Review on The Hardwick
After cruising around the top-end Michelin-starred London restaurant scene with the likes of Marco Pierre White, Stephen Terry got a taste for the informality of gastro pubs following a spell at the Walnut Tree, Abergavenny and – more recently - at the Pear Tree, Whitley in Wiltshire. The return to his adopted Welsh home has put a smile on everyone's face.
The mix of genuine bonhomie, good humour, engaging hospitality and unadulterated good food at the slate-roofed Hardwick is irresistible, and a perfect recipe for success. No wonder the place is packed. It succeeds because it aims for sophistication and class without air or graces, and the dishes tell their own story.
At lunchtime, the bestsellers are grilled sandwiches (Fontina cheese and mushroom, for example) served with triple-cooked chips; then again, you might prefer smoked haddock risotto cake with poached egg and curried spinach, corned beef hash, or double-cooked Middle White pork with polenta, dandelion and lentil salsa.
Evening menus aim for a touch more complexity without gilding the lily – so expect things like smoked chicken and deep-fried avocado salad with grilled courgettes and pancetta, braised shin of beef with mash, Savoy cabbage, roast root vegetables and red wine sauce, and pannetone brûlée pudding. Real ales, local bottled beers and gluggable wines, too.
Gastro pub / Modern British
Stephen Terry and Leigh Allmond
Restaurant Opening Times
Breakfast: 9.00 - 11.00am
Lunch: 12.00 - 3.00pm Tue-Sun
Dinner: 6.30 - 10.00pm Tue-Sat
Accepted credit cards
Visa, Master Card