Equipping the next generation

Welcome to an exciting new chapter in culinary education! We are thrilled to announce the launch of a tender for the development of a state-of-the-art bulk prep kitchen. This project represents a significant step forward in our commitment to sustainability, modern cooking practices, and the education of future culinary professionals, equipping the next generation in North Wales

This build is a key project to be delivered as part of the Tourism Talent Network from Ambition North Wales. The aim of the Ambition North Wales & the Growth Deal is to build a more vibrant, sustainable, and resilient economy in North Wales,

Successfully delivered, it will stimulate collaboration between Grŵp Llandrillo Menai & key stakeholders to coordinate action on skills and product development, transforming growth of the tourism and hospitality sector in the region.

Sustainable Culinary Practices

Our new bulk prep kitchen will be a model of sustainability, incorporating the latest technologies and best practices to minimise its carbon footprint. With a strong focus on decarbonisation, we are committed to using energy-efficient appliances & reducing our carbon footprint by using renewable energy sources to meet net zero goals. This initiative not only supports our environmental goals but also sets a new standard for culinary operations.

Equipping the Next Generation of Chefs

The updated kitchen will be a hands-on learning environment for our kitchen apprentices. Outfitted with cutting-edge equipment, including induction cooking stations and high-efficiency refrigeration units, the facility will provide apprentices with the tools they need to master modern culinary techniques. By working with these advanced systems, apprentices will gain invaluable experience in energy-efficient operations, preparing them for successful careers in the hospitality industry.

Embracing Modern Technology

Our commitment to using the latest kitchen technology will transform the way we teach and practice cooking. The integration of modern equipment will not only enhance the learning experience but also contribute to significant energy savings. This dual focus on education and efficiency ensures that our apprentices are well-versed in the practices that are shaping the future of the culinary world.

Community and Environmental Impact

The benefits of this project extends beyond our educational programs to equipping the next generation of chefs in North Wales . By adopting sustainable practices in our bulk prep kitchen, we are reinforcing our commitmnet to our environmental values. Additionally, both the construction and operation of this facility will create jobs and stimulate local economic growth, further solidifying our commitment to our community.

equipping the next generation in North Wales

Join Us on This Journey

We’re inviting qualified contractors to participate in this exciting project via the sell2wales portal

Stay Connected

We will be sharing updates on the progress of this project, including behind-the-scenes looks at the construction and insights into the sustainable practices we are implementing. Stay tuned to our blog and social media channels for the latest news and developments.

Unlocking Potential…

Coleg Llandrillo opened it’s doors for a Meet the Employer event last Wednesday, a vibrant gathering aimed at connecting students with the real heart of industry. As we navigate a world where practical skills are just as important as academic achievements, apprenticeships stand out as a beacon of opportunity.

The event was more than just a meeting point, it was a bridge to the future for many aspiring young minds. Local and national companies were in attendance, each presenting an unique set of opportunities that extend beyond the classroom and into real-world experience in the form of apprenticeships.

Of course we had to take cake – in fact our Head Chef insisted upon it. He said if we were to showcase the business then where better than with our current cohort of apprenticeships’ learning on the pastry section!

Apprenticeships – The Pathway to Mastery

We really believe this & we are always on the lookout for the next genertaion of talent. We believe nurturing potential & providing a platform for growth is exactly where our next set of innovative leaders will emerge from.

As well as earning whilst you learn you get a real hands-on experience. Apprenticeships give you an insight into how the working world works but with support from experienced mentors and at a pace which suits you.

Want to join us? Check out our Apprenticeships brochure on our People page.

We’re really proud to have been a part of Coleg Llandrillo’s event & look frowards to meeting our new joiners at the start of their apprenticeship journey!

looking to the future -edrych i’r dyfodol

Rydym yn falch iawn o gyhoeddi ein prosiect diweddaraf: cyfleuster llety staff modern wedi’i ddylunio’n dda ac ystafell baratoi gwbl ddad-garbonedig. Mae’r datblygiad hwn yn cynrychioli cam sylweddol ymlaen yn ein hymrwymiad i gynaliadwyedd, lles gweithwyr, ac arloesedd.

