A POPULAR Gwent pub and restaurant has been nominated for two awards at the Welsh Hospitality Awards 2023.

Butterflies Bar and Kitchen in Blaenavon has been named as a finalist in Restaurant of the Year for South East Wales and Best Dining Experience.

They are the only nominees from the Torfaen area and face competition from restaurants in Newport and Cardiff.

The restaurant has consistently been recognised for its excellent service and food, winning numerous awards on a regional and national scale.

This success comes off the back of victory at the Welsh Restaurant Awards in 2022 by winning ‘Best Restaurant in South Wales’ and a further win this year at the Best of Welsh Business Awards for ‘Best Family Run Business in Wales’.

They also previously won ‘highly commended’ for Best Restaurant in Wales at the 2019 Welsh Hospitality Awards, so are now hoping to go one better this year.

Current owner Dayne Watkins has run the business with his husband Curtis since 2015, having worked at Butterflies since 2006 when he was just 15.

The couple have recently bought the freehold, so now are the legal owners, which they hope will secure both their own and the business’s long-term future in Blaenavon.

Mr Watkins said: “It’s a wonderful feeling to be finalists in such prestigious awards especially as we are up against such outstanding competition.

“We welcome customers from across South Wales and further afield which helps to bring visitors to Blaenavon.”

Since the coronavirus pandemic, the restaurant has seen an average of 750 visitors a week, which Mr Watkins believes helps to support local suppliers, local staff members and the local economy.

He sees the award nominations as a testament to all the hard work from his loyal team of staff, as well as a chance to socialise and network.

He said: “We always enjoy the awards nights and love networking with all of the other attendees.

"We don’t often get the chance to speak with other businesses due to the daily stresses of running a business.”

Butterflies Bar and Kitchen has also recently been named as a finalist for Best Fine Dining Restaurant at the 2023 Welsh Restaurant Awards.

This award-winning restaurant will find out if they will be adding more to their collection on Saturday, October 2 at the Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel & Spa.

You can find out more and book a table by visiting Butterflies Bar and Kitchen website, on their Facebook page or by calling 01495 791044.

The restaurant is open 5pm-11pm Tuesday to Thursday, 5pm-midnight Friday and Saturday or 12.30pm-5pm on Sundays.