North Wales Magazine - December 2019

Page 1




What’s On

Your bumper guide to Christmas events

Interview with Gruffydd Wyn SINGING HIS WAY TO SUCCESS

The slow tourist DISCOVERING FLINTSHIRE ONE STEP AT A TIME INSIDE J Competitions J Food & Drink J Homes & Interiors




Ten clip & climb routes, a stairway to heaven and a leap of faith.

A unique obstacle assault course with the UK’s only extreme kicker slides! Adrenaline Indoors entry from £12, activities from age 5+.


Keep the smalls entertained, come rain or shine. Entry £5 Free for under 12 months | Under 7s only


Will you brave the caves? Over 100-metres of indoor caves & tunnels.

CONWY VALLEY, N. WALES. LL32 8QE Beat the queues and book your activity in advance at Page 2 NWM 2019 or call 01492 353 123



Vouchers from ÂŁ10. Valid for retail, surf and adrenaline indoors activities. Buy now at NWM 2019 Page 3



Olive Tree Coffee Rooms open from 9am-5pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-4pm Sunday

Free local delivery service on fresh Christmas Trees available from late November

Page 4 NWM 2019 Snowdonia Nurseries & Garden Centre, Glan Conwy 01492 580703


DEAR READER It’s December (in case you hadn’t noticed), and that can only mean one thing… Yes, you’ve guessed it, Christmas has arrived

Just make sure that you take a day or two to

and, with it, all of the usual fanfare. In this

get out and about and enjoy our wonderful

day and age there are a million and one

region. Sunbathing on the beach might not

ways to celebrate Christmas and, luckily, in

be an option at this time of year, but walking

North Wales we can facilitate most of them.

on the beach most definitely is – so grab

So, whether you prefer to celebrate quietly

your coat and head to the coast to blow those

at home, or want to paint the town red with

festive cobwebs away. There is, after all, no

your festive partying then the opportunities

better way to welcome in the New Year than

are there…

with fresh air and a glorious view.

Most people of course prefer to do a

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

combination of both – wining, dining and dancing in the run up to the big day, eating as much as humanly possible during the bank holidays themselves, and then crashing out on the sofa before it’s time to return to work in January.

Kate Hamilton Founding Editor


In this issue...

What to do, what to eat and what to drink! December in North Wales has never looked so exciting…

We want to hear from you! J Are you organising or taking part in an event that should be covered in our what’s on listings? Then make sure you tell us! whatson@ J Keep in touch. Send in your contributions, letters, photos and press releases and become
part of the North Wales Magazine family. editorial@ J Subscribe. If you want
to ensure that you receive each and every copy of North Wales Magazine
then why not subscribe? All you pay for is the post and packaging. subscribe@ J Advertise. If you own a business in North Wales and want to get your message in front of 25,000 local readers every month then drop us a line. Prices start from just £75. sales@

Front cover credit: © Shutterstock

NWM 2019 Page 5


Page 6 NWM 2019




Kate Hamilton PUBLISHER

Grant Hamilton SALES MANAGER

Scott Lawson


09 What’s On


Carly Redgers

Your guide to the local events taking place this December


18 The Big Pic

Simon Marriott

Wild camping on Snowdonia


Sian Roberts

21 The A-Z of Christmas


Your complete guide to the festive season

27 A Christmas tale A relaxing festive story…

Nigel Smith

27 31

31 Interview with… Singing sensation Gruffydd Wyn

35 Discovering Flintshire At a slow pace…

39 Competitions Two amazing prizes to win!

43 Food & Drink The local wining, dining and culinary scene


59 Homes & Property 71 Walking 75 Community news A roundup of regional happenings

81 Crossword Get to grips with our brainteasing puzzle

98 Horoscopes What does December have in store for you?


North Wales Magazine is an independent, regional monthly magazine produced by KSG Publishing. It is available to pick up from a wide range of independent outlets throughout Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Wrexham, Gwynedd and the Isle of Anglesey.

The ascent of Cyrn-y-Brain

Our expert columnists share their thoughts

Steve Goodier Cai Ross Sally Ann Harding Frankie Hobro Caroline Roberts Julian Hughes Ali Hough Russell Grant John Crane Pete Greensmith Stephen Gregory Sarah Lewis

01492 472052 2nd Floor, 23A Abergele Road, Colwyn Bay, LL29 7RS

Get inspired by local homes and interiors

83 In my opinion…



Disclaimer: All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part (electronically or in print) without written permission is strictly prohibited. Every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of published content, and any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of North Wales Magazine. The publishers assume no responsibility for any damage, loss or injury arising from participation in, or as a result of, any offer, competition, information or advertisement contained within the magazine. North Wales Magazine does not endorse any of the advertisements featured. All words and images remain the property of their respective owners and all copyrights are observed. North Wales Magazine is not associated with any newspaper group. Privacy Notice. You can read North Wales Magazine’s Privacy Notice in full at

NWM 2019 Page 7

Presented by Bolesworth Events LLP






Celebrate the New Year in Style!

Shopping Village

New Years Eve Celebration

Kids Zone

Box office: 0344 8000 509 Book online:

1st & 8th

Ucheldre Broadcast: CBeebies Christmas This year’s highly anticipated CBeebies Christmas Show is once again coming to the big screen at the Ucheldre Holyhead for a FOR TICKETS WWW.CBEEBIESCHRISTMASSHOW.COM

What’s on this...



family-friendly feast of Christmas fun, including interactive content created for cinemas alongside the Hansel & Gretel stage performance recorded at Edinburgh Festival Theatre


Christmas Magic at Anglesey Sea Zoo Meet Santa, his elves and reindeer, enjoy mulled wine, hot cider and


a mince pie and try fun holiday activities at the Sea Zoo.

Christmas at Gwyrch Castle

Purchase local Anglesey Christmas trees and meet the team.

A traditional market Fayre set within

Free for season pass holders

the Courtyard of Gwrych Castle. With bespoke vendors from all over North


Search for Santa & Nature’s Christmas

Wales bringing hot food and drink, a beer tent, crafts, and a children’s funfair.

Toast marshmallows, take part in a craft workshop, browse

There will be plenty to keep everyone in

stalls and try to find Father Christmas as he visits the RSPB

the festive spirit this winter at Gwrych

Conwy nature reserve. Search for Santa cost is £4 per child and £2 per accompanying adult 1st, 7th-8th, 14th-15th


Mold Christmas Market

Christmas Crafts at Penrhyn Castle

Festive stalls and

Create a beautiful wreath with

entertainment will be on the

the help of skilled florists in the

High Street, Daniel Owen

surroundings of the Grand Hall

Square and Daniel Owen Centre from 11am-6pm. Santa will

at Bangor’s Penrhyn Castle. Cost

be making an appearance and visitors will be invited to step

is £6 per wreath

inside a Winter Wonderland Giant Snow Globe


‘Welsh Walks’ Exhibit


Stop by Ffin y Parc Gallery in Llanrwst to marvel

Christmas lunch at Gladstone

at the beautiful landscape portraits by local artist

Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden invites you to

Anne Aspinal

enjoy a traditional Christmas lunch with all the trimmings this holiday season

NWM 2019 Page 9


December 1st-22nd

Enchanted Christmas at GreenWood Family Park


Nestled beneath the treetops

Stewart Francis: Into The Punset

at the foothills of Snowdonia

The star of ‘Mock the Week’, ‘Live at the Apollo’

National Park, hides a magical

and ‘Crackerjack’ embarks on a brand-new

Christmas adventure to

show, in his last tour ever!!! See him before he

remember. Imagine a two-hour Twilight adventure full of

heads off... Into The Punset. Show starts at 8pm

Elves, crafts, and magical surroundings bringing Christmas to

at Venue Cymru

life for every child. A journey parents and grandparents will love too. Cost is £20 for children and £7 for adults, running on select dates 5th

Wrexham Victorian Christmas Market 1st-24th

With more that 100 stalls stretching from Queen’s Square to St.

Dine with Santa at Erddig

Giles Church, enjoy Christmas gifts, fresh food, mulled wine and street entertainment from 12pm-8pm

Create magical family memories and enjoy a delicious breakfast or supper with Santa at Erddig

All month

Sea Though Art Exhibition The Ucheldre Holyhead will be exhibiting ‘Sea Thought’ by Anglesey Performing Arts


Arrival: The Hits of Abba 5th

Voted best ABBA show for the last six years, the high-energy show will return

St. Asaph Lovelight Christmas Concert

to Theatr Colwyn to entertain all ages

Tenovus Cancer Care in conjunction with the Sing With Us

with a catalogue of hits

Llandudno Choir, Flint Male Voice Choir and Fairholme Prep School will be hosting a special celebration at the St. Asaph Cathedral to support everyone affected by cancer and to remember loved ones we’ve lost. Hosted by Rupert Moon, the ©

concert will commence at 7:30pm 5th-6th

Eric & Ern Christmas Show From the Olivier nominated duo behind the hugely celebrated and critically acclaimed West End Hit Eric & Little Ern, enjoy the brilliant homage crammed full of renditions of those famous comedy sketches. This wonderful show evokes memories of times when whole families would huddle around the telly on Sunday evenings. Tickets are £18 at the Pontio Bangor

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December 6th

Caerwys Winter Show Free to enter, this is the ideal festival to help stock up on Christmas presents. The fair will showcase the 7th

very best of locally hand-crafted and homemade gifts, produce and wares.

Llandudno Magical Christmas Parade

Fair is from 6pm-9:30pm

Entertainment starts at 2:30pm at the Llandudno Town Hall followed by a magical Christmas


parade at 4pm which will travel from the station

Frank Skinner

area along Vaughan Street into Mostyn Street, Lloyd Street and Madoc Street back to the station

Watch the beloved comedian live on stage at William Aston Hall at 7pm. Tickets are £27.50

6th, 7th, 13th-14th, 21st-24th


Meet Santa in the Winter Wonderland at Snowdonia

Set in the quaint, bustling castle town of Beaumaris this

Nurseries. Entrance is free of charge, with all donations

Georgian hotel, plays monthly host to popular fairs in its

going toward Ty-Gobaith Children’s Hospice. No need to book.

ballroom with panoramic views of the Menai Straits &

Children receive a small chocolate and Reindeer dust

Snowdonia, accommodating 20 stallholders. Open from 10am-

Santa’s Grotto at Snowdonia Nurseries

The Bulkeley Hotel Christmas Fair

4pm 7th-8th

Bala Lake Santa Train All aboard the Bala Lake train for a magical journey from Llanuwchllyn to Glan Llyn. Journey includes a glass of sherry (for adults), mince pie and hot drink. Tickets are £9 for adults and £10 for children


St. Nicholas Mass The Mold & District Choral Society will be singing Christmas carols and perform Handel’s ‘Messiah’ at the Bethlehem Welsh Independent Chapel 7th

Pet Photo Day Farm and Pet Place in Ruthin will be holding a Pet Photo Day from 9:30am-4:30pm. Pop down with your pet to take


dogs are invited to a half price wash. A Christmas Hope

Christmas Market at Adventure Parc Snowdonia

House Hamper will be raffled off and best Christmas Jumper

Expect live music, surf, gifts, real ale and

will win a prize

festive fun at Adventure Parc Snowdonia.

professional photos – an ideal early Christmas present. All

Santa will be visiting in his very own surfside grotto. Free entry from 10am-6pm

NWM 2019 Page 13


December 7th-8th


Burn off the pre-Christmas calories at the Plas y Brenin

Put on your Santa suit and get ready for a fun run this holiday

National Outdoor Centre and take a guided walk through

season. Registration takes place at Bwlch Pen Barras car

the beautiful Welsh hills. Contact the centre to book your

park, Moel Famau from 9am. Race starts at 11am

Big Christmas Walk

Santa 5K Dash

Christmas meal after the walk 8th

Cinderella’s Christmas Ball

7th-8th, 14th-15th & 21st

Llanberis Lake Santa Train

Honoured guests are invited to join Her

Santa returns to Llanberis Lake Railway to enjoy a scenic ride,

Highness and her fairytale friends for food,

mince pie and glass of seasonal drink for adults. Take the

fun and festivities. Enjoy afternoon tea, meet

twilight train to see Santa’s grotto, a journey to delight young

Cinderella, enjoy a performance and meet

and old alike

Santa. Fun starts at noon


Santa Specials at Llangollen Rail Take a ride aboard the festive Llangollen steam train from Llangollen to Carrog, which has been renamed to Lapland for Santa’s visit. Tickets are £20 8th-10th

North Choral Festival 7th-29th

The choral festival returns to Venue Cymru to celebrate choir

Sleeping Beauty

music from all over the country! There will also be workshops, competitions, community performances and more 11th-31st

Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs Rhyl Pavilion welcomes this year’s spectacular pantomime starring Sue Holderess (Only Fools and Horses) as the Wicked Queen and Andrew Agnew Starring Sherrie Hewson, Kieran Powell and Nigel Ellacott,

(Balamory) as Muddles, and the Queen of pantomime dames

experience the festive magic and plenty of laughs of this

Charles Burden in the role of Nursie. Tickets start at £11

year’s pantomime at Venue Cymru. Tickets start at £19.50 12th

Celebration of Christmas



In aid of St David’s Hospice and Ty Gobaith Children’s

Wrexham’s Stiwt theatre invite you to enjoy this year’s pantomime Aladdin. Filled with sparkling costumes, a dazzling set, laugh-a-minute scripts, brilliant songs

Hospice, St John’s Church in Llandudno is hosting the Maelgwn Male Voice Choir Ysgol San Sior Choir and Drummers. Refreshments are available after the concert

and great choreography – this is one

which starts at 7.30pm. Free admission, but there is a

show you don’t want to miss

collection for charity

Page 14 NWM 2019


Brynkinalt Estate Christmas Open House Take a tour and learn about the history of the family and estate. The house will be decorated for the holiday season and tickets include coffee/tea, mince pies and homemade biscuits served in the Galleried Great Hall. Tour begins at 10:30am 14th-15th

Santa’s Welsh Highland Railway Experience Visit Porthmadog for two festive days with the man in red aboard the Welsh Highland Railway. Enjoy minced pie, mulled wine and gifts for children. Advance booking is essential 14th-22nd

Twilight at Gypsy Wood Park Hop aboard Woody’s train and head to the magical grotto to meet Santa! The park will be decorated for Christmas and will be open from 3:30-7pm 13th-5th January

A Christmas Carol The Charles Dickens family favourite story will take stage at Theatr Clywd this holiday season. Tickets start at £10 14th

Christmas Dance Party The North Wales Rock ‘n Roll Jive Club invite you to join Colin James & Co for a brilliant party night with live music & DJ. Party starts at 8pm at the Comrades Club in Conwy 14th

