The Welsh Welcome: Around the Pembrokeshire coast to Aberystwyth (Week 2)

Written by Lisa from Fjords and Beaches as she travels through Wales experiencing the Welsh Welcome for the whole of June.

The second week of my Welsh adventure is over, and I can’t believe how fast time has gone, or how lucky I am to get to explore this beautiful country and stay in such amazing and unique places. This week I have stayed in a hotel that has been on my bucket list forever, I have experienced beautiful sunsets over the ocean, and looked for the remnants of a dead elephant buried in the backyard of one of the hotels! Read on to find out which is which!

This week, my little rental car has taken me all around the Pembrokeshire coast, which is one of Wales’ National Parks. The drives have been breathtaking, and the places I have gotten to explore even better. This truly is such a stunning part of the country, and being back for the first time in 6 years was so special.

For the first few days of this week I was joined by a friend from home, and I loved getting to experience the Welsh Welcome with her, and I really appreciated getting a second opinion on all the amazing places I have seen!

Hotel no. 5 – St. Brides, Saundersfoot

As you may remember from last week’s post, I used to live in Saundersfoot when I came to Wales at 17 to do an exchange year. During my year there, I would look up at the majestic hotel at the top of the cliff overlooking the town and think that “one day I hope to stay there!”

Well, that wish came true, and Monday afternoon I checked into St. Brides Spa Hotel!

My friend and I checked into our room and spent some time marvelling at the stunning views of the beach and Saundersfoot. I don’t think there is any better place in the area to get such a view, and so we took our sweet time out on our balcony, drinking wine and catching up.

For dinner, we were treated to a three-course meal, which didn’t disappoint. Our orders were different as night and day, which makes it so easy for me to simply say that the food was amazing! What made it even better was how the restaurant has glass walls facing the harbour, so you eat your food with the same stunning views as I mentioned before, and if you time it well (like we did), you’ll also catch the sunset during dessert.

A stay at St. Brides isn’t complete without a trip to the spa. We made sure to book our time in the spa (complimentary for all staying guests), and I also booked in for a cheeky treatment. My massage was heavenly, and we really enjoyed our time in the infinity pool and relaxation suite. In the latter, they have testers out for different face masks and scrubs, so we got to lounge around in our robes with mud masks on, feeling like princesses.

Hotel no. 6 – Twr y Felin, St. Davids

On our way to the next hotel, we stopped in Tenby for a little bit to explore the beautiful town and its beaches. Tenby is actually where Henry VII escaped from when he went into exile during the War of the Roses, and an incredibly beautiful place.

Then it was onwards to the Twr y Felin in St. Davids; also known as the smallest city in the United Kingdom! Twr y Felin is a modern hotel, but with historic roots. One of the suites is actually in the old windmill of St. Davids.

The hotel had amazing art everywhere, and most of it was commissioned especially for the Twr y Felin. In the evening, we were excited to eat at the Blas Restaurant, which is an award-winning Two Rosette restaurant! Here, we were treated to amazing dishes, and I was so glad there were two of us so we could sample several of them.

The hotel is based in St. Davids, where they have a beautiful cathedral (and hence, the city title). The city of St. Davids only has around 1800 inhabitants, actually! The Cathedral is stunning, and worth a visit if you are in the area.

During our stay at Twr y Felin, we also headed out on a boat trip to Skomer Island, also known as Puffin Island, due to the 30000 puffins that inhabit it! This was a super fun experience and the end of a great stay!

Hotel no. 7 – Llys Meddyg, Newport

The next day it was time for the first “restaurant with rooms” on the trip, which is something I was very excited for! Llys Meddyg in Newport did not disappoint, and after a busy day in St. Davids it didn’t take my friend long until she had drawn a bath, and I had jumped on the bed to relax (and get some work done).

We were quite excited for dinner, and with good reason. You know you are having dinner at an outstanding restaurant when both the risotto and the steak are amazing! We had such a great dining experience at Llys Meddyg, and I strongly recommend it if you are in the Newport area.

In Newport and the surrounding area there are some, and on our drive to the next hotel, we stopped at Penbryn Beach, which is located between Newport and Aberaeron (our next destination). This beach is incredibly beautiful, and I’m so glad we took some time to see it.

Hotel no. 8 – Harbourmaster, Aberaeron

How’s this for a view from bed?

Our next hotel was The Harbourmaster. Located in a Grade II Listed building that once controlled the traffic of the Aberaeron Harbour, this place took our breath away. Our room had the best views of the harbour, apparently, and we were quick to open up the massive windows facing it.

One of the things I loved about the Harbourmaster was their complimentary tea, coffee and cakes for all hotel guests from 3-5pm every day. Such a nice little treat after a day of exploring Aberaeron! We spent our day lounging in the sun shining through into our hotel room, and went for a nice little walk around town.

