The Hardwick Pub with rooms in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

Prices from:
£135 per night

David Hancock says:

  • An oasis in deepest Monmouthshire
  • Sublime modern British cooking
  • Exciting menus brim with local goodies
  • Very informal – rustic bar, homely feel
  • Smart rooms in stunning new build

Sticky FingersOutdoor PursuitsCandlelitNo Car NeededPrivate Dining

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The Hardwick Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, NP7 9AA

The personal touch

Having honed his skills at some of London’s most iconic kitchens, working for Marco Pierre White, Michel Roux Jnr, Oliver Peyton and Franco Taruscio along the way, Stephen Terry bought the run-down Horse & Jockey pub on a lonely road in deepest Monmouthshire in 2005. With wife Jo they have breathed new life into the place, transforming it into a serious dining destination, adding eight contemporary rooms in 2010. Despite the emphasis on food, the spruced up Hardwick at Abergavenny is still very much a relaxed and informal pub, with a comfortable-rustic bar, replete with old beams, rugs on tiled floors, cushioned pew benches, and deep leather sofas to sink into with a pint while perusing Stephen’s exciting daily menus. The homely, laid-back feel extends through to the two dining rooms, where wood-burners pump out heat on wild winter nights, and candles on old dining tables set the scene for savouring some great food. Service is friendly and efficient from young, knowledgeable and well-informed staff.

Sticky fingers

Children are most welcome to stay overnight and there are sofa beds in some rooms and cots are available. In the bar/restaurant, youngsters too can feast from their own menu – penne pasta with fresh tomato sauce; home-made fish fingers with mash and vegetable; and honeycomb and chocolate chip ice cream. Main course & a scoop of ice cream (£8.50 – £3 extra for roast beef and Yorkshire pud on Sundays).

Muddy paws

Dogs are only allowed in the courtyard.


On sunny days escape outside and make good use of the rear courtyard – it’s a real sun-trap and sheltered from the westerly breezes and the traffic noise from the A40. Food is served here on summer lunchtimes.

What’s on?

Time your stay to coincide with one of the monthly wine dinners – booking essential.

What’s the Damage?
8 doubles; £135-£150; singles £115 (Monday – Thursday)

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (exc Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining: one of the dining rooms
  • Parking
  • Disabled access: 1 room equipped for disabled; access to bar & restaurant

5 Star Visit Wales; Waitrose Good Food Guide


The Hardwick Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, NP7 9AA

Do not disturb

Hidden away behind the inn and forming one side of the central courtyard, the bedroom wing is a stunning, beautifully designed building, the curving, smartly wood-clad exterior fitting seamlessly with the old inn. Rooms echo Stephen & Jo’s ethos of how they run the restaurant and kitchen, in other words there are no compromises on quality, so expect perfect insulation from any road noise, a sleek, contemporary look, and great attention to detail throughout. For example, the kettle and cups are in the built-in wardrobe, the milk is in the fridge, and the various posh teas and fresh coffee are in kilner jars and tucked away in a drawer in the bespoke desk – all very neat and tidy. Quality beds are topped with the best linen, down and colourful Welsh blankets and cushions, there’s good, soothing lighting, sofas in the larger rooms, and individual artwork on the walls. Heated slate floored bathrooms – two with walk-in rain showers, others with shower over bath – and views across farmland and mountains from rear rooms complete the very comfortable picture.

Creature comforts

Bathrobes, under floor heating; mini-bar; bespoke, locally-made furniture; Melin Tregwynt textiles; shaving mirror, fresh coffee & homemade biscuits.


Telephone; Flatscreen TV/DVD; i-pod dock.

What’s for Breakfast?

Fresh squeezed orange juice or local organic apple juice; Hardwick Bloody Mary with Chase smoked vodka (£7.50); local yoghurt with homemade granola and local honey; rack of Alex Gooch’s sour dour or rustic white bread (jams, lemon cured or marmite); smoked salmon with free-range scrambled eggs; toasted bacon sandwich; natural smoked haddock with poached eggs and mustard sauce; fried eggy bread with smoked bacon and maple syrup; eggs Benedict or Royale (smoked salmon); cooked Welsh breakfast.

