The couple will open Parva Farmhouse Riverside Guesthouse in a 17th century former farmhouse just 50 yards from the banks of the River Wye, less than a mile from Tintern Abbey.
The eight-bedroom guesthouse, which opens on 2 March, will have a restaurant that will be open for non residents Wednesday to Saturday night. It will also serve residents breakfast, but will not be open at lunchtimes.
Brook has worked at The Walnut Tree for more than 15 years, working first under Franco Taruschio and then with Stephen Terry before leaving the Michelin-starred restaurant to work in London with Rebecca Mascarenhas. He returned to the Abergavenny restaurant when it was taken over by current chef-patron Shaun Hill.
The new project will be a true husband and wife operation, with Roger running the kitchen of the 16-cover restaurant single-handedly and Marta in sole charge of front of house.
“We looked at pubs, which were a lot cheaper, but we fancied something where the two of us could just do,” says Roger. “It is more manageable in terms of running the kitchen.”
While Parva won’t be a cut-down version of The Walnut Tree, Roger says there will be a few similarities between the two places. “I don’t want it to be a direct imitation but a lot of what went into The Walnut Tree was from me and I am reluctant not to use some of that here.”
The menu will be small, in reflection of the one-man kitchen brigade, and feature two each of starters, mains and desserts. Roger says he intends to change it on a weekly basis, but would also look to offer guests staying more than one night different options.
Dishes on the sample menu include squab pigeon with pastilla and pomegranate; halibut with a basil and pine nut crust, red peppers and Charlotte potatoes; loin of venison with a shortcrust pie and root vegetables; and Seville orange marmalade pudding with Penderyn custard.