While at the Harbourmaster I also had my first bath of the trip, and it was about time! I have seen so many incredible tubs while visiting all of these amazing hotels, but I hadn’t had the time to get in and relax. So while at the Harbourmaster I grabbed a glass of wine and my Kindle, and had a nice, long bath before dinner. All their toiletries were Molton Brown, which made the bath just heavenly.

Hotel no. 9 – Y Talbot, Tregaron

My friend left me the morning before I jetted off to Tregaron for my next hotel, and so I got in my car alone to drive into the countryside. What waited for me there was an interesting Inn with some incredible fun facts.

If you have been following my adventures on Instagram, you’ll know that I absolutely love a good fun fact, and Y Talbot did not disappoint in this matter. The older part of the hotel (pictured below) dates back to the 1600s, and you can still have a drink in the old bar! President Carter has stayed there, and just wait until I tell you what’s in thebackyardd.

In 1848, a circus came through Tregaron, and sadly, one of their elephants died during their stay. That elephant was buried in the yard behind Y Talbot! How random is that?

The Y Talbot was a super cozy hotel with great food, and with a story like that, what’s not to like?

Hotel no. 10 – The Falcondale, Lampeter

The drive up to the Falcondale was enough to make me realise that I was going to be very happy there. This luxurious hotel was a family home a long time ago, and I can only imagine what it was like to live there! I arrived early and got to get a taste of it, however, as I sat down in a chair by one of the fireplaces to relax while I waited.

In addition to a beautiful house that’s over 150 years old, the Falcondale has 14 acres of greeneries you can enjoy. I made sure to spend some time walking around the gardens after breakfast, and walking along the woodland paths and listening to the chirping of the birds was such a relaxing experience.

Dinner was splendid, and I felt right at home at the Falcondale. From my room, I had incredible views of the gardens and surrounding fields, and I loved waking up to look over it all. Every inch of the place has been cared for, and you could tell that nothing at the Falcondale was left to chance. Several guests also had their dogs with them during their stay, as the Falcondale prides themselves as being incredibly pet-friendly.

Hotel no. 11 – Gwesty Cymru, Aberystwyth

The final hotel of the week brought back many memories for me. I was staying at the Gwesty Cymru in Aberystwyth, where I had visited before as a student. In addition to getting to relive fond memories of friends and good times in this beautiful town, the weather was absolutely incredible.

Upon arrival, I was greeted with incredible friendliness and got to spend some time relaxing and soaking up the sunshine in the front garden. Aberystwyth is so beautiful in the summer, and the Gwesty Cymru couldn’t have a better location! The views from my room were stunning, and the view from the bath tub were just as good.

After dinner (steak with blue cheese sauce – absolutely amazing) I was lucky enough to get to see an amazing sunset over the ocean. I then proceeded to jump in, and it was surprisingly refreshing! I went to bed with the windows open, and got to listen to the waves crashing in over the sand as I fell asleep. Better than any meditation app.


I hope you are planning to continue to follow my adventures around Wales, because they aren’t done yet! Make sure to follow along on Facebook and Instagram, and to check back here on the blog next week!

— Lisa from Fjords and Beaches

Mid Wales’ Best Spa Hotels

It’s all about the Spa, it’s the latest must-have travel experience. Let’s take a look at what’s on offer from Welsh Rarebits hotels, focusing on MID WALES.

Lake Country House, Llangammarch WellsLake Spa PoolLake Spa

Spa stats. The Lake’s Kingfisher Spa has a proper, grown-up indoor pool, 50ft/15m long. Go swimming, chill out in the hot tub on the balcony overlooking the lake or use the sauna and gymnasium. Treatments and therapies include aromatherapy, reflexology, various massages, manicures, pedicures and facials.

In a sentence. This away-from-it-all hotel’s rest-and-relaxation rating has soared even higher thanks to its spa.

Metropole Spa Mid Wales Spa Hotel The MetropoleMetropole Hotel & Spa, Llandrindod Wells

Spa stats. This hotel has the heritage – it played the leading role in Llandrindod Wells’s booming Victorian spa era. How times change. The Metropole’s conservatory might be Victorian in style, but it houses a thoroughly modern spa with a ‘fantastic, surprisingly large’ 65ft/18m pool, thermal suites, Jacuzzi, fully equipped gymnasium and wide range of holistic, beauty and complementary therapy treatments.

In a sentence. A role model in turning yesterday’s hair-shirted spa holidays into the soothing, sybaritic experiences of today.

Peterstone Court Hotel & Spa, BreconMid Wales Spa Hotel Peterstone Court9651

Spa stats. Its old cellars have been imaginatively converted into a spa where beauty therapists offer a wide range of treatments, from luxury facials and relaxing massages to aromatherapy. There’s also a stress-busting relaxation room finished in soothing red tones. Other facilities include a sauna, Jacuzzi, air-conditioned gymnasium and outdoor heated swimming pool.

In a sentence. An intimate boutique spa that uses only natural organic products.

The hotels featured here have comprehensive spa facilities and are identified as such in their titles. Quite a few Rarebits Collection members in Mid Wales not mentioned above also offer treatments or have indoor pools and facilities.

