A HOTEL owner has shared warm memories of Stephen Hawking visiting Abergavenny after his death was announced.

Professor Hawking, who had family close to the area, visited the town several times over recent years for the Abergavenny Food Festival.

During his visits he would often eat at the Kings Head hotel for a Sunday roast.

"He was an honoured man with a strong aura around him but he was also a simple and ordinary man," said Raj Neupane, owner at the hotel.

"He was always very complimentary to the chef and the team.

"I remember seeing him on his last visit typing a message on his computer saying how much he liked the food."

Mr Neupane said Prof Hawking's favourite meal was the lamb roast dinner and that he drank elderflower cordial.

He added: "We were really shocked when we heard the news this morning.

"We were expecting him again for the Food Festival in September."