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'I haven't been everywhere yet but it's on my list' Susan Sontag

Thursday, 21 November 2013

miss b loves.........a weekend in Wales with a French twist!( Part 1)

A weekend in Montgomery, Wales ..... with a French twist, was the perfect way to celebrate our wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago.

Montgomery is steeped in history having been fought over in the past by the English and the Welsh. Close to the Shropshire border, it's a picturesque Georgian town which has retained an unspoilt feel. 

The imposing Town Hall  dates from the 18th century.

We were initially attracted to Montgomery as it is home to The Checkers, one of only three Michelin starred restaurants in Wales. It's run by  'The Frenchman and the Farmers' Daughters'

'The Frenchman', Chef Proprietor, Stéphane Borie trained and worked with Michel Roux at the Waterside Inn for seven years, later moving to Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons.

Sarah and Kathryn are 'The Farmers' Daughters' and grew up on a dairy farm. Sarah, also an accomplished chef and Stéphane's partner, met at the Waterside Inn where she was the first woman to work on all sections. Kathryn runs front of house and shares their love of good food.

This is a 'restaurant with rooms' ....just five with French names rather than numbers and we had chosen Le Petit Jardin... so tastefully decorated.

Fresh ground coffee, home-made cookies and L'Occitane toiletries were a welcome touch too.....

It was time for a stroll around the town ....

Bunners is one of the UK's oldest traditional ironmongers dating from 1892, an Aladdin's cave crammed with just about everything for the home and garden ....

Even the Spar convenience store is attractive in Montgomery!

I'd read great reviews about the Castle Kitchen....

.... and they were accurate! Our light lunch was impressive ...... perfect traditional Welsh rarebit (which is a kind of very posh cheese on toast!) made here with Monty's beer from the local brewery and cheese from the Castle Kitchen deli.....  

This was followed by a scrummy quince and apple frangipane tart from the 'today's specials board'....

After lunch we walked up to see the ruins of the medieval Montgomery Castle built in 1223 during the reign of Henry III. 

Lovely views from the castle even on a very dull, wet day!

Bilingual signs were another reminder that we were in Wales!

We'd certainly worked up an appetite for our very special dinner back at The Checkers .....

Perfect from start to finish .....from the delicate melt-in-the mouth canapés to the butternut squash velouté with curried cream and toasted almonds ... but the main courses were the highlight with rich intense flavours.......

Poached Dover sole with smoked salmon mousse,
Jerusalem artichoke purée and Champagne sauce

Grilled wild boar with chervil root, savoy cabbage,
 figs and thyme-infused jus 

Impressive food, presentation and service....faultless, a restaurant without doubt worthy of its Michelin star and my dessert is one that I shall remember for quite some time.......

Sablée of poached pear, Poire William sabayon
and blackberry coulis

Please join me next time for Part 2 ...... Sunday in Wales with a few more French touches.....


  1. Beautiful places!!! I wana go to Castle Kitchen as soon as possible, it's great! Nice nice pics!!!


  2. Con grats! what a nice trip! And that grey door is beautiful. xo Caroline

  3. Wow! looks fabulous. The food looks divine and the hotel so beautiful. Congrats on your anniversary too ;-) x

  4. Oh my goodness that wild boar dish looks heavenly. Always so happy to travel along with you wherever you go Miss B!!

  5. Gorgeous photos and the food looks divine:) Looking forward to the next post!

  6. Happy wedding anniversary miss b (and mr b if it's appropriate to address him as such :D). Montgomery does look like a quaint little town, even Spar was given a lovely little treatment. The food looked appetizing! Never had wild boar in my life adn would be interesting it to try it. Glad to have travelled along with you again :)

  7. wow, what a cute little town and inn! happy wedding anniversary - looks like you spent it very well :)

  8. So glad I didn't miss this! Happy Anniversary:):) Such a beautiful town and looks like you are staying in such a gorgeous spot. L'Occitane toiletries? Love that! It's been years since I've had wild boar. We smoked it and it was delicious. Enjoy your day!!

  9. I have never been to wales sometimes we do not go the closest place. What lovely decor and a great welcome pack. An ideal place for an anniversary.

  10. I've never been to Wales, this makes me want to give it a go! Food looks fab! x

  11. Found you from a comment left on another blog and was intrigued. Nice blog and the next post down about soup already has me pulled in too!

  12. Thank you so much for your lovely comment on my blog re Christmas. I too love a glass (or two) of mulled wine. I hope you get to enjoy it this year. So glad you found my blog.

  13. I see some nam nam cookies in there!

  14. Quelle belle escapade.... j'irais volontiers rien que pour les deux desserts.... j'en aie l'eau à la bouche tellement ils ont l'air bon!!!!
    Bonne fin de semaine

  15. Quel bel endroit pour célébrer votre anniversaire de mariage ! Vous avez du vous régaler dans ce restaurant, ça semble si bon....

  16. Miss B, you made me dream. I think it is the perfect place where celebrating your wedding anniversary. Montgomery looks so beautiful and adorable. The Castle Kitchen inspires me a lot, as well as the place where you stayed, so cosy and romantic. Kisses dear! xo

  17. Happy Anniversary Miss B! What a delightful trip you two took. So romantic. the dishes they prepared for you guys was amazing. They look so good. I love the view of the castle. Breathtaking! Again, I love your adventures. You are one amazing woman.

