2018 - July

Another busy month for us, with Snowdonia welcoming visitors from all over the world to enjoy the sights and activities North Wales has to offer. We hosted guests from the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary and Ireland amongst other places!

The garden continued to bloom despite the very warm weather. The first pumpkin flowers appeared (fingers are crossed for them to arrive in time for Halloween!) and potatoes were dug up. 

 

In the house new mugs from Betws-y-Coed pottery were introduced to our guest bedrooms, whilst fresh new linens and traditional Welsh throws from our very own Trefriw Woollen Mills enhanced them even further. The latter have been on our list for a long time and we're delighted with them - beautiful hand crafted pieces that really brighten up the spaces, and proudly from our village!

Room 4 got a refresh at the same time. The large wardrobe was removed giving much more room, and hanging space was restored with a vintage wooden ladder from Perry Higgins Antiques in Penmaenmawr (always a fun visit!). A striking new chair from Cult Furniture was added and we're delighted with the new look (even though it was lovely before!)

Despite being busy we still found time to enjoy our surroundings, including bike rides along the coast and onto the moorland above the Conwy Valley. Largely traffic free routes = great cycling!

And the World Cup meant it was time for our traditional celebration of it - "World Cup Dinners"! Whilst we don't offer evening meals to guests (the pub and brasserie next door are too good!) we do enjoy cooking, and the challenge as usual was to create meals from a country playing that day. This meant we enjoyed such diverse offerings as Spanish salad, Japanese sushi, Swedish meatballs and beetroot salad, French onion, anchovy and olive bread and Croatian kale pie!

Whilst next door at The Old Ship Sunday night became Scrabble due to the quiz not being held during the summer months. It's all go here in Trefriw :-)

Stuart

2018 - June

Summer truly arrived in Trefriw with another month of warm sunny days which our surfing, walking and climbing guests thoroughly enjoyed. The garden reached its fullest and our vegetables, herbs and salad really shot up. Meanwhile at Bodnant Garden the laburnum arch was at its glorious golden best. 

 Our garden - almost as good as...

Our garden - almost as good as...

 ...the laburnum arch at Bodnant Garden

...the laburnum arch at Bodnant Garden

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Inside we got creative and, inspired by our friends at POP in Porthmadog, made a new light fitting for our snug out of old wine bottles. After a few trial runs involving YouTube, string and nail polish remover, we were pretty pleased with the result!

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Mid month we took advantage of a natural break between guests to take a few days away in the Yorkshire Dales. We stayed at the delightful Warren House B&B near Kettlewell - beautiful scenery, generous hosts and very comfortable accommodation. This was the sunset from our suite...

We enjoyed lovely bike rides up hills and down dales, fuelled by cake from Tea on the Green at Bolton Abbey, and local ales. On our final day we visited Salts Mill in Saltaire near Bradford - a former mill now housing contemporary art exhibitions, antiques, and beautiful home decor items. 

Back at home we cheered on the OVO Energy Women's Tour as they whizzed through Trefriw on their bikes. We helped decorate the village with white and green balloons and like to think our enthusiastic saucepan banging gave the riders a boost!!

Jasmine

2018 - May

Another hectic month with us welcoming guests from both around the UK and Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, and the USA! Its always fascinating to find out why people are visiting our beautiful area and our May guests included zip-wirers, Snowdon walkers, birthday celebrants, house hunters, intrepid adventure racers and two people who had no idea they were coming here having booked a surprise trip to 'somewhere' with unplanned.de !

Despite being busy we still found time to again enjoy our wonderful surroundings, and we started the month by walking up Snowdon. An early start (7am) at Pen-y-Pass meant we had the Pyg Track pretty much to ourselves going up, and we were first in the cafe at the top as it opened it's doors at 10am! The views at the top were stunning, and we returned via the Miners' Track to the bottom. 

Mid-May saw Caernarfon hosting their popular food festival and we had a great afternoon wandering amongst the food and drink stalls with their delicious and tasty offerings. We had to try the slow-cooked brisket served in the fantastic sourdough bread from our very own Trefriw Bakehouse.

The fine weather in May meant our garden continued to flourish. It is a lovely place to relax in. Little pockets of colour have popped up everywhere, creating quite a spectacle!

Harry and Meghan's big day was celebrated with some home-made banana muffins for our breakfast buffet, complete with edible efigies of the happy couple.  They also made an appearance at the Trefriw Walking Festival amongst the array of fabulous locally baked goodies at the cake afternoon. 

We ended the month how we started it - with another hike up Snowdon! Friends visiting us wanted to walk up our nearby 'hill' so we decided to join them. This time we headed up the Llanberis Path  which was not as easy as some suggest, and then headed down the Miners' Track again. It was much hotter on the day than our previous effort earlier in the month but we all made it up and down in one piece. No more Snowdon for us though, for a few months at least......!

 

Stuart

2018 - April

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Easter came and went in a busy blur of lovely guests, mixed weather and too much chocolate! Mini-eggs were left in the guest rooms :-)

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The month also brought milder temperatures and the first warm spring sunshine of the year, so we spent many afternoons in the garden. We've dug out three vegetable patches and planted courgettes and potatoes, with beans, pumpkins and tomatoes to follow. The flower beds are now full of seeds which should grow into a colourful display for people and bees alike to enjoy.

