Posted by: lucylastic | October 14, 2009

A belated review of the Hardwick Restaurant


Lovely Husband and I were treated to lunch at Abergavenny’s finest pub/restaurant – The Hardwick – (over the August Bank Holiday), check it out at

Although I’d checked out the (now re-vamped) website, I hadn’t realised that it was owned and run by Stephen Terry, (who I recognised from the in-house publicity material as from the Great British Menu). I now know that Stephen has had a career full of big names, big restaurants and early success, (winning his first Michelin star aged only 25).  But on to the food – overall, lunch was great – but I am not sure that Michelin prices in a Welsh country pub are completely justifiable. Whatever the pricing policy, the place was jam-packed, and at least 3 sittings seemed in evidence for lunch. We had opted to sit-down later, which at least meant we weren’t rushed. My starter of ‘Trealy Farm Cured Meat & Salami Board with Antipasti at £9.95’ was tasty, but not worth a tenner in my view, the main course of ‘Roast Rib of Herefordshire Beef with Yorkshire Pudding, Roast Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables and Gravy £14.50, was very popular – I would say that about 80% of the diners were plumping for it – obviously a local speciality – but disappointing in delivery – the beef was scrumptious, the roasties were pretty good, but the vegetables that were supplied for 3 out of the 4 diners at our table were meagre and unexciting to say the least – an oval ramekin – of a size more usual for a single serving, contained some carrots, cauliflower and broccoli……………… what happened to the local specialties? Surely some cabbage or greens, late asparagus or even Jerusalem artichokes would have been better than something which looked and tasted as if it had been knocked up at home for a mid-week supper.

I am a sucker for a cheese board, and totally in keeping, I went for ‘Perl Wen, Colston Basset Stilton, Neals Yard Creamery Ragstone Goats Cheese, Gorwydd Caerphilly, Bishops Blessing, Cotswold Blue, Hafod Welsh Organic Cheddar, Ticklemore Goats Cheese, Shepton, Celtic Promise and Caws Mynydd Du (local sheep’s milk cheese from Talgarth)’, which for £8.50 sounds fab, but some of the pieces were very small indeed.

So, I’ll leave it to you to decide if you think it’s worth a visit or not – some of the dishes were absolutely inspired – the desserts especially…………..


Overall, if it had been half the price, I’d have been pleased with it, but as things stand, I can’t help but feel we were over-charged for the privilege of being cooked for by Stephen, (if, indeed he was there, there wasn’t any sign of him or any other chefs). I don’t like to complain, especially as we were being so very kindly treated, but a meal at one of my favourite places, Caldesi in Campagna, just the other day, reinforced the concept of quality and value very keenly – more of that meal in another post!!!



  1. Looking forward to your return to Caldesi! They seem to be featuring in magazine articles quite a lot. I remember Stephen Terry from the TV prog. It makes me smile how they always claim to have turned away from their Michelin roots in favour of simplicity, but you end up paying similar prices in less comfortable surroundings!

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