Saw this growing in the woods by the river a couple of weeks ago and felt moved to take a photo:
The same wood is now full of wild garlic, some of which I have harvested and frozen in hopes of making a sort of pretentious champ. I also noticed that there are large carpets of blubells coming up which promise to deliver a magnificent show when they flower in a few weeks.
Ate dinner at “The Bell” at Skenfrith with friends from London on Saturday to celebrate K.’s birthday. To call it a “gastropub” seems a little unfair as it has a standard of cooking that would not be out of place in the best of London’s restaurants. All the better then that it is a fifteen minute drive from Monmouth and set in beautiful countryside. The ambiance is classy but not stuffy or pretentious and this seventeenth century coaching inn is obviously run by people who know – and care about – high quality local food. There’s even a blackboard with the names of the local suppliers so you know who provided that venison/guinea foul/sea bass etc.
I had been wondering where the upmarket restaurants were in Monmouth. Seemingly none. Odd, when it’s obvious that there are plenty of upmarket people around with the money and tastes to support them.
Found a nice picture of the thirteenth century Monnow Bridge here. It was taken in the summer and I can tell you that at the moment it looks distinctly grim in the bleak February sun. The site it’s on, incidentally, is that of a Geo, a sort of German counterpart to the American National Geographic magazine.