Abergavenny, known as the ‘Gateway to Wales’ due to its proximity to the English border is a vibrant town with markets, festivals as well as castles, gardens, and seven hills to explore. Abergavenny is the perfect place to explore the beautiful Monmouth countryside and all it has to offer.
This article refers to a visit or visits made before the travel restrictions put in place to deal with the 2020–21 Covid-19 outbreak around the world. Please take into account the advice from your local government before planning any travel and click here to see the current UK government advice regarding Covid-19
The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny
Dating back to 1829, The Angel Hotel was originally a Posting Inn with a beautiful white Georgian Facade. In 2002 it was taken over by Caradog Hotels Ltd and transformed into an elegant, tastefully decorated 4 Silver Star Hotel.
The Angel Hotel was awarded the Cesar award in the Good Hotel Guide 2020 and the Best Hotel in Wales and one of the ten best in the UK.
With 35 guest rooms in total, most are in the hotel itself. There is also The Mews in former stables next to the hotel; The Lodge which is within the grounds of Abergavenny Castle and two Cottages, Castle Cottage and Sugarloaf Cottage to the rear of the hotel.
Located in the centre of Abergavenny, once inside the hotel, you feel as if you are a million miles from a residential area. Abergavenny Castle is 2 minutes’ walk from the hotel and Linda Vista gardens and The Meadows are just 5 minutes away and the town centre is on your doorstep.
The Hotel Rooms
Each room is decorated in soothing neutral tones with contemporary fabrics from Lewis & Wood with comfortable pocket-sprung mattresses and silky-smooth Percale sheets and pillowcases.
In each room there is seating and a desk area in case you have work to do or just want to browse social media. Free Wifi in the rooms means you can always be connected to the Internet if you need to be. There is a large flat screen TV with Freeview and radio at a comfortable height so that you don’t strain your neck when you are sitting on the chairs or in bed.
All rooms are equipped with comfy Hypnos beds in king or twin configurations, with luxury Egyptian cotton linen, hairdryer, high-speed Wi-Fi, and a variety of channels on a flat-screen TV with inbuilt Chromecast enabling guests to mirror and/or cast content straight from your personal digital device to the TV.
Large, double-glazed windows keep all the street noise out and if you need to adjust the warmth of the room there is air conditioning which is simple to adjust.
In the wardrobe there are hangers, an ironing board and iron, hairdryer and extra blankets in case you get cold.
The en-suite bathroom is luxurious with a walk-in shower, bath and soft, fluffy towels and dressing gowns. Complimentary Aromatherapy Associates soap, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion are on hand for you to use.
Prepare your tea or coffee in the room with a selection of teas from The East India Company and Culpeppers or the Angel Hotel’s own coffee can be made in the cafetiere provided. Fine Bone China mugs are the perfect way to drink your selection while you savour some of the biscuits from the Angel Hotel Bakery. There are small pots of whole and semi-skimmed milk, though you can order fresh milk, or alternatives like soya, oat or coconut by calling Reception.
A complimentary Guestroom Amenity Kit is in each room consisting of hand sanitising wipes, face masks, wifi card, notepad and pen, a breakfast menu and a QR code link to the restaurant menus.
The rooms are available in Executive, Superior, Deluxe and Deluxe Suite sizes.
The Mews, Castle Cottage and Castle Lodge
As well as the hotel rooms, there is also accommodation available within two minutes walk from the hotel. As they were all occupied during my visit, I could not see inside them.
There are two rooms on the first floor of the former stables next to the hotel. Like the hotel rooms, the decor is contemporary and has all the same amenities as the hotel rooms.
Castle Cottage and Sugarloaf Cottage
Both Castle Cottage and Sugarloaf cottage are opposite the hotel’s car park to the rear of the hotel. The restored 17th Century cottages are perfect for up to four sharing with two double ensuite rooms. There are tea and coffee making facilities, but the cottages are not self-catering.
Sitting in the grounds of Abergavenny Castle, the Victorian Lodge House is 2 minutes’ walk from the hotel. With two double en suite bedrooms, the Lodge comfortably sleeps four and has two sitting rooms and a small patio area with views over the Usk valley. The Lodge is not self-catering but does have tea and coffee making facilities.
The Oak Room Restaurant
Walking into the warm and inviting Angel Bar with rich ruby textured walls, you immediately feel relaxed and chilled.
Going past the bar, you walk into the Oak Tree Restaurant, which has the same feature wall colour in front of you with two dramatic abstract paintings.
The rest of the room is in a creamy alabaster tone with four amber coloured columns dividing the room with a fireplace at the end. The tables are spaced out so that there is plenty of distance between each, though not all are used. All the menus are single-use or available using the QR code provided.
While we were making our choices from the menu, we were served an aperitif of arancini (deep-fried rice balls) with parmesan crisp rounds and mixed olives.
As a vegetarian, I sometimes only find one item on a menu that I can eat, but I was spoilt for choice with three starters, three main courses or a salad or a vegan lentil burger on the menu. The items were clearly marked with V for vegetarian and V+ for vegan.
I started my meal with the heritage rainbow beetroot, a mix of pickled beetroot and cooked in different colours, served on a bed of gloriously bright pink beetroot hummus and topped with quinoa crisps and microgreens. The delicate combination of flavours was delicious, and left me wanting more.