What’s the Damage?
8 doubles; £135-£150; singles £115 (Monday – Thursday)

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (exc Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining: one of the dining rooms
  • Parking
  • Disabled access: 1 room equipped for disabled; access to bar & restaurant

5 Star Visit Wales; Waitrose Good Food Guide

Eat & Drink

The Hardwick Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, NP7 9AA

Mastering the menu

Integrity, seasonality and consistency make up Stephen’s simple philosophy in the kitchen, which translates to sourcing the best available local produce and treating it with the respect it deserves. His cooking is all about generosity and big flavours, allowing the top-notch ingredients to shine through without resorting to over complicating dishes and fuzzy presentation on the plate. Equally, his menus are simple, understandable and seasonally inspired, and often the simplest sounding dishes are very satisfying and full of interest. A signature starter of crispy bread crumbed Middle White pork belly and black pudding is served with capers and apple and mustard sauce. For main course, perhaps try the roast cod on white onion risotto and a red wine sauce with shallots, mushrooms and pancetta. Leave room for a comforting, warm treacle tart with vanilla ice cream, or a plate of Welsh cheeses.

On the menu

Weekday set lunch (2 course £20; 3 course £25)
Set dinner (2 course £20; 3 course £25; Monday – Thursday)

Á la Carte
Duck hash & fried duck egg with celeriac remoulade
Provençale style fish soup, rouille, gruyère & croutons
Brecon lamb shoulder, chargrilled purple sprouting, deep-fried polenta, salsa verde, black olive
Gurnard, grilled Treviso, saffron mash, samphire, brown shrimp, caper and chive butter sauce
A jar of lemon crunch
Baked vanilla cheesecake, poached Yorkshire rhubarb, ginger biscuit

Sample set lunch menu dishes
Salmon fishcake, courgette & chive velouté, baked lemon gel
Thick cut ham, fried egg, grain mustard sauce, triple cooked chips
Medjool date loaf, sticky toffee sauce, crème fraiche

Sunday Roasts

Set Sunday lunch (2 course £22; 3 course £28)
Roast rib of Jonny Morris Herefordshire beef, Yorkshire pud & triple-cooked potatoes
Roast Rare Breed Middle White pork with apple sauce & triple cooked potatoes

Time to Eat

Breakfast: 7am – 10.30pm (8.30am – 10.30am Saturday & Sunday)
Lunch: 12 noon – 3pm
Dinner: 6.30pm – 9.15pm

Local, local, local

Severn & Wye smoked bacon & salmon (
Bread – Alex Gooch (
Meat – Neil Powell, Hereford (
Lamb – Free range organic Black Welsh Mountain Lamb from Pen-Y-Wyrlod Farm (
Water – Llanllyr Water Company, Lampeter (

Behind the bar

The copper-topped bar and a neighbouring cabinet groan with goodies to buy and take-away, from home-made Hardwick marmalade and Welsh rapeseed oil to various jars of preserves and chutneys from the Preservation Society ( produced in nearby Chepstow. Look beyond to find Wye Valley Butty Bach or Otley Bitter on handpump, local organic juices, a jug of freshly squeezed orange juice, and gleaming glass shelves stacked with spirit bottles. Gin lovers will find 30 to choose from, including trendy brands from Sipsmith and local Chase distilleries, who also produce the unusual Marmalade and Smoked vodkas.

Bar snacks

Salted almonds; Mixed olives; Fried Spanish corn

Time at the bar

11am – 11pm

What’s the Damage?
8 doubles; £135-£150; singles £115 (Monday – Thursday)

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (exc Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining: one of the dining rooms
  • Parking
  • Disabled access: 1 room equipped for disabled; access to bar & restaurant

5 Star Visit Wales; Waitrose Good Food Guide

Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know –

1 Inn Location - The Hardwick


Abergavenny Farmers' Market, Market Hall, Abergavenny NP7 5EG

In the heart of the bustling market town of Abergavenny, this award-winning butchers shop has been serving the best local meat since 1857. As well as prime cuts of Welsh lamb, beef and pork, it makes excellent sausages, faggots and pates on the premises.


Severn & Wye Smokery, Chaxhill, Westbury-on-Severn GL14 1QW

The superb salmon from Severn & Wye Smokery appears on the menu at The Hardwick, but you can also buy it direct from the smokery's own shop which sells fresh fish and its own smoked fish range. The smokery also has its own restaurant, which is open Monday to Saturday for lunch and Friday evenings for dinner.


