Eat Your Fill & Sleep Well: 4 Tasty Weekend Retreats

In case you didn’t realise, ‘restaurants with rooms’ are to 2018 what ’boutique hotels’ were to 2017.

There’s been a real explosion in the culture of eating out across the UK.

No longer is London the only place to go for fine dining, as more people across the country are acquiring a taste for fancier dinners some of the most talented chefs in the Big Smoke have been escaping their hectic city lives for a piece of the countryside, with many of them finding quiet spots in Wales to settle down.

Whilst everyone can appreciate a well-cooked meal, it’s arguable that it’s hard to truly enjoy a meal without a decent bottle of wine to accompany it with.

Most fine dining restaurants offer a wine pairing with their dishes, but as many of these eateries are often in the middle of nowhere some diners have always had to restrain themselves so that a designated driver can make the journey back safely. Thankfully, this kind of restraint can now be put on the back-burner (for special occasions – of course!) as many restaurants have started offering rooms for the night, saving drivers the hassle of watching their drinking and no doubt boosting their checks at the same time…

These restaurants with rooms have been ahead of the curve for some time and have perfected their craft as a result – check in for dinner and then roll straight into bed, after a couple of whiskys first, of course:

Castle Cottage Harlech

There’s something to be said about a hospitality team that has succeeded for over 25 years and that’s exactly what Glyn & Jacqueline Roberts have done at the Castle Cottage Harlech, a very well established restaurant which happens to be just 50 metres away from the castle which it takes its name from. Glyn has been serving up an ever-changing seasonal menu since their doors opened and offers a reasonably priced tasting menu at just £45 per head.

The rooms at the Cottage are tastefully decorated with large, plush beds and more than enough space for you and your partner to stretch out. Many of these rooms offer excellent views of the historical village and are a mercifully short distance from the restaurant. One night’s stay in one of their rooms with breakfast included costs £65pp per night.

Tyddyn Llan

You’ve probably not heard of head chef Bryan Webb before and that’s just how he likes it. After spending over 40 years cooking, Bryan has developed a reputation purely based on his excellent cooking skills and innovation, rather than any flashy TV deals. The quality shows in the assured nature with which his staff serve up their Michelin-star level food and this standard is carried across to the rooms that are housed in the same stunning building.

Credit: @James Whalley

Although the country home is certainly dominated by an opulent aura, you can still take advantage of some deals here for couples. A one night stay with a three-course dinner for two (including breakfast) starts at £160pp. Whilst this might seem steep, it’s worth considering the quality level of service that is provided by the excellent staff here. As far as attractions in north Wales go, this is one of the finest.

The Kinmel Arms

Just tucked to the side of the North Wales Expressway this charming, traditional pub has been a celebrated eating spot for years and now it can add successful hotel to its resume, along with 2 Rosettes and recognition from the Good Food Guide. Owned by business owner Lynn Cunnah-Watson, it’s the perfect stop off on the way to the North Wales coast but when the food and drink is this good, it would be almost foolish not to stay the night.

Credit: @C a t r i na

The menu at The Kinmel Arms is bursting with locally sourced food and, whilst never straying too far away from pub classics, it’s always executed to a tee. The same can be said about their boutique rooms, each of which is available to stay in with the option of including dinner and breakfast from as little as £195 for a couple. Stop for dinner and breakfast, pick up one of their gorgeous hampers and head on your merry way for a day’s walking on the coast.

3 Really Rugged Outdoor Adventures

Are you ready for a serious adventure?

With huge stretches of some of the most rugged countryside in the UK, it’s no wonder that North Wales is considered by many to be one of the best places in the UK to engage in outdoor pursuits.

You name: you can do it here in North Wales.

Whether you fancy racing down a gravel track with the mountains of Snowdonia as your backdrop or you’re thinking of hurtling through a disused quarry at speeds of up to 100mph, North Wales is the place to get your adrenaline fix. In the last decade a whole raft of innovative entrepreneurs have been finding new ways to introduce visitors to the stunning countryside and we’ve pulled together the very best rugged outdoor adventures for you to try your hand at the next time you come to the area:

Cliff Camping with Gaia Adventures

You might have heard of wild camping before, it’s where you you forgo the traditional campsite and opt for a more rough’n’ready experience. That means going without any of the usual amenities: no comfy bar to retreat to when it rains, no charge points for your phones and certainly no toilets. The experienced team at Gaia Adventures have taken the concept one step further and not only taken away the tent, but also the ground!

Dangle your legs over the edge of your cliff-side ‘portaledge’ and enjoy a one-of-a-kind camping experience that will certainly leave you with some awesome memories. Whilst you might not get the best night’s sleep completely exposed to the coastline elements, the Gaia Adventures team will be on hand to make your stay as comfortable as possible with hot food and a little Dutch courage to warm your cockles.

Nighttime SUP with Pysched Paddleboarding

Compared to it’s flashier cousin, standup padddleboarding (or SUP as it’s known to its practitioners) has not quite managed to gain as much mainstream popularity, despite it being a much easier skill to pick up. Sian Sykes is seeking to address this imbalance by bringing her brand of high quality SUP adventures to the stunning waters of North Wales. Instead of taking visitors out into the choppy open waters, Sian opts for the tranquil bays and peaceful lakes, allowing you to get to grips with your new skill at a reasonable pace.

Although Sian’s team of instructors offer plenty of sessions during the daytime, Psyched Paddleboarding offer one experience that is truly unique. A Night SUP with Sian is an almost-pitch black trip into star-filled serenity. Once you’ve learnt the basics of SUP, you’ll drive out to either a peaceful bay in Anglesey or a secluded lake in Snowdonia to experience the dusk turn into night. In one of only 11 official ‘Dark Sky’ parks in the world, you’ll get an unparalleled view of the night sky and a mug of hot chocolate to drink it in with.

Ultimate Xtreme with Go Below

Whilst Go Below’s competitors Zip World often get the most media coverage with their jaw-dropping quarry zipline and impressive 100mph speeds, there’s something to be said for the sheer value for money that this company’s flagship experience offers. For the price of just £89 you’ll be able to swoop down a massive nine zip lines – the catch? All of these perilously high-wires are buried hundreds of feet underground.

This whole day activity is absolutely for the adventurers out their seeking a real challenge. You’ll not only have to contend with the extreme zip lines, there are also original miners’ ladders and some of the bridges you’ll cross will be over 150 years old! As dangerous as this all sounds, it’s all completely safe: a professionally installed rope-system is in place to ensure that you’re protected the whole way round.