“ Address: Talybont-on-Usk / Brecon / Powys / LD3 7JE / Wales / Tel: (01874) 676251 „
The Usk Inn is without doubt, my all time favourite place to eat. It ticks all the boxes. The food is divine the location is beautiful and the ambience of the inn is charming. Whenever there is something to celebrate such as my birthday or an anniversary, I scour the internet looking for somewhere different to go. However, without fail We end up back at the Usk because there is no way you could top this place.
Situated in Talybont on Usk which is in the heart of the Brecon Beacons. This inn is quite central in the small picturesque village. It looks very pretty from the outside, with hanging baskets and rolling gardens where there are tables with parasols in order to enjoy a summer evening beverage.
There is also a good sized car parking area. Although in busy summer months, this does tend to fill up quite quickly.
When you walk into the inn through the front entrance, you will be totally enchanted by the ambience of this beautiful, charming inn. The roaring open fire, the rustic large wodden tables, the chalk boards with the days specials all add to the cosy country feel of this traditional Welsh inn.
The large, well stocked bar area lies in the corner of the room. There is a wide choice of drinks available. There is a good choice of draught beers and lagers and an extensive wine list. I always opt for a bottle of the house white which sells for around £13 a bottle. It is a really nice crisp fruity wine which I always find pleasing and refreshing. For spirit drinkers the top optics are a sight to behold. There is a vast supply of spirits available all at a reasonable price.
When you have ordered your drinks you then sit in the bar area. The waitress will then bring you a menu to browse through. It has to be noted that as far as choice goes, the menu is not overly extensive. The Usk Inn has an excellent reputation for having some fantastic signature dishes. It tends to stick to these dishes such as locally sourced pork and lamb. For those who are after something a bit different then there is always a specials board offering a couple of really excellent dishes.
When you have placed your order, the waitress will then take you into the dining area. As you enter this area, you cannot help but be impressed. The dining area is fairly modern but is decorated beautifully and in keeping with the rustic charm of the inn. The walls are teracotta, which offers a nice degree of warmth and atmosphere to the occasion.
Each table has a candle, which introduces a bit of romance into the proceedings. The waitress will allow you to settle into your seats before bringing a small basket of bread to your table. There is a selection of breads in this basket. white, granary, wholemeal. All the breads are freshly baked and delicously moreish. I really have to discipline myself though, otherwise you could end up filling yourself up on the bread alone.
Worth mentioning also, that there is small selection of oils which my husband assures me are delicious on the bread.
I have never had to wait long for my courses in The Usk Inn. They seem to have grasped the knowledge of how much time to spare between each course. This is ideal, as you never feel rushed but you do not get impatient either waiting to be served. I have always found the waiting staff to be helpful and friendly. They are also very efficient and endevour to attend to your specific needs.
The main course I chose on my last visit was sublime. I ordered the braised chicken in a butter and white wine sauce. The portions are very generous. But I think this restaraunt goes for the quality factor rather than piling the plates high. My husband had the local farmed lamb in a rosemary and mint jus. Both meals were served with saute potatoes and a generous serving of carrotts, leek, brocolli and red cabbage.
To say that the food is stunning would be an understatement. The locally farmed produce just melts in your mouth. The flavours are as rustic as the surroundings. I find it difficult not to oohh and aaahh through my meal as it is so delicious. The chicken I had was very rich and the sauce was simply heavenly. I also had a little taste of my husbands lamb and I have to say I was blown away by the tenderness of the meat coupled with the sweetness of the mint.
The vegetables were also well cooked. Very fresh and full of flavour.
At the end of this main course, I honestly thought I was going to explode. As I have mentioned previously the portions are not huge, but the richness of the food fill you up.
The puddings in the Usk Inn are really lovely, but unfortunately nothing to go mad about. The usual fare is on offer. Sticky toffee pudding, cheesecake, creme brulee. But there is nothing on the pudding menu which really grabs my attention.
I was far too full to have a pudding, but my husband had the creme brulee. Obviously I had to have a try (for dooyoo purposes) it was indeed delicious. Also beautifully presented.
I had an Irish coffee with a hefty slug of tia maria thrown in for good measure. I could certainly taste and feel the alcohol going down nicely and was In my opinion the perfect way to end my meal.
Once the bill had been requested, the waitress was again quick and efficient in dealing woth our request. The bill came to around £55 which I thought was very reasonable. This included our bottle of wine.
The Usk Inn has been awarded five diamonds for the last six years by the AA. It was also named Welsh pub of the year in 2005.
Although I have only eaten dinner in the inn. It is worth noting that they have an extensive lunch menu. The lunch menu consists of typical country pub fare such as ploughmans lunch and fresh baguettes filled with local farmed meat. There is also a choice of salads available.
I have also heard great reviews regarding the Usk Inn's Sunday lunchtime set menu. It is around £15 for three generous and tasty courses. What better way than to spend a Sunday afternoon than sat by the open fire eating a hearty roast!!
I have never had the pleasure of staying at the inn. I live quite near so it would be a bit of a waste for me. However the pictures of the rooms look inkeeping with the charm and character of the inn. The rooms appear bright and airy and rather romantic.