The Griffin is very happy to be a Launch Member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) which launches today nationwide.

Funded by charitable organisations and the lottery, this not-for-profit organisation is going to be a real boost for restaurants trying to lighten the footprint they make on their communities and the environment. It will provide expertise to chefs and restaurants owners and a standard assessment system that will be readily understandable by consumers.

However strong our principles in relation to sustainability, however sensible our policies, experience tells me that we never quite achieve all we want to. There’s always a supplier who lands us with absurd amounts of polystyrene packaging, there’s always a moment in the day when our energy usage seems excessive and I can’t help but look at our fish and wonder how many friends he has left behind in the ocean. I really hope that the SRA will give us the impetus to be as good as we can in this area.

One the things we will be looking to do is link up with other restaurants in the area to see where we can jointly mitigate our impact on the environment. If any hotelier or restauranteur is interested in learning more, please do be in touch at edmund@eatdrinksleep.ltd.uk.

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A peculiar telephone call to Julie at the Griffin on Saturday afternoon.

Caller: “Hi there, we’re at the train station in Abergavenny and want to get to your pub.”

Julie: “The best way to get to us is a taxi. Can I give you a number?”

Caller: “No a taxi is too expensive. It’s 40 pounds. Do you not have transport available to pick us up?”

Julie: “Sorry, I’m afraid not.”

Caller: “Why not? You can’t be too far away. You’re not being very helpful. How far away are you anyway? We’ll walk.”

Julie: “50 minutes by car. Are you sure I can’t give you a taxi number?”

Caller: “WHAT …….” and then dial tone.

Brilliant. You couldn’t make it up.

Wine Dinner: 7th May

February 19, 2010

People keep asking Julie and her team when we are going to hold another wine dinner. So she has the green light and we’re going to go ahead on Friday 7 May. We hope for a great turn out. Please do support the event as we always price our wine dinners as generously as we can at £55 per person, considerably less than similar evenings in other restaurants.

Chris Davey and Hannah Richards from the wine supplier OW Loeb will be with us on the evening to guide us through the wines and to answer any questions that guests have. They will also be available to take any wine orders that may result.

We will be kicking off the evening at 7.30 with Canapés served in the bar area accompanied by a stunning Crawford River Riesling 2004 from Western Australia. We will then sip our way through the Central Otago and Marlborough regions in New Zealand, Australia’s Yarra Valley and New South Wales as well as California’s Sonoma Valley. All chosen to match the food.

Ah, the food! I almost forgot. How does the following strike you?

Asparagus Terrine with Crème Fraîche & Blood Orange
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Ceviche of Scallop with Tomato Jelly & Avocado Purée
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Soy Glazed Duck Breast from Madgetts Farm with a Confit Leg “Hash”, Bok Choi, Ginger & Star Anise
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Roasted Figs with Mascarpone & Cardamon
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Kitchen Garden Rhubarb Trifle with Candied Fennel, Vanilla Ice Cream & Balsamic

To book a table or to take advantage of a great value weekend Sleepover deal, please call Laura or Julie at The Griffin (01874 620 111) or email us at enquiries@felinfachgriffin.co.uk.

Last seasons small sugar squash

Hi, my name is Joe Hand  and for the last five years I have been responsible for the kitchen garden at the Felinfach Griffin. In April 2006  the Felinfach Griffin became the first restaurant in Wales to have a certified organic kitchen garden. Organic principals and standards are something I hold  close to my heart and over the years at the Griffin by applying these principles I have seen the garden come to life and become more and more productive.

I work closely with the chefs when it comes to selecting  what to grow and hopefully now I think we got it just about right in terms of what are the best tasting fruit and vegetable varieties and when is the best time to sow to get the most out of the garden.

I thought it might be interesting to highlight a few of the things I am doing as the year goes on. Well today it`s grey and miserable but at least it`s a bit warmer after apparently  the ninth coldest January since records began. At the beginning of January I took the turnip rooted chervil seeds out of the fridge as they need a “cold snap” of at least eight weeks consistently below six degrees centigrade to germinate and so two months in a fridge does this nicely. They are now sitting in modules in the greenhouse (see photo) ready to be planted out early/ mid march. Hopefully  this year we will get a good crop of what is a sweet chestnut flavoured, small turnip looking root vegetable.

All my seeds have come from the seed companies now so I`m sowing leeks, onions and beetroot today and spinach, salad crops and tomatoes for the propagator early next week. So here`s to a good season and the summer we were promised last year

Chervil root

Turnip rooted chervil