Abergele Craft Fair Head to Church Street from 10am-2pm to peruse through craft stalls selling hand made goodies just in time for Christmas


The Nutcracker The Bolshoi Ballet will perform the timeless classic


Only Men Allowed: A Merry Little Christmas Only Men Allowed will

accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s beloved score at Neuadd Dwyfor in Pwllheli. Show starts at 3pm


favourites accompanied

A Very Merry Christmas with Gruffydd Wyn

by Sophie Evans from

Since performing on Britain’s Got

Wicked at the Pontio

Talent, Gruffydd has been touring

Bangor. Tickets are £27,

solo across Wales and England.

show starts at 7:30pm

To celebrate his debut album in

be performing Christmas

2020, he will perform some of his favourite Christmas classics at the Ucheldre Centre. Tickets are between £15-18 and include mulled wine and mince pie

NWM 2019 Page 15




Boxing Day Sea Dip The annual Boxing Day tradition of taking a dip in Llandudno beach returns, inviting brave souls to jump in the ice-cold water for a good cause. Benefitting St. David’s Hospice, the event, hosted by the Lions Club of Llandudno, will also award the person dressed in best costume on the day. Dip starts at 11:30am 20th

Richard Durrant Candlelit Christmas Concert


Join Richard, Amy and Nick at Theatr Clwyd for a wonderful

Christmas Meeting at Bangor on Dee Racecourse

musical offering with its very particular and inclusive take

Bring the family for a fun-filled event and

on our shared wintertime with Christmas, the Solstice and an

enjoy the races during holiday season. Gates open at 10:30am

inherent, heartfelt generosity, warmth and optimism at the very heart of the show. Tickets are £10 21st

Stand-up at the seaside Christmas special Colwyn Bay’s comedy night rounds off the year with the very best in live stand-up starring Ignacio Lopez, Chris Washington and Josh Jones, as well as regular MC Dave Rothnie and audience joke competition. Show starts at 8pm upstairs at The Station pub in Colwyn Bay. To book tickets and tables please contact 21st


The beloved Welsh voice choir will perform at Palé Hall to

Ring in the New Year in style at Portmeirion and get tickets

accompany a 4-course set Christmas dinner

for their New Year’s 1970’s Disco! Cost is £45 per person (over

Cor Meibion Bro Glyndwr at Palé Hall

New Year’s Disco at Portmeirion 18’s only) and included is a buffet, disco and glass of fizz at



PetPlace in Abergele welcome you and your best


Santa Paws

There will be a dog bowl deli hamper for best-

New Year’s Eve Fireworks at Theraplate Liverpool Horse Show

dressed duo and money raised will benefit Hope

Celebrate the New Year

House. Stop by anytime from 10am-5pm

in Style at the Theraplate

furry friend for a festive photo shoot with Santa Paws. Each dog and child will get a treat from Santa and post their letter to the North Pole.

Liverpool International Horse Show the Grand Prixe, access to the Shopping Village and 21st-4th Jan


kids Zone as well as a Champagne reception, live music, fireworks and more

Theatr Colwyn welcomes Aladdin this year as their Christmas pantomime. Full of singing, dancing, comedy, puppets, music and illusion, it’s sure to delight all ages. Tickets are £14 for adults and £11 for children

Page 16 NWM 2019

Are you organising or taking part in an event that should be covered in our what’s on listings? Then get in touch!

The Big Picture Dawn finally breaks over the Snowdon Massif “Having grown up in North Wales, I’ve always enjoyed spending time in nature and the outdoors in general; yet it wasn’t until about two years ago that I discovered my passion for mountains as well as photography,” explains Ciaran Bowyer. “Snowdonia consists of nine mountain ranges which cover approximately 52% of the National Park and has a tremendous variety of landscapes on offer, which means there’s always something to suit your mood! One of the things I love most about taking photographs in these types of landscapes is the fact that you never know entirely what you’re going to get until the very moment you push that shutter! The weather changes so quickly up there. One minute it could be raining, the next it could entirely change. Everyday is a different kind of adventure!” @ciz.explores

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Christmas is here! So it’s time to slip into your reindeer onesie, pour yourself a large glass of Eggnog, enjoy a warm mince pie and discover the secrets of a North Wales Christmas…


Christmas Cards

Nikki at the Crafty Kitten in Llanrwst makes


gorgeous bespoke hand-made cards for every occasion in English or Welsh. All cards are blank inside to allow you to make your own personalised greeting. Short on time? No need to worry, Nikki has ready-made cards in her shop too!

is for...

Advent Calendar Why should the kids have all the advent fun? Follow @NorthWalesMag on social media for local gift ideas, Christmas giveaways, events, family days out, festive recipes and more


is for...

is for... Brie

The Grate Cheese Deli


Give the gift of learning something new this Christmas with a Learn Welsh course. Courses for beginners are starting across the region in January.

is for...

Go to for

Dysgu sut I siarad Cymraeg

gyda’r dysgu! (Good luck with


more information. Pob lwc the learning!)

is for...


in Colwyn Bay has a

Treat your guests to a little taste of

delicious selection of

Christmas with this creamy eggnog recipe.

Welsh, French and

George Washington, the first American

English bries. Bake it,

president, even made his own eggnog, and

wrap it in pastry or serve

let it age for a few days to let the flavour

cold with an assortment

mellow. To serve 12 people, simply separate

of chutneys, meats and

six medium fresh free-range eggs from J.A

fruit for a delightful

Kynaston in Llangollen into a mixing bowl. Add

Christmas nibble

500ml Welsh whole milk, 400ml Welsh double cream, 150g caster sugar, 350ml rum or bourbon and freshly grated nutmeg

NWM 2019 Page 21




is for... Ice


Enjoy skating fun with friends, family and colleagues on the first pop-up ice rink on Y Maes in Caernarfon. With the iconic castle as a backdrop, the rink is open now through the 5th of January (closed on Christmas day)

is for... Festive



Adventure Parc Snowdonia offers an exhilarating range of activities to choose from. Surf, climb, zip and slide and make sure to check their events calendar for festive markets, grotto and drive in Christmas movies



is for...


is for...

Jingle bells

Let Cor Meibion Colwyn bring music to your ears this holiday season at one of their many scheduled shows. The group is proud of their long history recognising that there has been a choir in its home village of Colwyn since the 1890’s. To find a

is for... Grotto

list of performances in a town near you, visit @ Cor-Meibion-Colwyn on Facebook

Let’s face it, it’s what Christmas is all about!

Nestled beneath the treetops

Take the kids ice

at the foothills of Snowdonia National Park, hides a magical

The Winter Light Show in

skating, experience the

Christmas adventure to

Llandudno is a free, captivating

Christmas magic of a

remember at Greenwood.

event for the whole family.

play or pantomime, go

Imagine a two-hour Twilight

On 14th December, witness a

see a light show, take

adventure full of elves, crafts

magical, technicolour tale about

part in a craft session

and magical surroundings

the millennia-long chase for

or visit Santa’s Grotto

bringing Christmas to life

the elusive Conwy mermaid.

this year! For up-to-

An evening of spectacular story

date events for the

telling where buildings will be

family, check our events

transformed into windows on

tab on Facebook @

time through light projection


for every child. Enter Santa’s grotto for an ‘Elfie’ photograph with the man himself and receive a golden ticket for Santa’s Toy Factory!


is for... Hot


Page 22 NWM 2019


is for...


which starts at 5pm

Achieve the ultimate satisfaction in a mug with a handcrafted hot chocolate from HAUS Coffee in Colwyn Bay. Using 100% natural and gluten free chocolate provided by Harry’s Hot Chocolate; all drinking chocolate is served with an option of cream and marshmallows. Customise your hot chocolate by choosing a 70% dark, mint, orange or original flavour; or step it up with a cheeky shot of Baileys



is for... Mince

n is for...



There’s a reason that there’s a queue at Scilicorns Bakery in Llanrwst during lunch hours. The bakery produces fresh breads, pastries and, of course, Christmas Mince Pies. Swing by their friendly bakery at 42 Denbigh Street

If you have young children, or indeed grandchildren, then the school nativity play is often the highlight of the seasonal calendar! Who can resist those mumbled lines from the slightly bigger kids while the little ones frantically wave to their parents during Away in a Manger?

It’s an exciting year for pantomimes in North Wales! TV personalities like Nigel Ellacott and Andrew Agnew are taking part in the festive fun this

P is for...


is for...


year. Make sure to catch the very talented Sherrie Hewson (Benidorm) in Sleeping Beauty at Venue Cymru as well as Only Fool’s and Horses own Sue Holderness play the Wicked Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Rhyl Pavilion


is for...


Queen’s speech

Did you know that the

first royal broadcast was at Christmas in 1932, and was made by George V? He broadcast from Sandringham,

is for...

Visit reindeer at the North Hills Farm in Mold this

speaking words written for


year. Originating in Scandinavia, each reindeer has its

him by Rudyard Kipling. The

own unique personality and is cared for around the

royal speech became an annual

Create your perfect

clock. North Hills Farm will also bring the reindeer

event – the first televised one

Christmas with a handpicked

to you and offers Christmas packages which include

by Queen Victoria was in 1957.

selection of ornaments to

an illuminated mobile enclosure and two reindeer

Tune into either BBC One, ITV,

adorn your tree and home

accompanied by fully-trained handlers

Sky One or Sky News this year for Her Majesty’s annual speech

this year from Snowdonia Nurseries in Glan Conwy. At this time of year, the centre is transformed into a magical stage for all things festive, so it’s always worth a visit in order to get you into the festive mood!


is for...

Santa train

Enjoy festive frolics and family fun during a trip on the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways from Caernarfon or Porthmadog. These trains are fun for adults and children alike. Santa and his elves pass through the train giving out presents to the children along the way – with plenty of laughter and jokes as well

NWM 2019 Page 23



is for...



Adorn your door and let the

neighbourhood know that you’re

ready for Christmas with a gorgeous wreath. And, if you fancy going

is for... Turkey

the extra mile, then you could also attend a wreath-making class at

Make sure you’re prepared this year with an

Luna Florist in Rhos-on-Sea. Contact

award-winning organic turkey or goose from

Andrea on social media to find out

Rhug Estate Organic Farm in Corwen and get

more @Lunaflowerflorist

all the trimmings plus extra delights from their farm shop on site


is for...

Yule log


is for...

Xmas jumper

Everyone is in luck this Friday 13th December as its Christmas Jumper

OK, the Yule log might be originally a Nordic

Day! What better way to do your bit

tradition, but Christmas just wouldn’t be

for Save the Children than wearing

Christmas without this chocolatey treat –

your favourite seasonal sweater?

especially for those people who actually aren’t

Sign up your work, school or friends

too keen on raisins, as it makes the perfect

and get a free fundraising pack. Then

Let’s face it, the presents are

alternative to either Christmas cake or even

donate £2 (or £1 if you’re at school) and

the main event! But, if you

Christmas pudding…

BOOM – that money will help children

is for...

Under the Tree

all around the world.

want to give the gift of North Wales, then Welsh Slate makes for a great gift this Christmas. Giftwarewales.

Z is for... Zip into the New Year uses only the finest

Why not welcome in the New Year at a speed of 117 miles per hour?

slate from Welsh mines dating

Home to 13 different adventures to choose from – one of them being

back over 500 million years,

the fastest zip line in the world – Zip World offers fun for all ages and

and all of their slate items can

it’s offering a whopping 50% off all adventures on New Year’s Day, so

be personally engraved

you can ensure a thrilling start to 2020!


is for...


If you run into a tourist this holiday season looking for directions and/or recommendations, make sure you give them a warm Welsh ‘Croeso’. We are after all, a very friendly bunch!

Page 24 NWM 2019

NWM 2019 Page 25


LLANDUDNO’S PREMIER ATTRACTION Llandudno Pier is the premier attraction to visit whilst on holiday in Llandudno, a fantastic holiday venue in Wales. We are Wales’ longest Pier and offer superb views, concessions, a relaxing stroll and excellent food stalls. Relax, and enjoy the leisurely pace as you explore our friendly shops and stalls. Take a stroll and enjoy the beautiful views of Llandudno and the Irish Sea


01492 876258 | Llandudno Pier, North Parade, Llandudno, Conwy LL30 2LP

As if by


A Christmas story by author Stephen Gregory

People say that cats can do magic. This is the story of a cat

But Smokey sat with his mother and he watched. He was

called Smokey. He was born in faraway Borneo, but he waited

dark, as dark as a shadow … and yet, if you picked him up

until he came to live in Caernarfon in wonderful Wales, to

and stroked his fur this way and that, you would see it was

show how magical he was – at Christmas.

black one way and white the other. Maybe that would be his special trick, one day. But then he would wriggle away, with

When Smokey was born, and while he was a kitten, he kept

a shudder and a shiver which made him all black again. He

himself to himself. He was quiet and patient, as though he

was dark and very quiet – he was waiting, as though the time

was waiting for his time to come.

would come, sooner or later, when he would reveal something magical in him.

He was born in a cupboard under the kitchen sink of a little bungalow in Borneo, the last of the litter that his darling

And in Borneo, yes it was smokey. Day after day of dazzling

mother produced. Before he slithered into the world and took

sunshine, but the evenings would fade into a haze of smoke.

his first breath, his older sister and two older brothers were

Late in the afternoons, people lit fires and burned rubbish

already mewling and fidgeting and trying to get their mother’s

in their gardens. The air was pungent with wood smoke.

milk. And for the next year he stayed close to his mother and

Sometimes the world was a fug of black smoke, from the

watched, while his sister and brothers learned their different

burning of the forests. There were weeks when the sky

tricks and developed their own style of kitten-magic.

was dark and the air was a whirl of big black smuts, while Borneo burned…

His sister, mottled and striped, became a huntress in the deep green shadows of the garden, returning to the house with

And our little Smokey… we called him Smokey because he

beetles and birds. One of the brothers, who was deliciously

was black and because he would sit at the window for hours

orange and white, decided he was a climber, and he would

and narrow his eyes at the smoke which smothered our own

climb up and onto anything in his path – first of all the

garden. He would put his face outside and wait for a smut to

furniture in the bungalow, and then high into the branches of

land on his nose. And then he would shudder and shiver and

the jungle trees. And the other brother, sleek and silvery, was

sneeze, as though it was the smut itself which had made him

an indoor assassin. He caught chik-chaks, the house lizards

so smokey-black.

which were everywhere in every room, and he stalked into the roof-space of the bungalow and came down with mice and

And so the time came for us ex-pats to leave Borneo. Sadly,

bats, and even a yellow and black snake.

but inevitably, we said our goodbyes to Smokey’s sister and

NWM 2019 Page 27


brothers and we found them new homes, with kind and caring neighbours. As for Smokey, so lovingly attached to his mother, we brought him back with us – Smokey and his mother snuggled in a little box and flown in a huge thundering aeroplane over 7,000 miles to London, and thence to North Wales. Wales – and nearly Christmas. Smokey and his mother were a long way from their tropical homeland. Smokey, so relieved to have survived the 20-hour journey in the plane and the car, seemed reinvigorated by his new surroundings. A town-house in Caernarfon, high above the estuary of the river Seiont, with views from its upstairs windows across

special child. Smokey sat on his window-sill and he stared

Coed Elen and to the castle itself – and Smokey, hitherto so

into the darkness.

reluctant to leave his mother’s side, went exploring from the dusty cellar to the window-sill of the highest bedroom. There,

And there was a sign. Exactly at midnight, when the church

at the very top of the house, he found his favourite vantage

bells of the town began to peal, another of the native creatures

point, from where he could survey his new domain.

of this land came especially to alert him, to make him ready. The white owl, the loveliest of birds, came wafting from the

Yes, his domain. He held himself tall and proud, like a prince.

woodland across the river and hovered at Smokey’s window.

