Would Henry Tudor like my Breakfasts?

 Time For a Run??

It’sSteve Robinson trophy April and it’s blue skies, so a very keen guest decided to get out on thePembrokeshire  Coast Path, which we are situated on, and enjoy an early morning run before coming back to one of my Award Winning Breakfasts-’Pembrokeshire’s Finest Breakfast’, no less-as judged  by Pembrokeshire County Council for the Pembrokeshire Tourism Awards in April last year.

 

The route my guest took was across the circular walk at Dale, encompassing St Anns Head-just under 8 miles and takes in some great history.

History on our doorstep

For those of you that have enjoyed the BBC Drama The White Queen and then the books of Phillipa Gregory, this is a must do walk-personally, I wouldnt be running it! You may remember in The White Queen that the  other ‘Margaret’-Margaret Stanley (not the Red Queen) had a son, Henry, in Pembroke Castle-husband died and she married Lord Stanley, while at the same time her son took refuge in France with Jasper Tudor (his Uncle). In the WQ eventually Richard takes the crown after his brother (the King) dies and the other brother being drowned in a vat of red wine. Well,  HenryVII,  once he has grown makes sail to land in Wales and has in mind to take the Crown.

The route taken today by my guest takes in Mill Bay, where Henry VII landed in 1485 and then made march through Wales and across England, gaining support as he went,  to finally defeat Richard III at Bosworth.

Butts Bay Mill bay Henry Tudor

I am sure the coastline hasn’t changed much from when Henry landed, and to imagine 55 Ships and 4000 men coming ashore at Mill Bay and making their way along the Coast Path up towards Aberystwyth, is astounding when you are actually there. It must’ve been such a difficult trek, especially with all that armour and the supplies they must’ve needed! If I had been open back then, perhaps Henry would’ve liked to have had one of my breakfasts to sustain him through the day!

Time for Refreshment?

If this inspires you to take the circular walk, I recommend parking in Dale Car park, as, when you return you can enjoy some well earned refreshment at The Griffin, the excellent local pub situated right on Dale front, overlooking the water. One of my favourite pastimes in the Summer evenings is to spend an hour or so with a little drink (gin & tonic or a nice cold cider)  leaning on the beach wall watching the world go by and the sun go down! The Griffin has an excellent reputation for food, with many of the fresh fish dishes comprising of fish brough in directly off the pontoon at the front of the pub. Many guests return to Fields Lodge saying what a good meal they had! http://www.griffininndale.co.uk/

If you’d like to read more about other things to do in Pembrokeshire then click here: http://www.fieldslodge.co.uk/blog/category/things-to-do-pembrokeshire/

Enjoying Mexican @ Halen Mor

 

 

 

 

Halen Mor Tortilla

 

5 Courses- £15!

Mexican Communal Dining was the order of the day at Halen Mor last night. A 5 course Mexican inspired meal with some suitable cocktails-my favourite Margerita. The picture above is of the second course, Queso fundido
3 cheese fondue with mozzarella, cheddar and feta with homemade mexican style chorizo, spicy tomato salsa and crispy flour tortillas. Quality food was evident throughout the night.

 

The first course was a Salmon and avocado course:Tequila cured salmon ceviche with avocado green chilli and fresh lime, followed by the Tortilla pictured above-these were so nice we asked for a second bowl! Then we moved onto a pork dish, Pork Pibil:
A pork casserole with habanaro chilli and achiote with Mexican green rice, black bean stew, pickled cucumber salad and re fried beans. 
This was finished with a  Palate cleanser-
Mango, lime and star anise granita. Then onto the l
ast course, a scrumptious avocado and spiced green apple puff pastry parcel with smoked peach sorbetto. For me, the smoked peach was a bit too smoked, but I am not a fan of smoked foods normally!

Quality Food

Halen Mor pride themselves on offering good quality food, rather like myself with my Breakfast produce. I believe that if you start with good quality ingredients then, hopefully, you can always improve your food further! Adam, the chef, prides himself on producing great plates for diners to enjoy and like myself with my breakfasts, I like to see empty plates coming back into the kitchen!

Greek Night

Halen Mor opened their doors a little before Christmas 2013 and have already built up a good following of foodies and regularly hold Communal Dining Evenings- the next one being Greek on 8th, 9th & 10th April.

