Did you know it takes 2-300 years for Plastic bags to fragment but they stay in the environment indefinitely… that’s why we send out our packed lunches in brown paper bags, it’s also the reason we swapped from plastic to paper straws 5 years ago & we use bamboo cutlery at our outside catering events.
In fact were so passionate about campaigning for a plastic free future we signed up to the Surfers Against Sewage campaign for Plastic Free Communities and last week at the Plastic Free Betws & District launch, at the Waterloo, we were awarded Plastic Free Champions status.
Here’s our fabulous Waterloo Hotel Duty Manager Zoe who collected the award for the company and helped make sure the night was a huge success!
As a member of David Cox’s Betws-y-Coed artist’s colony based at the Royal Oak in the 1870’s, Albert Glendening’s paintings of Eryri’s (Snowdonia’s) mountains were strongly collected.
Paul Holberten Publishing has kindly sent us the latest copy about Glendening’s work and the man himself and what an extrodinary time he lived through with the changes the Industrial Revolution had bought to Britain.
From humble origins, Glendening was still working full-time as a railway clerk when he made his London exhibition debut at the age of twenty. That would have been almost impossible before the Victorian era, an extraordinary period when social mobility was a real possibility. Although his paintings show a tranquil and unspoiled landscape, his environment was steadily being transformed by social, scientific and industrial developments, while advances in transport, photography and other technical discoveries undoubtedly influenced him and his fellow painters.
The book is available to view at reception or to purchase your own copy at www.paulholberton.com
Find out more about David Cox’s Art Colony and the fascinating history of our building here
It maybe a little out of the ordinary to find a hill of cheese maturing inside Llechwedd Slate Caverns but that’s exactly what co-operative South Caernarfon Creameries do with their reserve Cheddar . They make their delicious Dragon’s Cheddar using milk from mid and West Wales, before before taking it down to the mines to mature for a minimum of 11 months. Our favourtie place for it? Topping the Draig Burger at Y Stablau
As well as being an International Cheese Judge (she really has the best job) Jackie from Castell Gwyn makes soft cheeses from North Walian Jersey-crosses. Using a traditional method by warming the milk, cutting and hanging the curds over three days she then adds er favourite flavours such as cracked black pepper, Welsh honey, fresh chives and one of our faves – Penderyn Whisky! A regular favourite at our Christmas Market or buy online from her at www.castellgwyn.com
We’ve all been to PYO strawberry farm but Pumpkins?
Take a trip out to Hootons in October and pick up seasonal squashes that are not only totally tasty but fab colour for your #picoftheday
every Sunday from 10am in October – take your wellies!
on the Road again..
heading back towards Betws make sure you detour to Abergwyngregyn to visit the AberFalls Distillery. Renowned for their spirits using water from the falls and seasonal ingredients, our favourite at this time of year has to be the Orange Marmalade Gin, sweet and bitter orange flavours, with the pine flavour of juniper and a final warm citrus hit – great from warming up around a bonfire!
We asked our chefs for their favourite Autumn foraging foods
one of our sous chefs swears by Rosehips for Winter colds and their best way to consume them? In a syrup – pour it over ice cream, add into cocktails, or use in your trifles!
To make a litre of RoseHip syrup you need:
1 kilogram of rosehips
3 litres of water
450g of sugar (or honey)
Remove any leaves and the green ends of the rosehips, roughly chop or blitz them and add to a saucepan with the water.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes before straining with a muslin into a clean bowl. Once the juice has been strained, re-strain in a clean muslin cloth. This ensures that all the hairs inside that cause irritation have been removed.
In a new saucepan add sugar to teh syrup and simme until dissolved & thickened.
Transfer to a sterilised jar and keep in a cool place.
And with the last word one of our favourite Market Producers….
Celtalan of Conwy have a fab tip for jammers and chutney makers – with global warming making first frosts unpredicable those berries that require a ‘pick after first frost of autumn’ there’s a simple solution before jamming – freeze them!
Did you know Snowdonia has over 250 Llyn’s – that’s lakes, tarns & big ponds and over 438miles of river so there’s always a stretch nearby to enjoy some watersports on!
We headed up to Llyn Geirionydd after work last Tuesday so that Jack & Han could test out their balancing skills on the paddleboards – by the size of their smiles we think they’re hooked!
Llyn Geirionydd was reputedly the home of the 6th century poet Taliesin and a stone monument to him stands by the lake’s north bank.
no Paddleboard? no Problem!
