Like the sixties singer Marty Wilde, I took a trip to Abergavenny and now I know what there is to sing about.
This cosy town welcomed me during the festivities of the Christmas season with Mulled wine and mince pies courtesy of The Angel Hotel, before I cheered the season with a small group in their pop up Alpine ”Après Ski” bar. But it was the artistry and subtle romance of the town that really won my heart.
Billed as the Gateway to Wales, Abergavenny was a Roman fort called Gobannium as far back as when Jesus walked the earth! A thousand years later a Norman Castle was built and the town called Burgavenny grew up around it. There was even a Benedictine Monastery where the current St. Mary’s Church now sits.
Walking down the street in this historic market town,
into cafe and art shop combinations that feed the body and the artistic spirit,
past award-winning flower shops offering courses,
and storefront displays of Italian leather shoes, luxury handbags and wool, I came across a dedicated Teddy Bear store. I felt as delighted as a six years old as I walked in to the tiny room to be surrounded on all sides with Teddy bears ranging from affordable to high end designer bears.
A Welsh High Tea
Eventually I pulled myself away from the Teddy Bears because a real grown-up treat awaited me: High Tea at the Angel Hotel. This is no ordinary afternoon Tea. The Angel Hotel is not only a member of the prestigious UK Tea Guild, but it has held an Award of Excellence since 2008. As one of only nine hotels outside of London to have achieved this, it is a London quality treat without the pretence and hustle of the big city.
The freshly made warm, savoury pastries, the sandwiches and the cakes not only exceeded my expectations but set the standard by which I will judge all future High Teas.
It wasn’t only the quality of the Tea and service that won me over, but also the setting. It felt relaxed and intimate, where we could talk and laugh and thoroughly enjoy the moment.
It is no secret that I love Wales: The friendly people, the lovely sing-song accent, and the clean air and open countryside that make me inhale deeply as soon as I get out of my car. It’s a feeling of ‘now I’ve arrived’ and can unwind.
The Artistry of Nature in the Brecon Beacons
Because of its setting at the foot of the Brecon Beacons, Abergavenny is naturally a popular place for hikers and cyclists. It is a place to enjoy the outdoors. The short break wouldn’t have been complete without a walk up Sugar Loaf Mountain organized by Drover Holidays. Even the name of the mountain is sweet!
Sweet dreams at the Angel
Now the time came to snuggle into my room at the Angel Hotel. This Hotel boasts the prestigious accolade of ‘AA Hotel of the Year for Wales’. Indeed the room feels special. An elegant country chic feel is complemented by live plants in the rooms, and the hotel is sprinkled with orchids throughout. To me, this room oozes romance; I love the canopy over the bed, and the spaciousness which parallels the great outdoors setting in the Brecon Beacons.
All this said, it’s not surprising that the Angel Hotel is one of the areas most elegant wedding venues and if fact is holding a Wedding Showcase on the weekend of February 18 – 19th, 2017. This conveniently falls just after Valentine’s Day.
Whether a romantic getaway or an adventure for all your senses, Abergavenny is a special place well worth taking a trip down to. Who knows where it will lead you!
For more tourist information on Abergavenny click here.
Drover Holidays organize cycling/mountain biking and walking/hiking adventures in Wales
If you’re a foodie, don’t miss the Food Festival in September
Huge thanks for my epic Wales adventure goes to the Angel Hotel in Abergavenny for being extraordinary hosts, and to Drover Holidays leaders for taking us up Sugar Loaf mountain.