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We also cleared the path from our garden to the Old Ship's next door (crucial...), refurbished the 'love seat' which collapsed when we sat on it (rotten timbers the ONLY reason!), and installed a fire pit and solar-powered lanterns. The mid-month heat wave gave us the chance to test it out (very cosy) and we're looking forward to warm summer evenings spent outdoors so that we and our guests can enjoy the views and sounds of the beautiful countryside that surrounds us.

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Inside the house, we've also bought plump new pillows for our guests...

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... and given the bedroom furniture a little facelift with the replacement of all the wooden knobs.

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Forty-six handles were installed, and Stuart needed some creative positioning to do some of them without moving furniture.....

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Even though it was a busy month, we enjoyed a day trip to Caernarfon, with its winding lanes, independent shops and cafes, and magnificent castle. It was great to discover the fabulous Roberts and Astley store where we fell in love with some vintage furniture.  The town is a real highlight for any visitor to the area!

Jasmine

2018 - March

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The "Beast from the East" and Storm Emma combined over Trefriw to delay Spring ever so slightly, with more snow dumped on us and freezing temperatures resulting in impressive icicles!

The house felt cosy though and as usual the village looked pretty with a layer of snow on it. 

The cold snap soon ended though and we had some beautiful crisp days when we enjoyed walks, including one from Llandudno Junction to West Shore beach and back.

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Lunch in the West Shore Beach Cafe was the half way treat - always enjoyable! - and then a cheeky (perfect) coffee at our favourite hot beverage emporium, Providero, in Llandudno Junction, provided a welcome boost at the end of our eight mile walk. 

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The biggest news of the month was the announcement that our neighbour and local pub - The Old Ship - introduced their new 'Gin Menu'.

They now have a selection of over 30 gins from around the world, and Jasmine has volunteered to test each one on their behalf...

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Another sunny day in the middle of March allowed us to go out and explore our beautiful surroundings. We headed south to Harlech Castle first, paused for lunch in Porthmadog (discovering the excellent Big Rock Cafe), then drove back via Beddgelert, stopping regularly to marvel at the stunning views. A fantastic day!

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Towards the end of March we started to get busy with bookings and it was time to welcome guests to our home. Some were returning visitors having stayed with us last year which was lovely! 

This all meant it was time to get to work in the kitchen. I started things off making a rather large jar of orange marmalade which is proving to be very popular. For a first time effort it went very well!

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Jasmine then had an epic baking session making easter bunny gingerbread biscuits and hot cross buns.

By the time Easter weekend came we were ready to welcome our guests and it was great having the house full. It was also satisfying to see everybody having a thoroughly good time, enjoying surfing, zip-wiring and walks from the door amongst other things.

Stuart

 

 

2018 - February

The month began with some building work in our own lounge - the installation of a much longed-for woodburner which we have really enjoyed during the recent snow. This left us with some 50 bags of bricks and rubble which were dug out of the previously closed up fireplace....they turned out to be perfect for creating a herb and salad patch in our back garden! 

 My first go at bricklaying... and very happy to say they've stayed firmly in place!   

My first go at bricklaying... and very happy to say they've stayed firmly in place!

 

 Shovelling two tonnes of topsoil.....

Shovelling two tonnes of topsoil.....

 Finished and ready for planting once the weather warms up a bit.

Finished and ready for planting once the weather warms up a bit.

Meanwhile, we continued to replace period detail back into the house - including this gorgeous brass finger plate which we bought from Drew Pritchard Antiques in Conwy. Always a delight to have an amble around this historic town with its interesting shops and cosy cafes. 

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Mid month we welcomed our early spring guests, including two different sets of house hunters looking to move to our beautiful village - such a pleasure to share our enthusiasm for this lovely corner of Wales with potential new neighbours. 

As the Beast from the East arrived at the end of the month we enjoyed a few days' rest and relaxation with friends by the south coast - the blue sky at Studland Bay belies the very strong wind that threatened to blow us off our feet! It was certainly invigorating!

 

Jasmine

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2018 - January

A fantastic New Year came and went, with the house full of friends who celebrated with us the end of a momentous year. As soon as they departed though it was onwards with the "programme of works" (c) to get the house ready for our 2018 guests! Door panels were introduced to all of the previously flat internal doors.

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Hours of measuring, sawing and painting were worth it though with them all looking more at place in a Victorian property. Very satisfying!

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With the doors done next on the list was our middle-floor guest lounge - the last room waiting to receive a makeover. The old sofa and chairs (Ikea originals we think from the 1980s!) were removed and we were left with a blank canvas.

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Dark grey walls replaced the previous pale green colour and the period features got a fresh coat of white paint. Striking yellow armchairs were introduced for a shock of colour and we sourced some lovely pieces of furniture from Pica Pica Home. We had good fun choosing the pictures and items for the wall, all of which have a story behind them. The end result is stunning and it's a lovely room to relax in. We ended up using it ourselves for a few weeks whilst our own lounge had building work done to it!

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Thankfully it wasn't all decorating in January! The weather was kind to us on many occasions so we enjoyed walks and bike rides in the local area, including a stunning ride up the hill to Llyn Crafnant - the views are amazing. 

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Stuart