THE food scene in Gwent has grown and developed in the past few years and now there’s a new destination on the gourmet map.

Steve White and Gareth Jones are the men behind The Foresters in Llandevaud near Newport.

Having spent years building up a reputation in the region, the two have joined to create a venue which offers fine food but in a relaxed atmosphere.

“It’s amazing, we have a great team around us,” Mr White said when asked about opening The Foresters.

“We have decorated, ripped things out and put in brand new laminate, carpets, furniture, all in three and a half weeks, so it’s just been an ongoing process.

“You wouldn’t believe the sleepless nights, I’ve probably had about three or four hours sleep every day.”

Alongside the challenges of opening a new business, Mr Jones has recently become a father.

“I had a baby about three weeks ago, a baby boy called Macsen, so I am just getting time with him now,” he said.

Although the business has only been open a week, there is already a lot of talk about the place among foodies and the local community.

“There is an online buzz,” Mr Jones said. “We have prepared for it and been working on this since November.

“We want to become a destination restaurant but we didn’t think it would be this quick.

“We have been talking about this for so long and we had the vision in our heads but now the staff see it and they love it.

“It’s somewhere people can be proud to work.”

Many Argus readers would know Mr White from his work as head chef at The Ruperra Arms in Bassaleg.

Over his career, the ex-Celtic Manor chef has gained several accolades from Welsh Culinary Champion in 1995 and cooking for The Queen in 2002 to Welsh international culinary champion in 2006 and Good Food award winner in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

“This is what I have been building up to since the age of 15,” he said.

“From when I first started at the Celtic Manor and building up to the stage I am at now.

“We want to be number one now, we will keep pushing and pushing.

“We have a great team on board, all of whom are high end staff who all said they would love to come work for us.

“They all have backgrounds of working in hotels and restaurants around Newport.”

Described as casual fine dining, the venue offers a varied night out under one roof.

As well as the food, which we were lucky enough to sample, there are cocktails which can be enjoyed in a separate wine and cocktail lounge.

“We want to put out excellent cuisine and food options and we don’t want it to be stuffy,” Mr Jones said.

“We want people to be as relaxed as they would be in their own home.

“We have kept the prices reasonable because we know how much things cost and should cost.

“We don’t want to be a special events restaurant where people come every six months and we want people to come every couple for weeks.”

We sampled the smoked pigeon - smoked in front of us at the table- and much of the food has a similar wow factor.

“The most popular dish so far is the lamb cutlet with a curried lamb tart and the boccacini. I like the pigeon because it’s something different,” Mr White said.

“We have a specials boards where we will try things out and if things are popular we will bring them to the menu.

“We are not a chain and totally different and bring the wow factor to the local food scene.”

The surrounding community is also important to the business, from the ingredients used to ideas for the future of the venue.

“Seasonality is important as is using local produce,” Mr White said. “I love local and seasonal food. We use all local suppliers including Welsh lamb. In three months we will change the menu as we change season.”

Diners are already travelling miles to sample their food from as far as Cardiff, Sudbury and Bristol.

Mr Jones added: “We want to welcome the community back to the place. It is a community and village pub. We have had locals come in and they were blown away by it and that’s heart-warming to see.”

There are lots of things in store for The Foresters in the future, from a makeover of the building’s exterior to plans for seasonal food festivals, workshops and special dining experiences.

There are also a plans for a shuttle bus from Newport in the future when the business is more established.

What’s clear is that passion that has gone into the restaurant and that shines through in every aspect of the experience.

For more information, visit or call 01633 400260