The Falcondale, Lampeter offer a unique treatment called The Bowen Technique. Available by prior arrangement a qualified therapist will meet you at the hotel and the treatment will last for 1 hour. Other treatments available by request are reflexology, Indian head massage, sports massage, deep tissue and holistic massage.

Celebrating Father’s Day

Whether he’s seeking adventure, dreaming of luxury or just looking for a quiet place to have a pint, we’ve picked our top 10 destinations to spoil your Dad this Father’s Day.

Father's Day gift ideas

Fishing at Gliffaes Hotel, Crickhowell.

Father's Day gift ideas

Gastronomic adventure at Hammet House, Pembrokeshire

Father's Day gift ideas

Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Hammet House on the Pembrokeshire coast for a gastronomic experience.
  2. Stay at The Metropole Hotel & Spa in Llandrindod Wells and visit the Red Kite feeding center nearby.
  3. Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa for activities along the lake including cycling, fishing, clay pigeon shooting, bird watching (the hotel is set in a 24,000 acre RSPB reserve) and many more water activities.
  4. Gliffaes Country House in the Brecon Beacons for a spot of fishing on the River Usk, they have 1.5 miles of trout and salmon fishing exclusively.
  5. Castle Cottage in Harlech has the famous Royal St Davids golf course nearby to test Dad’s skills.
  6. If he’s a pet lover, why not take the dog along with him to The Falcondale in Lampeter, with 14 acres of lawns, gardens and woodland on site to explore.
  7. Relax at St Brides Spa Hotel in Saundersfoot whilst treating him to a session in the alfresco Hydrotherapy pool which is heated to body temperature.
  8. Harbourmaster in Aberaeron – make sure he makes use of the mountain bike for some serious adventure in the local area. There are two mountain bikes available at the hotel for guests to use free of charge! Ask Glyn for some local cycle routes.
  9. For Foodie Dads why not treat him to a Michelin starred dining experience at Tyddyn Llan Restaurant with Rooms in Llandrillo.
  10. Indulge in the award winning real ales and ciders on tap at Y Talbot in Tregaron, the heart of the Cambrian Mountains. You could even stretch to a hearty meal in this historic and characterful Inn.
Father's Day gift ideas

Cycling recommended at Harbourmaster, Aberaeron

Father's Day gift ideas

Real Ales & Ciders at Y Talbot, Tregaron

Father's Day gift ideas

Alfresco Hydrotherapy pool at St Brides Spa, Saundersfoot

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can’t decide which destination to choose, check out our gift vouchers, he can use these towards booking his favorite break.

Enter our competition on Twitter and Facebook – just tell us where you would take your Dad using #WelshRarebitDads for a chance to win a £100 gift voucher. We will pick the winner on Monday 13th June and will post the gift voucher immediately so you can give it to your dad on Father’s Day – Sunday 19th June.

National Pet Month

National Pet Month – why not take your beloved pets on holiday with you this April?

For those of us that feel guilty in leaving your best friend behind when going on holidays, here’s a perfect excuse to take them with you. National Pet Month takes place this month (April) and you can bring your best friend along to The Falcondale, a beautiful country mansion set in rural West Wales, at no extra charge! They have recently been listed in the Daily Mail’s “6 of the best dog friendly hotels” 2016, so you can rest assured that both you and your pets will be well looked after!

National Pet Month promotes responsible pet ownership and encourages groups, businesses and individuals to stage their own event during the month. The Falcondale will not be charging the usual £10 per night for pets in the belief that they can have a holiday the same as their owners.

On arrival your pampered pooch will be presented with a cosy dog blanket, water bowl and tasty treats. Although your pet is not allowed in the restaurant, they can dine from their own menu alongside their owners within the conservatory and lay be the fire in the lounge before bed. It really is a dogs life!

 

snoopy national pet month

Snoopy

Highlights

*14 acres of land to play or amble around in right on the doorstep

*3 to 5 mile circular walks available from the hotel

*The whole of the coastal footpath, wooded and forestry walks, hilltop walks and dog friendly beaches within easy reach.

Lisa Hutton the owner of the Falcondale explains “we have our own dog (Snoopy) here at the hotel, and would like to encourage

our guests to bring theirs too. Why should the owners have all the fun when The Falcondale has so much to offer your dog as well”.

 

National Pet Month Doggie Box

”Doggie” Box

 

Extras

Pre-book a “doggie” box for your stay at £20, which will include: –

*Rope Toy

*Poop Bags

*Chewy ear

*Doggie treats

*Falcondale blanket for you to keep


Guests can also arrange training and guidance with a local dog trainer – Sue MacFarquhar, a registered member of The Federation of Dog Trainers and Canine Behaviourists, runs the Training – she has over 35 years experience in training, teaching and behavioural work. These one-off lessons will be booked direct with Sue, and can be held either on the lawns at Falcondale or with Sue.

Call freephone 0808 198 7981 for further information, or look up www.thefalcondale.co.uk.