It’s that time of year when cosy country inns with rooms, wood-burners and hearty fayre come into their own. And this Crickhowell gem is creating a stir. Bought by Richard and Fi after many years living in Bordeaux, the Kestrel has been renovated with much love and attention to detail – something that also shines through in the menu.
Passionate advocates of sourcing the best quality produce as locally as they can, their meat comes from F E Richards butchers, in Crickhowell, veg from Primrose Organic Farm in Felindre, their beer from Brecon Brewing, cider from Ty Gwyn and coffee from Black Mountain Roast. There are some worthy exceptions – the large wine selection from their time in France and continental specialities from regions and suppliers renowned for them.
A case in point was my Iberico platter, from a small, independent Spanish importer - I’ve not tasted meats this good since touring Andalucia. A’s beetroot houmous with walnut breadstick (home-made) was an inspired combination of sweet and savoury.
To mains. My steak was so tender you could cut it with a stick, partly attributed to 30 day dry-aging though also testament to the quality of Welsh Black – slow-growing it’s naturally tender, succulent and full of fatty flavour and this was a great example. Honourable mention to the dauphinoise potatoes - clearly made by someone who’s lived in France and all the better for it! A’s hearty, sweet butternut squash ritolo hit the spot too.
A’s apple crumble, with apples from a neighbour, also ticked the warming, comfort food box, nicely, but not quite as much as the treacle toffee pudding (made by Richard and Fi’s daughter), which was out of this world, honestly. Best I’ve had – lovely and light, intense but not overly sweet. Stunning.
With spotless rooms, great food, cosy fire and stunning location the Kestrel’s a perfect getaway (but not too far away).