Every year on the 25th January we celebrate what is commonly known as the Welsh St Valentines Day.
St Dwynwen’s Day, or Dydd Santes Dwynwen, is a celebration of Wales’ patron saint of love. Dwynwen was a 4th Century Welsh princess who was unlucky in love.
Legend has it that Dwynwen was the prettiest of all of King Brychan Brycheiniog’s daughters. She fell in love with a local boy, Maelon, but was already betrothed to another prince. After telling Maelon the bad news, Dwynwen fled to the woods to lament her lost love and pray for help from God. An angel appeared to Dwynwen and gave her a potion to help her forget about Maelon, which turned him to ice. After seeing the effects of the potion on Maelon, Dwynwen prayed for help. Hearing her cries for help, God granted her three wishes; she chose to cure Maelon, have God look after all true lovers and for her to remain unmarried.
St Dwynwen’s day is considered as the most romantic day of the year in Wales, and is celebrated much the same as Valentines Day; cards are exchanged and (mostly) thoughtful presents are given.
If you’re looking for ways to celebrate the Welsh holiday, we’ve put together a few ideas to impress the significant other in your life.
Christmas is just around the corner, so it’s time to start saving for all those special gifts. Don’t worry though, that doesn’t mean it’s time to start scrimping on your wardrobe.
To make things a little easier we’ve put together three looks using the same statement dress – one for the office, a second perfect for a party, and a final look suitable for a family day out.
Creating three individual looks that stand out from one another requires a versatile base, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be boring.
We’ve gone for this black lace dress from Next priced at £60 (that’s just £20 a look). The sheer lace detail is perfect for the party season, while the modest length means in will also work in the office.
Look one – Work wear
To ensure this look is office appropriate we’d layer the dress over some black or tan tights. Go for a slightly structured jacket like this one from mango – the tweed fabric will also add some texture to contrast with the lace. Pair with some smart black boots and you’re good to go.
Look two – Party wear
The sheer lace sleeves on this dress are perfect for a night out and show just enough skin. The detailed ruffles and high neck mean there’s no need for too many fussy accessories, so keep jewellery minimal. We’ve chosen a gold clutch and shoes to add some glamour to the look.
Look Three – Day wear
Although this dress looks great with heels for a night out, it also looks amazing dressed down. Pair it with a chunky knitted cardigan in a lighter colour to soften the look, and layer over some black tights. Finish the look with some on-trend knee high boots and you’re set.
We think our Day wear look would be perfect for a romantic winter weekend away. Why not head to Britain’s smallest city, St David’s, and explore the historic cathedral? Stay close by in the Crug Glas Country House and Restaurant and enjoy the beautiful Pembrokeshire countryside.
We bring you the most useful (yet stylish) bags and jackets from Melin Tregwynt for Your Mini Break in Wales.
When going on a weekend break it can sometimes be a little stressful packing. From what type of bag to take with you that fits all your essentials in, to trying to find the perfect outfit that keeps you warm yet remains fashionable, there are lots of tough choices to make. Our friends at Melin Tregwynt woolen mill offer a range of bags to make your weekend break stress-free, along with a range of jackets and accessories to keep you cosy when exploring Wales’ beautiful scenery. All of the bags and jackets are ideal for travelling light yet stylishly for weekend-length breaks.
The Weekender offers plenty of room for all of your belongings. It has matching leather handles, a carry strap and internal zip pocket. This is the ideal size for a mini-break in the stunning countryside of Wales.
This classic zipped handbag is fully lined and long enough to fit over the shoulder. Featuring two internal leather pockets and a leather base for protection, this is the perfect size to accompany you to the local pub while discovering Wales’ fabulous food and drink.
Spacious and satchel-style, this shoulder bag made for the office is roomy enough for a laptop and all your office essentials. The laptop bag has a leather base, leaving you with no worries about how many important files you may need to take away with you on a working weekend in Wales.
Ideal for an evening stroll along the picturesque Barafundle Bay in Pembrokeshire, this clutch can be used in a larger handbag or on its own as a versatile little clutch bag or purse. Using the wrist strap in coordinating leather adds elegance to any outfit.
Melin Tregwynt’s range of clasped and zipped purses are ideal for some change, credit cards and your go-to lippy. An essential for any trip you may take during your relaxing weekend away.
The following bags are still available from Melin Tregwynt but are limited in stock, so hurry if you want to get your hands on them:
A cleverly designed shoulder bag that turns into a backpack by a simple adjustment of the leather straps, this is an ideal day-to-night accessory.
Cross Body Bag
If you are looking for a smaller bag, this shoulder bag is a neat option. With a long adjustable cross body strap, the bag allows you to keep your essentials on you but not be weighted down.
With Wi-Fi now available in most hotels, a tablet is ideal to take away with you on a weekend break. This pouch will keep your tablet protected with its padded cover and leather trim.
