We were very impressed that the torch came to us so we didn’t need to go very far to see it!
The Olympic torch relay passed the end of our drive on 28th May and down through our village of Bontnewydd.
We had a walk down with Patsy and not only got a pic with Dwynwen Myers, who was our torch bearer, but Julian also gold hold the torch!
It was a lovely sunny day with a good turn out and the bunting was out in the streets. This remained up to mark the jubilee and also for the children’s Eisteddfod which was held just down the road from us at Glynllifon Park.
Tasty New Dishes
We’re conscious that we receive a lot of repeat custom. We have therefore tried to give our menu a lift with a few new items. You can now try warm Camembert with rosemary & garlic, Smoked haddock Florentine and maybe a frozen bramble bombe dessert (pictured), amongst other lovely dishes.
The old favourites continue to be hugely popular however and we’ve probably served more evening meals this year so far than any other.
Andy’s also been baking and trying out new recipes for our welcome tea trays. He’s still trying to find a muffin recipe he’s entirely happy with but the cherry & white chocolate oaties are to die for! The lemon drizzle cake is great too but so light and fluffy that it is difficult to keep in one whole slice whilst putting it on a plate.
Finally we are looking at introducing some new specials at breakfast - Andy's new homemade granola is already going down a storm!
Four in a Bed continues to be repeated on More 4 bringing us more business each time. We doubt there’s anyone in the UK who hasn’t already seen it but many people tell us they really enjoy watching it again and again. It’s always available to watch on the 4oD website
One TV appearance you may have missed was when our wedding was filmed at Plas Dinas in 2007 for a series called "Wacky Welsh Weddings".
It was only broadcast in Wales on ITV1, but you can now watch it on YouTube. Well worth a watch to see how much has changed and don't miss the first dance!
Julian, Andy and Patsy also managed to get on BBC TV with the Olympic Torch relay – if you saw us, you probably heard Patsy barking at the officials as they got off the coach in the convoy!
Newsletter | Issue 25| June 2012
Welcome to our early summer newsletter!
It’s hard to believe we’re already nearly half way through the year. So much has happened in that time that we’ve not even had chance to tell you about it all! We’re hoping to put that right today and bring you up to speed with everything here at Plas Dinas.
The daffodils came and went, as did the blue bells and now the hanging baskets are up and the garden is a full flourish of trees, plants and flowers as if winter had never happened. The sun is shining today and it's forecast dry for the next few days - maybe summer has arrived at last?!
We hope you enjoy catching up on our news and that you can make a visit to see us in North Wales very soon.
Diamond Jubilee Tree
We were extremely busy over the Queen's Diamond Jubilee weekend with guests enjoying a special champagne afternoon tea on our new terrace in the sunshine.
Also in this special jubilee year, it is exactly fifty years since the Queen's late sister HRH Princess Margaret and her husband the Earl of Snowdon planted a tree here at Plas Dinas whilst on a rare official visit (she was here regularly at weekends in an unofficial capacity).
To mark this occasion, and also the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, we decided to plant a beautiful Tulip tree at the far end of the lawn in a newly created flower bed as a focal point from the house and directly in line with the Princess Margaret Suite window where she once used to stand to admire the gardens. Tulip trees grow relatively quickly and have a bright autumn colour and showy tulip like flowers in summer - perfect!
At the same time, we’ve planted some new shrubs and also lots of new oak, beech and fir trees to replace the old ones that had to come down earlier in the year.
The tree was planted on Sunday 10th June at an official ceremony attended by several members of the Armstrong-Jones family. The honour of planting the tree fell to the Viscount de Vesci who is the nephew of Lord Snowdon. Lord Snowdon, who now lives in London, was unable to attend the ceremony himself.
The spade which is usually on display in the Gun Room, will have an inscription added under the original one, and a Welsh slate plaque has been commissioned to mark the occasion next to the tree (inset).
The new tree is part of a tree planting and landscaping programme now underway at Plas Dinas.
Plas Dinas was once famed for its gardens and was opened up occasionally to the public. Although we no longer have a team of three full time gardeners, we are slowly trying to bring it back to its former glory, just as we have done with the house itself.
Saturday 1st December
Our first ever event of this kind features an evening of professional supernatural entertainment and a delicious 3 course meal.
For all those folks who enjoy programmes like “Most Haunted” we’re holding a special Paranormal evening here in December. It’s being run by a professional in supernatural entertainment and we’re really looking forward to it.
The evening will end with a dark room Victorian parlour séance in our 400 year old Gun Room.
For just £35 per person, you’ll not only get a spooky evening of entertainment but also one of Andy’s great three course meals included.
The date is Saturday 1st December – book up a room now but you only pay the £35 per person deposit.
Good as New
Following the refurbishment of our sash windows (phases 1 & 2 are now complete), the even bigger job of painting them has fallen to Andy.
This along with painting the entire outside of the building!
It’s a slow old process – not only is it difficult to snatch a few hours here and there but as we’re such perfectionists in everything we do, everything seems to take ten times longer than you estimate.
The terrace side of the building is pretty much done and looking sparkly and new and looks fab with the new slate area and garden furniture. We’ve had many a guest use the new area whilst taking tea and home made cake in the sun.
We’re not quite sure how long it will take to finish yet but we will plod on!
When we started over 5 years ago at Plas Dinas, we installed brand new flat screen TV's in all the guest bedrooms which at the time were considered cutting edge, but they were looking a little small by today's standards - especially in our larger Deluxe rooms.
So Julian had the unenviable task of upgrading all the TV's! The deluxe rooms now have 32" screens and can even pause live TV or record a program you don't want to miss during dinner!
We still have the iPod video docks so you can watch a good range of recent blockbuster movies or bring your own!
We’ve been so busy that we were struggling to give Carole (our Head Housekeeper) even one day off a week so she was relieved when we took on a new housekeeper - Paula. Paula has worked at top-end hotels before and brings with her a wealth of experience.
There’s lots to remember as we put so many little touches and extras into each bedroom but Paula is getting the hang of it. Our standards are extremely high though so it’s not exactly easy working for us when we demand perfection!
We make the whole of Plas Dinas available to rent to a group of family or friends over the Christmas and New Year period. We have sold the Christmas dates, but New Year is STILL AVAILABLE!
Why not bring the New Year in with style this year with an extra special 4 day self-catering break at Plas Dinas?
Full details available HERE >
Our self catering cottages are getting very booked up over the next few months, but there are still a few weeks left to be had if you are quick. Take a look at our dedicated cottages website for full details and availability...