Explore with us
South Wales, United Kingdom
LOCAL TASTES OF SOUTH WALES
Crickhowell / Abergavenny / Swansea / Gower Peninsula / Cardiff, UK
April 21 – 30, 2017
Join us as we get to explore and meet with the locals in the small villages and towns of Crickhowell and Abergavenny, and visit the Gower Peninsula and Swansea; distinct areas that are both wild and rugged and yet welcoming. We will experience first-hand the commitment these regions dedicate to sustaining centuries-old food traditions, some of which include: Laverbread, Bakestones, Cockles, Salt Marsh Lamb, Brains Beer, and of course, Welsh wine! We will learn about the origins, and listen to the legendary stories that will delight and entertain! And let’s not forget the warmth and generous hospitality of these fine restaurants and local producers who will enjoy getting to know you! The week will culminate with a 2 night stay in Cardiff, the capital of Wales, and listed as one of the top European cities to visit. So, come and experience a new food destination that is Wales...an amazing adventure awaits!
Day 1: Friday, April 21: DEPARTURE/TRAVEL DAY: San Francisco - London Heathrow, overnight flight. Select your preferred airline from SFO. Flights and times will be coordinated. Plan to arrive at London Heathrow, Terminal 5, between 12 noon and 3:00 PM on Saturday, April 22.
Day 2: Saturday, April 22: CRICKHOWELL. After arriving in London, we will travel to Crickhowell via executive coach, arriving early evening. The Mortimer House, situated right in the village, will be our home for the next 3 nights! Settle in, explore the village at leisure, then we meet for dinner at The Bear Hotel, where we will given a private tour of this historic coaching inn, dating back to 1430.
DAY 3: Sunday, April 23: CRICKHOWELL/MONMOUTH. After breakfast, a quiet morning in Crickhowell to explore on own. Visit the remnants of the castle, walk down to the Usk River, or explore a few of the local shops before we head out to Monmouth. Visit to Ancre Hill Vineyards, where we will meet the owner, Richard Morris, for a private tour of the vineyard, wine tasting, and lunch. Monmouth has a history of winemaking dating back to the Romans and Cistercian monks. After lunch we will head into town where you can explore at your leisure. We’ll meet up late afternoon and head back to Casual dinner together in Crickhowell.
DAY 4: Monday, April 24: BLAENAVON/ABERGAVENNY. Breakfast, then we will visit Vin Sullivan, a local food supplier in Blaenavon, where we will enjoy a cooking class and tour, complete with lunch. After lunch, we will go to The Big Pit Mining Museum, where we will descend 300ft into an old coal mine, and tour where the Blaenavon Cheese Company matures their cheddar ¬– underground! Once we resurface, we will leave mid afternoon for Abergavenny, a lovely medieval town, where we can explore the market, castle, and shops. Dinner at The Angel Hotel – a fabulous 3 star hotel that offers great food and atmosphere! Bus back to Crickhowell, then rest of the evening on your own.
Day 5: Tuesday, April 25: SWANSEA AND WEST WALES. After breakfast, we travel to the Heads of the Valleys Road toward Swansea and West Wales. En route, we stop at The Penderyn Distillery for a tour and tasting of Welsh whisky! Lunch at a local pub – Ty Newydd Hotel in Hirwaun. Arrive in Swansea mid afternoon, and check into The Alexander, a lovely B & B located in the Uplands area of Swansea. Afternoon and early evening to explore Uplands and Swansea City Centre on your own. The city, within walking distance, has a variety of shops and museums, and of course the indoor market, a mecca for local food and drink! The famous Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’s childhood home is just around the corner from The Alexander, for those who are interested. Cooking demonstration and dinner at The Swansea Marriott with Senoir Sous Chef, Andrew James.
DAY 6: Wednesday, April 26: LLANRHIDIAN/LLANELLI. After breakfast, a visit the Gower Salt Marsh Lamb Farm in Llanrhidian, in the Northern part of the Gower Peninsula. The lamb raised here feed on unique moorlands that contain samphire, sorrel, and other herbs found in the area; making the lamb tender and uniquely delicious. We will have a tour of the farm before we head off to Sosban – a fun restaurant in Llanelli – that serves the local lamb. After lunch, we head down to the beaches and explore, and meet up with Seafood Company Wales, who are cockle and mussel pickers along the Burry Estuary, and learn about their craft that dates back to the Romans. Head back to Swansea late afternoon. We meet up early evening for dinner at La Braseria, a great Spanish restaurant!
Day 7: Thursday, April 27: FAIRYHILL, GOWER. After breakfast, we will visit the Michelin star Fairyhill Hotel and Restaurant, for a morning walk on the estate, followed by a tour and lunch. We will get to explore their grounds, and weather permitting, help the chef pull some ingredients for the kitchen from their vegetable garden! After lunch, we will travel back to the coast to Rhossili Beach and Worms Head to relax and explore. After a stop for an ice cream, or a cup of tea, we then head back to Swansea mid afternoon. Afternoon at leisure, then dinner on your own. Suggestions: Café TwoCann (Modern Bistro), Wild Swan (Cantonese), Rose Indienne (North Indian).
Day 8: Friday, April 28: ST FAGANS/CARDIFF. After breakfast, we will leave Swansea for Cardiff, stopping en route at St Fagans Museum of Welsh Life. This is a very popular attraction that gives an insight into Welch life from the 12th century to modern times, including fascinating demonstrations of traditional crafts being made. Stop for Cream Tea at The Gwalia tea rooms. (tea/coffee, sandwiches, scones – delicious) Head into Cardiff after lunch, and check into The Lincoln House Hotel. The hotel is very central to the city (within walking distance), yet it is close to the Sophia Gardens – beautiful for a walk in the park, or just to sit and relax. Explore the city for the rest of the afternoon: shop, bus tour of Cardiff, museums, Cardiff Market, includes fantastic seafood. Meet up for dinner at The Potted Pig – 15 minute walk from Lincoln House.
Day 9: Saturday, April 29: CARDIFF. Breakfast, then a fun, two-hour walking tour of Cardiff, the Capital of Wales. Lunch at The Goat Major or The Urban Tap House – great ales and food. Urban Tap House serves Tiny Rebel beers from a microbrewery in Newport – city close to Cardiff, as well as Cardiff’s own Brains Beer! After lunch, you have the afternoon to yourself: catch up on any last minute shopping or gifts, or you can take a ride down to the Cardiff Bay Barrage: the home of the Welsh Assembly Government building, and the Millenium Centre, which hosts many theatrical and arts events. The day concludes with a farewell dinner and tour at Cardiff Castle, including live entertainment!
Day 10: Sunday, April 30: DEPARTURE. Departure/Travel Day: breakfast at hotel. For those flying out today, our coach will be available to take you back to London’s Heathrow. Otherwise, safe travels to wherever you’re heading!
Guests are to purchase own airfare using miles and preferred class and upgrades. Please target your arrival into London Heathrow between 12pm and 3pm. We will transfer as a group to Crickhowell, a 2.5 hour drive west of London. Guests are responsible for their return flight on Sunday 30th April. Guests may arrive earlier or stay longer than the published itinerary, but are responsible to meet the group at stated times for group transport. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Ground costs included:
Ground costs not included:
Deposits: $1,195 (due to secure reservation)
Balance Due: $3,000, due on or before Friday, February 17, 2017 (60 days prior to departure)
Payments: Cash or check accepted. Paypal for credit/debit card payments to include a 2.75% service fee
Tour limited to 10 guests. Contact Epicurean Exchange to be given early bird notice and pre-reserve your space.