Welsh and Wonderful

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

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Mumbles Summer Evening

I recently went for a lovely evening walk along Mumbles in Swansea Bay and it was so beautiful! I enjoyed pausing for a moment to see the reflection of the sun on the water and hear the gentle lap of the waves. It was great to mingle with the holidaymakers and enjoy the simple pleasure of a warm summer's evening and the last hour or so of daylight.
Now that we've had a couple of rainy days and the days are getting shorter, I feel like I've taken summer slightly for granted, so I'm going to try and make sure I take full advantage of the lovely sunny weather and light evenings while they still last. I hope you're having a lovely summer, too!

Thank you for reading, Angharad x

Monday, 22 August 2016

Caerphilly Mountain

Having lived in Wales all my life, I can't believe that until recently I'd never visited the view point at the top of Caerphilly Mountain, or had any idea that there is an awesome snack bar there that sells burgers, hot dogs and over 22 different flavours of ice cream! Why had no one told me about this? :)

Caerphilly Mountain is about 20 minutes away from Cardiff by car, and it's very accessible. There's no need to bring your hiking gear; just park up and take a leisurely stroll along the mountainside. It's an easy walk, and the views of Cardiff, Caerphilly, and the valleys are great.

 In the distance you can see the Millennium Stadium and Cardiff Bay. The islands lying in the Bristol Channel are Flat Holm (left) and Steep Holm (right).


Thursday, 18 August 2016

Cocktails at Pier 64

Pier 64 is one of my favourite restaurants in Cardiff. Situated in Penarth Marina, it's a great spot to grab a bite to eat and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. I've been there on a number of occasions, and I've always found it to be consistently excellent.

On this occasion we decided to pop in for an evening drink, and I had the pleasure of sampling one of their cocktails from their extensive drinks list.

One of the things I love about summer is being able to sit outdoors in the evening. Our lovely waitress even brought us some cosy blankets to keep us warm while we enjoyed our drinks on the decking and watched the sun go down over the marina.

I had a Mai Tai and it was the perfect blend of rum, lime, pineapple, orgeat syrup & Cointreau; easy to drink, and yet it had a bit of a kick. I loved how it came in a frosted tankard, which was a very nice touch. It was so nice that I had another!

The restaurant interior is rather luxurious and glam, and the staff make you feel very welcome and relaxed. It's a great place for a special occasion or an informal catch-up, and if you're a meat lover then you may want to sample one of their steaks (they're gorgeous!).

It was the perfect way to spend a summer's evening!

Thank you for reading, Angharad x


Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Beach Moments

There are lots of lovely little moments to experience and savour when you spend an afternoon at the beach; the sights, the sounds, the general feeling of contentment. 

On this occasion, we spent a sunny Sunday afternoon at Pobbles Bay, a secluded beach on the Gower Peninsula that looks like something straight out of an Enid Blyton story. It was great to get away, to switch off, and enjoy good company.
The perfect spot to go for a ride on a clear day; I was pleased that I managed to get a shot of this lady on her beautiful white horse at the top of the sand dunes.
 There were so many beautiful wildflowers and insects; the colours are so varied.
I thought this troupe of little dogs standing to attention on the beach looked so sweet! 
 The tide was coming in very fast, and they didn't seem too fond of the water. I saw a little boy nearby who was frantically building a fort on the beach and scolding his little brother for clumsily stepping on it and educating him that "every grain counts!"
Beautiful greens and yellow wildflowers
The view overlooking Pobbles
 I hope these photos help to convey what a beautiful, relaxing and happy afternoon we had.

Thank you for reading! Angharad x

Monday, 1 August 2016

Sunday Lunch at Machynys Bar & Brasserie

My boyfriend and I recently went for a lovely Sunday lunch at Machynys Bar & Brasserie, located on the first floor of the clubhouse overlooking the Nicklaus golf course and Carmarthenshire Bay.

The restaurant has recently been refurbished, and has an exclusive yet unpretentious feel. I loved the grey colour scheme, comfortable rattan seating and soft lighting. The clever restaurant design really draws you in to the fantastic views, and the staff are so helpful, friendly and accommodating.