Greek Menu

Their phone number is: 01646 693017. If you’re interested in going then do ring up and book your table early as these seats do go quickly!

For more eating out experiences read  here: http://www.fieldslodge.co.uk/blog/?s=eating

 

 

 

 

Andy Davies Photography Courses

Andy Davies runs photography workshops in our area, a few of Andy’s students have stayed with me and have praised his skill and patience when dealing with all levels of photographer. I have included here his list of workshops if you fancy improving your photography skills-and of course, you can stay with me here in Fields Lodge whilst you undertake them!

Skomer Island Photography Workshop

Andy Davies Puffin

Join professional Welsh photographer and lecturer, Andy Davies, for an unforgettable day on Skomer Island learning how to use your digital camera to capture the stunning landscapes and rich wildlife. This is a truly world class destination and the memories will stay ingrained for a lifetime. The unique experience of being within inches of the iconic puffins will remain ingrained forever and one can just imagine Sir David Attenborough commentating in the background.

Andy provides hands-on expert tuition to small groups who are guided in taking control of their camera to capture memorable images. Whether a complete beginner, enthusiast, aspiring professional or seasoned photographer, Andy provides comprehensive tuition to suit all levels in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. There is plenty of time throughout the workshop for one-to-one tuition when topics of your interest can be explored.

The Workshop is run in association with the Wildlife Trust for South and West Wales and Dale Sailing so participants by special arrangement have pre-booked, guaranteed places on the first crossing of the day on the Dale Princess, returning on the last boat of the day giving us as much time as possible on the island. We have privileged use of the library in the Warden’s House to review images on a computer if we need to shelter from a shower.

Workshops begin in April when the puffins, guillemots and razorbills are busy building nests and courting and the beach in North Haven is crammed full of Atlantic grey seals. An unmissable landscape panorama unfolds in May when the island is covered with a carpet of bluebells and red campion. The end of May to mid-July is the time to capture the iconic shot of a comical puffin with an impossible number of sandeels crammed in its beak. The last couple of weeks of July may afford the opportunity to see a puffling exercising its wings at the entrance to the burrow. See here for a Year in the Life of a Puffin.

There is still plenty to photograph in August with herring and lesser black-backed gulls often posing on rocky outcrops. We tend to explore the whole island at this time of the year giving an opportunity to capture the great landscapes around the coast. The year culminates in the seal pupping season from late August through to the end of October.

For recommended accommodation see here and for a video of Andy giving a workshop on Skomer click here. News and images can be found on Andy’s Facebook page here. Workshop reviews from participants can be found on Tripadvisor here.

Workshop dates for 2014
April 3rd, 11th, 17th, 22nd, 25th
May 1st, 6th, 9th, 15th, 20th, 23rd, 25th, 29th
June 3rd, 7th, 12th, 17th, 21st, 26th
July 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, 19th, 24th, 29th
September TBA
October TBA

Further information here http://www.andydavies.info/pages/workshops/skomer.html

Andy Davies flower

National Trust Stackpole NNR Photography Workshop
The National Trust’s Stackpole National Nature Reserve is the venue for a day in the company of Welsh profesional photographer and lecturer, Andy Davies, who will provide hands-on expert tuition to small groups who are introduced to the essentials of creative photography. This is an exceptionally diverse wildlife location offering one of the best chances to photograph a resident family of otters in the UK.

The Bosherston ponds are at their best when the lilies are in flower at the end of May and the woodlands are carpeted in bluebells and wild garlic. Other subjects of interest are herons, mute swans, damselflies, dragonflies and butterflies. Awe inspiring landscapes abound with Barafundle and Broad Haven being two of the most picturesque beaches in Wales. The autumn woodland colours are spectacular and make for superb landscape compositions when reflected in the ponds.

Whether a complete beginner, enthusiast, aspiring professional or seasoned photographer, Andy provides comprehensive tuition to suit all levels in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. There is plenty of time throughout the workshop for one-to-one tuition when topics of your interest can be explored.

