The Great Welsh Chocolate-off: three of the nation’s loveliest chocolatiers go choc-to-choc in a taste-off, but which will set the bar the highest?

In the bleak midwinter, and especially in the run-up to Valentine’s Day, nothing beats a chocolate binge. But doing it classily will make you feel much better about indulging. Wales resembles a vast selection box when it comes to innovative chocolatiers: the sort of box where you keep discovering unexpected surprises. Besides being extremely scrumptious, the pick of these also showcase Wales’ impressive repertoire of … Continue reading The Great Welsh Chocolate-off: three of the nation’s loveliest chocolatiers go choc-to-choc in a taste-off, but which will set the bar the highest?

Love is a spoon: we meet master lovespoon craftsman Paul Curtis

Forget the usual hearts, flowers and chocolates this Valentine’s Day – say it instead with something more lasting in the form of a hand-carved, one-of-a-kind Welsh lovespoon. Giving us the scoop on what makes these spoons and their symbolism so special is master craftsman Paul Curtis of Angel Woodcraft in Pontypridd, who has carved some of the country’s finest over the past three decades: as … Continue reading Love is a spoon: we meet master lovespoon craftsman Paul Curtis

Carreg Coetan Arthur: Newport’s Neolithic surprise

It has happened to us on a few occasions in Pembrokeshire and never anywhere else ever. You are minding your own business, strolling through nondescript suburbia and wham, out of the bungalows and industrial estates materialises an archaeological site from several thousand years ago like a masterwork of Neolithic necromancy. You would be unlikely to chance upon the burial chamber of Carreg Coetan Arthur on … Continue reading Carreg Coetan Arthur: Newport’s Neolithic surprise

Reconnoitring Wales’ Celtic rainforest: a walk in the woods of Coed Felenrhyd and Coed Llennyrch

Distance: 4.25km (loop) or 7.25km (with 3km out-and-back extension). The road north from Dolgellau is among Snowdonia’s best: a surprisingly straight, wide A-road ushering traffic south to north across the National Park with little to see, ostensibly, but dense belts of forest until you hit the coast around Portmeirion. Which is perfect, because forests and lingering in ostensibly-little-to-see areas are what we are here to … Continue reading Reconnoitring Wales’ Celtic rainforest: a walk in the woods of Coed Felenrhyd and Coed Llennyrch

Llansteffan: the greatest hits in one striking coastal Carmarthenshire hike

Distance: 7.25km (loop) or 13km (with 5.75km out-and-back extension). Carmarthenshire, being next-door neighbours with beach-perfect Pembrokeshire, often gets its 70-odd miles of coastline unfairly overlooked. But the county is no seaside flop. The estuary-indented seaboard embraces Wales’ longest beach (eight-mile-long Pembrey Sands), the shores where numerous land speed records including Malcolm Campbell’s got set (Pendine Sands), the spot where Amelia Earhart touched down to become … Continue reading Llansteffan: the greatest hits in one striking coastal Carmarthenshire hike

Finding romance in the stones of Anglesey’s Ynys Llanddwyn on St Dwynwen’s Day

Ynys Llanddwyn is love at first sight. Whipped by the Irish Sea, riven with secluded coves, cloaked in gold-green marram grass and commanding soul-stirring views of the dragon’s backbone of the Llŷn Peninsula, this narrow spit of land off Anglesey’s south coast becomes an island at very high tides. And not just any old island. Here the ruins of a 16th-century church, nave exposed to … Continue reading Finding romance in the stones of Anglesey’s Ynys Llanddwyn on St Dwynwen’s Day

Road Trip: Llandovery to Tregaron via Llyn Brianne

This rollercoaster single-track run begins in Llandovery, on the cusp between the Brecon Beacons and the Cambrian Mountains of Mid Wales: a dinky, delightful market town seemingly designed for kickstarting road trips with its legendary bikers cafe. It whisks you through the verdant Upper Tywi Valley, via the winsome villages of Cilycwm and Rhandirmwym, up to the tentacular reservoir of Llyn Brianne, swooshing you through … Continue reading Road Trip: Llandovery to Tregaron via Llyn Brianne

Chewing the fat with Gareth Ward of Michelin-starred restaurant Ynyshir

Fat might be a dirty word for many, but to Gareth Ward, head chef and co-owner of Michelin-star destination restaurant Ynyshir, near Machynlleth, it’s a beautiful and multi-textured thing. His sensational tasting menu is magic wand-waving stuff: 20 courses, each exquisitely composed with an obsessive’s eye, which take you from boat-fresh local lobster to six-month-aged Wagyu beef that a knife glides through like butter. But … Continue reading Chewing the fat with Gareth Ward of Michelin-starred restaurant Ynyshir

Snow wonder: Wales’ other Sugar Loaf bares its white winter soul

There are hills that, though humble in height, captivate the imagination. Places that somehow draw you back time and again to their season-changing wilderness, their lonely trails, their idiosyncratic landscapes. Sugar Loaf (Sir Gaerfyrddin), a mere moor or two away from the endearingly odd town of Llanwrtyd Wells (of bog-snorkelling world championship and numerous other mad festivals fame), is one such place. The hill – … Continue reading Snow wonder: Wales’ other Sugar Loaf bares its white winter soul

The great Welsh taste test: the seaside-inspired beers of Tenby Brewing Co

Wales boasts a greater density of independent craft breweries than either England, Scotland or Northern Ireland, and so with beer being such a significant part of the food and drink renaissance here, we thought doing a taste test with one of the brilliant breweries would be the perfect way to launch the Great Welsh Taste Test section of the site! Hopping up to the tasting … Continue reading The great Welsh taste test: the seaside-inspired beers of Tenby Brewing Co