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AA Notable Wine List 2016 - 2017
AA rating

About this rating

About the AA Rosette award
Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

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Blissfully unfussy and focused cooking by a culinary mastermind

AA Inspector

At a glance

Private dining
Wines by the glass
Wheelchair access
Children welcome
Service charge
Credit cards accepted

The whitewashed, slate-roofed old inn is an unassuming-looking property, and there's nothing flashy about the interior either, with its wooden tables, plain walls hung with artwork and flower arrangements adding flashes of colour. But the Walnut Tree has been a foodie beacon for a couple of generations, first under Franco Taruschio and now under Shaun Hill. He cut his teeth at Robert Carrier's Islington restaurant (and pays tribute to the late, great chef with his starter of Robert Carrier's pâté aux herbes with piccalilli) and put Ludlow on the gastronomic map when he ran Merchant House there. Shaun still 'shakes the pans', as he describes his work, something we can all be grateful for. He follows no particular culinary path, preferring to treat his top-class produce on an ad hoc basis to produce compelling, appetising dishes. Starters on the daily-changing menus can be a mixed bunch. Fillet of red mullet, for instance, comes in a dashi broth with spring onions and ginger, and veal sweetbreads with sauerkraut and mustard dressing, with a vegetarian option like asparagus with scrambled duck eggs and morels. There's plenty of skill and imagination in evidence, as well as technical prowess, with little flummery or extraneous garnishes disguising the quality of ingredients, so flavours are clearly defined. Main courses include the full-blooded meaty tastes of cassoulet of goose, lamb, pork and sausage, as well as a mutton and potato pie to accompany rack of lamb. Fish makes an impact too: perhaps halibut fillet in a hazelnut crust with clams and the contrast of bacon, or Dover sole with shrimps, parsley and capers. Puddings close proceedings memorably, from mango parfait with lime and ginger sorbet, to pistachio and cherry cheesecake with cherry sorbet.

Opening hours

  • Closed:: 1 week at Christmas
  • Days closed:: Sunday to Monday
  • Lunch served from:: 12
  • until : 2.30
  • Dinner served from:: 7
  • until: 10


  • Chef: Shaun Hill

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style:: Modern British
  • Vegetarian dishes available
  • Wines under £30:: 40
  • Wines over £30:: 50
  • Wines by the glass:: 8

Price guide

  • Service charge
  • Credit cards accepted


  • Children welcome


  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Steps for wheelchair:: 1
  • Accessible toilets
  • Assist dogs welcome


  • Seats:: 70
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats:: 26
  • On-site parking available

Additional information

  • Seats:: 70
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats:: 26

Getting here

3 miles northeast of Abergavenny on B4521

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Nearest train station

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