He had loosened the bond with his mother. He had no more

It dipped its pale round face forward and tapped on the glass

pesky, boisterous siblings. And that winter, as the days grew

with its beak.

shorter and darker and colder, as the wind blew flurries of frost from the mountains of Snowdonia and down the valleys

And Smokey knew what it meant him to do. He reached up

to the seashore, the native creatures of this land discovered

with his paw and felt for the catch of the window. He pressed

Smokey and came to pay homage…

it gently and the window slid slightly ajar.

He sat on his window-sill, high above the river and the sea

He pushed his face outside. And the thing he was waiting for,

and even the mighty castle. And the gulls came, battering

which the gulls and the swans and the owl had known was

and beating around the rooftops. Smokey sat and he

coming, was all around him.

narrowed his eyes at them. Even when the gulls tapped on the glass of his window with their yellow beaks, though

Snow. Smokey had never seen it before. He had seen smuts of

they stared with their cold yellow eyes, he just sat and held

smoke and felt them land on his nose, but never this whirling

himself tall. For he was a prince – a dark and quiet and


mysterious prince, who had come from the tropics, from a country of snakes and lizards and monkeys, to this land of

He closed his eyes, as though in a swoon, as though in a

cold winds and frosty mountains.

dream, and he leaned into the snow. And when the biggest, softest flake settled on his nose, at last it was the moment he

And in the afternoons, as the darkness gathered on the

had been waiting for.

shortest days of the year, the great white swans beat into the estuary. They swerved from their ancient river-road and up

With a shudder and a sneeze, he shivered his fur this way

to the windows of the house, until they brushed the glass

and then the other. And his smokey-black fur turned white –

with their wings. For they had come to see the cat, the dark

as perfectly pure white as the snow of a Christmas night. As if

prince who sat and waited at his window.

by magic. n

Waited – waited for what? To reveal the magic he had withheld so long and so patiently. He was waiting for something which would enable him to show his magic. And it was coming. It was gathering in the skies, in the grey and black clouds which loomed on the horizon. Christmas Eve – a special time for the people of the world, who were watching for a sign, for a star, for the birth of a

Page 28 NWM 2019

Stephen Gregory’s new book, an anthology of short stories entitled ON DARK WINGS, is now out in the USA from Valancourt Books. It features 14 of his stories, many of them previously published in the Illustrated London News and the London Evening Standard, as well as a Christmas ghost story he wrote especially for the North Wales magazine. Search for ON DARK WINGS at to order your copy, postage free!

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NWM 2019 Page 29

Meet Anglesey’s

Gruffydd Wyn

24-year-old North Walean singer, Gruffydd Wyn, won our hearts over last year when he performed a beautiful rendition of “Nessun Dorma” at the 2018 audition of Britain’s Got Talent. The singer who hails from Anglesey received the ‘golden buzzer’ from Amanda Holden and made it all the way to the finals. Although he missed out to the Lost Voice Guy, he has done quite a lot in the last year including touring with Only Men Allowed and Diversity. He will also be releasing his anticipated first solo album early in 2020. We sat down to chat with the man behind the voice… How did you get your start in singing? I always knew that I wanted to be a performer of some sort when I was a little boy. I was always singing around the house or dressing up in any random clothes I could find. But I joined a choir when I was around 7 and it was from then I grew to love singing. Tell us about growing up in Anglesey... Growing up in Anglesey was great! I’m an Amlwch boy through and through and growing up there was fun! I was lucky enough not to be that interested in video games and modern technology and enjoyed building dens, playing football or rugby and being outdoors! What was it like receiving the golden buzzer by Amanda Holden on Britain’s Got Talent? Possibly the best feeling in the world! To this day nothing has come close to the way I felt when I saw all the golden confetti falling from the roof of the Winter Gardens stage in Blackpool that day! What is your favourite place to listen to local talent perform in Anglesey? The Copperfest in Amlwch Port is always a great weekend celebrating local and welsh

NWM 2019 Page 31


music and it always has a fantastic atmosphere down there with friends and family! Biggest accomplishment to date? I have done quite a bit since finishing Britain’s got talent in 2018... I’ve toured with Only Men Aloud, Diversity, my own solo tour and I’m now currently recording my debut Album along with many other special performances! It’s difficult to choose because they’re all so different. But I’ve loved every second of it! Who would you like to perform for? As a performer I look up to many other artists and I absolutely love listening to Pavarotti. But if I could perform for anyone, I would love to be able to perform for my grandmother again, nothing can compare to seeing her smile when I come off the stage. If only I could see that again. How do you celebrate Christmas in North Wales? I usually like to spend as much time as possible with friends and family over Christmas. I also like to eat my weight in chocolate, turkey and pigs in blankets! Doesn’t everybody?! What can we look forward to from you in 2020? You can certainly look forward to the release of my debut album along with much much more that will be announced soon! n Keep up to date with Gruffydd’s musical journey and follow him on social @gruffyddwyn

Page 32 NWM 2019







31.01.20 CG 19.35

21.02.20 CG 19.35

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NWM 2019 Page 33

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How to BE in

FLINTSHIRE Sarah Lewis explores Flintshire, and experiences some some epic adventures at low speed…

Would you like to learn to be a slow tourist – someone

amazing one is a replica of the stunning Mold Gold Cape.

who’s curious, who dawdles, explores new paths,

The cape is so important it’s featured in A History of the

heads for the quirky places, sits a while, listens, smells

World in 100 Objects. The fascinating story is here for

the smells, carries a notebook for doodles, poems and

you to discover.

thoughts? Being a slow tourist is all about experiencing a place in a new way. Sound good? Then read on…

Our next library is very different, in fact you can sleep there! Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden was voted

Flintshire is the perfect place for slow tourists. It even

Best Well-Being Retreat in 2015. On this cold winter’s

has an officially slow town! Mold was the first town in

day there’s a log fire and the tempting smell of hot

Wales to join the Cittaslow movement, which was ‘set

scones. Maybe you’ll join (for free) and gain entry to the

up in the 1990s by some laid back Italians to combat the

wonderful Hogwarty reading room, with access to a

stresses of modern life’.

secluded desk and lots of time to write slow adventures.

Our first stop is the quirky museum above the library in

Let’s get some fresh air in the nature reserve in

Mold. It’s packed with interesting artifacts but the most

Rhydymwyn. During World War Two, this site was

NWM 2019 Page 35


so secret it wasn’t named on any maps. Now it’s a peaceful place with a giant chair, a sensory garden and lots of wildlife. Charles Kingsley who wrote The Water Babies stayed nearby. Sit on the giant chair, open the box of painted story stones and make up your own magical tale. Fancy a longer walk? Let’s visit St.Winefred’s Well in Holywell and start a slow pilgrimage to Bardsey Island. How about bathing in the healing waters of The Holy Well first? Or, we could immerse ourselves in the place without taking a dip by sitting in the grounds and reading ‘A Morbid Taste for Bones’ by Ellis Peters. Reading a book set in the locality really takes

Be a slow tourist in Flintshire and:

J Sleep in a library J Climb on a castle J Bathe in healing waters J Make a pilgrimage J Begin an epic coastal walk J Scamper on an iron-age hillfort J isit an officially slow town

you there. The Slow Tourist in Flintshire will take you on many In Wepre Park let’s follow the path through ancient woods to

more adventures and with the help of Sleepy Sparrow’s

the ruins of 12th Century Ewloe Castle. Look out for dippers

SloMo suggestions, encourage you to stop, sniff, listen,

and kingfishers along Wepre brook. Make some leaf art and

dawdle and doodle. There’s a list of Special Slow days,

after taking a photo for your Slow Journal, let the wind blow it

useful web sites and even a certificate at the back for

away. Flint Castle on the edge of the Dee isn’t far. In the winter

when you’ve finished the book and can officially call

when the watery sun turns the mud silver, the twisting and

yourself a Slow Tourist.

turning of thousands of shorebirds is mesmerizing. Sketch the bird shapes, quickly without thinking about it too much.

Listen for the curlew’s bubbling song. Flintshire is known as The Gateway to Wales and often people whizz through on their way to the drama of Snowdonia or the cosy coves of Anglesey. But gates are also for leaning on. So lean for a while, have a look around and slowly explore what’s on the other side – you may be surprised. n

Page 36 NWM 2019

The Slow Tourist in Flintshire by Sarah Lewis is available from Mold Book Shop and from www. priced £8.99

NWM 2019 Page 37


Whether it's some family fun, a special gift, a festive treat or a relaxing scenic steam-hauled train ride - there's something for everyone at the F&WHR...

Santa Trains: 7, 8,14,15, 21, 22, 23 December Choice of Santa trains from Porthmadog - Beddgelert or Caernarfon - Rhyd Ddu. Santa and his Elves give out presents on the train.

Christmas Gifts: Our shops stock a wide range of bespoke souvenirs, railway items, books, DVDs - plus a range of vouchers. You can also shop online at

Pullman Afternoon Tea: Looking for an extra-special gift or a treat for yourself..? Our Afternoon Teas are an ideal answer. You can buy special gift vouchers as a present - details on website.

Seasonal Snowdonia: Shrug off any Post-Christmas Blues with a scenic train ride. Relax in comfortable, heated carriages with 'at-your-seat' buffet service. Trains run daily Boxing Day - New Year's Day.

FFESTINIOG & WELSH HIGHLAND RAILWAYS Harbour Station, Porthmadog, Gwynedd, LL49 9NF Page 38 NWM 2019

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COMPETITIONS North Wales Magazine has two amazing prizes to give away this December! Read on for entry details, and remember to follow our Facebook (@ northwalesmag) to ensure that you don’t miss out on any extra competitions that are taking place throughout the month. Good luck!

Win a two-course lunch at the Rhug Estate Bistro Enjoy a fine quality meal that has travelled metres rather than miles. Rhug Estate prides themselves on using the very best ingredients to create quality seasonal menus. Their Bistro head chef and the team create every dish from scratch. The meat is sourced from their own organic farm and all other ingredients are sourced locally. The bread and cakes are made daily in the Bistro kitchen. The Bistro menu reflects the ‘field to plate’ ethos and includes dishes such as Rhug Organic Aberdeen Angus 28-day aged steaks and Rhug Rib Eye beef burgers. The team at Rhug Estate offers a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes and can cater for special dietary requirements. Open throughout the day, seven days a week, you can enjoy a hearty Welsh breakfast, a lunchtime bite, relaxing afternoon tea and on a Sunday a traditional roast dinner. Large parties and private bookings are welcome, so why not book a table for your next special occasion. Rhug Estate also host evening dining themed events throughout the year. Visit for a full list of events and menus. * The prize is for two adults to enjoy a two-course lunch in the Bistro. Cannot be redeemed on a Sunday. Prize does not include drinks

To Enter

Win a one-hour Thai Yoga Massage (worth £40) The lovely May at Nature’s Touch Therapy is offering one lucky reader to experience a wonderful Thai Yoga Massage at one of her locations in Rhuddlan, Ruthin or Denbigh. The Thai Yoga Massage is an ancient healing modality that was born in Thailand and has flourished in North America. This therapeutic style of massage combines soft tissue manipulation techniques, assisted yoga postures, breathing and meditation to bring the body into a state of deep relaxation. Contact May for more information about her services, 07831 638577 * T’s&C’s apply

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Notice

In order to enter, all you need to do is email your name and address to us at by Friday 27th December, making sure that you put the name of the competition that you are entering in the subject line. Of course, you could always enter both – good luck!

We collect your information when you enter our competitions, and store this information on our systems. We will use this information to contact you if you are the competition winner, and to contact you occasionally with details of relevant offers and items which may be of interest to you. If you win the competition, your name and the town where you live may be printed in a future edition of North Wales Magazine. We will also share your information with the competition provider, and they may contact you with details of relevant offers. Please see www. for our full Privacy Notice.


NWM 2019 Page 39




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NWM 2019 Page 43

Want to get into the Christmas Spirit? Join us at ‘Samphire Brasserie & Bar’ for our Christmas Fayre Menu Llandudno's Newest AA Rosette Rated Restaurant, ‘Samphire Brasserie & Bar’

Situated at The Cae Mor Hotel, right next door to The Venue Cymru. Open for Lunch 12.00- 14.00; Dinner 17.00 - 21.00 Tuesday to Saturday. Get your Christmas Jumpers ready and join us for some delicious Fayre. Using local Supplier Poyntons to supply the meat. Call us on Tel: 01492 878101 to make a booking. F: caemorhotelllandudno

Andy Tabberner and Oli Thompson are the new faces of the Gaerwen Arms on Anglesey…

It takes two


We first interviewed Andy Tabberner back in the summer of 2018

when he was the executive chef at The Bull in Beaumaris. It’s safe

to say that a lot has changed for him in the past 18 months, as he has

now moved on to pastures new and has leased the Gaerwen Arms with partner in crime Oli Thompson. Getting a little restless at The Bull, Andy decided that it was time to branch out on his own and, as luck would have it, his future partner was already working with him. “I hosted a course at Coleg Llandrillo in Rhos-on-Sea where Oli was studying,” explains Andy. “Luckily for me he liked what he saw and applied to do some work experience at The Bull.” Oli was studying Level 3 in hospitality and catering, and was even crowned ‘student of the year’ while at college. “After my work experience finished a position came up at The Bull, and I was so happy when Andy offered me the job,” says Oli. “After working with him now for over two years I can really see a different way of cooking – I understand now that food is more than just a meal – it’s about providing the experience for the customer. I didn’t really play around with food too much before I met Andy – he really is my inspiration.” So when Andy decided that the time was right to take the plunge into self employment it made sense for him to include Oli in the venture, and the two of them leased the Gaerwen Arms from Star Pubs, one of Heineken’s subsidiaries.