The Walnut Tree, Llanddewi Skirrid NP7 8AW

Occupying a remote position on a hill just outside Abergavenny, this whitewashed restaurant was run for four decades by Franco and Ann Taruschio and its regulars included culinary goddess Elizabeth David. Since 2008, it has been run by the equally legendary chef Shaun Hill, widely regarded as one of the best in Britain.


Humble by Nature, Penalt NP25 4RP

This working farm just outside Monmouth was saved and restored by TV presenter Kate Humble and her husband Ludo Graham, who have kept it tenanted to support other rural businesses. The farm is now home to Tim and Sarah Stephens, who breed Welsh Mountain sheep and Hereford cattle, and there is a cookery school, rural skills and animal husbandry courses, a farm shop and cafe.


Cooks Gallery, 6 Nevill Street, Abergavenny NP7 5AD

Fantastic family-run kitchen shop selling pretty much everything you can imagine or desire, for both amateur and professional cooks. Cookware and gadgets from the traditional to the latest thing, the displays of shiny chrome and brightly coloured silicon utensils will make your mouth water.


Sugarloaf Vineyards, Abergavenny NP7 7LA

At the foot of Sugarloaf mountain, the Sugarloaf Vineyards are set in Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Brecon Beacons National Park and enjoy panoramic views over the Usk Valley. Seven varieties of grapes are planted on five acres of south-facing slopes and the balanced soils add a special character to the wine. You can wander about by yourself or arrange a guided tour with wine tasting if you're in a larger group.


HJ Edwards Master Butchers, Flannel Street, Abergavenny NP7 5EG

In the heart of the bustling market town of Abergavenny, this award-winning butchers shop has been serving the best local meat since 1857. As well as prime cuts of Welsh lamb, beef and pork, it makes excellent sausages, faggots and pates on the premises.


Abergavenny Food Festival NP7 5EG

Hailed the ‘Glastonbury of food festivals’, this vast celebration of food and drink takes place in the town in September and features demos and talks from the biggest names in the food world, with over 200 stalls selling local produce. A must for food lovers, it now attracts around 30,000 people over the weekend.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Hardwick



Borough Theatre, Abergavenny NP7 5HD

Part of the town hall building, the theatre has an intimate auditorium with excellent sightlines and acoustics, and offers a wide-ranging programme of drama, dance, comedy, music, opera and ballet, plus children's events, storytelling, tribute bands and talks.


Canoeing & Kayaking NP7 0EB

The Brecon Beacons National Park has an impressive range of options for potentially getting cold and wet but not caring. You can paddle about on tranquil canals and reservoirs or fling yourself over jaw-dropping waterfalls in a kayak. The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, the River Wye, the River Usk and Llangorse Lake are popular destinations for canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, whitewater rafting and raft building. In 2011, the Brecon Beacons National Park and Brecon Canoe Club launched the Beacons Water Trail to encourage canoe touring on the River Usk and the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal. The Trail currently runs from Brecon to Talybont-on-Usk.


Wernddu Golf Club, Abergavenny NP7 8NG

This 18-hole, south-facing parkland golf course has a long front nine and shorter back nine, and provides a challenging round of golf for players of all standards.


Paragliding, Blaenavon NP4 9LF

If you fancy seeing the spectacular scenery from above, Paraventure are paragliding specialists. This sport gives a remarkable sense of freedom and the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons are considered to be some of the best flying areas in the country.



Homes of Elegance, 7 Mill Street, Abergavenny NP7 5HE

Still going strong after more than 50 years, Homes of Elegance offers a great mix of authentic, vintage and contemporary furniture, including bespoke items. You'll also find unusual lamps and accessories, as well as soft furnishings, mirrors and designer wallpaper.


Art Shop and Gallery, 8 Cross Street, Abergavenny NP7 5EH

A lovingly preserved 16th-century townhouse, packed with fine art materials for adults and children, as well as art books, magazines, children's books, artists' cards and wrapping paper. There are regular workshops and events, plus an upstairs gallery showing original work by painters, illustrators, ceramic artists, jewellers, printmakers and sculptors.


