This is the first of Edmund and Charlie Inkin’s three wonderfully unpretentious and enjoyable establishments, see The Gurnard’s Head and also The Old Coastguard, located between the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons.Set amidst magnificent scenery, with hostess Julie Bell at the helm, the plain but pleasing old inn has become a sanctuary for food lovers, walkers and literary visitors to the nearby book town of Hay-on-Wye. They love the honest simplicity, the warmth, colour and comfort, both in ground floor rooms whose names say it all – Library, Tack Room, Aga Room – and in bedrooms whose beds and linens are second to none. Curl up here with one of the books that lie around the building, listen to your Roberts radio or simply gaze out at the hills. After a superlative dinner from head chef Ben Ogden that, simple and seasonal, fits perfectly with its surroundings, you will lack for nothing a five-star hotel could provide. Doubles from £130.
Do: Explore the Black Mountains and its hidden castles by foot. Don’t miss Skenfrith, White and Grosmont, or the beautiful Llanthony Priory.
Eat: Enjoy a quiet meal at The Griffin. With the menu changing daily there’s always something new to try.
Buy: Some whisky from the Penderyn distillery just down the road. You can also take a tour if you fancy.
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