Rarebits Legends – Elm Grove, Tenby

This beautiful family-run grand house has a strong sense of tradition and continuity – with its panelled doorways, chandeliers, marble fireplaces, picture windows and high ceilings with exquisite mouldings blending seamlessly with it’s more modern features. Design and construction of Elm Grove started in the 1840’s and was completed in 1856.

Over the last 150 years the house has been home to a range of owners including Sirs, Captains and Majors. During World War II the main house also became home, and school, to a number of child evacuees from London.

The Rees family bought Elm Grove in 1958 and since this time it has been run as a guest house by 3 successive generations of the family. Currently approaching 60 years of welcoming guests to this beautiful location, Elm Grove has played host to a wide range of guests from walking and painting parties, couples and business travellers to families.

Jane and Alan Rees-Baynes (3rd generation) are currently at the helm of this characterful country house having taken over from Jane’s mum in 2008.

As well as running Elm Grove and it’s kitchen, Jane is also chairman of Pembrokeshire Tourism (the local trade association). Alan meanwhile spends any spare time in his studio, which is located at the back of the property. Many of his paintings can be seen in the bedrooms around the house and he’s more than happy to show guests around his studio. Some of his work can also be seen in Tenby Museum and gallery.

Dwynwen – the saint for Wales’ lovers

In our first guest blog for The Year of Legends, we’ve asked Alwyn and Carl of Celticos to recount the story of Santes Dwynwen…

Image credit: http://www.visitwales.com/

On the far Western corner of Anglesey we can see Llanddwyn, the setting for the story of Dwynwen, the patron saint of Welsh lovers…

Dwynwen was the fairest of Brychan Brycheiniog’s 24 daughters. She fell in love with Maelon Dafodrill, but as always seems to happen, he was not her father’s choice, and he forbade her from marrying Maelon.

The scheming father had lined up another man who would fit his ambitions for this most beautiful daughter. The distraught Maelon, believing that it was Dwynwen who had rejected him, attacked her in his jealousy and anger.

Dwynwen fled to the wild woods where she begged that God would make her forget Maelon. She fell into a deep sleep and was visited by an angel carrying a potion that could bring forgetfulness and would turn Maelon to ice.  As she woke, she heard God declare that her wishes would be fulfilled.

She wished that Maelon would thaw from his icy state but also that she would never marry. And finally her third wish was granted – that God would fulfil the hopes and dreams of lovers through her prayers.

She kept her side of the bargain and devoted the rest of her life to God. The ruins of a church dedicated to her still exists on the windswept island, a holy well and a cross bear her name, and all lovers in Wales lovers honour her memory on her feast day 25 January.

Image credit: https://www.celticos.com/

Celticos provide bespoke guided tours and have created a series of Legendary Tours specifically for the Year of Legends – head over to their website to discover how you can explore hidden places with a Drive, Walk and Explore Tour, learn about Wales’ most iconic legend The Red Dragon and experience first hand the land of myths and legends. Click here to find out more.

2016: Year of Adventure experienced by everyone

Visit Wales declared 2016 the ‘Year of Adventure’.  It was a year jam-packed with adrenaline sports like coasteering, riding 100mph zip wires and mountain biking.

For the more tame, Visit Wales wanted to make Wales a ‘place where you can stretch yourself – mentally, physically and culturally’.  The Year of Adventure also included wildlife watching, culinary adventures and experiencing cultural events and festivals.

Geocaching, a treasure hunt using GPS, became an outdoor adventure phenomenon the whole family could enjoy, taking them on unexpected journeys throughout the country. While country lovers explored the rolling borderland of Offa’s Dyke Path to the Snowdonia and Brecon Beacons National Parks. Wildlife watchers revelled at dolphins in Cardigan Bay and witnessed endangered red kites soar above them. Foodies were well catered for too and plenty of culinary adventures were had from tasting cockles in Penclawdd to oysters in Anglesey.

Wales’ many opportunities for adventure needed to be shouted about. An ingenious way of doing this was through Visit Wales’ giant EPIC mirror letters – they travelled the country this summer, stopping at the most breath-taking spots – it’s aim to draw attention to some of Wales’ most spectacular places. Sioned and Sam, part of our very own Rarebits team, experienced the remarkable sight – Sam while it was within our Capital’s castle and Sioned witnessed the EPIC sign as a stunning backdrop to the UK Red Bull Cliff Diving World series in Abereiddy in Pembrokeshire.

