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Elm Tree Inn

St Brides, Wentlooge, Nr Newport, NP10 8SQ [Map]

Tel: 01633 680225

A Hidden retreat between two cities. This 5 star inn (which was originally an 19th century barn) is great if you want to get away from the city and relax in warm, traditional surroundings.

Set between Cardiff and Newport in an area called the Wentlooge Flats (also know as Little Holland) you feel as if you are a million miles from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The Inn is a great combination of luxurious, yet homely accommodation and a restaurant with one of the best menus I've seen in Wales. The double rooms are well maintained and furnished with modern pine which made them feel warm and comfortable even though the weather outside was awful. The room we took also had lots of personal touches that really made the difference between this and some other hotels I have stayed in. I keep wanting to call the Inn a B&B but that somehow just doesn't do it justice. Full Welsh or continental breakfast was included and there are other options such as smoked salmon with scrambled eggs to get you off to a flier in the morning.

The restaurant serves a classic menu of British and European dishes made from fresh local produce and you can really taste the difference. I had a starter that was possibly the tastiest plate of food that's ever been placed before me. This might sound a bit weird but it was Scallops and Black Pudding with a fantastic dressing which absolutely finished my taste buds off for the night. It was a bit of a shame really because I reckon the Welsh Black Beef fillet steak I had to follow was the most succulent I have ever enjoyed - but it just couldn't compete on the taste scale. The menu is composed of Welsh natural produce including seafood and shellfish when in season and when not in season pheasant and game from local estates. The menu really is one of the best I've seen in a long while and far more reasonably priced than many restaurants in the city centre. There is an impressive wine list for those who like to splash out and a fully stocked bar with everything else you could possibly ask for.

If you manage to leave your room during your stay - the area is packed with things to do like golf, fishing, walking etc... Me and the missus went for a walk around the grounds of the nearby Tredegar house which was very picturesque and well worth a visit.

The Inn at the elm tree really does deserve its 5 star rating, everything about the place was traditional yet elegant and I really enjoyed my stay. If you can't afford to stay the night (even though the rooms are reasonably priced) I would recommend just visiting for a fantastic taste of welsh cooking that you don't get very often.

Thought I would finish with a quote from their brochure "The original definition of an Inn was a refuge for the weary traveller and his Donkey. The Inn at the elm tree is a 21st century inn, keeping the spirit of timeless hospitality alive but with CCTV keeping an eye on your motor!"

Posted by Mark 10th November 2003

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