TWO top restaurants in Gwent have retained their Michelin stars in the latest edition of the prestigious fine-dining guidebook.

They are among six Welsh restaurants to feature in the 2021 Michelin Guide, published this week – instead of in October – due to the havoc wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic on the hospitality industry in the past year.

In Gwent, the 2021 guide awarded one Michelin star each to the Walnut Tree, in Llanddewi Skirrid, three miles northeast of Abergavenny; and The Whitebrook Restaurant and Rooms, in Whitebrook, six miles southeast of Monmouth.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have retained our Michelin star for the seventh consecutive year," Whitebrook chef Chris Harrod told the Argus.

"Obviously, along with the rest of the hospitality industry the last eleven months have been challenging beyond our wildest imaginations. So to receive this news as we adapt daily, and try to continue serving our customers with The Whitebrook Dine At Home menus, has been a real boost to morale."

READ MORE: First Person – Chris Harrod, top chef and star of BBC's Great British Menu

Mr Harrod added: "Our focus has always been on the wonderful guests that come through the doors and our incredible team, without which we could not do it, but to get recognition like this is very rewarding. We can’t wait to have people back in the restaurant and rooms to do what we do best."

Walnut Tree chef Shaun Hill said: "I'm delighted to retain the Michelin star. And always a touch relieved as the accolade has to be won every year from scratch or is removed."

South Wales Argus: Walnut Tree chef Shaun Hill.Walnut Tree chef Shaun Hill.

Mr Hill added: "Also, of course it has been a terrible time for those of us in the restaurant trade.

"Some people are sniffy about so called posh or expensive dining but of course those of us who work in the hospitality business aren't either posh or rich, just skilled people making a living in the same way as those who might make any craft item."

Three other Welsh restaurants were each awarded one Michelin star in the 2021 guide. They are: Beach House, in Oxwich, Gower Peninsula; Sosban and the Old Butchers, in Anglesey; and Ynyshir, in Machynlleth, Powys.

One Welsh restaurant – Palé Hall, in Llandderfel, Gwynedd, was among the first-ever recipients of the Michelin Green Star, a new award highlighting excellence in sustainability and environmental standards.