Local company Ride North offer SUP hire for up to 3 days – so you can paddle a whole raft of our Llyn’s!
Alternatively – take a hike! There’s also a waymarked trail over to Llyn Crafnant a 5mile circular with a stunning viewpoint over Crafnant before descending back to Geirionydd.
on yer bike…..
Not so easy with the hilly terrain in Snowdonia…….. that is of course until you hire an electric bike from Beics Betws!
WIth half or Full day hire availble and a range of 60 miles there’s literally no where you can’t get to on these amazing machines!
with front suspension, disc brakes and 1 by 11 gearing our team took their EMBikes up for a whirl to Llyn Elsi via forestry fire roads – with some steep curves and tricky paths they breezed it up in no time!
Traditional pedal power MTB’s also availble for hire at Beics Betws via their webiste or give them a call on 01690 710766 to book your next pedalling adventure!
Following on from the success of 2021’s showcase seasonal markets 2022 Markets are bigger, better & showcase even more local micro & macro businesess
When? First Saturday of the month from April through to September and 1st weekend of December
Location – Royal Oak Hotel Front Car Park , Betws-y-Coed
Marchnad Cynhyrchwyr Eryri a’r Fro
Yn dilyn ymlaen o lwyddiant y Farchnad yn 2021 rydym bellach yn cymryd mwy o naid ac yn symud lleoliad a niferoedd i 2022!
Dydd Sadwrn cyntaf y mis yn cychwyn Ebrill 2022 tan Mis Medi – ac wedyn Marchnad Dolig penwythnos cyntaf yn mis Rhagfyr
Lleoliad – Gwesty Royal Oak (Maes Parcio), Betws-y-Coed
Chymuned – Community
It’s all about community – every time you buy produce from someone other than a local producer your money leaves the local economy. Buying local produce helpshelps to sustain local economies and create local jobs. Buy local wherever you go!
Mae’n ymwneud â chymuned – pob tro da ni’n prynnu cynnyrch gan rhywun heblaw cyflenwr lleol mae’n arian yn gadeal y’r economi leol. Newid i brynnu yn lleol ac da’n ni’n gyd yn helpu i gynal cynhyrchwyr y fro!
Our Goals & Values
To offer good quality fresh, seasonal produce which is local to the Snowdonia National Park. Giving producers a direct route to market & cutting out any unnecessary middleman fees. Which in turn means a reduction in food miles, packaging, welfare standards and transport costs. We’re supportung traders by hosting a launch platform for start-up & micro businesses so they can innovate and deliver new products direct to market. We are passionate about the benefits of environmental factors within food production and want to enhance seasonality values with consumers. We also love promoting Welsh culture and products as well as discovering new makers who make our area so unique!
some of our regular traders;
Merywen Gin – the original – Merywen was the first gin to be distilled in Wales for over 100 years!
Bragdu Lleu – award winning craft brewery from Dyffryn Nantlle
Celebrating our Commitment to the Real Living `Wage
Snowdonia Hospitality Ltd has today accredited as a Living Wage Employer. Their Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at The Royal Oak Hotel, The Waterloo Hotel, Stables Lodge and Y Stablau receive a minimum hourly wage of £9.90, significantly higher than the government minimum for over 23s, which currently stands at £8.91 per hour.
As we’re based in Wales, a region where almost a fifth of all workers (17.9%) earn less than they need to get by, with around 223,000 jobs paying less than the Real Living Wage.
The real Living Wage is the only rate calculated according to the costs of living. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that wish to ensure their staff earn a wage they can live on, not just the government minimum. Since 2011 the Living Wage movement has delivered a pay rise to over 300,000 people and put over £1.6 billion extra into the pockets of low paid workers.
Glenn Evans, Managing Director, Snowdonia Hospitality “We’ve always valued the contribution that our team bring to the business. We felt the time was right to formalise this commitment and encourage other businesses around us to follow suit. Tourism and hospitality in Wales is a thriving and dynamic industry offering the perfect opportunity for those living around us to live and work within the communities they were raised. By becoming a Real Living Wage employer, we are looking to build upon this relationship whilst enabling a career in hospitality to be a career of choice. “
Katherine Chapman, Director, Living Wage Foundation said: “We’re delighted that Snowdonia Hospitality & Leisure Ltd has joined the movement of almost 9,000 responsible employers across the UK who voluntarily commit to go further than the government minimum to make sure all their staff earn enough to live on. “They join thousands of small businesses, as well as household names such as Burberry, Barclays, Everton Football Club and many more.