This everyday carryall bag is made from upholstery fabric and bridle-leather trim, making it strong and sturdy for all of your needs.
From exploring Wales’ historic scenes to strolling along the coast, Melin Tregwynt has got you covered with its range of jackets and coats.
A simple sleeveless jacket in semi-plain fabric with fleece-lined mandarin collar, this will quickly become one your wardrobe favourites It is practical, easy and warm while effortlessly chic.
An understated classic jacket, in a fitted ¾ length style that finishes low hip. This is a versatile jacket that will go with pretty much anything.
A single breasted, belted and fully lined long jacket with roomy expandable pockets, shoulder reinforcements and storm collar, this is the perfect jacket to explore Wales’ varied scenery, even leaving you room for your camera and binoculars.
This draped coat with a flattering fit is ideal for a chilly stroll along any of Wales’ picturesque beaches. The generous and relaxed collar fastens with a large single wooden button. The inside has been left unlined apart from the sleeves to show off the beauty of the double cloth weave.
Melin Tregwynt also offers a range of beanie hats, scarfs and arm warmers to keep you extra toasty in the coming winter months. These are made by Robert Mackie of Scotland, inspired by Melin Tregwynt’s fabrics.
Melin Tregwynt is based in a historic woolen mill on the Pembrokeshire coast. All its bags are treated with Teflon to make them water and stain resistant, are trimmed or finished with leather and come in many different colours/patterns.
To fall in love with this traditional Welsh brand, head to the Melin Tregwynt website to explore their full range of products: www.melintregwynt.co.uk
Summer is finally here! However, due to the unreliable British weather any opportunity to model this summer’s fashion trends must be grasped. From statement colours to detailed patterns, we’ve created a selection of looks that will inspire your outfits this summer.
Fantasising about magical sunsets? Bring a bit of warmth to your wardrobe by introducing the intense orange and red shades of the sun. There’s no need to stick to one colour when you can go for ombre sunset shades. Whether you want to make a statement in a burnt orange dress or add a splash of colour to your outfit with some accessories, this trend is hot this summer.
Men could also model this trend with a summer shirt or a pair of swim shorts. Go for zesty yellow colours; they’re enough to brighten your day, even when the British weather doesn’t.
Florals are perfect for summer and this year is no exception. Whether you’re looking for an outfit for a wedding, a day at the races or just a casual picnic in the park, this is the perfect style to keep you on trend. If you don’t feel like going fully floral, accessories are a great way to wear the trend.
This print looks great on men too. Opt for a paisley suit in the office, or some tropical swimming shorts by the beach to ensure you’re staying stylish.
The pyjama look isn’t just for the bedroom; we’ve seen it on numerous catwalks including the likes of Givenchy and Calvin Klein. Think kimonos and loose fitting pieces – the lightweight fabric is perfect for warmer weather and oozes luxury. Silk slip dresses are a great choice if you’re feeling daring, or alternatively opt for loose-fitting shorts or trousers if you’re looking for something a little tamer. To finish off the look add some delicate strappy sandals. Heels are a must to distinguish between going out and going to bed!
The Nautical trend has been longstanding for a reason – it’s both chic and extremely wearable. This look works for all ages and looks just as great on women as it does on men. One thing to remember is that a little goes a long way. To avoid the comic sailor look, opt for a Breton striped top paired with jeans, or a nautical skirt with a bright red lip.
All Things White
White is a colour that never goes out of fashion and can refresh any outfit. It’s perfect for a sharp office look or for a relaxed weekend away. It is also looks great on men. Go for a crisp white shirt or, if you’re confident enough, a pair of white trousers. The clean colour is key to looking classy while also keeping you cool in the heat.
Be sure to steer clear of any risky liquids to avoid embarrassing spillages!
Are you looking for a mini-moon or romantic staycation to celebrate your big day? Whether you’re getting married this summer or marking an important anniversary, we’ve listed the most exclusive honeymoon destinations right here in Wales.
The Stackpole Inn is located in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Surrounded by beaches, headlands and cliffs it is perfect for a secluded romantic getaway. The bed and breakfast offers high quality king size rooms and award winning home cooked food. Double rooms at the Stackpole Inn start at just £90 per night. Just two miles away is the stunning Bosherston Lakes, where you can take a romantic stroll through the woodlands and visit the impressive lily ponds.
Inspired by one of the most romantic cities in the world, the Venetia is a combination of Welsh and Italian cultures. The menu comprises Italian inspired dishes with locally sourced produce. Staying at Venetia costs between £80 and £148 per night. Venetia is situated in the fashionable resort of Abersoch, an idyllic location to take strolls at sunrise or sunset along the never-ending beaches.
