Late autumn escapes

The clocks have changed, and the nights are long – perfect for pulling up a comfy chair by a log fire in one of Welsh Rarebits’ fabulous hotels.

By day, temperatures are still mild, and when the sun shines, the autumn colours look spectacular.

The autumn is an especially lovely time to visit Wales as the light at this time of year is beautiful.
Atmospheric early morning mists soon clear to leave soft sunlit days offering stunning views over wild mountain ranges, coastal cliffs and golden sands.

At this time of year, many of our hotels offer excellent seasonal deals too, so the time couldn’t be better to book a luxurious break.

As ever, our chefs will be making the most of seasonal bounty, so there’ll be apples, quince and pears, blackberries and elderberries putting in an appearance, along with delicious pumpkin soup and wild mushroom risottos.
Game is on hotel menus too, so look out for pheasant and venison, grouse, partridge and pigeon – all cooked with imagination and verve.

Welsh Rarebits chefs are looking forward to cooking up a feast for you – so book a break, and give yourself a treat!

Hoping for a bumper harvest

Llanerch Vineyard in the Vale of Glamorgan is hoping that this year’s grape harvest will result in an excellent year for its signature wine Cariad.

Cariad, which means love in Welsh, is an award-winning wine produced on the sunny, south-facing 22-acre estate.  Between 15,000 and 25,000 bottles of rose and white wine are produced each year, with a limited quantity of a special, sparkling pink wine called Cariad Blush produced annually.

Llanerch Vineyard planted its first vines in 1986, and the first Cariad wines were drunk at the then owners’ eldest daughter’s wedding.

Llanerch’s dry and medium wines are available to drink at the vineyard’s own bistro, also called Cariad, which is situated in the historic farmhouse, and was remodelled this year.

The vineyard often looks for volunteers to help with the grape harvest, so check out the web site if you feel like taking part.

Llanerch Vineyard was recently featured as one of the top ten locations where you’d scarcely believe you were still in Britain.

If the promised mini heatwave comes to fruition, south Wales will seem more like the south of France!

Llanerch Vineyard

Autumn glory on the spectacular Gliffaes tree trail

Welsh Rarebits member, Gliffaes Hotel near Crickhowell, is sharing the delights of its magnificent arboretum in a series of organised ‘Tree Walks,’ showing this wonderful arboretum in a blaze of autumn colour.

The Gliffaes tree collection includes ancient oaks, reminders that the Gliffaes location has been inhabited for 600 years; a magnificently gnarled Japanese Maple (renowned for its fabulous autumn colour), a Hankerchief Tree, so-called because the pure-white bracts it produces in spring look like waving hankerchiefs; and spectacular Giant and Coastal Redwoods. The Coastal Redwood is renowened as the world’s tallest tree, and the the specimens at Gliffaes stand at 48m, with a girth of 7.36m.

Other delights include the Tulip tree, which in mid-summer has a profusions of orange tulip -like flowers; the Paper Bark Maple with its distinctive peeling bark, and the Paper-Bark Birch – another tree with peeling bark, which was used by native Americans to build their canoes due to its impervious nature.

Other trees include a lovely lime planted to mark the arrival of James and Susie Suter to run the hotel, a huge Cedar of Lebanon, a baby version of which has been planted nearby to eventually take its place.

Recently planted native species include holly, hazel, spindle, crab apple hawthorn and guelder rose.

“We are very proud of our tree collection, and work hard to maintain and improve it,” says James Suter. “We very much see ourselves as custodians of the arboretum, and see it as a gift for future generations to enjoy as much as we have.”


“Our trees have proved to be a major point of interest with our guests, which is why we have introduced guided walks throughout the year, showing the collection in different seasons. However, we have also printed a leaflet, available at reception, so that people can enjoy the tree collection outside the guided walk times.”

The Gliffaes Hotel guided tree walks are followed by lunch and cost £22. Walks start at 11am. Please call 01874 730 371 to book a place on the following dates:

  • Saturday, October 18
  • Tuesday, October 21
  • Saturday, October 25
  • Wednesday, October 29