Welsh and Wonderful

A lifestyle blog written by a Welsh lady living in Wales.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016


There's so much to love about Autumn...cosy nights in, hot drinks, bonfires, candles, long chilly walks, the leaves changing colour, a new wardrobe of weather appropriate clothing...I could go on! Autumn makes me feel nostalgic, and the drop in temperature is a gentle reminder that Christmas isn't too far away. I thought I'd share with you a few things that I've been enjoying this Autumn...
There's nothing better than a long beach walk on a cool, crisp day. David and I recently visited Pobbles Bay in Gower and it was absolutely gorgeous. Whenever we go to the beach, I always say that we should do this more often, so hopefully there will be a lot more visits to the beach coming up! It's so lovely to get away from it all and enjoy the natural beauty of Wales.
I also visited Henrhyd Falls, the highest waterfall in South Wales. Henrhyd Falls was actually used as the bat cave in The Dark Knight Rises (random fact!). It's a relatively easy walk from the car park, and you can even go behind the waterfall. I brought my camera with me, hoping to get lots of lovely photos, however, we only managed to get a couple of quick snaps on the iPhone before the heavens opened, and we made a hasty retreat, completely soaked through! Next time we'll check the weather forecast :-)
Dinefwr is a beautiful nature reserve in Llandeilo. It has a historic house and 18th century landscape park, enclosing a medieval deer park. We went on a lovely long walk through the woodland and fields, and enjoyed a cream tea in Newton House. We saw lots of deer, and we will definitely be going back there for another visit.
And finally...it's starting to get rather chilly, especially in the mornings, so I've started making porridge for breakfast to warm me up. My current favourite is to make it with a spoonful of Nutella mixed in, with a side of mixed berries and flaked almonds!

What are your favourite things about Autumn?

Monday, 17 October 2016

Perast, Montenegro

The Beautiful country of Montenegro is within very easy reach when staying in Dubrovnik in Croatia. The drive from Dubrovnik to the coastal village of Perast took us on an enjoyable scenic route around Montenegro’s Bay of Kotor.  

Many visitors opt for a car ferry to avoid the coastal road, but it was such a memorable experience on our day trip to Montenegro. We’d heard that the drive was pretty, but we didn’t expect it to be so impressive, with its soaring mountain peaks which plunge into the vast stillness of the deep, tranquil waters.

The Bay of Kotor is the largest bay in the Adriatic Sea, and Europe’s southernmost fjord. From the Adriatic Sea, a channel opens into an expansive inlet, and on the north side is a narrow passage called the Verige Strait, which leads into Perast.

Perast is a relaxed pedestrian-friendly village dotted with beautiful white washed buildings with terracotta roof tiles. It's something straight out of a fairy tale!

We enjoyed some lunch at the waters edge, watching the ships go by as the sun glistened on the water stretching out in front of us. It was a great place to relax and de-stress!

 We also watched this cat wait for his supper to be caught!

Two islands sit just offshore; one is natural with tall evergreens surrounding a monastery (and is prohibited to visitors), and the other is man-made with a Catholic Church, constructed in 1632.
Perast was so tranquil and picturesque. Along the water's edge there were plenty of fishing boats and small beaches where we saw people swimming, sun-bathing and enjoying the relaxed pace of life. It's one of the most beautiful places that I have ever visited :)
Thank you for reading! Angharad x

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Croatia

During our recent trip to Croatia, my boyfriend and I thought we'd try Stand Up Paddle (SUP) boarding together. After a quick search online we came across paddlesurfcroatia.com  and we discovered that a SUP tour on Baćina Lakes had excellent reviews on TripAdvisor and was less than 2 hours' drive from where we were staying in Dubrovnik, so we booked it up over the phone.

I'd never tried SUP before, so I was a little nervous. I'm a confident swimmer but trying something like this was a bit out of my comfort zone. My boyfriend had done SUP several times before, and I was secretly hoping that I wouldn't be completely useless at it!

We arrived at the lakes at 10.00am, ready for our 3 hour tour. Our excellent instructor Ivan provided us both with wetsuits and gave us a brief lesson, before we ventured out on to the water. He even put one of our iPhones in a waterproof case so he could take photos of us on our tour of the lakes.

Ivan was exceptionally friendly and very patient with me as we started off. I was initially too nervous to stand up on the board, so for the first hour or so I was quite happy to sit on the board and paddle along, enjoying the natural beauty of the lakes.
At one point during the tour we stopped off on the shore for a break of delicious fruit and water. It was lovely to hear Ivan's stories, take in the beautiful scenery, and give our arms a rest (SUP is a great workout, especially for your arms!). After the break I decided to be brave (!) and have another go at standing up on the SUP...
Tah dah! :-D
I did it! Amazingly, I didn't fall in. I have no idea how I managed it. My boyfriend told me that he fell in at least 5 times when he first tried it, which made me feel a bit better. I was really glad that I gave it a go :-)

Ivan was very reassuring and an excellent instructor. We would definitely recommend the trip to those who have never done paddle boarding before; the lake surface was very smooth and easy to learn on. It was hot and sunny, and David jumped in the water a couple of times to cool off. I didn't feel confident enough to do this, but I'd imagine it to be very refreshing under the midday sun.

The tour itself was an absolute delight; we have been to many beautiful places, but the peaceful atmosphere and beautiful mountains, as well as the lake itself, really was exceptional. We saw tiny fish jumping up from the water, amazing dragonflies, butterflies and waterlily pads. We were only sad that we didn't have time to go again before we flew home.
If you are having any doubts about taking this tour...don't! It was the best thing we did in Croatia, and we had a wonderful time here in this beautiful country.