The food was fantastic, and on this occasion, we went for 3 courses, which was a real treat!
To start, I had salt & pepper calamari with chilli & lime dressing. The calamari was deliciously light and crispy, and very moreish.
David had a hearty home-made soup of the day with fresh crusty bread. This was nice and warming on a cold and dreary day!
The brasserie also has outdoor seating, with a sundeck which is the perfect spot for alfresco dining when the sun is shining (not on this occasion, sadly!). I could imagine sitting here on a gloriously hot sunny day, enjoying the view of the golf course and the gorgeous Gower coastline in the distance.
For our main courses, I had braised breast of welsh lamb with crushed peas and gravy. The lamb was a bit too fatty for my liking, but the rest of the dish was good. David had roast breast of Pembrokeshire turkey with cranberry and thyme stuffing, which he really enjoyed.

Normally when we eat out, we don't have much room for dessert. But on this occasion, we were so glad that we did...
I had the heavenly Belgian waffle & Nutella. This was so good! Anything with Nutella in it is a winner in my books; I don't know why it's not on more restaurant menus. Lush!
David had Baked Alaska; I haven't seen this dessert on many restaurant menus. It consists of ice cream and cake (chocolate chip in this instance) topped with browned meringue. I remember mum making this in the 1980s, so maybe it's making a comeback? I hope so.
We really enjoyed our lunch; it was a relaxing and friendly place to while away a Sunday afternoon. If you're planning a visit to West Wales then it's well worth a visit to the Machynys Bar & Brasserie.

Thank you for reading! Angharad x

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Magical Wales

One of my favourite things about blogging is taking photos, and Wales has no shortage of fantastic photo opportunities. I love to show off what a fantastic country Wales is, and I hope you'll agree that these photos from Rhossili really are magical.

During the recent heatwave, my boyfriend and I decided to go to the beach after work on Monday. David spent half an hour on his stand up paddle board in Oxwich Bay, before joining me for a lovely picnic on the beach. Considering we'd both been in work all day, it really did feel like we were on holiday; the beach was busy with holiday-makers taking a dip in the sea, having a barbecue and generally enjoying the last few hours of sunshine.

We considered heading home as it was getting late, but as it was such a beautiful evening we decided to drive further along the coast to Rhossili to see the sunset...and wow, we weren't disappointed!

It was magical!

It was so warm, you could actually feel the heat off the sun as it went down, which is quite unusual for this time of day. It actually looked like a giant torch shining down on the sea because it was so dazzling and bright.
I don't think I've ever seen the sea at Rhossili look so calm and still; the appearance of the water was more similar to a lake than the sea. 
I took all of these photos on my iPhone 6s Plus, which just goes to show that you don't need a fancy camera to take good shots. If you're considering an upgrade, I would highly recommend the phone; it has a great battery life too.

It really was an experience which made us say "wow" out loud. Wales is magic!

Thank you for reading, Angharad x

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Weekend Away, Cornwall

My boyfriend and I recently stayed with some lovely friends in Falmouth, Cornwall, and we had such a great time.

It was a long drive from South Wales  and we hit the Friday afternoon rush hour traffic on at least a couple of occasions, but the journey was well worth the effort, and made all the better by listening to Wales beat Belgium in the Euros!

After a very warm welcome from our wonderful hosts and a good night's sleep, we awoke on Saturday morning, keen to explore.

We took a stroll to Swanpool Beach for an alfresco breakfast, making sure that we sat under a parasol to avoid any showers. One minute it was hot and humid, the next it was wind and rain! British summertime weather can be a bit hit and miss, but the UK is our favourite place to be at this time of year. We generally prefer to go away to warmer climes when the weather gets colder, as this makes winter shorter.

As well as having a lovely beach and pretty beach huts, we discovered that Swanpool Beach is home of the quirky ice cream...

Sadly, ice cream wasn't on their breakfast menu. However, if it was, I would have probably gone for the Malt Pleaser! Next time ;-)

On Sunday we went for brunch at Gylly Beach Cafe, which overlooks Falmouth's famous Gyllyngvase Beach.

This was the place to see and be seen; it was popular with locals and visitors, especially dog owners with their cute pups. The lively cafe was a little bit overcrowded and noisy, but the brunch we ordered was excellent.

 D had a huge crispy bacon roll
I had the best eggs benedict that I have ever had!

Falmouth is the warmest place on mainland Great Britain, and extreme temperatures are extremely rare. As a result, there are lots of beautiful blooms:
 Aren't they just gorgeous?!

All in all, we had a refreshing weekend in the best company; just what we needed. 

If you fancy a relaxed getaway by the sea then I would definitely recommend a trip to Falmouth. We're already looking forward to going back!
Thank you for reading, Angharad x
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