No matter how many times I visit the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, South Wales, I’m always filled with awe when I step inside. With two intricately-carved wooden dragons and a pair of life size trees, the entrance foyer is breathtakingly beautiful.
Tucked away towards the left of the entrance, the Terry M restaurant is easy to miss, but this flagship fine dining venue has garnered a strong reputation for its award-winning food and drink, with 3 AA Rosettes to its name. One of six restaurants owned by the Celtic Manor Resort, Terry M (formerly known as the Crown at Celtic Manor) is named after the resort’s Chairman, Terry Matthews.
A quick glance around Terry M reveals all the hallmarks of a typical fine dining restaurant, from the white linen tablecloths and the white crockery, to the cream leather seating and the crystal-drop chandeliers – even a private dining room.
Embracing seasonality with a strong focus on locally sourced produce, the menu includes à la carte lunch, dinner and Sunday lunch options alongside a seemingly-never ending wine list. Prices generally fall at the higher end of the scale but if you’re watching the pennies, Terry M offers a more moderately priced express lunch menu, with a choice of two or three courses starting from £15.95 excluding wine, or from £22.95 including half a bottle of wine. Similarly, evening guests dining as couples or as groups can enjoy an extravagant six course tasting menu for £70 per person.
Opting for the three-course express lunch menu inclusive of wine (£31.95), I begin with the smoked salmon mi-cuit with globe artichokes and asparagus cream.. Dressed with fresh dill and parsley and nestled amongst a salad of baby potatoes and peppery radishes, the salmon tastes deliciously fragrant and is so tender that it literally falls apart in my mouth.
For my main course, I choose the duo of Welsh beef with Jersey Royals and wild garlic. The dish includes a generous serving of thickly sliced rare beef, served with basted baby potatoes and wild mushrooms in a rich gravy. The portion looks pretty small, but it's surprisingly filling and the garlic isn't too overpowering.
The waiter kindly recommends the chocolate fondant for dessert but I can’t resist the honey parfait with citrus salad and caramelised almonds, and I’m not disappointed. A perfectly shaped cone of creamy honey parfait ice cream is coated in tiny fragments of almond, served with candied grapefruit and orange segments – a great way to round off what has been a truly fantastic meal.
Although Terry M isn’t the cheapest fine dining venue I’ve been to, it’s worth every penny – the food looks and tastes amazing, the service is attentive and the atmosphere is relaxing. I highly recommend Terry M as a fine dining restaurant – you won’t be disappointed!
The Rare Welsh Bit is a Cardiff food blog offering reviews of restaurants and more
from across Wales, including recipes, product reviews and news.
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