Approached by a long private driveway through rolling border country, Llansantffraed Court has the stately appearance of a grand country house hotel. It’s an impression that only tells part of the story. Yes, the historic building, public rooms and bedrooms all impart a strong sense of tradition – there are no modish or minimalist influences here. But the plush furnishings come without hushed tones. Llansantffraed Court does not stand on ceremony. It’s a country house in which you won’t be afraid to put your feet up and do your own thing.
Following the example of owner Mike Morgan, the staff are exceedingly friendly and professional. It’s indicative that Llansantffraed Court likes to be known as a hotel and restaurant. It’s located in a prosperous corner of South-East Wales well known to foodies for its wealth of outstanding places to eat. Llansantffraed’s award-winning Court Restaurant, recognised in all the major food guides, is one of the clan. Mike has a passionate interest in good eating (he helped found the highly successful Abergavenny Food Festival) and is justly proud of the flavour, freshness and taste of the modern, simply cooked Welsh cuisine served here (try the seven-course tasting menu with matched wines). Food provenance is a given (you can’t get more local than the hotel’s newly restored Victorian walled kitchen garden).
The hotel’s 20 acres of manicured grounds, complete with trout lake, sit in an historic landscape (the building, dating from 1400, is a piece of history in itself). It’s close to crumbing castles, romantic abbeys, the Brecon Beacons and Wye Valley.