  18. OH my goodness miss b, how amazing this must have been. I must say, the salmon mousse with champagne sauce sounds right up my path. How wonderful the castle photos are. Happy Anniversary. xx

  19. What a perfect trip for your anniversary! Thanks for sharing it!!

  20. Happy Anniversary sweety! Wishing you many more happy years together! What a wonderful way to celebrate, Wales looks utterly charming, the kind of quaint place I like to visit, the views are so serene. The hotel sounds delightful and all that delicious food! Yumm! You are always so sweet to stop by...Aren't you glad it's Friday already :)

  21. Happy anniversary ( a few weeks late! :) And hey ho, these pictures look so lovely! And oh gosh, that apple frangipane seriously made my stomach roar. Not rumble! ROAR haha


  22. Happy Wedding Anniversary Miss B! What a lovely and romantic way to celebrate with your spouse. The food looks so delicious and the room so cosy. I also recently discovered the L'Occitane 5 oils shampoo as we also received the same toiletries at the Shangri-la Hotel in Manila. I am hooked in using the 5 oils shampoo and conditioner now especially during these cold coming months. The Champagne is a perfect way to end your day after strolling around the lovely town and looking at the gorgeous view. Looking forward to your part 2.

  23. my mouth is completely watered. ANd what a lovely place! The countryside is beautiful.

  24. That looks like such a beautiful little getaway!


  25. Happy anniversary! Wales looks like a very lovely place. The Checkers seems amazing. Love the photos of and from the castle.


  26. What a beautiful place! I've only been to Wales once but would love to return more times. The food looks amazing; looks like you had a good time!

  27. How fun!! Happy wedding anniversary Miss B! Looks like you guys made it a very memorable one! Wishing you a lifetime of love and happiness<3!

  28. You are so lucky to visit such a beautiful town and experience such special food for your anniversary! I am so hungry after looking at your pictures. Looking forward to part 2 now :D. sparkle2day.com

  29. It looks like a lovely town!

    Corinne x

  30. You sound very pleased and that's great! The food looks so delicious indeed!

  31. Miss B-what a lovely getaway for you to mark the celebration. This is a charming little place and I'm so impressed with the gourmet dishes and champagne. Perfection.
    xx, Heather

  32. Amazing post. One of my favorite pic is the one with the bridge to the medieval castle...

  33. Great post!


  34. I love the apple tart, the red door, the castle, and the pear and blackberry dessert. So many yummy dishes. I would love to try them all. It sounds like you had a wonderful time in Wales.

    Have a relaxing weekend.


  35. This looks really like as if Wales is a visit worth! I´m escpecially fascinated by the special mood which comes from the pictures.

    It looks like as if it was the perfect decision that you celebrate there your 4th anniversary. Wish you additional 80 more happy years!

    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena


  36. Wonderful place and I love how you tell your story
    and this place's heritage and story.
    Those dishes look really delectable.


  37. Miss b, What a lovely getaway! Best wishes to you two! Checkers looks awesome. Some amazing meals you had. Wales seems so romantic. I'd love to get there! Can't wait to read the next installment! Happy weekend!

  38. Ooh what a lovely escape - My Grannie was from North Wales so I always feel a pull to visit.

    There is nothing like a lovely restaurant with rooms - that is something I miss doing massively since we've had a baby! I was fortunate enough to eat at the Waterside about 10 years ago for my dad's 60th - what an experience so I bet the chef there is amazing.

    Enjoy x

  39. Very charming escape!


  40. Hi there! What a fabulous place, your review and photos really make me want to be there!! xxx

  41. Goodness me I haven't been to Wales in a while - I can't even remember anything about it, it's been that long.

    What a lovely idea for the restaurant with rooms and it must have felt quite cosy and inviting with just having 5 rooms.

    It looks like a very quiet and quaint little village, not sure I would cope with with all that peace and tranquillity ha ha

  42. This was such a sweet way to spend your anniversary! Everything looks absolutely perfect. The food all looks so delicious. The sights are simply beautiful. And I love the room you have photoed that your stayed in. I think it is cute that they had names for the rooms instead of numbers.

    Jessica @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

  43. Happy wedding anniversary!! It sure looks like you had a memorable weekend, the place looks amazing and the food looks delicious :)

  44. Everything from the hotel to the goodies look amazing! Great photos.



  45. Happy wedding anniversary!!! great pictures
    check my blog if you want too:)
    NEW POST -> tr3ndygirl.com

  46. I love these small places with a difference. Also the food looks so yummy.
    Not been for a nice meal in a while. May be this weekend as you tempted me.

  47. You've brought such beautiful images to us of such a gorgeous place--great post!

  48. I am dying to see part two... you took such lovely pictures - I can feel the atmosphere and I am sorry to say... but I am a little bit jealous... Thank you! Christa

  49. I'm so pleased you enjoyed my little tour of this part of Wales. Thank you for all the comments and the anniversary wishes too.

  50. Wow, Wales is on my list and now this lovely inn will be too. Looks like a gem. What wonderful walks you took. Loved this!


Thank you for taking the time to write a comment on my blog. I really do appreciate it. miss b

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