NWM 2019 Page 45


“It’s been a massive learning curve,” says Andy. “The pub was pretty tired when we first got the keys and so we had to spend the first week doing an industrial deep clean. It’s a very classic pub and we haven’t changed the design as such – but we have changed people’s expectations.” Whereas the locals used to frequent the Gaerwen Arms for a burger and a beer, they are now presented with fresh, seasonal produce that wouldn’t be out of place in a fine dining restaurant. “The pub has only been open for 14 weeks and we’ve had four menu changes already,” explains Andy. “This is because we only want to use local produce that is in season – and so if we can’t get the ingredients for a dish locally then we won’t do that particular dish.” The pork belly is currently proving the pub’s most popular dish, and it’s perhaps no surprise when you hear the care and attention that has gone into creating it. “We cook the pork for 24 hours in a sous vide machine to get the texture just right, and then we serve it with a homemade potato rosti that has been cooked in duck fat.” And they are certainly going out of their way to ensure that Despite such attention to detail and the increasingly

this is the case. Next on their list is a revamp of the exterior of

adventurous menu – the Gaerwen Arms has just started

the pub and, as they have a fair bit of outside space, a summer

serving venison – the dynamic duo are also keen to keep the

food festival is also on the cards.

locals happy. December at the Gaerwen Arms is set to be quite the event, “We have a bar menu which has things like a pie and a pint

with no less than 700 guests booked in for the festive season.

on it,” says Oli. “However the difference is that it’s a really good

And Valentine’s Day looks set to be pretty special too, seeing

homemade pie.”

as how the pub has just won The Most Romantic Restaurant award at the Restaurant Awards - Welsh Edition – an accolade

And it’s not just the food that has had a revamp since the boys

that came just weeks after the pub got awarded 2AA Rosettes.

took over. The wine list now hosts a wide range of vino from a quality house wine up to a £50 bottle of Amarone.

And when you consider that all of this has been achieved in just 14 weeks, then it really is time to take your hats off to both

“We just want to make sure that there is something here for

Andy and Oli. But, when you realise that they are only 27 and

everyone,” adds Andy. “Whether you have travelled especially

21 respectively, then they are in a different league altogether.

to see us or live just down the road, we want to make sure

Watch this space, because the Gaerwen Arms could just be

that you have an experience to be remembered.”

about to put Anglesey on the foodie map…n

Page 46 NWM 2019

NWM 2019 Page 47

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J 1 shot Cranberry Juice

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J 1 Shot Lime

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J 1/2 Shot Gomme J Coarse salt J Ice

Mistletoe Margarita Method J Rim each glass with a lime wedge and dip in the coarse salt J Fill each glass with ice J In a cocktail shaker, add three to four ice cubes, Grand Marnier, tequila, cranberry juice, lime juice and syrup and shake for 30 to 60 seconds. J Pour into glasses filled with ice Garnish with: Fresh cranberries, a sprig of rosemary and extra limes, if desired


Of course, if you’d rather sit back and relax while somebody mixed your ideal cocktail for you, then why not visit Sheldon’s in Colwyn Bay? From a Margarita to a Mojito, it has quite the cocktail selection and is quickly becoming the place to go for cocktails in North Wales. 01492 339821

NWM 2019 Page 49


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Food for thought

At this festive time of the year, it’s important

we’re still in thrall to popular music’s two

to remember and keep in our thoughts those

golden ages of novelty Christmas music.

whose suffering is especially acute in the run

First there’s the Sinatra-era croon-a-

up to the big day. I am referring, of course, to

thons from the 1950s, when America stole

shop workers who have to listen to the same

Christmas from the Victorians and made it

Christmas music playlist on a constant loop

their own. Then later, when we stole it back

for anything up to six weeks in a row. This

off them in the 1970s thanks to the triple-

remains a time of good cheer, but just how

whammy of Slade, Roy Wood & Wizzard and

much cheer I’d have left after hearing ‘Merry

the Morecambe & Wise Christmas Specials.

Christmas Everyone’ by Shakin’ Stevens four times a day every day is debatable.

In recent years, I’ve become quite attached to a compilation of French Christmas songs,

Cai Ross is co-owner

The overkill is a pity because Christmas

‘A Christmas Eve in Paris’, that we put on

and Maitre d’ of

music, enjoyed within a strictly enforced

in the restaurant for a bit of authenticity.

the award-winning

twelve-day period, plays a huge part in

Mainly the big names like Charles Trenet,

Paysanne Bistro in

everyone’s personal family traditions.

Yves Montand and Edith Piaf; it conjures

Deganwy, which has

‘Christmas isn’t Christmas,’ I always hear,

up a pleasing monochrome world of Paris

been serving French

‘until I’ve heard… (insert your own song title

under a dusting of snow, while shoppers

country-style food to

here).’ In our house it’s ‘One More Sleep Til

warm their hands with demi-tasses of

the fine people of North

Christmas’ by Kermit The Frog, though I have

black coffee and side-helping of Pastis.

Wales since 1988. He

an somewhat indefensible soft spot for Bob

also writes for Calibre

Dylan’s Christmas album, even though he

With that in mind, I sent a telegram over

Magazine, BBC Good

sounds like he’s just been gargling drawing

to the south of France and asked my mum


pins in a poorly ventilated aluminium foundry.

to cook up the sort of thing that you might

and The North Wales

be served if you visited a French relative

Weekly News

The annual race to be the Christmas Number

at this time of year. No great fans of

One used to be a huge deal, back in the days

turkey and sprouts, the French have their

when the Top 40 still meant something. I

own festive food traditions like oysters,

honestly can’t remember a single Yuletide

brandade and bouche-Noël – all worth

chart-topper since 1999, though I’m pretty

researching if you want to try something

sure that for about ten years in a row it was

new this year.

whomever transient celebrity had just won The X Factor.

Whatever you do, whatever you choose to listen to, I wish you a very Joyeux Noël and a

As such, it’s extraordinary just how much

superlative 2020. n

NWM 2019 Page 51



trout) TARTARE DUO OF SALMON (or Serves 4 mon fillet J 250g very fresh sal n mo sal ed ok J 250g sm oil e oliv oon sp rt sse J 1 de on juice J 1 dessert spoon lem ce J 1 tsp Worcester sau s chopped d fresh dill and chive xe mi oon sp rt J 1 desse J Salt and pepper SAUCE al yoghurt crème fraîche or natur J 1 tablespoon thick radish sauce J 2 tsps creamy horse apple, opped Granny Smith ch J 50 grams of finely skin on

t in Mix together and pu


METHOD d chop into bones from salmon an Remove skin and any very small cubes. s. Put in a salmon into small cube Chop up the smoked er and put redients, mix well, cov bowl, add the other ing hrs. in the fridge for two a plate and place a ring mould on When ready to serve peat on the xture with a spoon. Re press in the salmon mi mon and a sal d the sauce beside the other plates, then ad rnish. little watercress to ga

Don’t fancy cooking? Page 52 NWM 2019

01492 582079 @PaysanneDeganwy

Serves 4 J 2 Duck breasts (Magret de Canard) ls J 80gs walnut kerne s mb cru ad J 50gs bre J 50gs soft butter J 300g mixed fresh wild mushrooms J 20g butter J 2 garlic cloves ped fresh J A handful of chop parsley walnut oil J 1 dessert spoon of balsamic vinegar of oon sp rt sse J 1 de J Salt and pepper METHOD lnuts pretty lnut crust. Chop the wa Start by making the wa adcrumbs, bre the in a bowl and add fine in a blender. Put a sort of ve ha you till r with a fork then work in the butte s of kitchen re between two sheet dough. Put the mixtu Put in the to about 0.8cm thick. paper and roll out flat rooms. sh ile you cook the mu freezer to harden wh finely in the butter with the Sauté the mushrooms and pepper t rsley. Season with sal chopped garlic and pa ep warm. and the walnut oil. Ke season and on the duck breasts, Lightly score the fat Turn on the wn onto a frying pan. place them fat side do ht minutes) eig t ou den and crispy (ab heat and cook till gol go. Turn into a container as you pouring the excess fat t on a baking er five mins, then pu over and cook for anoth ll. gri any juices. Turn on the tray to rest. Reserve ces the size of crust and cut two pie Take out the walnut side of the them on top of the fat the breasts and place n. de grill till crisp and gol duck. Place under the n with the balsamic Deglaze the frying pa reserved juice. vinegar and add the te up, pouring Slice the breasts, pla and serve with ce jui over some of the suggestion. ng rvi Se . ms the mushroo A side dish of potato chestnut mash.




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Raise your glass

Celebrate, share and enjoy

December has arrived and Pete has finally lifted the ban on the use of the word Christmas in the shop. As we were putting new stock out on the shelves, we got to some lovely ports, which triggered a conversation around Christmas which inevitably led to celebration wines. The usual discussion around champagne, cava, prosecco etc ensued. Once the inevitable heated debate ended the conversation moved to how we celebrate, and why people default to having sparkling for a celebration. What is it that makes us instantly default to something fizzy when we want to celebrate? For the most part a bottle of fizz isn’t what we would choose to drink, most of us don’t really enjoy it, or if we do would get the same level of excitement from a £10-20 bottle of Cava/

Pete’s Christmas Celebration selection

Prosecco as we would from a very expensive Champagne.

Morning/Present opening

So lets look at this another way. In a supermarket a decent-

Pignoletto Frizzante

ish bottle of Champagne will cost you around £39. We will

With Lunch – Gwinllan Conwy – Pefriog,

sell you a very nice bottle for the same price. But if I said

3 Cru Amarone, Hauller Reisling

to you “Oh you’re celebrating, why not by this nice bottle of Amarone for £34 or this wonderful Chardonnay for £40” you


would probably think I had gone crazy.

Lunadora Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, Tomasella Cabernet Franc

I’m going to throw something out there for you. Why not celebrate with a bottle of something you enjoy. Not necessarily something expensive (but you are celebrating so

Pefriog sparkling with starter, to an Amarone with main

why not), but something you know that you will like.

course (none of that turkey/white wine thinking from me),

We usually spend a lot of time exploring wine and choosing

finishing with toffee apple rich Reisling with pudding. This

either one that we think will go well with the situation

leaves the evening for grazing on snacks, leftovers and

we want to enjoy it in (paired to food, nice to drink chilled,

chocolates, so a Vino Nobile and Cabernet Franc take me

warming for a winter evening) or finding our likes and

nicely through to time for a little cheese and port.

dislikes. So carry this through to a celebration wine.

There are no rules, make your own rules. Celebrate with what you will enjoy and

The pictures shows a selection of wines that I would drink

enjoy your celebration. n

to celebrate on Christmas day. Because I usually cook the dinner, and prefer to eat it at lunchtime, my selection reflects

Iechyd da!

this. I would start with a light frizzante for opening gifts/ breakfast. With lunch I would move through a Gwinllan

Pete, Tim, Mark & Blu

The Grape to Glass Wine Shop and Tasting Room

Tim Watson and his team run the Grape to Glass

8b Rhos Parade, Penrhyn Avenue, Rhos-on-Sea, LL29 7RE

Wine Shop and Tasting Room in Rhos-on-Sea which,

Tel: 01492 545934

as well as offering wine from far reaching lands, also

stocks locally produced beers, wines and spirits

NWM 2019 Page 55


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Page 56 NWM 2019

WINDOWS . DOORS . CONSERVATORIES EXTENSIONS . ORANGERIES . LANTERNS TILED CONSERVATORY ROOF SYSTEM Our sales team, workmanship and aftercare are first rate, but don’t just take our word for it, this is what our customers have to say... “Every workman was on time, knowledgeable and friendly. The workmanship is of a very high standard. I must say a special ‘Thank You’ to Andy, the Surveyor. He has been very approachable and nothing has been too much trouble. I highly recommend Conwy Valley Windows.” - S.Lloyd “Provided sound, practical and budget-friendly advice on the best ways to double glaze The fitters were polite, knowledgable and experienced... The windows and doors are of excellent quality, and heating bills have reduced since fitting. Sound-proofing is top notch. Finally, this was an on-going project over 18 months; we used Conwy Valley Windows for all the work because we were confident and happy they would provide the best service. - S. Gow “We are more than happy to continue to work with Conwy Valley because the support was honest, authentic and the price was so fair, and to top if off the quality of the work was absolutely superb.” - I. Urbat NWM 2019 Page 57

Page 58 NWM 2019



NWM 2019 Page 59

Property of the month

Pydew House is an impressive detached country residence

lawns on either side, a further parking area and stone built

located in Bryn Pydew. Set in approximately three acres

outbuildings with attached timber storage shed – all set in

of lawned gardens, enjoying countryside views, this

approximately three acres with fruit trees, a slated paved

substantially extended five-bedroom property has been

seating area, flowers and shrubs and side patio area.

designed to combine the ‘old’ with the ‘new’. There is ample Land that lends itself to housing a horse or On the ground floor the accommodation offers reception hall,

pony, and magnificent countryside views complete

cloakroom, lounge with wood burning stove, snug, games

the package.


rooms with bi-fold doors to garden, open plan kitchen/ breakfast/family room, utility room and office. Upstairs and the property boasts a galleried landing, five bedrooms (the master with en suite shower and dressing rooms and bedroom two with en suite shower room) and a four piece family bathroom.

