SPECIALS AT THE BEAR

There’s always something new to try at The Bear; whether it’s the latest special dish for lunch or dinner, an unusual or limited edition gin or a real ale from the guest pump. Here is a selection of what is on this week! #crickhowell #specialmenu #realale #fishdishes #pubmeal #restaurant

GIN OF THE WEEK

One of our ‘Gins of the Week’

Every day is Gin Day at The Bear, and every week we will be featuring a different ‘Gin of the Week’ from our menu of 20 Welsh, exotic, botanical and aromatic gins from around the world.  Each featured Gin will be garnished to complement its unique taste and matched with a flavoured Fever-Tree tonic water.

The Gin of the Week feature is being introduced by our Assistant Manager, Williams Garcia.

The Gin of the Week feature is being introduced by our Assistant Manager, Williams Garcia, who has recently returned from a spell working for Tom Kerridge at the Hand and Flowers in Marlow, which is the only pub in the UK with two Michelin Stars.

While there, Williams picked up a taste for Gin and learned which garnishes go with which drink. “I would start at one end of the Gins and had to recite, in order, which garnish went with which Gin,” he said.  “If I forgot, I had to start again, at the beginning.  That made me learn them pretty quickly! “

Before Williams went there, he said he didn’t like Gin.  “But now it is my favourite drink.”  Gin is such a flexible drink, and there are so many aromatics which can flavour them.  The main one is juniper berry, but after that, you can use anything you please. You can use lemon, lime, orange, coriander, cucumber, cloves, cinnamon and many more flavours.”

Three of Williams’ favourite garnishes are dehydrated fruits, frozen fruits in ice cubes and cinnamon sticks, complimented by Fever-Tree tonic and finished with The Bear’s signature, a sprig of Rosemary. 

“The garnish is to enhance the flavour, not alter it too much, but also to enhance the experience.  Before you drink a drink, you want to feast your eyes on it, then you smell the garnishes, and then you drink it, the garnishes give you such a whole wonderful experience.”

SPRING LAMB SPECIAL AT THE BEAR

Spring Lamb is a traditional dish for Easter – but chances are, you won’t have tasted anything like the lamb coming to the Specials Menu at The Bear at Crickhowell.

Our Head Chef, Padrig Jones, loves finding the very best, locally sourced, Welsh ingredients for seasonal specials and he’s been out on the farm to source Pedigree Black Welsh Mountain Lamb for Easter.

They are one of Wales’ oldest rare breeds and are bred by John and Hillary Garn from prize-winning stock at Upper House Farm near Monmouth, about 20 miles from The Bear.

Padrig went to visit the farm to check the condition of the lambs and how they have been bred.  He said: “It’s incredibly important to me to know where the food I am serving comes from.  These lambs have not been reared intensively.  They have been grazing on meadows, eating the herbs and flowers in the borders which will add to the flavour and they have been outside, so they have been able to exercise. The meat will be a bit leaner than other lamb but still very tender because the muscles have been working.”

“I have tasted lamb in different countries around the World.  I have had lamb from the Pyrenees, which is absolutely incredible, but Welsh lamb is fabulous.  And people want to try local produce when they visit The Bear and you don’t get much more local than this.”

The flock at Upper House Farm are bred primarily for showing.  The prize winners are kept or sold to other farmers to preserve the breed, and the rest are sold for meat.   

But you won’t find this lamb on a butcher’s counter.  Hillary said: “The meat is slightly darker than the lamb you see in supermarkets and therefore what consumers are used to.  But it has a much better flavour, so we sell direct to hotels and restaurants who know how best to prepare the dishes.  The chef’s love it and they say their costumers do, too.”

The lamb will be butchered to order by Richards Butchers, just across the road from The Bear and will be available during the Easter Holidays.

“It will be prepared simply, but beautifully,” Padrig said, “this flavour needs to speak for itself and I want to do justice to the lambs that John and Hillary lovingly breed.”

Valentine’s Menu

If great food is the way to your Valentine’s Heart, then head for The Bear! Our Valentine’s Specials Menu is full of the food of love – sharing dishes, foods to give him or her ‘that loving feeling’. The Menu is available from Thursday 14th to Saturday 16th of February. Call 01873810408
#valentines #crickhowell #foodoflove CRiC The Great Inns of Britain Welsh Rarebits Collection