One of the tremendous attractions and advantages of travelling to UK and Europe is that it is easy to find new places to consider in close proximity to previously visited destinations.
Spending time in Bournemouth gave us the opportunity to visit some new places and taking “excursions’ with family and friends were fun. Cheese festival in Dorset, visit to Port Isaac (to see the “doc” but the surgery was closed), pub lunches in nearby villages and a drive to see some of the spectacular Jurassic Coast and visit Durdle Door and Lulworth cove.
First stop was a wee village called Roch in Pembrokshire. A few houses, a letter box and a corner store were what the constituted the highlights of the village. Oh, and the castle where we stayed….Roch Castle is a 12th century building that has been exquisitely restored (with contemporary styling) to provide weary travelers with a lovely sleepover. No pea under the mattress for this princess. It really was superb.
Nearby was the city of St David, which is apparently the smallest city in UK. Pouring rain and very strong winds did not deter us, as we wandered around for a few hours and just enjoyed the quaintness of the environment around us.
A very wet 3 hour drive followed and we arrived in Abergavenny and that night we and stayed at the Angel Hotel – in the centre of the town. Proudly boasting that it had been voted Wales’ hotel of the year, we were welcomed by friendly staff – although none of them spoke Welsh. In fact, we did not hear Welsh spoken anywhere … at all. Actually, we did not hear many British accents in many places we visited. It is fair to say that the hospitality sector we experienced, was staffed by Europeans. Yes, that does raise a lot of question sin relation to Brexit, but I won’t go there right now !!
A more north easterly turn took us to a truly wonderful village with one of the most delightful accommodation/restaurant experiences. Not just of this trip, but I think our stay at Checkers in the village of Montgomery may be elevated to be one of our “top 10 fave places to stay” list.
Owned by a French chef and his British partner and her sister – known as the “the Frenchman and the farmers daughters”, this family business just gets hospitality so right. Well, at least to our liking anyway. The hotel was relatively small and decorated in such a complimentary French meets British country way that was welcoming, warm and very comfortable. The moment we entered the front door the vibe was palpable and just felt good to be there. We chose to stay in that evening and have the tasting menu dinner (which I will talk about on another foodie post). Attention to detail, the ambience that respected guest with as much distance or engagement that was indicated and an apparent genuine love for what they were doing.
Montgomery is such an easy village to roam around. Fabulous gallery with spun wool like I have not seen for years – in fact, not since I was a spinner and weaver many decades ago! Great art work by both naive artists and contemporary artists, plus a range of bespoke clothes designers. Antique shops, traditional hardware store, beautiful old post office and many many gorgeous houses and buildings to gaze upon and let imagination run wild.
The surrounding farming land was so picturesque. A walk around the town provided so many scenic vistas, it was easy to lose the two hours in a “tourist type” no specific destination and it was all fabulous. (addit; there is a nice Wiki page about Montgomery if you are interested!!). a notable tourist attraction was the noted local pub that “remained as traditional a British pub, as it was more than 50 years ago”. Naturally we had to have a quiet ale pre heading back to our evening at Checkers. It was indeed a traditional British pub, with a very entertaining old geezer sitting at the end of the bar. Probably just as he was, more than 50 years ago!
On the way we stopped town called Ludlow which had been highly recommended. Another beautiful town that made the stop worthwhile, with so much history and many scenic walks. I also found a store that stocked a complete range of one of my favourite clothes labels (OSKA) …. Not a common brand and it took me by surprise to find a shop dedicated to the brand in what seemed a remote and out of the way location. But that is what travel is all about !!
#happytastings #happyholidays #happylife #allyouneedislove #debandtez