For more information Pydew House is currently on the market with Anthony Flint Estate Agents. It has an asking price of £750,000. For more information visit

Externally is a driveway providing ample parking with

NWM 2019 Page 61


The Selling & Letting Agents

Sales / Lettings - 3 Lancaster Square, Conwy LL32 8HT • Tel 01492 583100 Sales - 1a Penrhyn Avenue, Rhos-on-Sea LL28 4PS • Tel: 01492 549178 email:




DEGANWY £279,950


• A Beautifully presented and extended three bedroom detached bungalow • Upvc double glazing and gas central heating throughout. • Driveway parking and lovely landscaped low maintenance gardens to front and rear. • NO CHAIN

• 4 bedroom refurbished & extended semi-detached home • Enjoying stunning views over the mountains, Conwy Castle, Estuary, Puffin Island, Anglesey & the Vardre • Refurbished to a high standard creating a beautiful modern home • NO CHAIN




CRAIG Y DON £495,000

£245,000 • 3 bedroom semi-detached house is situated close to all amenities and only a short walk to the promenade • Well maintained & beautifully presented • This is a property that is well worth viewing to appreciate the size & layout • Outside to the front there is off road parking & a rear garden

• A four bedroom detached modern home • Situated for easy access to the secondary school, beach, marina and a five minute walk into Conwy Town • The newly carpeted and freshly decorated accommodation • Driveway parking, garage, front and rear gardens NO CHAIN



Page 62 NWM 2019

VALUATION - If you are thinking of moving at anytime in the near future please do not hesitate to ask for a FREE SALES VALUATION

The Selling & Letting Agents

Sales / Lettings - 3 Lancaster Square, Conwy LL32 8HT • Tel 01492 583100 Sales - 1a Penrhyn Avenue, Rhos-on-Sea LL28 4PS • Tel: 01492 549178 email:






• Immaculately Presented Five Bedroom Detached House • Situated In A Much Sought After Area • Enjoying Uninterrupted Countryside Views

• Convenience Store/Post Office & Potential Deli/Takeaway • In Prominent Position • Two, Three Bedroom Apartments




LLANDUDNO £249,950

£595,000 • Four Bedroom Detached House • Recently Extended & Refurbished Throughout & A Stunning Family Home Created • Situated In A Highly Desirable Location • Beautiful Landscaped Garden

• NO CHAIN • Stunning Two Bedroom First Floor Apartment • Situated Within Walking Distance of Local Amenities • Fully Refurbished To A High Standard Throughout


INDEPENDENT ESTATE AGENTS VALUATION - If you are thinking of moving at anytime in the near future please do not hesitate to ask for a FREE SALES VALUATION

£350,000 Cae Thorley, Rhyl

Bryn Gobaith, St Asaph


• Great location

• Four reception rooms

• 5 bedroom detached house

• Built by Anwyl builders

• Kitchen/utility

• Conservatory

• Spacious family accommodation

• Lounge, open plan dining & kitchen

• Attractive cottage gardens

• Parking for four cars

• Utility, ground floor toilet

• 2 En-suites

• Must be viewed

• Garage and gardens



• 3 bedroom detached character property • Set in approx. 0.4 acres • No onwards chain

• Stunning views of Moel Famau

• Modern kitchen

• Log burner

• EPC rating TBC

£285,000 St. Davids Close, Pantasaph

Gardd Eirlys, Mynydd Isa


• Great location

• Substantial family home

• Superb chapel conversion

• Available with no onward chain

• Off road parking with single garage

• Views towards Moel Famau

• Village location

• Access to A55

• Walking distance to local amenities

• Gas central heating

• Five bedrooms

• Cinema Room

• EPC rating D-60

• Large double garage

INSIDE OUT North Wales Magazine brings you the latest products from the world of interiors

Restoring features

My my my Delilah A statement 1950’s inspired dining chair with a curved

Premium bathroom brand ASQUITHS, from Roxor Group,

sculptural backrest and dynamic tapered legs is

has introduced Restore, a timeless collection of classically

currently available from MY Furniture in vibrant olive

styled brassware that will enhance any traditional bathroom

green polyester velvet upholstery. Minimal assembly

scheme, to create a place of pure luxury. The Restore

required, approximately just minutes, meaning that you

collection features stylish chrome finishes, with the much-

could be entertaining your Christmas guests in no time

in-demand classic crosshead handles, white enamel dome

at all! The chairs measure 50 x D: 60 x H:92cm, and

collars and rounded spouts to deliver a true period look

they cost £179.99 for a set of two.

– yet designed with the latest brassware technology for

outstanding performance and longevity. Restore collection includes basin and bath taps, including mono basin mixers, 3TH deck basin mixer, mono bidet mixer, 3TH wall bath filler, deck mounted bath shower mixer and wall mounted bath shower mixer with either classic white enamel lever

Feeling flexible

or crosshead. The versatile nature of the collection allows

Teka, one of the world’s leading designers and

Restore to be matched with almost any traditional shower

manufacturers of sinks and taps, has added a contemporary

and bath style to complete the classical look. Restore

pull-out kitchen spray tap to its range, which can be used in

brassware range is covered by a 20-year guarantee, for

a variety of different heights and positions for the ultimate

peace of mind.

in flexible use. Finished in streamlined chrome, the Teka

ARK 938 Single Lever Pull-Out Spray Kitchen Tap has an ultra modern design, with sleek geometric lines as well as incorporating the latest technology such as a 40mm cartridge to enhance flow and an anti-scale aerator. The pull out mousseur spray head extends the reach of the end of the tap spout and when not in use it is almost impossible to tell that the tap includes this practical feature. The pull-down spray head delivers even more flexibility, allowing the user to switch easily between a fine spray jet and normal spray and its versatility allows it to fill a bucket as easily as rinsing salad or washing pots.

NWM 2019 Page 67


Fabric first

In the frame The DRU Passo Eco Wave is a sleek, cylindrical gas

Imperio is an opulent story of decadent Velvets and

stove with a large, wrap-around viewing window

shimmering textural wall coverings in a stunning array of

framing a gorgeous log fire bed. It is operated by

colours and textures from ILIV. The Imperio Stripe Fabric

the exclusive DRU Eco Wave app for tablets and

in Grape, on the left, costs from £53.00 per metre, while the

smartphones, has an A energy rating and is over

Rosario Fabric in Grape (on the far right) is available from just

90% energy efficient. The Passo is a balanced flue

£33.00 per metre. Use these stunning fabrics to make your

stove, a technology that was originally developed by

home your own…

DRU and now used for millions of gas appliances

worldwide. It does not need to be connected to a chimney, so can be installed in a variety of locations around the home. Air is drawn from outside the building for combustion, with waste gases expelled through the same concentric flue. This enables high, impressive flames, high efficiency and no depletion of air from within the home, resulting in safe and comfortable heating. Due to the success of the original Nero black version, DRU has now produced the Passo in an additional 5 colour finishes: Titan, Pearl, White, Turquoise and Light Grey.

On the tiles Stone & Ceramic Warehouse is currently selling these Rimini tiles with a realistic stone-effect. Available in two large-format sizes, these tiles are ideal if you want to create a seamless, contemporary effect. Pictured here in Brera, these tiles are also available in Bluestone and Lava colourways, and they cost from £66 per square metre. 2cm thick exterior tiles are also available from SACW Paving for an inside/outside scheme.

Page 68 NWM 2019

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The Clwydian Hill range is best known for its tops in the Mold, Ruthin and Denbigh areas and is very popular with hill walkers and mountain bikers most weekends of the year. The summits that surround the famous Horseshoe Pass are less well known but make great outdoor days on mostly good paths and tracks that lead onto high ground which has a real wilderness feel about it. Cyrn-y-Brain is the top that lies to the north east of the Horseshoe Pass summit

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW J 7.5 miles/12.06 kilometres J Time: Allow 4 hours J Start: There are parking areas on the A542 at the summit of The Horseshoe Pass facing the Ponderosa Café

J Grid Ref: SJ 192480 J Nearest postcode: LL20 2DR J Ordnance Survey Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer 256 – Wrexham and Llangollen

J What to expect: This is a strenuous

– it’s an unusually named hill whose 1,852 ft/565.6 metre summit

walk that climbs to the lofty summit of

ranks as the 302nd highest in Wales and the 4,433rd highest in the

Cyrn-y-Brain twice and involves a fair

U.K. as a whole.

bit of ascent and descent. The route is mostly on good tracks and paths but it

On the top you will find two communications masts, a trig point and

can be rough going in places and the walk

the ruins of Sir Watkins Tower. What you won’t find is a lot of other

takes you into remote wilderness country

walkers which makes this a very remote feeling outing which is best

which should be avoided in mist and bad

suited to experienced hillwalkers. It should be saved for a fine bright

weather. It can be wet in places so wear

day when the views are at their best and you will get a real sense of

boots and take along full hill walking gear

achievement out of walking the slopes of this often neglected hill.

including a map and compass (and make sure you know how to use them). There is

The Horseshoe Pass is a great place to start walks from because its

some quiet lane walking on one section.

top lies at an altitude of 1,368 ft/417 metres and a lot of the climbing

Dogs are OK on leads

has already been done before you step out of your car. The pass is

J Suitable for: Experienced hill walkers who

crossed by the A542 road which connects Llangollen to Llandegla

are comfortable on high summits and in

and is named because the road travels in a horseshoe shape around

wilderness situations

the sides of the valley. The Welsh name for the pass is Bwlch yr

J Refreshments: The Ponderosa Café is at

Oernant which translates as ‘Pass of The Cold Stream’. At the summit

the start of the walk and there is a good

of The Horseshoe Pass you will find the famous Ponderosa Café

selection of cafés, restaurants and pubs in

which is extremely popular with motorcyclists. The pass forms a

nearby Llangollen

natural barrier between the hills of the Llantysilio Massif and todays objective, Cyrn-y-Brain.

NWM 2019 Page 71








Exit the car park to cross the A542 to go left through the car park for the Ponderosa Café. Exit the car park right through a gap near the car park end to go right on a road. As you reach the end of the café buildings again go left to cross grass and


pass left of a pond to pass through a kissing gate. Follow the rising path beyond to reach a track by two metal gate posts. Go right rising on the track to curve right and continue rising by trackside barriers. Beyond these continue climbing the track to bend left. Follow the track soon rising more steeply to reach a track junction right at the first mast – this is just before a marker post.

Copyright OpenStreetMap and contributors, under an open licence

Points of interest on this section

J The Ponderosa Café at the summit of The Horseshoe Pass started life in the 1930’s as a little shack for motorcyclists to buy refreshments at. It has been added to and extended many times and the current name comes from the 1960’s T.V. series ‘Bonanza’ which revolved around life on the Ponderosa Ranch 4) Pass through the gate to go left. Rise with a fence left to a 2) Take the right fork towards the mast and then go right on

track junction and go left over a stile. Go ahead on the path to

a track before the mast gates are reached. Curve left around

curve right and continue climbing. The angle eases as the two

the mast and continue over the moor. Soon the track narrows

summit masts appear again. At a marker sign for ‘Sir Watkin’s

and becomes a path through heather that begins to descend.

Tower’ go right over a stile and follow the path beyond to the

A peaty track runs next to it and is easier going. Descend to

trig point and summit of Cyrn-y-Brain.

join a fence right for a short while and after this stay ahead

Points of interest on this section

on the path ignoring any turnings off. Curve sharp left at a track junction right continuing to cross a stream in a gully.

Cyrn-y-Brain is an unusually named hill whose 1,852 ft/565.6

Follow the rising path beyond and continue ahead to start

metre summit ranks as the 302nd highest in Wales and the

descending again. Lower down descend more steeply to reach

4,433rd highest in the U.K. as a whole

a boggy hollow. Rise out of this on the path to reach a road. 5) Re-trace your steps back over the stile and go right towards Points of interest on this section

the masts. Cross a muddy section on a rickety bridge and

J The white crags you see ahead as you descend from the

continue to follow the path right of the first mast. Join a good

mast are the escarpment of Eglwyseg Mountain and this area

track and continue on it to pass the second mast and pick

is more popularly known as ‘Worlds End’

up your outbound route at the junction left after a marker post. Follow your outbound route down the track to reach the

3) Go left on the road following it to a small slate marker stone

two metal gate posts. Here leave the track to go left following

left for ‘Offa’s Dyke Footpath to Llandegla’ (this is near car pull

the descending path to pass through a kissing gate. Cross

in areas). Leave the road here to go left taking Offa’s Dyke

the grass to a road, go right down the road to go left into the

Footpath up the moor. The way is eased by slabs and sleepers

café car park and pass through it to cross the A542 to your

until you cross a stream on a small bridge. Rise beyond

parking area. n

following the path (some sleepers in places) to reach a gate and stile on the forest edge. Points of interest on this section

J Offa’s Dyke Long Distance Footpath runs for 177 miles/285 km from Prestatyn in North Wales to Chepstow in South Wales. It closely follows the Wales/England border

Page 72 NWM 2019

A WORD OF CAUTION Walking in the outdoors can be a strenuous activity and it is up to you to ensure that you are fit and healthy enough to undertake the route described and to approach the venture with caution and care. You should wear appropriate footwear and suitable clothing, take along food and drink plus carry the relevant map and a compass and be able to use it. The details given here are believed to be correct at the time of going to press. However, neither North Wales Magazine nor the author can accept responsibility for inaccuracies encountered.





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North Wales to host stars next year

AA Rosette for Llandudno restaurant The Cae Mor Hotel’s Samphire

North Wales will be hosting a wide range of stars in

Brasserie & Bar has received it’s first

2020, as Little Mix, Westlife and Lional Richie are all

AA Rosette. This is awarded because

set to perform in the region. International superstar

the restaurant achieved standards

Lionel Richie has announced that he’ll be returning to

that stand out in the local area. The

North Wales on Thursday 4th June at the Racecourse

food served is prepared with care and

Ground Wrexham. Richie has sold more than 100 million

has a good understanding of flavours

albums sold worldwide, as well as being the recipient

and skill, using good local quality

of an Oscar®, a Golden Globe®, four Grammy Awards®,

ingredients. This ensures that guests

the distinction of MusicCares Person of the Year in

can eat in with confidence and a sense

2016, and Kennedy Center Honoree in 2017. Then, on

of anticipation. Andreas Leisinger

Sunday 5th July, Westlife will perform at Stadiwm Zip

joined to head up the team only seven

World in Colwyn Bay as part of their Stadiums in the

weeks prior to the inspection. The team

Summer Tour. The global pop kings perform all of their

consists of Jaimie Gould who joined

greatest hits including ‘Swear It Again’, ‘Flying Without

on the same day and Natalia Gibson.

Wings’ and ‘You Raise Me Up’ as well as sensational

Andreas joined from 1891 restaurant

up-tempo new songs from their forthcoming new album

and bar so has a good knowledge

‘Spectrum’. Then, just a week later, Little Mix will also

of pre-theatre dining, previously he

be bringing their unmissable live show to Colwyn Bay.

was head chef at The Imperial Hotel

The group are set to perform at Stadiwm Zip World on

in Llandudno where he achieved and

11th July Speaking about the Summer 2020 tour coming

maintained a 2 AA rosette award. The

to Stadiwm Zip World, Pablo Janczur – Orchard Live

Christmas Fayre Menu is now being

Director said: “Little Mix are one of the biggest names

served at the Samphire Brasserie, so

in music and have been getting rave reviews for their

there is no better time than to come and

current shows. Their last show in 2017 at the venue was

try it out for yourself!

absolutely incredible and we can’t wait to have them

back in 2020!” Tickets for both Little Mix and Westlife are available from Venue Cymru, while Lional Richie tickets are available from

NWM 2019 Page 75


Awards success for Portmeirion Portmeirion scooped the gold award for Best

Tourism Awards. “The

Golau Gaeaf Winter Light returns to Llandudno

team here at Portmeirion

Chapter Two of the Golau Gaeaf Winter Light festival

are truly honoured and

takes place this month. The story continues with

proud to have won the

‘The Mermaid’s Purse’, a series of stunning video

Best Wedding Venue Go

projections on to a strip of buildings facing North

North Wales Tourism

Western Gardens. “We’re being a bit cryptic about the

award,” commented Portmeirion sales manager Delyth

precise details of the show as we want the audience

Wyre. “We work extremely hard as a team to make sure

to be captivated by the mystery that surrounds them

that every Bride & Groom has the most memorable wedding

both when they experience them,” said a spokesperson.

day, in our idyllic and magical place.”