These businesses recognise that paying the real Living Wage is the mark of a responsible employer and they, like Snowdonia Hospitality & Leisure Ltd, believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.”
Family Firth rightly say they are living their dream at the foot of the Clwydian hills. It all started in 2019 when an opportunity to move to Denbighshire popped up they lived the phrase ‘Carpe Diem’ …..the rest is history!
A chance encounter with a neighbours small flock led the family to stumble upon the breed that would capture their hearts – the Black Welsh Mountain Sheep.
Lead shepherdess Ellen, aged 17, is now the driving force behind the family’s flock. At 7 years of age Ellen started helping her neighbour on his dairy farm – and she was hooked. Since then she went on to spend time helping out with dairy, cattle and sheep herds on friends and neighbours farms.
When Ellen was diagnosed with autism aged 13 she knew there was one thing she just had to do and that was to continue farming. With three siblings keen to follow in her footsteps, one with an avid interest in conservation and wildlife, the Firth family have definitely made a shrewd move in establishing themselves in rural Wales. Autumn brings with it tupping season, donning their match maker hats the Family Firth have carefully considered their ewes and which rams would create the best offspring. This Spring they produced 40 lambs, which was their first lambing season, from 24 ewes. They’ve grown their flock into 32 chosen ewe’s for the 2022 lambing season. Ewes are only in season once a year so there’s only a small time scale for them to get in lamb, which is why autumn is as important as spring time on the farm.
Ask Ellen which season is her favourite though and she immediately says ‘lambing season’- “It’s always hectic on the farm and lambing is tough and hard work but it’s simple. You just have to concentrate on the lambs – it makes life simple”.
Family Firth were always hoping their lambs wouldn’t be sold at market and traded just anywhere. They are passionate about authenticity and Welsh Lamb going onto Welsh menus and local plates.
With the local circular economy being so close to their heart it was a perfect partnership when we approached them in the summer about using their lamb on our Sunday lunch menus – from field to plate – completely traceable , not a hoof out of Wales, supporting a micro business and ridiculously tasty – What’s not to love?
You can find the Firth Flock Black Welsh Mountain Lamb featured on our Sunday Lunch Menu
Local – Seasonal – Fresh, it’s what we’re all about!
To celebrate the fabulous re-decoration of The Llugwy River Restaurant we’re giving away a Dinner for Two Voucher, to include a bottle of wine and a pre-dinner drink!
It’s really easy to enter – just tell us who your dream dinner date would be on our Facebook page post by March 26th to win your voucher (worth up to £100 )
Bringing you a menu that celebrates seasonality and local produce. Our food ethos has been influenced over the years by the amazing producers and suppliers who have sprung up locally selling & growing Welsh produce and rearing ethically-bred livestock. Also check out our Gin-Ventory and our local Drinks lists celebrating the very best of local producers and artisan makers on our Food & Drink page.
1- one comment per person. 2- comments must be made between 11/3/20 and midnight on the 26/3/20 to qualify. 3- participants must be 18years or older to enter. 4 – winner will be chosen at random and announced on Friday 27/3/20 at 4pm 5 – winner will be contacted via Facebook so please remember to like the page so we can message you or send us your contact details via messenger when you add your comment. 6 – Voucher is valid for 6months and cannot be exchanged for cash or other products. 7- employees of the company or close family members entries will be disqualified.
This year we’re adding our own Welsh twist to the traditional feast day of Shrove Tuesday…
What do you call yours a pancake, crepe, pikelet or a socca? Here in Wales we call them a Crempog (or Ffroes).
More like an American pancake than a thin wafery crepe and they would have traditionally been cooked on an iron bake-stone which was either heated in the oven or by the fire.
So we thought hang on….. we know how to cook over fire, our charcoal Josper has made us experts at that …. we also love a good crempog stack being Welsh …. and then we have Visit Wales’ Year of Outdoor 2020…..
Welcome – Croeso to the Big Crempog Cookout!
our OFYR fire-pit will be lighting up on the 25th February and we’ll be serving delicious Crempogs (wth some traditional and not so traditional toppings) from 3-6pm to celebrate Shrove Tuesday.
We can’t guarantee it’ll be all snowy – being the end of February (although you never know!) – but it’ll definitely be toasty around the OFYR and having taste tested our Crempog menu we can whole heartedly say they’re flippin’ lovely!