Broadleaf Books, Abergavenny NP7 5NP

Abergavenny's only second-hand bookshop is a friendly place, offering an eclectic range of books covering everything from natural history to photography.


Craft Renaissance, Kemeys Commander, Usk NP15 1JU

Ignore SatNav instruction to turn off the B4598 at Kemeys Commander and look out for the golf course instead. Housed in renovated stone farm buildings, Craft Renaissance is a working community of artists and makers. Their workshops are not always open to the public, but you can visit them by appointment, and the gallery shop is open every day.


Fable, Cross Street, Abergavenny NP7 5ER

Fable stocks quirky toys and gifts, including a great selection of traditional toys and games that you might remember from your own childhood. There are wooden toys and outdoor stuff, plus a good choice of gifts for new babies.


The Cabin of Curiosities, 15 Nevill Street, Abergavenny NP7 5AA

Full of unusual and interesting pieces from the past, including Welsh blankets, original artworks, furniture and ceramics, the Cabin of Curiosities also sells newer and upcycled things, such as light fittings and bookends made from old sewing machines. Tucked away in the Hidden Garden on Nevill Street.

Places to visit


National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon NP18 1AE

Wales was the furthest outpost of the Roman Empire and in AD75 they built a fortress at Caerleon, one of only three permanent fortresses in Roman Britain. The ruins include the most complete amphitheatre in the UK. At weekends and school holidays, children can try on replica armour.


White Castle, Llantilio Crossenny NP7 8UD

First recorded in the 13th century, White Castle is still very impressive, with the external structure pretty much intact. Accessed by a footbridge over the moat, this castle got its name from the white rendering which is still visible on parts of the exterior walls.


Chepstow Castle, Chepstow NP16 5EY

Between the 1060s and 1690s the castle grew in size and changed to reflect the fashions in military architecture. It has the oldest castle doors in Europe, which hung for 800 years in the main gateway, until 1962, when they were removed for preservation and can be seen in the on-site exhibition.


Skenfrith Castle, Skenfrith NP7 8UH

Dating from around the early 12th century, Skenfrith Castle is one of the few low-lying castles in the area; with White Castle and Grosmont Castle occupying much more commanding positions. It doesn't take too much imagination to see where some of the round towers once stood and the inner tower is in remarkably good condition.


Abergavenny Castle, Abergavenny NP7 5SE

Abergavenny Castle is just south of the town centre overlooking the meadows of the River Usk. Although the original castle is now largely in ruins, there is still a stretch of curtain wall to the right of what would have been the gatehouse, dating from the 12th century. The infamous Marcher Lord, William de Braose, invited Welsh chieftain Sitsyllt ap Dyfnwal to a feast here, and then murdered him and his men after tricking them into leaving their weapons in the gatehouse.


Raglan Castle, Raglan NP15 2BT

Raglan Castle is an impressive sight, and an unusual one in Wales, too, for it has angular towers as opposed to round ones, which is the norm in these parts. There is plenty to explore, from dark, damp dungeons to steep spiral staircases, plus some great views of the surrounding countryside to enjoy.


Blaenavon NP4 9AS

Blaenavon is probably most famous for the unique and exciting experience of going underground at Big Pit: National Mining Museum, but there's plenty more to do all round the historic industrial landscape, which is a World Heritage Site. There are events throughout the year, exhibitions, talks and walks, while Big Pit remains the most popular attraction; based around the former Big Pit Colliery, which was sunk in about 1860 and closed in 1980, the site reopened as a museum in 1983. A visit to Big Pit includes a 300ft (90m) descent into the old colliery, where a former coalminer will take you on a fascinating and personal tour with the sights, sounds and smells of the mine, and giving an impression of what working life was really like at the coalface.

The Brecon Beacons offer fabulous walking country – big skies and wide-open spaces, hills and gorges, waterfalls, woodland, lakes and forests – with loads of trails to suit everyone, whether you’re a serious walker or just fancy a stroll. Brecon Beacons National Park is Wales’ first Geopark and one of only seven Dark Sky Reserves in the world. The Beacons Way walk will give you some of the best views, and you can either do the whole 152km (95 miles) – it takes eight days – or split it up to suit you. Some sections are more challenging than others so make sure you choose the right one. There are also various shorter walks between three and seven miles in length, but even these can have sharp gradients, so wear boots or good shoes.