One of the key features of the parade is ‘Ychen Bannog’,

an Ox-like beast, created by artist Dave Young, that

Wedding Venue at the recent Go North Wales

emerges from its centuries-deep slumber at the rear of the parade. Breathing steam and awakening other monsters that have been lurking on this iconic rock for centuries, Winter Light promises to give visitors a unique experience which features performance, music and special effects. Chapter 2 ‘The Mermaids Purse’ can be seen on Saturday 14 December, at 7pm. The show features a series of projections on to the strip of buildings running from the Kings Arms to the edge of Mostyn Street, opposite Great Western Gardens.

New bar for Rhos-on-Sea A new bar has opened in the heart of Rhos-on-Sea. Run by

New shop opens in Ruthin

Tim Watson and Tim Watson (what are the chances?!) the

Tracey Dutton founded Lavinia Stamps in 2007 along

bar is called Elementary by

with partner Kevin Jones. Originally working from a

Messrs Watson and Watson,

spare room at home, they have since moved three times

and will serve craft beer, wine

increasing the size of premises each time. Tracey has a

and a specially curated spirits.

fascination for fairies, fantasy, flora and fauna. She hand

Tim number one is the founder

draws and creates beautiful and mystical images that are

of The Grape to Glass Wine

transferred on to polymer stamps for the crafting industry.

Shop and Tasting Room, which can be found just over

Up until now all Tracey’s designs have only been available

the road to Elementary, while Tim number two sold

on-line and from specialist craft shows and events.

up the Kinmel Arms in St George last year. Both Tim’s

However a new retail shop in Ruthin will now give local

have a keen eye for style and have transformed the

customers an opportunity to see the complete range, watch

former hairdressers into a comfortable place to explore

demonstrations and engage in craft workshops.

different styles of beer. With some local Wild Horse

brews on tap, wines by the glass and some wonderful, and unusual spirits – including no alcohol gin – having a drink here will be Elementary my dear Watson!

Page 76 NWM 2019

Be an inspiration in 2020

In 2020 Citizens Advice Denbighshire will have some amazing

up with other services and agencies, help write letters and

volunteering opportunities available in the communities of

complete forms, negotiate with creditors, make phone calls on

Rhyl, Denbigh, Corwen and Ruthin. Volunteering is one of the

clients’ behalf and represent them at courts and tribunals. Our

greatest ways to appreciate our capabilities. By volunteering,

clients and volunteers come from all walks of life and we offer

we can change the lives of others for the better. Volunteering

volunteering opportunities to the whole community.” If you are

is also a tool to improve the community and help those in

interested in volunteering, learning new skills and inspiring

need of free, confidential and impartial advice. “Here in

others then get in touch or come along to the ‘Volunteer Drop

Denbighshire we currently have 75 volunteers helping us to

In Session’ on Friday 17th January 2010 to Eirianfa Community

deliver our essential service to the people of Denbighshire,”

Centre, Factory Place, Denbigh, LL16 3TS. Anytime between

commented Julie Pierce. “We act as a one-stop-shop for clients.

2pm and 6pm for a cuppa, some cake and an informal chat

Advisers provide up-to-date advice and information using

with the friendly team.

our unique electronic information system, we link clients / 01745 818082

Mountain Training Trust launches charity campaign

RNIB Cymru offers bilingual Letters from Santa Sending off a Christmas list and receiving a letter from

The Mountain Training Trust, the

Santa Claus in return is one of the highlights of the year

charity responsible for operating Plas

for many children in the run up to the festive period.

y Brenin National Outdoor Centre,

Many fantastic charities offer Letters to Santa schemes

Capel Curig, is launching a new campaign aiming to get

for families across Wales. However, blind and partially

more people active outdoors. To coincide with the global

sighted children are often unable to read these letters

charity giving day ‘Giving Tuesday’ on December 4th, the

themselves because they are not available in accessible

Mountain Training Trust will be asking for donations to

formats. That’s why RNIB Cymru offer a specialised

go towards ensuring more people can access world class

service that sends blind and partially sighted children

outdoor training at Plas y Brenin, a place regarded by

festive letters from St Nick in their preferred reading

many as the spiritual home of British mountaineering and

format. Letters can be sent in uncontracted or contracted

the ‘gold standard’ provider in outdoor training in the UK.

Braille, large print, audio CD or audio file. What’s more,

“We are incredibly grateful to all those who have already

Santa and his elves are bilingual, so children can receive

shown their support in the lead up to the launch of our

their letters in Welsh too! To receive a tailored letter or

campaign,” commented Sarah Ritchie, head of fundraising

email from Santa for your child, simply send your letter to

at the Mountain Training Trust. “We know that what we

Santa Claus, RNIB, Midgate House, Midgate, Peterborough

do at Plas y Brenin can be life-changing, and this is our

PE1 1TN. Make sure to include the child’s name and

opportunity to ensure that more people than ever can

delivery address, a contact number, whether the child

experience that for themselves, wherever they are and

would like to hear from Santa in Welsh or English and

whatever their background or circumstances.”

what format is required. The deadline is December 2nd

for letters and December 20th for emails.

Law firm supports fundraising cause

Llandudno. Part of the fundraising involves

A North Wales law firm is getting behind a local team’s

getting sponsorship from businesses

fundraising challenge to walk the Somme battlefield

who had their logo carried on the vehicle

blindfolded – and is urging other businesses to do the

which takes the team on their trip. Lanyon

same. The team of four from North Wales Audi headed to

Bowdler was one of the first to sign up and

France in November, timing their trip to coincide with the

Edward Nutting, who heads up the firm’s North Wales office

commemorations surrounding Remembrance Day. They

in Conwy, said: “Lanyon Bowdler has a proud tradition of

embarked on the trek over two days before paying their

supporting the military, serving and former armed services

respects to the fallen on Remembrance Sunday and then

personnel, and did not hesitate in offering our support

headed for Ypres in Belgium to lay a wreath at the Menin

by way of sponsorship to this fundraising challenge. The

Gate memorial. The team is comprised of Matthew Losing, a

trip tied in perfectly with Remembrance Day and it would

former Royal Navy petty officer, Jack Allred, an ex-corporal

be wonderful if other businesses got behind the team by

in the Royal Welch Fusiliers, Jordan Irving, who documented

donating money to such a worthwhile cause.” To donate

the journey, and Head of Business at North Wales Audi,

to the team’s blindfolded Somme Battlefield fundraising

Shalan Sanati. They have set a fundraising target of

trek, visit:

£3,000 in aid of Blind Veterans UK, which has a centre in


NWM 2019 Page 77


Hope House awarded Children in Need grant Hope House Children’s Hospice is celebrating being awarded a grant of £108,380 by BBC Children in Need,

condition. Each young person has a bespoke programme

to help make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged

of therapeutic emotional or bereavement support to help

children and young people living in Shropshire, Cheshire,

them process their feelings or cope with their loss.

Mid and North Wales. The grant, paid over three years,

The BBC Children in Need grant will pay for exciting

will go towards the hospice’s Sibling Support Service,

trips and activities as part of the Sibling Support Service,

which gives help and support to the brothers and sisters

including a bush-craft activity day, trips to the zoo and

of children who use the hospice. Specialist staff help the

team-building challenges such as raft-building and zip-

siblings to adapt to the changes in their lives caused

wires at a local activity centre.

by living with a brother or sister with a life-threatening

Welsh beaches need Deposit Return Scheme

London calling Kane Oliver Parry

The UK’s leading marine charity,

to appear on the side of a London bus. The former Coleg

the Marine Conservation Society

Cambria student may soon get his wish, having made

(MCS) has released the results of its

a name for himself in some of the West End’s biggest

most recent Great British Beach Clean, a UK-wide weekend

musicals. Originally from Rhyl, the 30 year-old is currently

of coastal cleaning which has been running for 26 years.

treading the boards in the multi award-winning global

Volunteers at the Great British Beach Clean not only clear the

smash Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre. Having starred

beaches of litter, but become citizen scientists and record

alongside Emma Thompson in Sweeney Todd and been

what they find, providing valuable data on what’s polluting

understudy to the lead role of Galileo in an international

our beaches. This year 30 beach cleans and litter surveys

arena tour of We Will Rock You, Kane has enjoyed an

took place across Wales, with over 700 local volunteers

amazing start to life as an actor. However, he says the

getting involved to remove more than 15,000 litter items

“exceptional” lecturers and staff at Cambria’s Yale site in

from Welsh beaches. MCS’ 26 years of data has shown a

Wrexham gave him the confidence to follow his dreams.

concerning upward trend of glass bottles on the UK coastline.

“I studied a National Diploma in Performing Arts at Coleg

In 1994, when the first Great British Beach Clean took place,

Cambria and absolutely loved it,” said the former Rhyl High

an average of 2 glass bottles were found per 100m of Welsh

School pupil. “It was surprising to me when I went on to

beach, in 2019 that figure has grown to an average of 8

study further how much I already knew because of my

Kane Oliver Parry has a driving ambition – for his face

glass bottles per 100m – a staggering 412% increase! This data illustrates the urgent need for the implementation of an all-inclusive Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) which would include not just plastic bottles, but also glass bottles and cans. “Last year’s consultation on a Deposit Return Scheme for England, Wales and Northern Ireland received an overwhelmingly positive response, with 208,000 responses in favour of DRS being implemented,” commented Gill Bell, head of Conservation Wales. “Disappointingly, progress has stalled, with UK Government calling for further consultations and evidence for DRS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

time at Cambria. It was such a good programme and the

despite the public’s support. This year’s Great British Beach

teaching was exceptional.” So, does Kane have any tips

Clean data really speaks for itself, showing how important an

for the next generation of Performing Arts students at

all-inclusive DRS is to reduce the volume of drinks containers

Cambria? “Go and watch as much as you can, even if you

we’re seeing on Welsh beaches. We urge the Welsh

think it’s bad you will still have learned something,” he said.

Government to join the 40 countries worldwide with effective

“And remember, you don’t have to be in the West End or on

DRS in place and implement an all-inclusive Deposit Return

TV to be an actor or have ‘made it’ in this industry. Just do

Scheme as soon as possible.”

what makes you happy, and most importantly, be kind.”

Page 78 NWM 2019










NWM 2019 Page 79

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NWM 2019 Page 81


An exceptional academic and enriching education on the stunning North Wales coast

PRE-SCHOOL AT RYDAL PENRHOS Outstanding Pre-School provision for 2-4 year olds • Wrap Around Care included Coastal and Forest School schemes to enhance early development At Rydal Penrhos Pre-School, young children will explore, investigate and question so that they learn while their curiosity and imagination are given full reign Find out more on our new website For more information contact 01492 530155 or email

Page 82 NWM 2019


Learning by heart As the first term of school and the Christmas holidays comes to

difficult periods of time. This should only be done if there is

a close, a sense of excitement undoubtedly fills the air.

a structured environment at a specific location that enables revision to be done constructively and in a positive manner.

However, the reality of exams after the holidays soon set in. The

5. Set aside a few hours a day to revise

Christmas season is a wonderful time to spend with family and friends, so it can be extremely hard to focus on revision.

Find the best time to revise for you and make sure that you stick to your timetable! For example, some work best in the

There is plenty that you can do in order to ensure preparation

morning, so they make sure to get up early and do a few hours

is maximised during the busy festive season, including

of revision. Others prefer studying in the evening or afternoon,

securing the right balance of study and free time that will also

so it is simply a case of what works best for you and plan

be essential for your wellbeing and state of mind during this

around that.

specific period of your education. 6. Plan something fun to do every day It can be exceptionally difficult to see others having fun when

Even if it is just going for coffee with a friend or watching a

you’re not, especially when you are sat at home revising ahead

film at home, this will give you something to look forward to and

of examinations, so here are some helpful hints that could serve

motivate you to finish your revision.

well during this critical stage of your objectives. 7. Explain to your family why your revision is important 1. Organise

Sometimes it can be difficult for family to understand why

This means that you should draw out a plan on paper on what

you are not spending time with them. So, make sure you tell

you will achieve each day (taking into account any non-study

them why your exams are important and perhaps you can

days/events). Set a specific time on how long you can study

agree to do something nice with them when your exams

each day and how much to achieve in the given time and stick

are over. Family members are sure to be supportive of your

to it. A simple timetable can easily help with this.

efforts and commend you for your commitment to examination preparations.

2. Hydrate Whilst studying hydration is immensely important, whether it

8. Take time off

is water, juice or any other hot/cold drink. Have the odd snack

It is important to take some time to relax and when you do get

too to keep energy levels up – there should be plenty of these

back to revising, you’ll probably find it easier to concentrate.

around the house during Christmas time!

Pick the most important days for you and your family to concentrate on celebrating Christmas and, again, plan around

3. Take breaks and get fresh air

the significant dates that mean the most to you.

