Let’s move to
What’s going for it? Just back from the Abergavenny Food Festival, where I fell in love with a tomato. As you do. It’s that kind of place. Food festivals are 10 a penny these days, but this one benefits from a distinct scarcity of anyone who once appeared on MasterChef. It’s more like an overgrown village fete, full of people plying their prize marrows or my tomato woman, people who love things and just want to spread the love. I tell you, it was the tomato-ey-est tomato I’ve ever tasted north of Marseille. Abergavenny is a neat and tidy town, seemingly doing quite all right for itself, shopping streets quietly bustling with wool shops and opticians, its cottages and houses freshly whitewashed or grey with stone against a backdrop of green from the three hills that loom over the streets. Some will say Abergavenny is turning into a f*** ie destination (I refuse to use the F-word) on account of the festival, and the local cultures of cheesemakers and mountain-lamb suppliers, bakers and yoghurt. Not quite. They are not yet selling yuzu at the Spar (you have to go to Waitrose), and the town has more than enough unpretension to burst any inflated egos. The case against Precious little. I’m thinking hard and scratching my head. Nope. Nothing.
Well connected? Trains: hourly or more often to Newport (25 mins) and Cardiff (40 mins) for the mainline, and half-hourly to Hereford
(24 mins) the other way. Driving: 30 minutes to Monmouth, 40 to Hereford, Hay-on-Wye or Newport, 50 to Cardiff.
Schools Primaries: Gymraeg Y Fenni, Cantref and Llanfoist Fawr are all “good”, says Estyn. Secondaries: the town’s King Henry VIII is “adequate”.
Hang out at… You won’t want for sustenance. The Hardwick and 1861 are local stars. But the veteran Walnut Tree, just outside, and now run by Shaun Hill, is the cherry on the cake.
Where to buy The town has a nice compact centre of townhouses and cottages (many of them built of stone), but the real draw here is its beautiful collection of lateVictorian and Edwardian homes. Hunt on and around Hereford Road, and the avenues around Western Road, north of Brecon Road. Large detacheds and townhouses, £450,000-£750,000. Detacheds and smaller townhouses, £225,000-£450,000. Semis, £225,000-£500,000. Terraces and cottages, £150,000-£425,000. Flats, £110,000-£175,000. Rentals: a one-bedroom flat, £420-£575pcm; a three-bedroom house, £650-£900pcm.
Bargain of the week Large, five-bedroom Victorian terraced house, with scope for improvement and within walking distance of the town centre, £335,000 with christieresidential.co.uk
Do you live in Portobello, Edinburgh? Do you have a favourite haunt or a pet hate? If so, email firstname.lastname@example.org by next Tuesday.