Gan weithio ochr yn ochr â Grŵp Llandrillo Menai (GLLM) ac Uchelgais Gogledd Cymru, mae’r prosiect yn anelu at ddiogelu darpariaeth sgiliau twristiaeth a lletygarwch ar gyfer y dyfodol ac yn cynyddu’r buddion masnachol o un o’r sectorau mwyaf sefydledig a thwf cyflymaf yn y rhanbarth.

Bydd GLLM yn gweithredu fel hwb ochr yn ochr â 4 llinyn busnes ychwanegol gan gynnwys Portmeirion ac y National Trust.

Rydym ar hyn o bryd yn chwilio am gontractwyr diddordeb ac mae ein Gwahoddiad i Dendro i’w gael ar Sell2Wales.

We are thrilled to announce our latest project: a modern well designed staff accommodation facility and fully decarbonised prep-kitchen. This development represents a significant step forward in our commitment to sustainability, employee well-being, and innovation.

Working alongside Grwp Llandrillo Menai (GLLM) and Ambition North Wales the project sets out to future-proof tourism and hospitality skills provision and increase the commercial benefits from one of the best established and fastest growing sectors in the region.

GLLM will act as a hub alongside a further 4 business spokes invcluding Portmeirion & the National Trust.

We are currently on the look out for interested contractors and our Invitaion to Tender can be found on Sell2Wales

https://www.sell2wales.gov.wales/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=MAY478180

Art Competition: “Inspired by Eryri”

We are thrilled to announce a brand new Art Competition, on behalf of the New Betws-y-Coed Outdoor Painters Group, inviting local artists from across Eryri to express their awe and admiration for the natural beauty of the Snowdonia National Park. The competition seeks to celebrate and showcase the inspiring landscapes and rich cultural heritage of one of the UK’s most cherished natural environments as well as bringing together a group of inspiring creatives.

Competition Details:

  • Theme: Inspired by Eryri – Snowdonia
  • Location: Betws-y-Coed
  • Submission Date: Entries must be submitted by September 1st, 2024
  • Categories: Painting
  • Eligibility: Open to professional artists, 2 submissions per entry, must be over 18

Awards:

  • Prizes will include a Grand Prize of £500 for the best overall entry, a meal for two at the Royal Oak & a £50 Voucher for Jackson Art Supplies. Alongside a special mention category from each individual judge’s favourite
  • Selected works will be featured in a special exhibition at St Mary’s Betws-y-Coed following the competition.

Judging Panel: Our panel includes distinguished artists and local art enthusiasts who have a deep connection with Eryri’s landscape and culture.

David Morgan – Artworks2 Gallery
Sara McKee – Life: Full Colour Gallery
Alison Bradley – Alison Bradley Gallery

Entry Fee:

  • free

This competition is a fantastic opportunity for artists to gain recognition for their talents and for art lovers to experience the Eryri National Park through diverse artistic perspectives.

How to Enter: Please download the entry form here with further detailed submission guidelines. For any enquiries, contact debbiebaxter@yahoo.co.uk

Our Artistic Heritage

The hotel has been at the center of the village’s social and cultural life since the 18th century and it provided a base for travelers and artists who came to capture the natural beauty of the surrounding Snowdonia National Park. Its picturesque setting and traditional architecture have made it a subject of interest and depiction in various artworks itself. It was prominent artist David Cox Jnr, a contemporary of Turners who bought Betws to Coed to the art worlds attention by setting up an Artists Colony in 1844, establishing it’s base & meeting place at the Royal Oak.

The group included notable painters who were drawn to the area’s exceptional natural beauty. Their works contributed to the Romanticism movement, which emphasised awe in nature. The ability to capture the dynamic and sublime natural elements of Betws-y-Coed resulted in a significant body of artistic work being produced by the group.