Abergavenny itself is a good base for walking trips, with open countryside just a short walk from the town centre, and even a mountain overlooking the town to climb. The three main peaks have car parks closer to the summits if you prefer a shorter ascent. The Blorenge offers fantastic views over the town, while the Sugarloaf (the highest of the three) provides views across unspoiled countryside.The Skirrid has a steep initial climb, which then breaks out onto a long ridgeway, with the ruins of an old chapel at the highest point. Pen y Fan, near Brecon, is the highest mountain in South Wales, and the 20th highest peak in Wales. The Offa’s Dyke footpath runs nearby; built by Offa, King of Mercia in the ninth century AD, the dyke formed the boundary between England and Wales, running 182 miles from Prestatyn in the north to Sedbury, near Chepstow, in the south. There are several access points near Abergavenny; a good start (or end) point is Llanthony Priory.

The Brecon Beacons is an ideal place to explore on two wheels, whether just for a day or as long as you can take. The National Park has bike guides and hire companies that can help you set up anything from a day’s bike hire to a complete package with everything included. There’s an amazing variety of terrain to discover, including towpaths, lanes and hillside tracks. The Park Authority Mountain Bike Pack (available online) contains 14 single-track mountain bike route cards. National cycle path (route 42) goes from Abergavenny to Chepstow, or try the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal towpath, which is nice and flat and runs for miles through some very scenic countryside. The Tumble cycle route takes you up a climb of 6km of steady 10% gradient and the views from the top of the Blorenge are well worth the effort. Unfortunately erosion continues to be a problem on the mountains; the Skirrid, for example, has many signs banning the use of mountain bikes. Please check your route carefully if you decide to go off-road.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

From the A40 south east of Abergavenny take the B4598 parallel to the A40 for 1 mile; The Hardwick is on your left.


Old Raglan Road,, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, NP7 9AA

Make booking enquiry


The Guardian: Wales Holidays November 2013, Chris Moss
‘With its friendly laid-back feel, this hotel makes a great pitstop on an outdoorsy break in the Brecon Beacons, but its outstanding restaurant lifts it into another league. Abergavenny’s Sugar Loaf mountain is – unlike Rio’s – a magnet for grisly weather. I can just about make out its flat summit through clouds as I arrive. Soon, sheeting rain brings on a premature dusk and everything turns blue-grey and cold.As refuges from grisliness go, the Hardwick is pretty high-end. The former pub looks plain enough from the outside – the eight-room hotel bit could be an upscale motel – but room seven is made inviting with wine-coloured fabrics from Pembrokeshire weaver Melin Tregwynt, a handsome Arne Jacobsen-style leather egg chair and balmy heating….We’re here mainly for the dinner. Abergavenny is the self-styled food capital of Wales and,, the Hardwick’s restaurant was voted the best in Wales in the 2013 National Restaurant Awards.In the bar, where locals still sup, barman Ben Bedell mixes us each an Aperol, rum and ginger cocktail, the day’s special. Foodie travelogues, cookbooks, newspapers and magazines provide entertainment. With its hunting trophies and squishy settees, tapestry curtains and a huge modern chandelier, the room is cosy in a Middle Earth way. A pungent, garlicky aroma drifts in.We dine in a smallish, beamed room – I like it, and the next one along, but find the more modern extension a bit too functional.Most of chef Stephen Terry’s food – including breads from Alex Gooch in Hay-on-Wye, heritage tomatoes and an all-Welsh cheeseboard – comes from nearby. My crab starter is delicately flavoured but, piled high on linguine, is definitely one to share. The Black Mountains smoked salmon, with laverbread and sesame rye, is just perfect.Mains of rack and filo-wrapped shoulder of lamb with spiced lentils and grilled veg, and rib-eye steak with thrice-fried chips are even better than they sound. We find room for a brownie-and-ice-cream-and-mousse confection and a glass of sweet vin santo.All this adds up to rather more than a refuelling stop for a hike or bike ride in the Brecons. And yet, because of its informal vibe, this restaurant with rooms is just that kind of place. There’s a Michelin-starred restaurant up the road (the Walnut Tree, 28th in the NRA list) but for price, presentation, flavour – and the proximity of your bedroom – the Hardwick is an easy winner.’

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