Llansantffraed Court, Monmouthshire review
The four-star Llansantffraed Court, home to the award-winning Court Restaurant, is minutes from the A40 so ideal for guests shooting in England and Wales.
A visit to Monmouthshire is almost a visit home for me and it always shows. Whenever I come this way my accent spills forth the moment the first aitch is dropped; and I can’t help but get into all sorts of conversations about the direction of the national team(s).
Llansantffraed Court’s owner (and keen shot) Mike Morgan, who has been at the helm for almost two decades, was a warm host, the sort of person you’d be glad to find on the nearest peg during a shoot day full of strangers.
His is a popular hotel – Grade II-listed, built in the William and Mary style – and as someone who has a breadth of interests outside shooting and hoteliering, we talked a great deal about a great deal during our time together.
Although I didn’t see the hotel in the prettiest of lights – it was pitch black when I arrived, drizzly when I left – marketing literature proves the team care about their surroundings, which include 20 acres of lawns and a lake with its own fountain.
I’m writing these words in early summer and can categorically promise you the nine-course taster menu I worked through during the evening will still be in the top three meals I’ll have had come the year’s end. It was a sensational mix of local game and vegetables washed down with wines including a Chateau Lamothe Cissac, a Bordeaux we drank at my host’s informed suggestion. He is a great believer in food yards over miles and as much produce as possible comes from the hotel’s walled garden.
I enjoyed my stay at Llansantffraed Court enough to recommend it to several sportsmen I know who like a good feed and water before and after a day in the field. There is only one thing that I would say against it. The décor, especially that found in the bedrooms, is a little tired. That said, I’ve learned since visiting Monmouthshire that a rolling refurbishment is underway, so guns fussy about their aesthetics will hopefully have nothing to fear if they decide to visit next season.
Scores for Llansantffraed Court
Catering: The hotel’s Court Restaurant has held two AA Rosettes for 17 consecutive years. The kitchen of head chef Mike Henry produced some sensational dishes for us. Wine connoisseurs shouldn’t be afraid to test their host. 9/10
Accommodation: Near spotless and comfortable but my room was a little undernourished. 6/10
Atmosphere: The hotel was sparsely populated at first – it was mid week in January – but several regular guests made themselves known to the owner come the evening. 7/10
Service: Friendly, helpful and efficient. 8/10
Suitability for shooters: The hotel is minutes from the A40, meaning you can be on your way to your destination in Monmouthshire and the surrounding counties in Wales or indeed England quickly. The Skirrid Suite, a private dining room, can take up to 24 guests. There are storage facilities for shotguns and while there are no kennels, dogs are welcome in the hotel, including in the public areas. 8/10