Sculpture heaven

Best romantic places in Ceredigion

We’ve looked at the top 9 romantic places to visit in Ceredigion, a chance to explore the area with your loved one.

There’s nothing like a romantic mini break for spending quality time with your other half. To give you a dose of inspiration, we’ve rounded up our top romantic places within easy driving distance of The Falcondale.

 

1.      Vale of Rheidol

Book a ticket for two on the narrow-gauge steam railway that wanders through the Rheidol valley. Hop aboard in the seaside resort of Aberystwyth and the engine will pull you up 700 feet along the hillside heading towards Devil’s bridge. At the final stop learn about the legend of Devil’s bridge, or should you be brave (and physically fit) take a walk down Jacob’s ladder and into the gorge.

An episode of tv’s Hinterland was also filmed at this location. Following your return journey take a romantic stroll along Aberystwyth’s seafront.

Vale of Rheidol railway

2.      Mwnt beach

There are numerous beaches and coves along the Cambrian bay coastline, but we believe that Mwnt is the most romantic. It’s remote location on the headland has only one building – a small white washed church. The golden sands of the beach is it’s own private cove with crashing waves and rock pools nearby. Watch-out for porpoises and dolphins that can often be seen from the shoreline.

Mwnt on the Cardigan bay coastal path

3.      Bwlch nant yr arian

The visitor centre is located at the head of a dramatic valley with walking trails and mountain biking trails leading you to the hilltops – where you can see the Cambrian Mountains up close and Cardigan Bay in the distance. Should you not be too adventurous stay in the coffee shop and view the red kite feeding spectacle (2pm GMT; 3pm BST), follow the easy barcud trail to get closer to the feeding centre. Expect to see over 150 red kites with their forked tails and swooping action.

Red Kite

4.      Sculpture heaven

A hidden gem near Rhydlewis with themed and sculpture gardens within a two and half acre plot. Wander amongst flora and fauna and discover sculpture made of wood, stone and resin from the resident artist as well as contemporary British sculptors. Smaller and larger pieces available for sale within the gallery and take advantage of their tea room with homemade cakes and a sneak peek at the workshop.

Sculpture heaven

5.      Rhiannon Gold Centre

A centre for genuine Welsh gold with unique hand-crafted designs. Their workshop creates fabulous Celtic designs using the well-regarded Welsh gold mined from the area. The centre features local Welsh artists within the gallery and has a collection of historical Celtic artefacts demonstrating the progression of visual Celtic designs. A perfect stop should you be looking for a unique gift for your partner.

Rhiannon gold centre

6.      New quay honey farm

A fun few hours can be had exploring all things “bees” at the Newquay honey farm. From watching the bees at work, exploring the hives and cold-pressing for the finished product. Before grapes were pressed for wine honey was fermented to produce mead, sample various types during your visit.

New quay honey centre

7.      Cambrian safaris

A highly recommended tour of the Cambrian Mountains via your very own guide and his trusty Land Rover Discovery.  Get collected at The Falcondale, or a pre-arranged spot and discover the wild tranquillity of Mid Wales in comfort. The area is beautifully diverse, has Instagram worthy landscapes, local history and wildlife. Whatever your particular interest your guide will take you to the very best spots!

Elan valley

8.      Adventure Beyond

How adventurous are you both? How about a leisurely canoe trip for the two of you down the river Teifi, where your professional and knowledgeable guide will not only give guidance on the activity but tell stories of sea pirates and smugglers. Picking-up the pace you could try out sea-kayaking, gorge walking or even coasteering! A most memorable and magical adventure could be arranged for the both of you to share.

Stand-up paddle boarding

9.      Twm’s Treks guided walks

What better way to explore the ruggedness of the Cambrian Mountains than with a guided walk from someone who has spent many years on it’s hills, valleys and marshes. Options include iron age hill forts, summits, coastland, nature, heritage, waterfalls and dark skies. We would suggest contacting Dafydd directly and he can make suggestions based on your interest and walking level ability – which will very possibly include welcome stops for lunch.

Bedroom 23 with bottle of Champagne

These 9 places are just our recommendations based on feedback from other guests and our own experiences. Maybe you can surprise your loved one by arranging a trip without their knowledge and bask in the envious cries of “I wish my partner was more romantic” from friends and family.

Get loved up on your next romantic trip and treat yourself and your special someone to an unforgettable couples’ getaway at The Falcondale.

ROMANTIC GETAWAY

 

Tony 2AA rosettes 2018

Into the frying pan with head chef Tony

Weddings from a chef’s point of view

Our head chef Tony has been in his current position at The Falcondale since October 2017 and has over 20 years’ experience within hotels / restaurants and event catering. We thought we’d fire some questions at him and share his experience of the industry with you – especially when it comes to catering for weddings.

Weddings at The Falcondale

Your advice to brides and grooms when choosing their menus?

Prioritise your desires. If the food element of your wedding is high up on your list, then allocate your wedding budget accordingly. It could be that you’d prefer to spend more on “the dress” and that 8-piece band you absolutely love. Let us know, as we can alter dishes and presentation to suit your day and budget. This does not mean that the quality of the food or service will be compromised, only the realism that an Oyster bar will more expensive than standard canapes.