The brain tends to stop functioning well during a prolonged period of revision, which leads to becoming easily distracted

9. Remember that it won’t last forever!

and losing focus of the task in hand. It is therefore essential that

You might have to spend your Christmas revising this year, and

regular breaks are taken, do something completely different for

perhaps in the years to come depending on your ambitions, but

a while to get your mind off the revision. Being in a different

soon enough you’ll be free of exams forever. And, after spending

environment for however long will do wonders for your mind-

time revising, your future Christmases will seem even better. n

set, allow your brain to rest and enjoy your surroundings before returning to your revision studies. 4. Have a change of scenery Studying at the same desk all the time can be monotonous for most, so moving your revision to a new location such

Sally Ann Harding is Senior School Head of Rydal Penrhos. She is about to embark on her 28th year at the school and her 40th in the teaching profession

as a library or relative’s house can be beneficial during

NWM 2019 Page 83



old to run a half marathon and as mentioned, I am only 16. However,

A sixth form pupil is aiming to mark his 17th

what if I ran a marathon on my

birthday to raise funds for a national cancer

17th birthday in aid of Cancer

charity. Morgan Kendall, a Year 12 pupil at Rydal

Research UK? Why not? As a

Penrhos, has registered for the Milton Keynes

result I would like to run the

half marathon on 3rd May next year, which is

Milton Keynes Half Marathon

the earliest he can compete at an event of this

not only for him, not only for

kind. He is running in aid of Cancer Research UK

personal goals and ambitions but

just over five years after his father Stuart was

also for people who have or will

diagnosed with the disease. The keen runner is

have cancer in their lifetimes.”

already working hard on his fitness levels to give

Morgan will be joined on his half

a good account of himself at the event and has set an initial target time of one hour, 35 minutes for his debut run. A post on Morgan’s Just Giving page, read: “Running has been one of my biggest passions for a few years now and I always like to have a goal, whether it be a new PB or a milestone. Currently, you must be 17 years

marathon quest by family friend Rob Mandley, who has had a similar experience emotionally to the sixth former. Anyone wishing to donate to Morgan’s fundraising efforts can do so via: fundraising/morgankendall


PIONEERING RESEARCH AIDED BY WREXHAM GLYNDWR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS A pioneering company which helps people with rare conditions has partnered

Myddelton College opened its preparatory school in 2017

with Wrexham Glyndwr

with the vision of a school where pupils are equipped

University students as part of a study into a condition

with both the personal and professional skills to thrive

affecting young people. The partnership was one of several

in the 21st Century. As a Microsoft Showcase School

which the university has developed with Aparito, a wearable

and as a recognised EdTech School, tablet technology

technology company whose work helps people across the

has an important part in the prep school. Each student

globe improve the quality of their lives while living with rare

has their own device, which is used in lessons, but this

diseases. The company, whose head office is in Wrexham,

is also blended with the traditional style of teaching

worked with Glyndwr psychology students Kate McDonald,

and an emphasis on handwriting. There is a focus on

from Ellesmere Port, and Ariana Bradshaw – originally from

educating our students in mindfulness, by an embedded

Minnesota in America. The students – guided by lecturer Dr

curriculum through its MISP (Mindfulness in Schools

Shubha Sreenivas – were tasked with analysing data from

Project) trained teachers. This teaches pupils how to deal

interviews carried out for Aparito with patients, carers and

with the pressures of life in the 21st Century and helps to

families affected by a rare metabolic disease. The disorder,

strengthen their concentration, memory, self-management

which to protect study participants cannot be disclosed, is

and even their relationships with family and friends. It

caused by a genetic mutation which affects young people and

is all about learning to be in the ‘here and now’. Now in

adults. “It was great to collaborate with the University on this

its third year, the vision for Myddelton Preparatory is

project, and I hope that many more opportunities will emerge,”

expanding; since opening it has doubled in size, and it is

commented Dr Elin Haf Davies, CEO of Aparito, who will now

now welcoming pupils from the age of seven upwards in

be working alongside Dr Sreenivas at Glyndwr after having

its classrooms.

been appointed an Honorary Research Fellow.

Page 84 NWM 2019

Addysg Adsefydlu Anafiadau Chwaraeon Animeiddio Busnes Celf a Dylunio Cemeg Cerddoriaeth Comics Cwnsela Cyfrifeg a Chyllid Cyfrifiadura Darlunio Datblygu Gemau Effeithiau Gweledol Ffotograffiaeth a Ffilm Gwaith Cymdeithasol a Gofal Gwyddor Fforensig Gwyddor Anifeiliaid Hanes Hyfforddi PĂŞl-droed a Chwaraeon Iechyd a Lles Ieuenctid a Chymuned Marchnata Nyrsio Peirianneg Plismona Radio Rheoli Adnoddau Dynol Rheoli Technoleg Ariannol Saesneg Sain Seiberddiogelwch Seicoleg Teuluoedd a Phlentyndod Theatr a Pherfformio Therapi Galwedigaethol Troseddeg Y Cyfryngau a Chyhoeddi Yr Amgylchedd Adeiledig Ysgrifennu Creadigol

gwnewch gais nawr am fynediad yn 2020. Dyddiad cau UCAC: January 15th

apply now for 2020 entry. UCAS deadline: January 15th 2020

Accounting & Finance Animal Science Art & Design Animation Built Environment Business Chemistry Comics Computing Counselling Creative Writing Criminology Cyber Security Education Engineering English Families & Childhood Financial Technology Management Forensic Science Football & Sport Coaching Game Development Health & Wellbeing History Human Resource Management Illustration Marketing Media & Publishing Music Technology Nursing Occupational Therapy Photography & Film Policing Psychology Radio Social Work & Care Sound Sports Injury Rehabilitation Theatre & Performance Visual Effects Youth & Community

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Wedding planner I’M DREAMING OF A WHITE CHRISTMAS… Gone are the days when people only got married during the summer months, weddings are all year round, with the autumn/winter seasons proving to be quite popular now. If you’ve already booked your wedding during the winter season or, if you’re currently trying to decide what time of year to book your big day, here are some things to think about which might excite you about your winter wedding… Summer weddings are popular, but this also means that dates may be difficult. You may have found your dream venue, but they’re already booked. During the autumn/ winter months venues have more availability meaning your perfect date may be available at your dream wedding venue. For your colour scheme, you can also pick some amazing And, if you love Christmas, why don’t you think about a mid-

jewel tones like deep red, purple and gold. During the winter

week wedding between Christmas and New Year, where

months, florists will be able to advise the perfect flowers

you may be able to save on costs, and your guests may have

which will be in season, which will really stand out, giving

booked time off already due to the holiday season too!

you the most beautiful eye-catching bouquets and flowers with an opulent mix of colours.

You also don’t need to worry too much about the weather, as you’ll be spending most of your time indoors. Yes autumn/

The only bit of advice I would say, but this isn’t just for

winter may be cold but what’s more romantic than having

winter weddings is… wedding insurance. For peace of mind

lots of fairy lights, candles and a roaring log fire during

in the lead up to your big day, I would make sure you’re

your evening reception, with the possibility of snow on

covered. With a range of wedding insurances out there from

your wedding day. You’ll have to choose your wedding

multiple providers, shop around for the best cover and deal.

attire a little more carefully but only in the sense of having

After writing this month’s column it’s got me thinking about

a pashmina, bolero or fur wrap, to make sure you and your

my wedding day, if I had the chance to do it all over again, I

bridesmaids are warm when stood outside for pictures.

would opt for this time of the year!

Don’t forget if you are having a winter wedding make sure

All that’s left to say is… Merry Christmas and I wish you all

you book the ceremony time early in the afternoon, to allow

the very best for 2020! n

you some daylight time for photographs after you’ve said ‘I do’ and before the evening draws in.

Caroline Roberts runs Events by Caroline With the drinks reception you can also play around with

Louise, an event management company that

drinks, instead of the normal glass of Prosecco on arrival

specialises in wedding planning. She also

why don’t you opt for mulled wine or even better hot Pimms,

owns Bella, the Prosecco Van and provides

yes, that’s right hot Pimms – you can thank me later!

happiness in a glass! For more information please visit

NWM 2019 Page 87

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Three places to visit in December

Getting back

to Nature

There’s plenty of wildlife across the region in December, says Julian Hughes, if you know where to look…

Bull Bay, Anglesey The Wales Coast Path is a great walk on a dry day, and the seas here are among the best place to see two different dolphin species in North Wales, as well as Grey Seals. A pod of Risso’s Dolphins are almost resident here, while Bottlenose Dolphins visit in the winter – so take some binoculars. Park behind the Bull Bay

Time for bed – with friends…

Hotel and follow the footpath signs.

The short days of December, whether wet and windy or cold and frosty, are a challenge for birds that stay in Britain and mammals that don’t hibernate. They have to get enough

Clwyd estuary, Rhyl/Rhuddlan

food to see them through the long, cold nights, so every daylight moment is precious.

Although one of the smaller estuaries

Some birds huddle together to share each other’s warmth, Wrens and Blue Tits often

in North Wales, the Clwyd is rich in

using bird boxes or natural crevices in trees or stonework. Members of the Crow family,

birds through the winter. At low tide,

such as Jackdaws and Rooks, also come together to sleep in mature trees, gathering

waders feed on the muddy banks

noisily in the half hour before darkness, which is believed to be an important part of

near the rivermouth at Rhyl/Kinmel

communicating good food sources.

Bay, and gulls gather before going

Credit: Julian Hughes

Candles in the wood

to roost on the nearby Marine Lake. Credit: Norbert Nagel

Flocks of geese and Wigeons feed on

Candle-snuff fungus can be found on dead

the adjacent fields, best viewed from

wood throughout the year, so it’s evident in

Marsh Road, along the west bank.

the run up to Christmas. It has a white, upright fruiting body with a black and hairy base, the

Alwen Reservoir, Hiraethog

upperparts covered in white powder that looks

A network of forest tracks and

like molten wax. The stem can sometimes fork

footpaths weave through the forestry

into more than one branch, prompting its other English name, Stag’s Horn.

Credit: Alastair Rae

plantations around this reservoir, smaller brother of nearby Llyn Brenig. Listen for flocks of Siskins and Crossbills feeding on the pine cone seeds, and look for Redwings and Fieldfares on the surrounding fields.

Credit: Rob Mitchell

Show your House Spiders some love!

Arachnophobia is a genuine affliction, but please do give your spiders a chance. House Spider is the most common species to share our homes, and their bite poses no risk to humans or pets. They’d rather run away to their funnelshaped web or hide in a crevice. Horror stories about False Widow Spiders are loved by tabloid papers but these are much scarcer than House Spiders, and even if one was to bite you – which is very rare – the localised pain and swelling usually disappears in a few hours.

Life on the ocean wave

Grey Seal pups were born in the autumn, and are only a month or two old when they have to face the rough seas and winter storms. Their silky white fur is shed around a month after they’re born, once they have been weaned off their mother’s fatrich milk. It is replaced with dense, grey adult fur that is waterproof, and the youngsters then learn to fish for themselves. Male Grey Seals in Arctic Canada will grow up to two metres (seven feet) long and weigh as much as 300kg (680lb), but those in more southerly Welsh waters are usually a bit smaller.

Visit late in the afternoon, and you might chance across a Barn Owl or even a Hen Harrier hunting over the moorland as you drive away. Wild places to explore This new book features nature reserves and other destinations across the region. It’s £7.50 from northwaleswildlifetrust. or from the Trust’s Bangor office in Garth Road.

Julian Hughes grew up in North Wales, which instilled a lifelong love of nature. He lives near Llandudno, manages the RSPB’s species conservation work in Wales, and writes about the region’s wildlife.

NWM 2019 Page 89

You & Your


GET YOUR PET SAFELY INVOLVED THIS CHRISTMAS Christmas is a wonderful time for us humans, but sometimes we are so caught up in the festivities that we forget about the possible dangers to our pets. There are lots of hazards that can cause major issues for our pets. Cats and dogs are being increasingly involved in the festivities, so we need to be more aware of the risks. 5.5 million dog owners unknowingly feed their pets harmful foods at Christmas, so to avoid any health emergencies, here are the top festive food hazards to be on the lookout for: Chocolate - Contains a stimulant called theobromine, a bit like caffeine, that’s severely poisonous to cats and dogs. Only 750g of milk chocolate may cause a Labrador to have a seizure. Carob is a dog friendly alternative to chocolate and is available at all our stores. Mince Pies & Christmas Puddings - All grapes, raisins, currants and sultanas are toxic to dogs, as are foods that contain them. As a nation, we go through 25 million Christmas puddings every year and a jaw dropping 300 million mince pies.

Top Fact

Did you know that we throw away 230,000 tonnes of Blue Cheese - Seen by many as a festive treat, it contains a

Christmas food? That’s a vast amount of leftovers and

substance called roquefortine C which dogs are extremely

scraps going in the bin. Make sure your food recycling

sensitive to.

bin is well sealed or kept outside as dogs are natural scavengers and although it may not look the most

Onions - Can cause stomach irritation and lead to red blood

appetising to us, they will explore. To us it’s a bin –

cell damage and anaemia, even if just used as an ingredient in

to them it’s a buffet.

stuffing or gravy. Alcohol - There is a 40% increase in alcohol consumption in

All of this sounds very daunting, almost to the extent that we

December. Alcohol can cause severe liver and brain damage

should skip the festive period altogether. However, this article

in your pets. As little as a tablespoon can lead to problems for

is merely here to help inform you of potential dangers. Now

your cat or dog.

you are aware of all these potential pitfalls, you can sit back and relax knowing Christmas ‘19 will be a safe and joyous

Artificial Sweeteners - One sweetener in particular, xylitol, is

time this year. n

found in many foods, including some cakes. Ingestion can lead to potentially fatal hypoglycemia, acute liver disease and blood

Meurig Davies is the Buyer for the Dog

clotting. Even small amounts can be extremely dangerous so

& Cat departments at petplace. He has

keep away from pets at all costs.

worked in every part of the company over the past 21 years and, as a passionate pet

Cooked Bones - Once cooked, all bones become brittle and

parent to Libby his Labrador, he knows

splinter easily which can pierce your dog’s digestive tract or

how important it is to be prepared for this

cause an obstruction. 61% of owners will let their dogs join

time of the year. For any advice, pop in to one of our stores

them for Christmas dinner, so be conscious of what you are

and have a chat with Meurig or one of the team.

feeding them.