We meet at 9.15am for an introductory talk at the National Trust’s Stackpole Education Centre and the day is then spent visiting various locations in the Reserve. Instruction is informal and conducted as we work our way around the ponds, woodland and beaches. The course finishes at 3.15pm.
Workshop dates for 2014
February 26th
March 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th
April 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th
May 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th
June 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th
July 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th
September TBA
October TBA

Further information here http://www.andydavies.info/pages/workshops/stackpole.html

Andy Davies st brides

St. Brides & Marloes Peninsula Photography Workshop

St. Brides Castle, our base for this Workshop, is a 19th century baronial country mansion, spectacularly set within the some of the most picturesque scenery of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. The Castle is surrounded by 99 acres of mature parkland and bordered by Old Red Sandstone cliffs which are stunning when bathed with evening light and assaulted by Atlantic surf. The woodland has a superb carpet of bluebells and red campion in the spring.

The Marloes Peninsula is one of the top landscape destinations in the UK with impressive views over Jack Sound to Skomer Island and, just to the south, the majestic Marloes Sands. Wooltack Point is a particularly good location for watching porpoise and plunge-diving gannets and the coves are full of seal pups from late August to the end of December.

The large tidal range here of almost 8 meters allows a stunning variety of marine life to be discovered in the myriad of rockpools exposed during low spring tides at St Brides Haven, a stone’s throw from the Castle. The area has a diverse range of coastal birds including the charismatic chough and soaring fulmar petrel as well as a number of raptors such as peregrine falcons which nest nearby.

This workshop caters for all skill levels, from complete beginners to aspiring professionals. Your tutor is Andy Davies, a professional photographer and lecturer, who provides hands-on expert tuition to small groups who are initially taken back to the fundamentals of photography, rapidly progressing to having full creative control of either digital compact cameras with manual capability or digital single lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) with interchangeable lenses. There is plenty of time throughout the workshop for one-to-one tuition when topics of your interest can be explored.

Workshop dates for 2014
Alternative dates are available.
February 25th
March 11th, 25th
April 8th

Further information here http://www.andydavies.info/pages/workshops/st_brides_castle.html

St David’s Cathedral…more than just a religious space

I recently visited St Davids Cathedral. A place I haven’t been to since I was a child-on a school trip. A Cathedral set in an idyllic valley within the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

What a lovely place to visit, it is full of history as well as being an active place of worship-it descibes itself as ‘A place of beauty, peace and pilgramage’, with a tag line of ‘Turning visitors into pilgrims’, which based on my experience, describes it quite aptly.

St David, settled on this spot as place of worship in 600AD, and since then, for 1500 years this space has been offered for worship. The Cathedral has around 250,000 visitors per year and holds daily worship services. It is generally open from 7.30am-7pm, and there is no admission costs, they rely on donations from visitors. They recive no state income and are totally reliant on the income from the shop and donations.

St Davids Bishops

Music draws people apart from the historical significance and the Cathedral Choir sing daily in services. To maintain a choir of their standing from a village of 1500 people is quite a feat, especially with the commitment of daily attendance.

They hold a music festival at the end of May annually, the information for which is released on March 1st- St Davids Day, each year. Details can also be found on their website www.stdavidscathedral.org.uk

In 2012 they restored the shrine of St David and local artists created 3 images and a canopy, which now provides a focal point for pilgrimage. In the summer they offer Pilgrimage walks around the St Davids Penninsula.

They also have art exhibitions from time to time and at the Gallery area of the refectory, there are reguklar exhibitors in this gallery space.

The Refectory is run as a franchise for hospitatlity, they use as much local produce as possible and have been awarded the Pembrokeshire Produce Mark by the local council-Pembrokeshire County Council. They are open all year round and serve a great bowl of Cawl, as proclaimed by Aled Jones!

The clock on the tower is due to be fixed this year at an anticipated cost of £150,000. Due to it’s proximity to the sea and the weather we enjoy on the coast, the wear and tear it has endured has taken it’s toll. The people of St Davids have been lost without this, as many used it as their main means of time telling!

Remains of St David

The advice from the Cathedral is not to visit on a wet day in August, as this is when everybody is visiting and the peace of the Cathedral is hard to find when so full. My advice would be to take an official tour….without our excellent guide I would not have come away having such a fantastic experience. The history that is linked and has made the Cathedral is the mind blowing part of it for me- the tomb of Edmund Tudor- father of Henry VII(born in Pembroke Castle), grandfather of Henry VIII are here for all to see- some time ago they exhumed his body, which was still in it’s full armour, with the very shockingly red Tudor hair still visible for all to see. I find this of particular interest to myself, as I am currently working my way through the Philippa Gregory books about the Tudors, so it really does feel as though history is coming alive!