Jordanston Holiday Cottages
The Jordanston Holiday Cottages are located in St Florence, near Tenby. There are a variety of cottages available, meaning you can pick the one most suited to your needs, but all offer modern kitchens and open plan living rooms. Prices for staying at the Jordanston Holiday Cottages depend on the size of the cottage, so with this in mind it could be the perfect opportunity to get together with friends for a couples holiday. The pretty harbour town and seaside resort of Tenby is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway, and many of the cottages have log fire burners, meaning you can cosy up after a day of exploring the seaside town.
The Hunter Lodges are located in the grounds of the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport. This is the perfect place for a luxury romantic getaway with a group of friends. The Hunter Lodges are priced from £1,680 for a short break. The interiors are sophisticatedly modern, with amenities such as chill-out rooms and indoor saunas. The luxury lodges overlook the Usk Valley, meaning you will be able to take in the breathtaking views from the outdoor hot tub. Alongside this, a number of treatments are available in The Celtic Manor Resort itself, allowing you to fully relax.
Upper Gelli is located in the stunning countryside near Welshpool. This luxury lodge gives off a chic yet homely feel, allowing guests to settle down for a relaxing evening after exploring the rural surroundings. Upper Gelli prices range between £350 and £990 for a short break. Just a 20-minute drive away is Montgomery Canal, perfect for a relaxing romantic canoe ride. But if canoeing is not your thing, just a 15-minute drive away is Powis Castle, where you can explore Elizabethan-furnished rooms and grand terraced gardens before stopping for tea and cake in the tea rooms.
It’s not hard to spot wildlife in Wales thanks in part to the abundance of lush nature reserves. All year round these environments flourish, offering shelter to some amazing creatures. If you’re looking to get close to nature in the late spring then our run down of what you can spot is essential.
WHAT: Bottlenose Dolphins
WHERE: Cardigan Bay has a reputation for attracting a variety of sea creatures, but most notably it is home to the UK’s biggest pods of bottlenose dolphins. They have thrived here, which highlights the strong healthy ecosystem. The best place to spot them in the late spring is off the coast of the seaside town of Aberystwyth, before they head south towards New Quay for summer.
STAY: Gwesty Cymru is a luxurious hotel right on the seafront, with stunning views of the bay. This contemporary hotel offers a fresh inventive menu with local ingredients.
WHAT: Grey Seals & Manx Shearwater’s
WHERE: The islands of Skomer and Skokholm are home to much of Cardigan Bay’s wildlife, including an abundance of marine birds. Skomer is home to around 120,000 pairs of Manx Shearwater’s, with an estimated 45,000 on Skokholm. The two islands provide a home for the largest population of these birds currently known.
As well as the birds, Skomer offers safety to hundreds of grey seals as they gather on the island, providing entertainment for onlookers as they squabble for the best places. There are boat trips daily to Skomer, with the exception of bad weather. The website and their Twitter account are updated frequently to inform visitors of any changes.
STAY: fields Lodge is only a twenty-minute drive from the Lockley Lodge Visitor centre. This quaint B&B mixes traditional and modern stylings, offering comfort after a long day of exploring.
WHERE: Puffin Island, off the tip of Anglesey, has been turned into a bird sanctuary, home to a range of different seabirds including Puffins, kittiwakes and razorbills. The birds’ breeding season falls between April and July, so visiting in late spring offers the chance to see an abundance of wildlife and possibly even some early hatchers. Cruises are offered around the island, but it is advised to pre-book via the website.
STAY: Fifteen minutes drive from Puffin Island is Beaumaris’ Ye Olde Bull’s Head Inn and Townhouse, which seamlessly combines old wooden beams with contemporary décor. It is also one of the top places to eat in North Wales.
WHERE: The Dyfi Valley is part of the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust. Located near the town of Machynlleth, the breeding programme in place here led to the first successful breeding of Ospreys in over 400 years. There is a 360 degree observatory allowing spectacular views of the birds in their habitats and the Dyfi Estuary beyond.
STAY: Situated between Machynlleth and Aberdyfi, Llety Brynawel is a beautiful Georgian guesthouse in a perfect location for both coast and country.
WHAT: Red Kites
WHERE: Otherwise known as the King of Wales, these large majestic birds of prey are common across the lush Welsh landscape. Rhayader is home to Gigrin Farm, where they have scheduled feedings of this magnificent birds allowing for onlookers to see them in action in their natural habitat.
STAY: Indulge in luxury after a day exploring the countryside at the Metropole Hotel, which is a short drive away in the nearby Llandrindod Wells. This impressive Victorian hotel boasts a four star rating, and also offers
Spring and summer fashion trends
Usually, when the sun appears, brightcolours, floral patterns and sandals aren’t far behind. But that might not be the case this spring and summer, as the earthy, neutral tones from winter look to be sticking around.
