A POPULAR Gwent pub has won a prestigious award at the Welsh Hospitality Awards 2023, held in Cardiff on Monday, October 2.

Butterflies Bar and Kitchen, based in Blaenavon, secured the title of Best Dining Experience in Wales at this year’s award after being named as finalists in August.

They were the only nominees from the Torfaen area and beat off stiff competition from other popular restaurants in Newport and Cardiff to come out victorious.

There was also another reason to be proud of their achievements, as they also made the final of Restaurant of the Year for South East Wales.

A family-run business, owned by current head chef Dayne Watkins and his husband Curtis since 2015, the staff are a tight knit team whose dedication to the business been key to its continued success.

Mr Watkins, who has worked at Butterflies since 2006 when he was just 15, shared his delight at winning the award on the restaurant’s social media.

The post read: “Best Dining Experience in the whole of Wales! [This is] such an amazing achievement for our little restaurant in Blaenavon! We’ve put Blaenavon on the foodie map and it’s such an amazing feeling to welcome all of our guests.

“We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without our exceptional team. Diolch yn fawr pawb!”

Butterflies has also received a Travellers’ Choice award from Trip Advisor recently, securing their place in the top 10% of restaurants in the world.

They have previously won ‘Best Restaurant in South Wales’ at the Welsh Restaurant Awards in 2022 and ‘Best Family Run Business in Wales’ at the Best of Welsh Business Awards earlier this year.

Since the coronavirus pandemic, the restaurant has served an average of 750 customers a week and there is hope among the staff that this award will encourage more customers to try out what Butterflies has to offer.

This has led to their ever-popular Sunday lunches now booked up until February, and weekend tables full until the New Year.

Mr Watkins has previously said that even being nominated for the awards is a testament to the hard work of his loyal staff, and it seems this has paid off.

However, the success doesn’t stop there. The award nominations keep flooding in for Butterflies, with the recent announcements that they have been nominated in the Best Fine Dining Category at the Welsh Restaurant Awards 2023 and in the restaurant category at the Best of Welsh Business Awards.

If you want to try this award-winning restaurant, you can book a table by visiting their Facebook page, website or by calling 01495 791044.

They are open 5pm-11pm Tuesday to Thursday, 5pm-midnight Friday and Saturday or 12.30pm-5pm on Sundays.