The village and its surroundings are steeped in Welsh culture and history, adding layers of depth to the artistic interpretations of the area. The integration of local culture, history, and landscapes in art has helped to preserve and promote Welsh heritage.

The Artists Group led to the setting up of The Royal Cambrian Academy of Art, often referred to as the Royal Cambrian Society, which was founded in 1881. It was established to create a center of excellence for artists working in Wales and to promote the visual arts within the region.

We look forward to seeing how Eryri inspires you and the evolving art of the New Betws Outdoor Painters Group

Golden Peacocks and new colours

Our corridors have had a heritage makeover to match our Victorian past.

Initially, wallpapers were made & block printed or painted by hand, but during the 19th century, advancements in printing technology led to the mass production of wallpapers. Being our original building was once a coaching inn, transformed in the Victorian era to a larger hotel, means we’ve found snippets of historical layers and colours during more recent renovations.

Peacocks and paint

This flamboyant, vibrant golden peacock design though, a beautiful example of late-19th century wallpaper printing, was found on a lobby wall at Erddig Estate in east Wales. Hung in the 1870s, it has the painterly finish of a traditional Chinese silk, a fabric coveted by the Victorians. Showing peacocks perched on branches, accessorised by flowers, leaves and birds, the subject is typical of wallpapers and fabrics produced in the late 19th Century to satisfy the western elite’s interest in Chinese design.

Why did we chose Little Greene?

Well apart from their eco-factory being just up the road at the edge of the National Park, Little Greene is  family-run business who design & supply eco friendly paint and wallpaper.

Their sustainable wallpapers are created with a low environmental impact & responsibly sourced from sustainable forests. For every tree used, another four are planted. The pigments used to print the eco wallpaper designs are completely non-toxic.

Their eco-friendly practices extend to packaging and manufacturing also – they recycle paint Tins & have achieved a 57% rate of waste reduction in the last three years. They look to local manufacturing solutions with all their paint & wallpaper made in the UK.

We’ve had some fabulous feedback about the peacoks from design enthusiasts and historians alike, who appreciate the craftsmanship and historical significance of the elaborate designs & rich colours that adordned interiors in the 19th Century.  We love that we can reflect our heritage but in today’s modern interior – the Victorian’s certainly knew how to create eye-catching wallpaper that has stood the test of time!

you can find out more about our rich heritage on History Points or on Our History page

Royal Thai Journey

Our chefs are renowned for their love of culinary travel & being inspired by new flavours they find on their trips

Last November whilst travelling in Thailand Sam (our Group Catering Manager) took a traditional cookery course at Phuket Old Farm and bought back authentic new recipes and a heap of inspiration!

Following on from our Indian Fusion evening last November showcasing the kitchen team’s diverse food knowledge & culinary skill we have another experience evening not to be missed…

Join us in the Llugwy River Restaurant on Friday 2nd February 2024 where Sam & her talented culinary team will take you on a Royal Thai Journey……

Plastic Free Communities

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!

To find out how you can join the campaign and make a difference to all our waterways sign up at https://plasticfree.org.uk

Highlighting Albert…

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

on the food trail

lets start with gooey stuff...

The Edwards family from Pen-y-Bryn Apiary have been keeping bees since the 1930’s when a swarm landed in their plum orchard!

In August their bees collect pollen from the flowering hillsides of Snowdonia making the September harvest one filled with heather scented nectar.

Available to buy direct at the Snowdonia & Local Producers Market or online at

www.penybrynhoney.com/shop

sweet dreams are made of cheese…..

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!

www.hootonshomegrown.com

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)

Method:

  1. Remove any leaves and the green ends of the rosehips, roughly chop or blitz them and add to a saucepan with the water. 
  2. 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. 
  3. In a new saucepan add sugar to teh syrup and simme until dissolved & thickened.
  4. 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!

Paddle & Pedal

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!

Copyright 2024 Royal Oak Hotel Betws y Coed.