Sam – “The EPIC art installation at Cardiff Castle commissioned by Visit Wales was truly spectacular! The giant mirrored letters forming the word EPIC certainly promoted Wales as an Adventure destination.”

Sioned – “This event completely personified #findyourepic. Not only were there world class divers competing at this epic location but during the day I saw groups coasteering nearby as well as spectators kayaking across the bay to watch the divers”.

Adventure came in all shapes and sizes in 2016 – where did you find yours? Did you find your inner Tarzan on a zip wire? Did you ride horseback through the surf? Share your EPIC adventures with us using #RarebitsOnTour.

Weekend getaway to Wales this Spring!

Weekend getaway to Wales this Spring!

The Hip Horticulturist, a travel, interior and gardening blog, mentioned our website within their blog post on where to go for a UK weekend getaway!

We were thrilled to read that they picked Wales as a great place to venture for a nice couple of days and of course we couldn’t agree more. We were even more thrilled when they suggested to use our website, Welsh Rarebits, to find the perfect place to stay.

Wales weekend getaway

As mentioned in their post, Wales is a fantastic holiday destination for families and on our website we’re confident that you will find that perfect place for you and your family to enjoy.

Moreover, Wales isn’t just a family spot, it can become whatever holiday you want it to be; a romantic fling, an outdoorsy weekend, a carefree couple of days or an active adventures day or two! No matter what type of holiday you’re seeking we believe that anyone can find their perfect holiday in Wales.

As we’re an independent brand we’ve handpicked some of the best places to stay in Wales to save you time flicking through tons and tons of websites searching through different hotels. We also have a brochure that we would happily mail out to you.

weekend getaway - Harbourmaster Aberaeron

Harbourmaster, Cardigan Bay

However, we don’t just want to be a website where you discover where to stay we also want you to be inspired on how to spend your holiday! That’s why we’ve listed all the wonderful ways you can discover Wales, from where to enjoy a good bike ride, a scenic walk to what big events are happening around the time you plan to go away. In that way, you can enjoy Wales to the full!

Head over to our main website to search through our lovely selection of hotels! We also have an extensive list of offers which could not only save you money but also give you some inspiring ideas on where to go and what to do.

weekend getaway - coes faen spa lodge BB

Coes Faen Spa Lodge, Barmouth

You can also find alternative styles of accommodation in our extended Welsh Rarebits family by visiting The Great Little Places for B&B’s and Guesthouses and The Rare Hideaways for self-catering cottages.

Thank you The Hip Horticulturist for mentioning us within your post!

Welsh Literary Focus: Kate Roberts

Year of Adventure – Welsh Literary Focus: Kate Roberts, a Welsh Language Author from North Wales

Immerse yourself in the birthplace of Kate Roberts this March, one of the most significant Welsh language authors of the 20th century. Born in the quaint village of Rhosgadfan, the scenic country surroundings will take your breath away. Experience the culture and visit the traditional cottage Cae’r Gors where Kate spent her childhood years. Learn what it was like for the daughter of a quarryman to grow up in this humble home and become one of the most famous Welsh authors in history.

After a day of learning about the author dubbed ‘the Queen of Welsh Literature’, why not pop over the Menai Strait to the nearby Isle of Anglesey? This beautiful island has much to be discovered and it’s easy to make the most of the great outdoors here. There are many activities to keep you entertained including a visit to Llynnon Mill, the only working windmill in Wales. Alternatively there are many castles on the island celebrated for their heritage and rich history, such as Beaumaris Castle, which was the last of Edward I’s ‘iron ring’ of castles along the North Wales coast.

Hotel image, Ty'n Rhos, Caernarfon, Kate Roberts

Ty’n Rhos Country House, Snowdonia National Park

Where to stay

Between Cae’r Ghos and the Isle of Anglesey is Tŷ’n Rhos, a five star country house hotel with a reputation for quality and comfort. This welcoming hotel prides itself on providing cosy yet spacious bedrooms and delicious, hearty food. After a day of exploring, Tŷ’n Rhos offers quality hospitality in a warm and peaceful environment.

 

Ty'n Rhos Country House, Caernarfon, Kate Roberts

Dining Room overlooking the garden and Mount Snowdon at Ty’n Rhos Country House

What to eat

Enjoy a fine dining experience at Tŷ’n Rhos with an appetising à la carte menu.

Relax in one of its many attractive lounge areas before enjoying the fresh produce sourced locally by the chefs that day.

Their service is attentive too, creating the perfect dining ambience.