NWM 2019 Page 91

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Dhuvra Mistry - Mixed Media - Sold by Kettles Yard Gallery in Cambridge in 1985' Sold for £500

Antoine Bouvard - ‘A Venetian Canal’ 14’’ x 18’’ £1,500-£2,000

Cosmo Alexander C1750 - Double Portrait In Our Fine Art Auction In November Sold for £3,900

• Free Pre-Sale Valuation at the Sale Room • Very Prompt and Courteous Service • Valuations for Probate and Sale • Valuations for Insurance • Weekly Collections and Furniture Auctions • Monthly Antiques and Fine Art Auctions • Specialist Book and Toy Auctions • International Advertising and Buyers • Specialist Removals with In-House Experienced Team • Removal of Low Value Items • Secure Insured Storage Facilities • Removals Arranged to All Parts of the UK • Live Internet Auctions

Our main offices and two auction rooms are located in Stanhope Street, opposite the Liverpool Marina. There is free on-road parking. Visits to clients in Wirral, Chester and North Wales are made every week. Evening and weekend visits to clients homes can be made by prior arrangement. To book your appointments simply call John Crane personally on either 01766 771777 or mobile 07836 209995 Cato Crane Auctioneers Liverpool Auction Rooms 6 Stanhope Street Liverpool, L8 5RF

Wirral Valuation Office 48 The Mount Heswall Wirral CH60 4RD

Chester and North Wales Tel: 01244 680055 Wirral Tel: 0151 342 2321

Email: &

Telephone Soon For Home Visit Appraisals

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Valuable Nest of Teak & Afrosia wood Tables

All Things

Auctioneering Sometimes objects are not what they appear to be; but how can you tell the difference? The illustrated yellow beads are a point in question. Are they cheap baubles or are they something to be treasured forever? Well, the simple answer is that they are particularly good example of a well designed string of amber beads probably dating from the 1950s or thereabouts. Amber is found in many different colours including dark brown and green. The most desirable amber is the mottled bright yellow which looks

quality and worn antique furniture brings poor results which is

somewhat like scrambled eggs. The clear amber comes next

disappointing for all concerned, including ourselves!

and often includes insects in the beads which were trapped in the original resin. Many people like the dark red amber – but

My heart did leap with joy a few months ago at a Wirral

it is all a matter of personal preference.

property which had been totally furnished with teak furniture in the 1960s and 1970s. I explained to the beneficiaries that

As far as I can remember the top price paid at auction at one

this furniture was now very much in demand and worth more

of the Cato Crane 5 Counties Auctions was over £3,000 about

than antique furniture nowadays. They said they watched the

three years ago for the ‘scrambled egg’ variety. If you have

TV shows and that they would soon decide what to do; a few

any good large amber beads please let us know and we can

days later I passed the property and noticed three skips full

place them in one of our specialist monthly BidLive-OnLine-

of the furniture, broken up and out in the rain – it was worth

RealTime auctions where people bid from all four corners of

about £6,000!

the globe. Just send me a photograph by email and they are easy to post to us to be included.

Teak was never an inexpensive wood. It was difficult to

Good gold and diamond jewellery is in high demand, and I can

transport as it did not float and had to be drawn overland by

make a visit to you to discuss the sale of good items.

elephants thus increasing the costs enormously. As it was so expensive many pieces of furniture used teak veneers over

Since writing my last page, I have covered over 4,000 miles

a low-cost frame. Furniture designers across Europe and

by car and appraised more house contents than usual of

especially Denmark and the UK took teak furniture design

extremely good quality antique furniture right across the

very seriously and the name of G-Plan is known to everyone

Northwest, Cheshire, Wirral and North Wales, where we are

but there are hundreds of small and large high quality

now extremely active.

designers to choose from and collect! The ‘cut-off’ date at the moment seems to be around 1980 when mass production

A client asked me, the other day, if my heart jumped for joy

designs were perhaps not so desirable.

when I discovered antique furniture? The simple answer is ‘YES’, when it is of exceptional quality as this will still encourage

Our business is expanding again so follow us on Twitter &

enthusiastic bidding on auction day in Liverpool! Mediocre

Instagram and remember: ‘Don’t skip it - Cato Crane it!’ n

John Crane runs Cato Crane Auctioneers which offers a free pre-sale valuation service at its busy Valuation Office in Wirral. It also offers a home visit valuation service throughout North Wales, which is ideal if you would like advice on a few objects. Cato Crane’s selling commission rates are competitive, and a rate of 8% (or lower for very high value items) is available to clients in North Wales during December 2019. You can call Cato Crane’s head office in Liverpool on 0151 709 5559 or their office in Wirral on 0151 342 2321 for further information or, alternatively you can ring John directly on 07836 209995 if you would like any auctioneering advice. You can also follow Cato Crane on Twitter and Instagram: @CatoCrane

NWM 2019 Page 93 NWM 2019 Page 93

For the love of all things


Confessions of a modern day magpie A Slip Dress in Seattle produced under her label.

Did someone say cocktail party? Oh how Tatty adores the festive season, my social calendar has never looked

Mary Black was a London born designer,

so promising. With the constant

who emigrated to New York towards

RSVP’ing, I’m single-handedly

the late 1930’s, where she leased

keeping Smythson afloat. But what

a showroom on 47th Street – her

to wear? Such a dilemma – so many

dresses were also sold at the high-end

events to attend and I can’t possibly

department store Bergdorf Goodman.

be seen in the same ensemble twice,

The queen of the bias cut dress, Black

not in my line of business.

preferred unadorned simple lines, a style that celebrates and flatters the

Luckily for me “old” has never

natural lines of the female figure. The

been so fashionable. To quote Coco

moment the dress arrived at TDHQ,

Chanel: “Fashion fades, only style

I could not wait to get it onto the

remains the same”. What wise

mannequin and photographed, ready

words from the high priestess

for its global preview on Insta. Within

of French couture. Such forward

the hour it was sold. Bought by a very

thinking so relevant to today, in

happy Google executive in Seattle, who

an industry full of poor quality,

will be wearing the dress to her sister’s

synthetic “throwaway fashion”,

forthcoming nuptials.

destined for landfill. We can all learn a valuable lesson from this quote: to

As much as I love sourcing these

buy clothes that are going to last the

amazing dresses, I am always thrilled

test of time. Preferably, vintage.

to hand them over, knowing that they are going to appreciative homes where they will attend such celebrations

This week’s star purchase proves

and be admired, as they deserve. We

testament to the longevity of style. Pinging into my inbox an email from a lady in Scotland,

are also witnessing a cultural change in the way we are

entitled “1930’s dress – for sale”. Wonderful, I thought as

buying, especially amongst the young, who are rejecting

this is Tatty’s specialist field and I was not to be found

mass produced fashion in favour of one off vintage finds

disappointed. Excitedly clicking open the several email

that reflect their individual personalities. Proving that style

attachments unveiled a striking red, white and blue gown.

never fades...

The fabric print and shape so aesthetically modern, you would struggle to believe it was nearly 90 years old and not

Merry Christmas one and all!

off today’s peg. Designed and made by in Britain by Mary Black Couture, this dress was one of her first dresses ever

Tatty is constantly searching for new stock and would love to hear from you if you have any of the

Tatty x

Ali Hough (Tatty) is a dealer in fine

following for sale: fine vintage, decorative antiques,

vintage and antiques. Based at: Tatty

vintage textiles/quilts or Welsh blankets.

HQ, No. 12 Ivy Street, Colwyn Bay. For all

You can catch Tatty on Insta

enquiries please contact 07940 730421

or Twitter @tatty_divine

or email

NWM 2019 Page 95

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Sea life

Christmas in the Aquarium Does it involve festive fishes, tinselly turbot and prawns pulling crackers?

to be heated during the winter in order to keep the animals comfortable and happy if they are accustomed to warmer conditions, and our

People often ask what happens to our

triggerfish are one of these species. Grey

animals on the most festive day of the year,

triggerfish are common seasonal visitors to

while everyone else is tucking into their

British waters during the warmer summer

Christmas dinner. We have very few visitors at Christmas time so it isn’t worth our while opening to the public, but for our livestock here, Christmas Day is the same as any other day and they still need the same basic care.

months, when they migrate here from the Mediterranean. Ours were accidentally caught in a lobster pot by a local fisherman last summer and they have done well since we got them. However, the wonderful thing about having native species in a natural system is that, if it ever

For almost a decade now, Matt our curator has held the

doesn’t work out and an animal seems unhappy or isn’t doing

important but unenviable role of playing Santa in the

well in captivity, we can simply release it again. Our conger

aquarium on Christmas Day, dedicated to his task of ensuring

eels are all brought in when they are small and we keep them

that he checks up on all our livestock and dishes out their

on display for a year or two until they start to get large, then

fair share of Christmas dinner. Fortunately, as his family live

we release them to allow them to live to maturity in freedom

locally, Matt manages to carry out this work in two shifts,

and breed in the wild. Thus we are able to practise a constant

either side of his own much deserved Christmas meal!

form of stock rotation which is both ethical and sustainable.

The first and last job of the day is feeding the seahorses,

When the temperature drops in the winter, other animals

as they feed constantly throughout the daylight hours and

such as our wolffish, octopus and invertebrates no longer

therefore require a constant supply of live food which needs

require the constant chillers which they have throughout the

regularly topping up. The food for all the other livestock also

summer months to maintain a low water temperature, and

needs to be defrosted, chopped and prepared in different

they are in their element!

sized pieces for all the animals in each tank and then distributed throughout the aquarium exhibits – without a

However, most of our fish and other critters slow down when

sleigh or reindeer in sight!

the temperatures drop, becoming less active just as they do during winter in the wild, feeding less, or sometimes

The fantastic thing about the Anglesey Sea Zoo is that all the

not feeding at all and in a state of semi-torpor. When sea

sea water which feeds our tanks is pumped directly from

temperatures are at their lowest at the end of February and

the Menai Strait on our doorstep, and it is this that allows

early March, our visitors often witness this relatively inactive

us to house only British species in a natural environment,

state of some animals, which is an important part of the

something which no other aquarium does, making us

natural seasonal cycle of their behaviour.

absolutely unique. Using real sea water recreates the conditions which our animals would experience living in

However, despite this reduced activity, there are still plenty

the wild around the Welsh coast and further afield, and this

of hungry mouths to be fed on Christmas Day before Matt can

includes the natural seasonality of sea temperature changes

break off for his own dinner and celebrations! Merry Fishmas! n

and food availability such as plankton. So all our animals behave naturally and feel at home here in their native environment, and as a result many of them breed in captivity of their own accord. By early December the temperature of the incoming sea water has dropped dramatically and thus so has the temperature throughout the exhibits in the aquarium. Some tanks need

Frankie Hobro is the owner and director of Anglesey Sea Zoo. She has always been a passionate advocate for conservation, and has a long history working on hands-on conservation projects with critically endangered species in difficult conditions abroad

NWM 2019 Page 97




While everyone remembers Russell Grant from his Breakfast TV appearances in the 1980’s, most people don’t realise that Russell was the first astrologer in over 300 years to present a horoscope forecast to a member of the Royal Family (HRH Queen Mother). Now dubbed the “Royal Astrologer” Russell has appeared on numerous television shows, including Strictly Come Dancing. He divides his time between London and his North Wales home near Portmeirion.

December’s horoscopes brought to you by Russell Grant ARIES (March 21st – April 20th) You’ll be coming into your own on the 13th, thanks to an empowering Full Moon. Take this opportunity to command the spotlight. Promote your agenda, challenge rivals and satisfy your urges. In the past, people have accused you of being selfish, implying this was a character flaw. That’s not the case in mid-October, when you’ve earned the right to satisfy your needs.

LIBRA (September 24th – October 23rd) The Full Moon on the 13th is a great time to strike a compromise with your best friend, romantic partner or business associate. Instead of clinging stubbornly to a particular point, be willing to negotiate. You can back down from your position without losing respect. If you’ve been collaborating on an original project, you’ll bring this work to its satisfying conclusion.

TAURUS (April 21st – May 21st) Hidden information will come to light on the 13th, due to a revelatory Full Moon. Now that you understand a loved one’s past, it will be easier to achieve intimacy. Do your best to ease their fears and encourage their dreams. The New Moon on the 28th will pave the way to a partnership. This alliance won’t be entirely easy. It will be difficult to satisfy your unusual tastes and sensibilities.

SCORPIO (October 24th – November 22nd) You’ll see the results of a health regimen on the 13th, thanks to a gratifying Full Moon. Your efforts to eat well, be more active and get more reset will pay off handsomely. Give yourself a handsome reward for your diligence and sacrifice. If you’ve been working on a cutting-edge project, you’ll bring it to a successful conclusion in mid-October.

GEMINI (May 22nd – June 21st) The Full Moon on the 13th is an ideal time to attend a social gathering. If you’re single, you will meet someone who makes your pulse pound. Throw caution to the wind and get romantically involved; you won’t be sorry. If you’re already in a serious relationship, your amour will enjoy showing you off. On the 28th, the New Moon will mark a difficult work assignment. CANCER (June 22nd – July 23rd) The Full Moon on the 13th trains the spotlight firmly on you. You’ll enjoy showcasing your talent and working before the public. Instead of trying to blend in with the crowd, emphasise your differences. This will allow you to land the creative assignments you enjoy. On the 28th, the New Moon could mark the beginning of a passionate romance.

SAGITTARIUS (November 23rd – December 21st) After a long period of drudgery, you’ll be able to relax and have some fun on the 13th. That’s when an uplifting Full Moon invites you to come out and play. If you’ve been yearning for romance, you’ll find it with a wild rebel. The two of you share a love of adventure; lots of far-flung trips are in the cards for you both. CAPRICORN (December 22nd - January 20th) Home, family and real estate command your attention on the 13th. That’s when a stimulating Full Moon draws your attention to domestic life. On the 28th, the New Moon pushes you into an unfamiliar environment. You’ll feel like a fish out of water in this group. Fight your instinct to flee the scene. It’s much better to stay and make new friends.

LEO (July 24th – August 23rd) Taking an ethical stance will be rewarded on the 13th, thanks to a satisfying Full Moon. You may prevail in a legal matter or vanquish an immoral enemy. Give yourself a reward for putting personal interest aside for the sake of principle. The New Moon on the 28th will mark a professional opportunity that shakes up your domestic life. This job will require you to move far from home.

AQUARIUS (January 21st – February 19th) The Full Moon on the 13th invites you to clear your desk and finish tasks. The middle of the month is the ideal time to process paperwork, tackle correspondence and pay bills. Fill the pantry, clean the bathroom and clear out clutter. These tasks will be time consuming but satisfying. Signing official paperwork will be especially fortunate for you at this time.

VIRGO (August 24th – September 23rd) On the 13th, an enriching Full Moon will put more money in your bank account. An inheritance, refund or settlement will allow you to make some extensive home improvements. If you’ve always wanted to buy your own place, you’ll be finally able to do so. A course of study could be overwhelming on the 28th, thanks to a tense New Moon.

PISCES (February 20th – March 20th) Don’t hesitate to ask for what is rightfully yours on the 13th, when the Full Moon sheds lights on your material needs. Demand payment for services rendered, ask for a loan to be repaid or indulge in a luxury purchase. The New Moon on the 28th invites you to expand your horizons. The thought of earning an advanced degree is daunting.

Page 98 NWM 2019

Luxmore Mews Livingstone Place, St.Asaph

3 & 4 Bedroom Luxury Townhouses

Sales suite open every day

10.30am - 4.30pm

.....quality in the making!

Contact us for details today on

0845 6036746

NWM 2019 Page 99



FREE BRACELET UNTIL DECEMBER 24 TH Receive a beautiful Clogau® Kiss stretch bracelet (pictured) worth £119, FREE with purchases of £229 or more. Just use offer code KISS during your online order at or in any of our Clogau boutiques and outlet stores or at participating retail partners. Offer ends Tuesday December 24th. T&Cs apply. Visit your nearest Clogau store

Page 100 NWM 2019

Bangor | Broughton | Llandudno | Cheshire Oaks