Pantone has released its spring and summer fashion colour reports and GQ has announced its trend prediction for the upcoming seasons. It looks like fashion will be sophisticated, toned down but classy during these months. Here is what to expect:
For the ladies
Be sure to stick to rose this spring and summer; a rose quart long jacket, a light rose blouse, rose trousers, in fact anything rose – own it. Not only will the gentle tone project composure, the light-hearted colour will also create a soothing vibe, perfect for a relaxed evening drink. Pantone has suggested pairing this colour with peach echo. As a companion to the orange family it evokes warmth and friendliness. – try a rose pink half-length skirt with a jacket in peach.
To help you relax and de-stress, turn to the colour ‘Serenity’. A mix between blue and purple, it creates a calming effect and is perfect for a weekend away. Shirts in this colour would be a good way to jazz up a work outfit. When searching for a darker colour, explore the navies. Pantone advises ‘Snorkel Blue’, an energetic, happy colour. A bag in this tone could work well with a matching pair of heeled-sandals.
Sometimes it’s nice to steer away from colours and explore the neutral side of life. The transitional ‘Iced Coffee’ is the perfect shade of brown, with an earthy quality. Long coats are particularly popular in this colour. Be sure to match it with other subtle colours to create a relaxed feeling, and wear with confidence.
When it comes to accessories, Gucci has declared the more the better. Flaunting your jewellery box will have never been easier. Layer necklaces, double up rings and include extra long earrings for a bold statement.
For the gentlemen
Clothes for the upcoming seasons consist of a subdued pallet. Green was popular on the runways this year, so have this in mind when considering your spring and summer wardrobe. Just a glimpse will do; hunt for green ties or bags, or mix shades together for a contrasting effect.
Surprisingly, similar to the ladies trends, men’s fashion is not adopting bright bold colours; it seems the central colour to scout for is grey. When searching for formal clothes, grey suits will be appreciated.
White trousers will be popular this year; if you can swap coffee in your morning meeting for water to avoid spillage then this is the trend for you. Pair white trousers with dusty brown boots and brown belts. For smartcasual occasions, wear with a patterned jumper or alternatively combine with button down shirts for a weekend look.
Not only are slip-on shoes comfy, they are humble and stylish. Sold in a range of colours, they are suitable for all occasions when worn correctly. Keep trousers well tailored to maintain the outfit balance.
We’ve all been there; relaxing on Christmas Eve with a glass of mulled wine in hand, when it suddenly dawns on you there’s someone you’ve forgotten to buy for.
Available in a range of amounts starting at £50, they are a ideal gifts for most budgets.
And because they can be bought, emailed and printed off in minutes, there’s no need to battle the Christmas crowds.
The E-Vouchers are redeemable on arrival at any of the luxury, hand-picked Welsh Rarebit properties. Here are some of the offers available this Christmas.
* A £20 surplus is added on Saturdays. This offer is available between 1 January and 29 February.
Cardiff Christmas Market and Winter Wonderland, until 24 December
Stalls selling seasonal food and gifts can be found all over the streets of Cardiff’s city centre. There’s also a Winter Wonderland, complete with an ice rink and Santa’s Grotto to really get you in the Christmas spirit. Stay at Cathedral 73, a boutique hotel with a great city centre location – right next to the Swalec Stadium.
Anglesey Winter Treasures Craft Fair, until 24 December
Some of Wales’ finest artisans and craftspeople can be found on the Isle of Anglesey until Christmas Eve. The Winter Treasures Craft Fair is held in the Oriel Ynys Môn Museum, which offers a great opportunity to pick up some one-off pieces. Why not stay close by at The Windmill, which boasts spectacular views and unusual architecture?
St David’s Christmas Carol Service and Nativity, 2o December
Soak up the festive spirit this year at St David’s Cathedral Christmas Carol Service and Nativity. The event provides the perfect opportunity to savour the cathedral’s historic architecture and explore the Celtic heritage of the surrounding city – the smallest in the UK. Need somewhere to stay? Try the Warpool Court Hotel, which offers luxury spacious rooms and peaceful surrounding gardens.
Christmas Kingdom at Celtic Manor, until 3 January
This year’s Christmas Kingdom at Celtic Manor has an impressive selection of attractions including an ice rink, Santa’s Grotto and festive food and drink stalls. Why not extend your visit to fit everything in and stay at the Hunter Lodges in the grounds of the Celtic Manor Hotel? With up to four bedrooms the luxury lodges are perfect for accommodating the whole family.
Penarth Christmas Fair, until 24 December
Open until Christmas Eve, Penarth’s Christmas Fair houses over 20 different stalls with many operated by local artists and craftsmen. Offering original and one-off pieces, this is the perfect opportunity to find some last minute Chrismas gifts. Stay at exclusive Holm House and treat yourself with a visit to the hotel’s Luxury Spa.