TravelUntil this past weekend I had never been to Wales, I'd wanted to explore the country for the longest time though. So many people had told me how many wonderful areas there are to explore and I feel a little silly admitting that I have only just managed to go. Simon and I had the pleasure of staying at the beautiful Gliffaes Hotel in the Brecon Beacons and I can't wait to show you all the photos I took, so many in fact that I'm planning of a few more Welsh themed posts.
Two Days in South Wales
Simon and I decided to rent a car to travel to the Brecon Beacons, the drive was pretty easy from London and we also got to cross over the amazing Severn Bridge. We arrived at the hotel and after being shown to our room we enjoyed an impressive afternoon tea spread in the drawing room. Our bedroom was one of the best hotel rooms I've ever stayed in. It was very sensitively decorated with traditional Victorian furniture (or perhaps earlier) and a huge cabinet full of old and new books. Everything seemed incredibly well thought out and the scheme really suited the old house.
I really loved the delicate woodwork on the glass doors, I can't help but see pattern everywhere! Speaking of pattern, I also fell in love with the wool rug in our room. I really need to pick up a navy blue one for our bedroom at home. If anyone knows where I can get a Welsh wool rug let me know.
After exploring our room we went downstairs where two rooms had tables laden with tea, coffee and a huge selection of afternoon tea treats. I love how us brits enjoy a spot of afternoon tea, a tradition that I fully exploit whenever a good scone is available. It felt even more traditional sat next to the huge ornate fireplace. I picked up a Jasper Conran book and tucked into to a few cucumber sandwiches to relax after a pretty hectic few weeks. Sitting there with Simon quietly enjoying a few moments of peace was just what the doctor ordered and I was really looking forward to the rest of our stay.
Before it began to get dark Simon and I decided to explore the grounds and wandered around the garden and down to the river Usk. Sadly it's not trout season until later in the Spring so we missed out on watching the fishermen but I bet it's a wonderful spot to sit when the weather's warmer.
After our ramble we enjoyed a drink in the bar. Simon tried out some of the local ale and I sat with a sloe gin and my issue of National Geographic, Simon bought me a subscription for christmas - the best present ever. After our drinks we got ready for dinner and had a lovely chat with James (he and his wife own and run the hotel) in the bar before eating. James told us that the hotel has been run by his wife's family for three generations, which must account for the warm and friendly atmosphere of the place.
It was a little too dark to get any decent photographs of our dinner so I've borrowed one from the hotel website. The menu focuses on Welsh ingredients which included locally caught pigeon, which Simon opted for, trout and pheasant. After I counted innumerable pheasants running around the grounds I thought it would make sense to order one for my meal. We also enjoyed a lovely red wine which Jame's brother makes in France. It was all those small yet special touches which added a friendly and unique touch to our stay.
The next day we headed into nearby Crickhowell to hike Table Mountain but more on that in the next post. I want to say a huge thank you to Gliffaes for making Simon and I feel so welcome, it was such an enjoyable trip and I really hope that in the future I'll have another opportunity to explore Wales.