AWARD-winning restaurant, The Hardwick, announced its sudden closure over the weekend, after eighteen years.

Celebrity Chef Stephen Terry, and his team paid an “emotional” farewell to the beloved Monmouthshire restaurant in an Instagram post on Sunday. October 1.

In the post the Hardwick team said: “The final ‘Family’ last breakfast supper. Thank you to all our staff and customers from the last 18yrs.

It’s been emotional. Onwards & upwards.”

Last year, the acclaimed restaurant was celebrated as one of the “best gastropubs in the country” by Estrella Damn; commended by the likes of MasterChef’s Greg Wallace, as well as a host of esteemed restaurant critics.

The news of the closure has been met with shock and upset from customers.

One visitor commented: “Oh no!! The Hardwick was our favourite place to eat in South Wales. I had my 50th there and Steve signed my menu. A bit of fan girling there! Good luck on your next adventures though. You will be sorely missed I can tell you x”

Another added: “This has come out of blue. Remember it opening and you coming to try my food when I was at King of Prussia . Gonna be massive loss to area and Wales. Really hope there’s a new venture on the horizon.”

Fellow restauranter, Hang Fire BBQ, also expressed their sorrows, saying: “Sending love and light. The Hardwick has been a beacon of all that’s right in Welsh hospitality. We can only empathise with the relief/grief you must be feeling. x”

The Hardwick had found itself at the centre of scandal earlier this year, when it was revealed that Terry’s former bookkeeper Nicola Nightingale had swindled the restaurant of £150,234 to pay for family holidays.

Both Mrs Nightingale and her husband were ordered to pay a meagre £1 (each) back to the Hardwick in compensation.

There has been no indication as to whether the closure is linked to this incident.