Thank you for reading! Angharad x

Friday, 23 September 2016

Syon Park, London

What's the first thing you think of when someone tells you they've visited London? There are so many iconic landmarks and attractions which are synonymous with London, so you can imagine my surprise to discover that a trip to the big smoke would reveal the hidden beauty of Syon Park.
Syon Park lies on the banks of the river Thames, in Brentford, South West London. We recently visited during a mini heat wave, and it was so green and beautiful!

The park surrounds the London home of the Duke of Northumberland, which is one of a handful of stately homes within easy reach of central London.
Syon holds a huge diversity of habitat and wildlife in a relatively small area. It is part of a larger expanse of green space, including Kew Gardens and Richmond Park, connected by the river Thames.

It was a fantastic place to take photos because there was so much variety, and the gardens are well kept yet natural. There were certainly plenty of photo opportunities!
It's hard to believe that London is home to dragon flies...
...beautiful flowers and busy bees...
...and a heron (!)
It was quite a novelty being directly under the flight path to Heathrow, but it was (unsurprisingly) rather noisy too. Planes flew overhead approximately every 90 seconds. Our visit would have been peaceful and private, had it not been for this, but don't let this put you off because it's a lovely place to visit.

We took a stroll through the Great Conservatory and admired the beautiful grounds, enjoying the sunny weather. Our visit to Syon really made us forget that we were in London.

Thank you for reading! Angharad x

Syon Park
020 8560 0881
Brentford, TW8 8JF
check website

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Oblix at The Shard

Oblix is located on the 32nd floor of the Shard, western Europe's tallest building, and it's an unforgettable experience. If you're planning a trip to London then this is definitely something to add to your list!

We arrived on a drizzly Saturday afternoon, keen to get away from the rain and enjoy lunch with a view. After my bag had gone through an x-ray machine, we zoomed up the non-stop lift to the 32nd floor and turned left to the restaurant's entrance, where we were welcomed by the receptionist. Our coats were taken to the cloakroom and we were taken along a dimly lit, Aztec-style corridor.

As we were led through Oblix's bustling open kitchen and past the tables of other diners, we couldn't help but say "wow" as we saw the view. Our table was right by the window, and there was no denying that the 32nd floor of the Shard makes for an impressive venue for lunch, even if the weather was grey and gloomy.
For the first 5 minutes or so we just sat there, mesmerised by the awesome view. It was pretty cool, but also rather distracting! Once our concentration levels had resumed, I checked out the tempting cocktail menu.  I ordered a Pink Cadillac, which came complete with a sprig of lavender, while David enjoyed a glass of red.
We decided to go straight to the mains as we were hungry after travelling all morning. I ordered the salmon with salsa verde, accompanied by a side of orecchiette pasta, asparagus and broad beans. David had the sirloin steak with hand cut chips and warm bread and butter. We waited for quite a while, and by the time our food arrived, my cocktail had long gone.
Lunch in the sky is a fun experience, and it was fascinating to see the trains coming into the station below, marvel at the number of boats going up and down the Thames, and spot the famous landmarks like Big Ben and St. Paul's Cathedral.

We had room for dessert, so I ordered the yogurt panna cotta with peach, verbena and berries, and David ordered strawberry pavlova & elderfower sorbet. Our desserts were light and summery...unlike the weather outside!
If you're thinking of dining at Oblix then you should make your reservation at least 2 weeks in advance, as it books up quite quickly. The booking policy stipulates that you're unable to request a table by the window, however, if there are just two of you then you've got more of a chance of getting one as the majority of the tables by the window are for two diners. Also, you may want to consider having a late lunch; we booked our table for 2.30pm, and we had no problem with getting a table by the window, and we practically had the restaurant to ourselves towards the end of the meal.
After our meal, we popped over to Ting Lounge at the Shangri La Hotel, just to see what it was like. The views were just as impressive!
Our visit to Oblix was certainly a special occasion, and I would recommend it if you're planning a visit to London. The service was a little slow and whilst the food was great, we both agreed that it wasn't the most amazing meal we'd ever had. However, the views are simply spectacular, and it's worth taking a trip there even if it's just to sample one of their lovely cocktails.

Oblix, Level 32, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, London SE21 (020-7268 6700).

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Cocktails, cake, and a catch-up!

A weekend away with the girls is one of my favourite things, especially when you haven't seen each other for a while. On this occasion, we stayed at the Doubletree by Hilton Cadbury House, a four star boutique hotel and spa, near Bristol.
Check-in was smooth and efficient, and we were each welcomed with a warm chocolate chip cookie (I wish that all hotels did this!). The layout of the hotel was a little bit confusing at first, but we soon found our way around and settled in very quickly.

During our stay, we enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea, dinner at the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill, and a leisurely breakfast (checkout was at 12 midday, so there was no major rush). The hotel really has everything you need for a mini break, and we didn't want to leave!
Our lovely afternoon tea!
Enjoying a cocktail before dinner :)
The food and service was excellent (we ordered the tuna steak, cheese burger, and salmon), and the restaurant and bar area has a modern and luxurious finish. We loved the 2-4-1 cocktails!
The Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill
We enjoyed exploring the hotel grounds and lake, and appreciated the quirky touches...especially the life-size model of a cow, which you can climb on (if you want to!). The hotel has a gorgeous indoor pool, outdoor hot tub, sun deck, relaxation room, gym, salon, and fitness classes are also available on site.

The hotel staff were very helpful and friendly, and we loved the free on-site parking. This hotel has everything you need for a weekend away with the girls, but it's also great for a special occasion, or a romantic retreat. We can't wait to go back!
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