Tomb of Edmund Tudor

I could give you many interesting and fascinating facts about the Cathedral and items you will find inside, but I think I will leave these for you to discover for yourselves when you take a tour…and please do!

Farmhouse Breakfast Week

It’s Farmhouse Breakfast Week this week folks. This week was originally devised to highlight crop farmers in the UK and to promote a healthy start to your day.

I LOVE cooking on my (now 64 year old) Aga!! I cook all my breakfast ingredients without the use of any extra added fat, my sausages are homemade by my butcher and have a high meat content and the Aga does a great griddled egg (similar to a fried egg but no fat is used), so you can truly have your Full Welsh (we are in Wales!) with a guilt free mind!

Aga

I am proud to offer as much local produce as I can, which means that I am able to provide the absolute best quality for Breakfast, as you can see from the lovely guest comments on Trip Advisor!

Soaked Yoghurt Muesli

However, going back to the crop farmers, I also make my own Granola and, on request, I offer a fabulous homemade yoghurt soaked Muelsi-which is divine. You can feel the well-being flowing through you with each spoonful!
Full Welsh

And, you may remember, in April I was the proud recipient of the Pembrokeshire Tourism Award for ‘Pembrokeshire’s Finest Breakfast’, for which I was given a fabulous Steve Robinson piece of art, that proudly now stands in my hallway for all to see! A piece of art from Steve has been on my ‘wish list’ for quite a while, so as well as the recognition for my breakfasts, I was delighted to recieve such a beautiful piece!
Award

Pembrokeshire Storms

A snappy little video from Kayak King in Pembrokeshire, showing some of the beaches of Pembrokeshire.

Do your Christmas Shopping while you stay!

With Christmas approaching, why not combine our Weekend Walker Offer with a bit of Christmas Shopping?? We have for sale at Fields Lodge many local crafts-excellent porcelain pottery by Sheila Hickey, fabulously priced handmade jewellery by Rhiannon(and she can make to order any style or colour you would like), handamde occassion cards and Christmas Cards by Rhiannon, bottles of our very own Organic, aromatherapy, locally made toiletries and our ‘I’d rather be staying at Fields Lodge’ mugs!

Enjoy a peruse through these lovely things with an afternoon tea, including our lovely shortbread mince pies, infront of our cosy, cwtchy real fire! Come on, what are you waiting for????

Xmas 1

xmas 2

xmas 7

xmas 6

xmas 5

xmas 4

xmas 3

Mark & Howard’s Videos of their Pembrokeshire Coast Path Walk

Mark & Howard stayed for 2 nights whilst on their Pembrokeshire Coast Path Walk. They were a pleasure to have as guests, and so enjoy their own quirky take on their journey! I have included the 2 videos that cover the parts of the path immediate to us here, but of course, there is much more easily accessible from Fields Lodge. It is possible to walk all the way to St Davids and still come back here to stay, should you so wish!

Lovespoon Workshop

I’m ashamed to say that it is only recently that I have discovered we have our very own Lovespoon Workshop in Pembrokeshire!

It is a father and son enterprise, where ‘Dad’started making Lovespoon Workshoplovespoons in 1969-the very first one he made was as a wedding proposal (which was accepted!) and since then, one special lovespoon has been made each year. These are all displayed on the walls around the workshop, and you can touch and feel these fabulous creations and understand the meaning behind the designs.

 

There are some truly fantastic pieces here, and one of them is the longest Lovespoon in the world! And all made out of a single piece of wood!

 

You can peruse all the lovespoon designs and choose one of your own that will then be engraved with either a date or initials as you require to make a truly personal gift. Lovespoon

 

Bramleys cafe at Grandiflora Garden Centre isn’t too far away for you to have a coffee and  some nice home made cakes too!

Address for Lovespoon Workshop:

Inwood, Cold Inn, SA68 0RP. Open Monday-Friday 10am-4pm, closed for lunch 1-2pm

 

 

 

 

Wales, Pembrokeshire Coast – Milford Haven Marina

Wales, Pembrokeshire Coast – Milford Haven Marina