Thursday, 2 June 2011

Weekend Escape

On Criccieth Beach
Last Friday, my boyfriend and I drove to Criccieth in Gwynedd, North Wales, to join my parents for a couple of days. It was an interesting drive in that we took a rather special route devised by my boyfriend - a route that involved some nausea-inducing bends in which a few naughty words may have escaped my ladylike lips. (This part of Wales, like certain parts of Scotland, is renowned for its curvaceous thoroughfares). We only spent a grand total of one night there, but it was a short break full of lots of little escapes. I lived in North Wales for three years whilst at university - it is and always will be a part of the world that has an impenetrable hold over me. Whenever I go there I feel as if some part of me has come home. We stayed in the small coastal town of Criccieth (right at the very top end of the wide sweep that is Cardigan Bay), walked the length of the beach, skimming stones and watching the weather change from fair to foul before our eyes. 

Jumbo Beer Battered Cod at The Golden Fleece, Tremadog.
In the evening we ate at the The Golden Fleece Inn in Tremadog, where my Dad blithely ordered the jumbo beer battered cod. None of us realised it would dwarf everything else on the table.

View from the top of the staircase, Plas Glyn-y-Weddw.
The following morning we visited Plas Glyn-y-Weddw in Llanbedrog, a neo-gothic Victorian mansion saved from dereliction and now being used as an art gallery. After breakfast in the old conservatory we wandered around the house...

It's a really well thought out space - making use of the generous proportions of the old house without spoiling its beauty.

Every front-facing window of the house looks out onto the gardens and the sea beyond...

So down to the beach it was - the National Trust beach at Llanbedrog - for a walk in the warm sand, a spot of shell picking, and for admiring the multi-coloured beach huts facing the water...

The water was still that morning - blue-green meeting the sky above. It was a moment of escape in a whole series of such. After all, they can be found in all kinds of ways, not least of which in the little pleasures.

A short trip away from home, time with people you love, a drive on winding roads...a walk on the beach and a pocketful of shells...good food, beautiful views, huge castles, waves, clouds and sand. My friend Mademoiselle Poirot has written a thought provoking post motivated by the fact that a few other blogs she reads have recently wondered about the seemingly charmed, gorgeously styled and endlessly fascinating lives that some bloggers seem to lead. Those who choose to leave out the day-to-day cataloguing of every event, but instead decide on an edited version (or those who don't discuss their personal life at all). Is there anything wrong with that? It works for Mademoiselle Poirot, and it works for me, too. Like her, I write posts based on what inspires me - what I've been thinking about, reading and seeing, all in the spirit of sharing and of hoping it can inspire those who read it, too. A warts-and-all daily run down of my routine and all the things which in turn upset me, anger me, stress me out and bother me is just not my style. Like Mademoiselle Poirot, this blog is my escape from that - but a sincere escape, most importantly. 

Caenarfon Castle
I don't live in a perfect world any more than anybody else, but with this blog I choose to celebrate a world full of infinitely inspiring places, people and things. The small details matter just as much as the large, and more than that - they make me happy.


  1. What beautiful photos you took! I was struck agog at those colourful beach huts. They are like a box of Crayola crayons.....
    I must now go over and read your friend's post. It does sound intriguing!

  2. Salut Laura, thanks so much for picking up on the subject of reality vs escapism in blogs and for linking back to my post. I never thought I'd get that much response on the subject but it really seems to touch on something with a lot of people and that makes it a very interesting debate/topic... Anyway, North Wales is really beautiful and I love your photos especially the ones of that fast, empty beach and the beach huts. Rubbish weather in North Wales? Surely not ;-) Wishing you already a great weekend, Love from London xo

  3. Hello both. :) Aren't those beach huts great?! The colours were amazing against the green of the trees and the colour of the sand. I think you can find them on quite a few UK beaches. The other place that springs to mind is Budleigh Salterton in Devon. Ah, Devon... :)

    Carole, it's a really interesting topic you picked up on. I think it's the eternal blogger question really, and has a lot to do with personal taste, style etc. North Wales is an incredibly beautiful part of the world. I was so lucky to spend the years living there that I did, and it's great to go back when I can.

    Rubbish weather...hmm, I know not of what you speak. Haha, as if! Have a lovely weekend both of you! x

  4. Ah, these images are so beautifully captured - and I'm very impressed by those colourful beach-huts. What a divine way to bring colour to the beach. I adore the unspoiled beauty of Northern Wales - and can't wait to return. I warmly hope you are well.xx

  5. Thanks so much! Having been lucky enough to live in North Wales, I can't agree with you enough. Hope you get there soon! :)

  6. How about this for a design for a wall painting, in the tried-and-true Art Nouveau style?:, by the famous English artist, Audrey Beardsley himself. You can also order a canvas print of the picture from