blog

2019 - June

Another busy month at Crafnant House with guests arriving from all over the UK and The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Canada and USA! The weather was mostly fine and settled and they all enjoyed a variety of days out and adventures across North Wales. And it was our anniversary too, it being two years since we moved into this little slice of heaven in North Wales.

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We still found time to get out ourselves - these cafes don’t research themselves you know! Llandudno is always a place we enjoy visiting and the Providero is one of our favourite cafes - guaranteed good food and coffee (try their ‘toppers’!) and Bryn is always made to feel very welcome!

The good weather in June also meant we enjoyed more walks in the local area. A very pleasant stroll west from Dolwyddelan saw us reach Plas Penaeldroch Manor - Mike and Carrie always make us feel most welcome and their story (restoring an old manor house) is fascinating. The cafe is well worth a visit - the cheese scones are AMAZING and we now order our own off-piste lunch special with slices of bacon. The return walk saw us skirt the river meaning Bryn got a very welcome swim on a warm day!

Also in June we finally got to try zip-wiring at nearby Zip World (Blaenau Ffestiniog) - so many of our guests visit us for these sort of experiences so it was only right we tried it too! It was well worth the wait - very well organised with friendly staff and the actual zip-wiring was great fun. Highly recommended!

Our own breakfasts continue to evolve and the ever-popular and ever-rotating breakfast specials this month included Welsh rarebit, avocado on toast with a poached egg and pancakes with berries.

We did manage to get away for a few days in June though - we learned our lesson from 2018 that to go from March to November without a break is not that good for your sanity or health! Mid-Wales was always a part of the country we hadn’t yet explored so a lovely cottage at Banceithin provided a perfect escape with good walks along the spectacular coastline and lots of tasty local food.

June ended with a highlight of the local calendar - the Llanrwst Rural Show ! The sun was shining and it was a baking hot day, and it only got better when Jasmine walked away with 1st place in the “focaccia bread” category and Bryn was placed first for….. dog that most looks like its owner!!!! We even made the local newspaper!!!! The pressure is already on for next year…….

Stuart

(no prizes in the marmalade category…..)

2019 - April

Spring arrived in Trefriw and the house started to enjoy more visitors from around the UK and Europe - it was lovely to see some familiar faces return from last year to stay with us. Bryn grew bigger by the day and eagerly welcomed all arrivals!

Work started in the garden to get it ready for the season ahead. Jasmine dug out half the veg patch for potatoes and I put into action a new cordless lawnmower - highly recommended! Bryn…. well he just chewed sticks.

Elsewhere we created new signs for our car park out of old pieces of slate and some gold spray paint - great fun. A new board in our dining room proudly shows where our breakfast produce comes from. The latter was prompted by a visit to Heartland Coffi in nearby Llandudno where we sampled their different styles and roasts and chose a superb coffee that we now serve to guests at breakfast in the morning. We want to use and show off the superb produce North Wales has to offer!

Talking of breakfast we continued to develop daily specials so guests have a chance to order an alternative to your traditional breakfast each day. Vegan savoury waffles, a potato ‘hash’ with a fried egg and wild garlic omelette with crispy potatoes all appeared on the ever changing roster in April.

We still found time to enjoy our surrounding area, although the running joke is that this only ever involves sampling local cafes in the name of “guest research”. With that in mind we did go to L’s Coffee & Books in Conwy, Caffi Gwynant near Beddgelert and Briggs Wine Bar in Colwyn Bay - all highly recommended when you visit us.

Easter was a joy in the house with fantastic friendly guests and great weather. Jasmine made her customary hot cross buns and gingerbread bunnies and our visitors got a little treat in their rooms on arrival. We even enjoyed a sublime concert in the village at our very own Trefriw Bakehouse. The artist was Richard Digance who was vaguely familiar to us but we soon learned he does the music for….. Countryfile and Flog It?!

We made the most of the fine weather to finally cycle together to Pen-y-Pass in the heart of Snowdonia - a stunning ride with fantastic views.

Alas the weather didn’t behave at the end of the month and the mini heatwave ended with torrential rain! Our guests that weekend got absolutely soaked on their first day so their walking boots ended up in front of our woodburner and we had a merry evening in front of the TV rotating them. Duly dry by the morning for their Snowdon walk! Sorted!

Stuart

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