Choose a menu for you, what you like to eat, and let your guests know your reasonings for your choices. They are far more likely to get on board your train of thought and accept that the day is about you, and not them.

 

Canapes

 

What are your biggest likes and dislikes when it comes to catering for a wedding?

The most amazing feeling is receiving feedback from the bride and groom after the event is over. By the time we get to the wedding day itself we would have spent hours fine tuning and preparing – including taster sessions / pictures of the dishes / reading and re-reading the menu etc. etc. To hear that the effort was worthwhile is amazing.

My biggest dislike (which I’m sure many other chefs would agree with me), is guests not telling the bride and groom or even the venue about their dietary requirements. There are many situations involving people’s health that require a specific diet and I have no problem in accommodating these requests. However, trying to conjure a vegan dairy free dessert at the 11th hour whilst feeding 120 guests is quite a tall order. I kindly request that we are made aware of these dietary requirements in advance (at least a week in advance – please).

 

What are your thoughts on the latest trends of Grazing or Feasting tables?

For me it’s just fancy words for a buffet, would you agree? Maybe I’m being a little harsh on this point.

With a buffet you’ll have a selection of options from a buffet table which include carved meats, bowls of salads, dressings, dips, coleslaw, maybe some hot options and a bread roll – all individual elements which when brought together makes a complete plate of food.

A grazing table would be a large display table full of dishes, such as mini fish & chip cones with tartare sauce, mini brioche buns filled with a Welsh beef patty and red onion marmalade, softly poached quail egg with an asparagus sprig, falafel and cous cous food bowls. Portions that are a little bigger than canapes and be picked up by the guests haphazardly over a longer period of time.

A feasting table is what you’d expect to see at Harry Potter, all the food in the middle of the table where the guests are sat with platters of food to share in the middle. Kind of like a private buffet for each individual table, which gets people talking and mingling with each other naturally.

What I like to do (especially for the evening part of the weddings), are food platters. Such as Welsh cheese with oatcakes, chutneys, apples, celery and grapes. Alongside this serve a charcuterie platter of salami’s, pepperoni, bresaola with olives, gherkins, roasted nuts and artisan breads.

Afternoon tea wedding

 

What is your food philosophy?

Local & seasonal – whenever and wherever possible.

No matter your budget or what dishes you choose I try and source these locally to The Falcondale. There is such a vast array of producers within the county of Ceredigion and its neighbour’s in Carmarthenshire / Pembrokeshire and Powys that we would be amiss to ignore them.

There is an expectation to provide menus within a wedding brochure, which is quite ridiculous really when at that stage you don’t even know what time of year the wedding will take place. This results in generic menus that sounds the same as any other venue. When I have the opportunity, I would prefer to offer specific seasonal options to brides and grooms that could also strengthen their vibe and hopes for their day.

 

Anything else you’d like to add?

Come up for a tasting of your dishes before you make your final decisions on a menu. I make a judgement call on what I think would look good dependant on your choice. This may not always match with your expectations and so please be honest about your feedback. Do you want it to look differently? Maybe it wasn’t what you thought? Do you want a different garnish on the side?

Once you are happy and you’ve made your decision we will put the wheels in motion and start planning the ordering of produce.

Wedding tables

 

Weddings at The Falcondale

Our aim has been to offer suggestions that could be applied to The Falcondale hotel & restaurant, a four-star country house hotel located just outside Lampeter in Mid Wales.

 

Peek at our Wedding page for details on packages.

 

To book a showaround give us a call on 01570 422910 or email weddings@thefalcondale.co.uk

 

WEDDINGS

Wedding receptions

Alternative Wedding breakfast ideas

Wedding dining with a difference

Are you trying to avoid the same dining experience that you get from most weddings you’ve been to, and are looking to do something a little bit different? There are alternatives available, whether it be a more casual dining experience or go all out with extra courses and a refined menu.

Whatever you choose it is important to express your personality as a couple and include your favourite food. Don’t get too worried as to whether everyone else would like the food, since it’s your day. Your guests will be more than happy to go along with your choices.

Wedding room layout

STREET FOOD

There are many markets and food festivals around that have now popularised “street food”. Many different stalls specialising in one specific food product, i.e. pizzas, panini’s, burgers, sushi etc. etc. Should you be booking your wedding in a location such as The Falcondale, you could emulate this by having food stations. Rather than a traditional buffet table, food stations would be in various locations and offer a specific type of food or dish. Here are a few ideas: –

  • Cheese and biscuits. This could be represented with a tower of different cheeses, decorated with apples, celery and grapes. Various crackers, oatcakes and water biscuits could be arranged in baskets with butter scrolls, honey and olives available as accompaniments.
  • Burger bar. Provide quality homemade burgers with the best quality extras. Guests can add whatever they would like to make their own unique burger. Include beef tomatoes, local cheese, crisp lettuce, streaky Welsh bacon, gherkins and caramelised red onions. Of course, you would need the ultimate sauces, so why not try mushroom ketchup or scotch bonnet chilli jam.
  • Croque-en-bouche. Having made recent fame in the Great British Bake Off the croque-en-bouche is a stack of profiteroles filled with crème patissiere and drizzled with caramel. Imagine having 5 of these stacked on a table with jugs of warm chocolate sauce and pouring cream for guests to help themselves.
  • Pimp your cupcake. An effective way to keep any children at your party entertained and fed at the same time. Provide plain cupcakes with the various hundreds & thousands, chocolate strands, silver balls and buttercream icing that you can find topped with miniature bride and grooms.
Pimp your Prosecco

VINTAGE AFTERNOON TEA

An afternoon tea with vintage crockery and cake stands set out on crisp white linen on a warm summer’s day. What could be more than British?

