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Harden's survey result
“Shaun Hill’s cookery book is great”: “so full of clear sanity and common sense – qualities that shine through in all you are served” at this famous, rural Welsh pub (which was established in the 1970s as a pioneering foodie mecca under former owners, Franco & Ann Taruschio; and which Shaun has run for the last decade). It’s “an unfussy but welcoming environment” – “a bustling dining room full of people very happily tucking in, and with nice associated cottages to stay in”. Its ratings suffered this year though, with a new theme in reports that it’s “still good, but a bit in decline”: “no complaints, but it was just not the superb meal we were expecting”.
“We revisited after thirty years – the quality is as high as ever”. Shaun Hill has, for the last ten years, continued the excellence pioneered back-in-the-day by Franco & Ann Taruschio, and this rural pub is to this day “arguably the best restaurant in Wales”. “Consistently delicious seasonal food is perfectly cooked and conceived” and prices are “good value” given the “seamless standard that’s a delight for the taste buds”.
“Since Shaun Hill took over the Walnut Tree, its returned to its glory days under Franco and Ann Taruschio” and this “fabulously located” rural pub – “so very charming in its simplicity and transparency” – “truly earns its plaudits and accolades, with homely but nuanced cooking, served without pretence, but full of panache”.
“The simplicity and precision of the cuisine marks a true understanding of food”, at Shaun Hill’s acclaimed inn (made famous in the ’70s by Franco and Ann Taruschio), whose “honest, imaginative and creative” dishes maintain it as the survey’s most commented-on destination in Wales. Where there are gripes it’s generally over the odd “rustic” dish that has “lacked subtlety”, but according to nearly all reports this modest venue is “always a treat and well worth the journey”.
The food is an eclectic mix, based on Shaun Hill’s personal taste, paired with sound cooking techniques; rather than a particular country's cuisine. A unifying feature is the core of excellent ingredients.
Shaun Hill is one of Britain's most enduringly successful chefs. He began his career in 1966, working for Robert Carrier in his Islington restaurant. He went on to work in some of London's most prestigious addresses including The Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge with Brian Turner and Blakes in South Kensington.
He won a Michelin star for Gidleigh Park in Devon where he was a key player in the Modern British food movement of the late 80's that fused local, seasonal produce with global influences.
The Merchant House, his much missed 24 seat Michelin-starred restaurant in Ludlow was hailed as the 14th best in the world and turned the Shropshire market town into a gastronomic destination.
Shaun currently holds a Michelin star at The Walnut Tree where he was a regular customer when it was run by Franco Taruschio. The restaurant fell on hard times after Taruschio sold up in 2001, only recovering when Hill took the reins in 2008.
Along the way, he's forged a unique style with a string of timeless dishes including scallops with lentil and coriander sauce that are as distinctive and delicious now as the day he created them.
If you are looking for accommodation, there are two cottages, both next door to The Walnut Tree just a short walk through the garden. The cottages are called the Old Post Office Cottage and Ivy Cottage.
|Wine per bottle||£24.00|
Llanddewi Skirrid, Llandewi Skirrid, NP7 8AW
|Tuesday||12 pm‑2:30 pm, 7 pm‑10 pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm‑2:30 pm, 7 pm‑10 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm‑2:30 pm, 7 pm‑10 pm|
|Friday||12 pm‑2:30 pm, 7 pm‑10 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm‑2:30 pm, 7 pm‑10 pm|