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Restaurants in Gwent in general

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      10.05.2001 17:55
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      I've now been lucky enough to visit this superb restaurant twice and I'll definately be visiting again. It's definately a little unexpexted when you arrive at the Vine Tree as it looks more like a little cottage nestled into the side of the road. Opposite is a large car park for use exclusively by their customers (very handy for stumbling back to your car when you've stuffed yourself to bursting point, I found). Once inside (and you get past the bar!), The Vine Tree lives up to it's country cottage feel with tables crammed into corners and crevices, stone walls and typical cottagey decoration (think brass and landscape paintings). Absolutely gorgeous and extremely cosy. The atmosphere is also fantastic, because usually it's packed out and buzzing with conversation and laughter...an eavesdroppers paradise! But enough about all that...lets get to the most important thing; the food. There's only one word to describe it really and that's delicious. Think home made, tasty, substantial and fairly priced and you'll be there. The menu was full of gorgeous stuff, but I settled for 'Chicken Cymru' on my first visit followed by an icecream sundae. The 'Chicken Cymru' was a delicious chicken casserole in a red pepper and tomato sauce served in a huge casserole dish. Yum. It took me about an hour to finish it off! The sundae was equally delicious if a little 'melty' (I'm a person who likes a firm icecream). On my second visit I plumped for something different, a chicken curry served with new potatoes and vegetables followed by a Lemon sorbet. The chicken curry was marvellous and obviously homemade with substantial portions of chicken coated with a mild curry sauce. The sorbet was also gorgeous. You can also have a starter if you want but I didn't want to look like a greedy heffer basically! I should also mention that with every meal, you can get extra 'side' servings of vegetables,
      chips, a selection including cauliflower cheese and so on. I dare you to finish your meal AND the side servings. They come in huge baskets, not little side plates. This is why The Vine Tree is brilliant value for money. The waiting staff also deserve a mention. They were predominantly young looking (probably part time staff) but they were very professional; friendly and helpful. I'd definately advise you to try the Vine Tree (it's chef was featured in a television cookery series, you know) as it's one of the best restaurants I've visited and won't leave you with a bad taste in your mouth as with most commercial, big brand retaurants.

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