The Walnut Tree is two miles East of Abergavenny and is an obvious stop off the next day following my dinner the night before at the Crown at Whitebrook. As restaurants however, they couldn't be more different. While together they make up half of Wales's Michelin star count, the Crown is 100% fine dining, whereas The Walnut Tree remains a pub that serves great food. Overall, there seems to be a good ethos with regard to food and drink, and again on the website of the winelist they say 'I don't want to push anyone into spending more than they want so please ask if you are interested'. Everything seems a refreshing change to the norm.
A la carte starters range from £7 (panzanella) through to £16 (lobster with pea and mint) with £10-£12 accounting however for most of the choices. There's much that sounds good but I can't resist the lobster, so I don't. Before that however there's an amuse of crab and avocado which is a nice little extra to start.
The lobster with pea and mint is excellent, and would prove to be the star of the show today. Attractively presented, the lobster looks glorious. The pea and mint veloute initially gives the pea with the mint subtle on the end. It's very nicely done.
The mains range from £15 (wild mushroom risotto) to £26 (john dory with steamed courgette flower and lobster mousse). There's also pork, beef and venison on the menu but I opt for the modestly price partridge with chestnut and apple stuffing (£17). I enjoyed the flavours here but the partridge was a little tough, at times difficult to cut with a knife. It's a shame as it took the edge off the dish. With partridge in season from 1 September, it's my first this year though someone in the know recently told me that partridges will not be at their best till October, so perhaps it was the wrong choice. The dish came with potatoes that are not shown in the pictures below.
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