Tag: Conwy

Get stuffed! A tastebud-tickling tour of nourishing North Wales

Local produce is a major draw for visitors to Wales.

Indeed, there’s a host of local suppliers and independent producers celebrated each year by the Great Taste Awards Wales.

In particular, the artisan food and drink sector has grown in recent years with a turnover of £4.8bn in 2018-19 and 78,000 people employed in the food and farming sector, according to figures from Food & Drink Wales.

This themed tour would be ideal for an autumn departure around the time of the annual British Food and Drink Fortnight, The Conwy Honey Fair or one of the smaller harvest festivals staged across North Wales.

This route is designed to form an overarching narrative on the theme of food and drink.

It describes the rise of independent businesses, highlighting the range and quality of local flavours, and the human story of our local food heroes.

It builds in rhythm from site visit in Llandudno, via a coach-based scenic tour in the Valley and lunch stop, to a town-centre walking tour of Cowny with time for souvenir shopping before departure.

Along the way we will enjoy product tastings, guest talks from local chefs and an opportunity to meet and sample the goods of local independent food producers in North Wales.

If your group would like to join this independent tour, then please do get in touch.

How to visit the most historic harvest festival in North Wales

North Wales today hosts the annual Conwy Honey Fair, a historic harvest festival dating back to the reign of King Edward I.

I was in Conwy last week to preview the event and find out more about the walled city with its Unesco-listed castle.

I also visited the National Beekeeping Centre of Wales [pictured above].

Here’s a sample of my story:

The Fair dates back more than 700 years to the reign of Edward I when local beekeepers were given the right to sell honey, without charge, within the walls of the town for one day only.

Harvest festivals were always part of the church calendar but the right to hold the Honey Fair was formally decreed by the King in the town’s 13th-century Royal Charter.

“It’s an event frozen in time,” says event organiser Peter McFadden, “and still generates a huge sense of community.”

The town also hosts the Gwledd Conwy Feast, a weekend food festival with street food, show-cooking displays and live music from October 25-27.

Read the full article in Telegraph Travel, Is this Britain’s sweetest town?

My story for Guardian travel will make you save the bees

May half term, then.

Here’s an idea for a family day out based around my story for Guardian Travel.

The story is based around a visit to the National Beekeeping Centre Wales, near Conwy, combined with a preview of the new trail at Bodnant Gardens.

It was also a family day out for half term with Maya and Olivia [pictured above].

Here’s a preview:

This friendly visitor centre acts as a champion for Welsh honeybees, which are increasingly under threat from climate change and loss of wildflower meadows.

The visit raises awareness of environmental issues and highlights the art of apiarist over 4,000 years of honey-making history from the ancient Egyptians via the Romans.

Combine a visit with a trip to Bodnant Garden, taking the new Lost Words Trail, based on the book by Robert MacFarlane, for May half term (normal entrance fees apply).

The trail follows clues around the gardens to discover words from nature.

Read the whole story, Connect the kids with ecology – because the bees need us.


Visit Llandudno Tourism Brochure 2016 for Conwy County Council


* Image from conwybrewery.co.uk

I’ve been working on a copywriting project over the autumn.

The brief came from Conwy County Borough Council to write the Visit Llandudno tourism brochure for 2016.

I’ve tried to bring the brochure, out early in the new year, a more news-driven feel as well as weaving in some more personal narratives, including taking my daughters on a family weekend in Llandudno.

But I’ve also tried to highlight some of the grew stories around the region, coming up with the idea of a local voices panel for some the spreads.

By way of an example, here’s a preview of one of these from Gwynne Thomas, owner of the Conwy Brewery:

“I love beer. I love the taste, the variety and, currently, the innovation going on in beer and brewing.

“I remember my first pint of real ale as a teenager with my dad but started brewing with home-brew kits as a chemistry student at Newcastle University.

“I started the microbrewery in Conwy in 2004 and expanded in 2007, viewing it as a less of a cottage industry and more of a commercial enterprise as a my client base grew.

“Today we produce some 25,000 pints per week with five core ales, four American-style craft beers and regular guest ales.

“We also now run brewery tours and design your own beer days at our brewery in the village of Llysfaen, Colwyn.

“My role has changed a lot. I got involved with The Albion real-ale pub in Cowny in 2012 and we opened The Bridge Inn last year.

“Cowny Brewery ales are now in around 100 pubs across North Wales, plus a national listing with JD Wetherspoon, and we recently signed a deal to sell into Co-operative convenience stores.

“But one my key tasks remains tasting the beers to check they’re up t scratch.

That’s the hardest part of the job, obviously.”

Check back here, or at my Twitter page (above), for details of when the brochure will be available in TICs around Wales.

What did you think of this story? Post your comments below.

Liked this? Try also An afternoon at Conwy RSPB Nature Reserve.