With the borders of England to the east and the River Severn estuary to the south, Wales is at its most green and giving in the borderlands of Monmouthshire, where the River Wye ribbons through ancient woodlands and past ruined abbeys beloved of Romantic writers, poets and painters.
On the fringes of the remote Black Mountains, castles, priories and Iron Age hillforts nod to a rich past, while hiking trails thread up to wind-rippled, bracken-cloaked moors.
The county also has its fair share of Instagram-worthy towns and villages, such as Abergavenny, Monmouth, Tintern and Chepstow. Known as the “foodie capital of Wales”, Monmouthshire also serves up some of the county’s best food (twinkle, twinkle Michelin star).
In among it all, you’ll find some of the county’s most alluring places to stay, from country hotels hugging riverbanks to medieval priories just a whisper away from the Offa’s Dyke Trail. Plus, of course, many a cracking inn with rooms, where you can fill your boots and rest your head.
The woody, river-woven romance of the Wye Valley never seems more thrilling than when you’re wending your way along hedgerowed lanes to this utter stunner of a Michelin-starred restaurant with rooms. The look of the place is a subtle, discreetly stylish mix of country meets contemporary, with muted colours (greys, blues, golds) referencing the brook and valley, wooden floors, plus lots of light and space. The giant sleigh beds are divine, especially after a blowout feast. And, let’s face it, you’re here to eat.
The Whitebrook is right at the pinnacle of the Welsh food scene, with Chris Harrod walking the culinary high-wire in the kitchen, conjuring tasting menus full of clean, bright, unexpected flavours in dishes that make best use of foraged ingredients and heritage veg from the kitchen garden. Wye Valley asparagus cooked over pine embers served with hedgerow pickings and Tintern mead sauce? Day-boat turbot with smoked roe, Jersey royals and estuary veg? Rhubarb with toasted birch wood ice cream, hazelnut and medlar? All sensational.
Price: Doubles from £390, dinner, B&B
Tucked away in wooded seclusion on the banks of the…
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