradise, known as the "Food Capital of Wales " offering a wide selection of locally grown produce, including organic fare.
Details of specialist local suppliers, farm shops, farmers markets and restaurants offering local produce are available in each cottage and we are perfect for a 5* foodie break visiting top restaurants and taking things home with you too!!. What is available varies from season to season of the year. Many of our guests like to take local meats, cheeses, charcuterie and bottles home with them!
We like the ethical issue of asking guests to support our local farmers- after all we know many of them personally. But we also know the pleasure our guests get from the scrumptious things they buy. We buy them ourselves!
The award winning Abergavenny Food Festival is local, and takes place in September. Lots to taste, lots to buy and many demonstrations by famous chefs to enjoy. Bring flat shoes and a good appetite!
People stare at us when we recommend Welsh Wines but they are not the new kids on the block you might think! Monmouthshire has been a wine producing centre since the time of the Romans and the Cistercian Monks at Tintern Abbey cultivated vines exactly where they are grown today. Visits can be made to a number of the local vineyards including the prizewinning Tintern Parva vineyard (walking distance from Tintern Abbey Cottage) and Ancre Hill in Monmouth which has an understandably strong reputation for its sparkling wines.
If wine isn't your thing try one of the excellent local cider makers or Kingstone Brewery in Tintern (also walking distance of Abbey Cottage). Brilliant ales lovingly created on the spot.
Our favourite local cider is from Ty Gwyn near Skenfrith- but there are lots more made locally . The apples have amazing names. Will you see Foxwhelp, Tremlett’s Bitter, Dabinett, Yarlington Mill, Brown Snout, Michelin, Chisel Jersey, Ellis Bitter or some of the many more? If you pass through Herefordshire in autumn you will see all the tiny apple growers pulling tractor loads of apples to the giant Bulmers plants or the slightly smaller but still large scale Westons presses.
Traditionally on 12th night orchards have wassailing ceremonies and these are still held in early January in the Chepstow area Many of the old farms have a cider pressing stone. There is an excellent Cider Museum in Hereford.
The well named and deservedly prizewinning local business which has a counter at Chepstow garden centre and a mobile van which appears at the Farmers and outdoor markets is one to make a special trip to see. Fantastic fresh fish with a strong sustainable ethic. If you would like to order ahead of your stay ask us for contact details and pick up when you are here. Generally no dearer than the supermarkets and an entirely different quality of experience.
Our eating out list extends to about 40 places recommended by our guests and that's without including all the cafes, take aways, and snack bars of the market towns! No shortage of choice! These are the top handful favoured by our guests at present.
Lord Elis-Thomas was in Tintern Abbey for the opening of the Museum of the Moon, part of the exceptional Wye Valley River festival.
Monmouthshire Cottages has again won the top accolade of Best Self Catering in Wales
Snow blanketed the Wye Valley in early March 2018