I was invited over the bridge to wales to have a 2 day visit. The bridge use to have a toll fee until December 17th 2018 and ever since it’s gone and it’s just that mentality of wales is free to go to now.
On the first day I was attending a class in Abergavenny with the Abergavenny baker. Where I was hoping to learn more techniques about bread. As a pastry chef I’m always looking to improve and learn all the time!
Abergavenny baker is actually a qualified GP so actually she’s called Dr Rachel Watson! Hearing her story of how the bake school came about is truly a story and a half!
The class we attended was a mixture of what she offers usually. From Nordic buns to artisan bread to Middle Eastern breads! A real variety. You’ll be addicted to making bread after one session you’ll be back to learn the whole lot!
Vouchers are available for classes and they make the perfect gift! (CHRISTMAS) https://abergavennybaker.co.uk/
After the class I headed to Usk where I stayed in Glen yrAfon Hotel
The time I went wales had quite a few towns in local lockdown so it was very quite in and around on the roads and in the hotel too.
The week after wales actually went into a full lockdown, I’m so happy I managed to go just before this happened!
The hotel is 4* and overlooks the banks of river Usk and is known for weddings , proms and mainly functions.
Dinner in the hotel is still available but due to current situation it was running on a heavily reduced menus. But really glad they were still offering food.
I had the lovely local welsh sirloin steak , which came with peppercorn sauce , mushrooms & chips.
I found wales had quite a lot of local gin makers so I had to give it a try! Luckily they had a big range of the local Gins stocked in the bar! It would be rude if I didn’t!
The next day I had a very packed day of things to go and see , such a short time but Wales , Monmouthshire has so much to offer ! But also due to local lockdowns a few of the sights I wanted to see are closed but that always means for a visit in the future!
In the morning I visited 57 bridge street , a cafe deli store in Usk , who did our lunch while we were at the bakery school the day before. I met the owner and she showed me around, they put a nice seating area out the back for more seating it’s all very well done the decor is modern and trendy . Nice deli style offerings as well as a selection of drinks chocolates and cakes.
In Usk I went on a walk towards the castle which I then stumbled upon and discovered an old railway station , you can still see the platform edge and a big tunnel. And also a camp site that looked themed-medieval rather cool!
On the castle hunt I headed to see Raglan castle which wasn’t open but I looked from afar to see it as it’s where they filmed Merlin and I’m a huge fan of that!
After I headed to Monmouth where I visited the museum to learn more about its connections with Nelson. And had a walk around the high street. It just had such a nice rustic feel to it, which I don’t get back home. Seeing the architecture around just makes you feel like there is so much history which there is!
After visiting Monmouth I headed down the Wye valley to Tintern abbey which was so beautiful the nice autumn colours! Driving round the roads was so nice being able to see so much from high and low.
Arriving at Tintern Abbey , you can see it from the roads you really can’t miss it! The structure looks wonderful.
When I visited the Abbey was going under some restoration works so some areas were closed off to public access sadly but it’s all for the long term good.
So as a little added bonus I got given this amazing goodie bag with loads of Welsh goodies to go home with. It’s an amazing group of producers who’ve come together to make a click and collect kind of service which can be picked up once a week or even some businesses can do postal treats! So it’s a real nice thing to see. People in the Wye valley really are supporting local to the next level! You can check the page out here https://www.wyevalleyproducers.co.uk/
Wales has so much to offer that I didn’t know about. I’m defiantly planning for a longer stay in the near future once everything settles down a bit from covid.
I want to thank the Over the bridge to Wales campaign http://www.overthebridge.wales for hosting this trip! All views , opinions & photos are my own. You can check them out on Instagram and Facebook too!