I unwittingly went for another vegan dish for my main course. A slow-roasted, harissa infused cauliflower steak topped with spiced chickpeas and microgreens on a pool of silky smooth hummus and drizzled with olive oil. The cauliflower was spicy and still with a firm texture which contrasted beautifully with the smooth hummus. Although I had two dishes with hummus they were quite different and complimented the accompaniments perfectly.
My dessert was decadent, a Café Gourmand with three small desserts served on a small oblong platter alongside a latte. My three plates were a luscious chocolate brownie with a soft meringue; a creamy lemon pudding with tangy blackberry compote which offset it perfectly; and finally a dish of strawberries in syrup topped with a heart-shaped shortbread. The latte was milky with the right hit of coffee.
Who could resist toasted sourdough topped with sliced avocado, oozing poached eggs and a dusting of chilli flakes? Served with a pot of English Breakfast tea makes for the perfect breakfast for me.
Other items on the breakfast menu included granola, porridge, smoothies, kippers, eggs cooked any way you want, normal or vegetarian full English breakfast, fruit, yoghurt, French toast, Egg Benedict or Eggs Royale. A range of kinds of milk and gluten-free items were also on offer in case of intolerances.
A list of the menu items on offer with any possible allergens as well as dietary restrictions is available on the Allergen Info site.
Afternoon Tea at the Angel Hotel
I didn’t get to try the celebrated Afternoon Tea at the hotel, but with an ‘Award of Excellence’ from the UK Tea Guild, it is bound to be something special. Only served on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, the Afternoon Tea includes freshly prepared sandwiches, savouries, cakes and scones. There are choices for vegans, vegetarians, people with food intolerances or religious dietary restrictions, but 24 hours notice is required.
The Foxhunter Bar
For more casual dining and drinking, head to The Foxhunter Bar. The scrubbed tables and comfy leather sofas make it perfect for a relaxing evening whether you are a guest at the hotel or a local.
The bar was named after ‘Foxhunter’, a champion show-jumper who took part in the London 1948 Olympics and won Britain’s only gold medal in the 1952 Olympics in Finland. Foxhunter’s jockey Sir Harry Llewellyn is honoured with the Angel Ale “Sir Harry”.
Inside The Angel Hotel
Throughout the hotel, the contemporary decor blends with the Georgian interior. Relax in the lounge’s seating areas with luxurious, comfortable sofas and chairs. The hallways are painted in soft calming tones with elegant mirror and subtle lighting.
The reception area in coral colours is dominated by a large black plant plat pot topped with white orchids.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, hotels have had to make changes in the way they operate and interact with guests. amend the ways they operate. The following initiatives have been put in place by the Angel Hotel.
- Perspex/plexiglass dividers have been added to the reception and bar areas, providing added protection between staff and guests.
- All staff with direct interaction with guests wore face masks or face screens.
- All staff maintained at least 2 metres away from guests unless serving in the dining rooms.
- Use of cleaning chemicals that are effective against coronavirus.
- Guests are asked to wear face masks when moving around the hotel or when they are not seated or dining.
- Clear signage displaying the Hotel’s policy regarding sanitising and masks.
- Hand sanitising stations at most entry points and throughout the hotel.
- Hand sanitiser and masks are in the guest amenity kit in the room
- Guest accommodation is disinfected between stays
- Guests are asked, where possible, to use the lift up to their room, and take the stairs down.
- Tables in the dining room were well spaced out.
- Menus are single-use only and discarded after use.
- Guests will need to reserve tables in advance for breakfast and dinner.
- Room keys are thoroughly sanitised by staff before being handed to guests.
Getting to and from The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny
Arriving to the Hotel by Car/Parking
Behind the Angel Hotel, in Castle Street, is the entrance to the free private gated parking. To access it, phone reception and they will open the gate for you. (Postcode for the parking is NP7 5EE).
On the opposite side of the street there is also NCP parking which has free parking from 6pm to 8am daily and pay and display out of these times.
Arriving to the Hotel by Train
The nearest train station to the hotel is Abergavenny. At just under a mile’s walk away it is about a 10–15-minute walk.
The Great Western Railway train from London Paddington to Abergavenny takes just over 2 hours with one change at Newport. Booking your train tickets early you can get the best price and also reserve seats.
The Angel Hotel – Essential Information
Address: The Angel Hotel, 15 Cross Street, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, NP7 5EN
Price Point: From £85 for an Executive Double Room
Disclosure: I was hosted by Over the Bridge to Wales – follow them on Instagram – however, all views, opinions and photos are my own and remain the copyright of The Silver Nomad. If you want more information about Monmouthshire, visit VisitMonmouthshire.
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Larch lives a semi-nomadic life. Her life changed 20 years ago when a silly accident left her with restricted use of her right arm and neck and was told she would never work again. She turned her life around, retrained herself and set up as a self-employed website designer. This allowed her to work wherever she was in the world. Her passion for travel led her to start up her travel blog The Silver Nomad, to inspire over 40s to explore new destinations and expand their horizons. In 2019 Larch qualified as a CAA Drone Pilot which she combines with her travels.