Should you be replacing your main wedding breakfast with an afternoon tea you would need to provide more sandwiches and savoury options for hungry guests. Our experience shows that its best to serve the sandwiches first and then follow these with the cakes.

As an alternative to alcoholic arrival drinks, or alongside, tea and coffee could be served within vintage crockery.

Vintage wedding tea

DRINKS

Pimp your Prosecco – this is not a new fad but can be quite effective in adding a little pizzazz to your day. Your guests will be provided with a glass of bubbly which they can add to from a selection of options. This could include elderflower cordial, strawberries, citrus fruits, rose blush etc. etc.

A barrow of beers – An old wheelbarrow from your shed could be dusted off and filled with ice before placing your chosen beers in there to keep cool. Attach a bottle opened to the barrow handles and let guests help themselves. Simple yet effective.

Wheelbarrow

Costs

Be aware that the “alternative” does not mean it will be cheaper, in fact its likely to be more expensive. This is because the venue may need to hire specialist equipment, more staff members may be required to undertake your request, or possibly there could be a minimum spend put in place. You may need to ask these questions before booking anywhere.

Wedding receptions

Weddings at The Falcondale

Our aim has been to offer suggestions that could be applied to The Falcondale hotel & restaurant, a four-star country house hotel located just outside Lampeter in Mid Wales.

Peek at our Wedding page for details on packages.

To book a showaround give us a call on 01570 422910 or email weddings@thefalcondale.co.uk

 

WEDDINGS

The little things that can make a big difference when you are looking for a dog-friendly hotel.

5 Tips for a Fantastic Dog Friendly Hotel Stay in Mid-Wales

At The Falcondale, we’ve got history when it comes to hounds in our country house hotel in Lampeter. In fact, we were listed as one of the Daily Mail’s top 6 dog friendly hotels in 2016.

And more recently, we were very proud to be the Editor’s choice in the Top 10 dog friendly hotels in the Good Hotel Guide 2018. We’ve also been featured in The Evening Standard and The Independent.

So we thought we’d share some of our thoughts on the little things that can make a big difference when you are looking for a dog friendly hotel to properly pamper your pooch.

Plenty of treats

A good dog friendly hotel should offer pampered pooches some tasty treats when they arrive.

You’ll want your four-legged travelling companion to be looked after as well as you.

Find out what doggy treats are on offer to canine guests and make sure the hotel can help you with the basics.

At The Falcondale, we present every dog with a cosy blanket, water bowl and tasty treat – everything you’d expect at a truly dog friendly hotel. If you should forget something, there’s everything from poo bags and spare leads, to towels and dog food on offer.

Walkies!

Find a dog friendly hotel with plenty of opportunities for walking, preferably with a dog friendly beach nearby.

Find a hotel with expansive grounds and surrounding countryside and do a bit of research beforehand to find nearby walks for adventurous pups.

With 14 acres of land right on our doorstep, as well as circular walks, the coastal footpath, wooded and forestry walks, hilltop walks and dog friendly beaches, there’s plenty to keep you and your dog busy!

We’ll even give you a torch for late-night or early-morning strolls.

Doggy delicacies

A dog friendly hotel will have designated areas where dogs and their owners can sit together and eat.

While the majority of hotels won’t allow dogs into their restaurants (ourselves included), many will have designated areas where dogs are welcome and owners can sit down for food.

Find out where these are so that you can plan your mealtimes in advance.

At The Falcondale, we have our own canine menu and they can eat beside you in the conservatory before napping in front of the fire in the lounge.

Most hotels should be able to store fresh meat or titbits in their freezer or refrigerator. We can offer this, so long as the food is suitably packaged.

Furry friends

The Falcondale's resident dog, Snoopy, loves to greet our four-legged guests.

You’d expect any dog friendly hotel to at least have their own resident pooch.

Our Cocker Spaniel, Snoopy, loves to welcome any four-legged guests!

The local residents of the surrounding area also like to walk their dogs on the hotel drive, so there should be plenty of friendly furry faces to “sniff out”.

Your pooch stays free at our dog friendly hotel!*

Your furry friends will always be welcome when they check in at our dog friendly hotel.

The best news of all is that, during National Pet Month, pets can stay for free!

All other times it’s just £10 per night for your dog to stay with you.

Come and experience our dog friendly hotel today. Find out more about our selection of rooms or book a room now.

*Free stay for dogs only during National Pet Month

PET FRIENDLY