Real Wales Tours Summer Sundowner

I have been wanting to visit the Glamorgan Heritage Coast for a long time now, I had heard great things about Southern down and the many beautiful places to discover near there, so was delighted when I was asked along to the Real Wales Tours blogger event last month.

Before the day arrived the company owner and tour guide Nia kept in touch to make sure we knew the arrangements and gave us all the information we could possibly need. I had mentioned that my fitness levels are very low and Nia assured me we wouldn’t be doing anything too strenuous.

So myself Jamie, Hannahand Kaciemet Nia and were chauffeur driven to the beautiful Dunraven Bay, along the way we learnt a bit more about Nia and her vision for Real Wales Tours, Nia explained that she really wanted to share the real Wales that she knows and loves with as many people as possible, tourists and locals alike. We also had a lovely chat about the local area so our journey went really quickly.

As Nia set up on the beach for our sun set we stood in the waves taking photos and taking in our surroundings, we finished the evening sat on the beach toasting marshmallows and hot chocolate listening to ghost stories and hearing the haunting sounds of the waves moving the rocks along the shore.

We didn’t quite get the spectacular sunset we were hoping for but we did manage to discover a beautiful place, learn a little bit about our coastline and for me experience something new.

I will definitely be visiting Dunraven Bay in the future and I loved this Summer Sundowner experience. Thank you to Nia and Real Wales Tours. I will also be taking some more tours around South Wales as well, as even though I was born and raised here I am clearly missing out on some gems!



The Freddie Mercury Project

It has to be said the Freddie Mercury is a true legend, I grew up singing Queen songs rather than nursery rhymes and I know I am not alone, and now, without any real encouragement, my eldest daughter has become a huge fan also. So when we saw the Freddie Mercury Project advertised both of us were really excited to go and see what it was all about.

We were kindly asked to review The Freddie Mercury Project from Sinfonia Cymru (a young, talented and innovative orchestra in Wales) at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and didn’t know what to expect from either the orchestra or the venue, but as soon as the musicians entered the room I realised this was to be something special, and I wasn’t disappointed.

From the very first notes the room filled with atmosphere and emotion, I was instantly impressed by the skill and the attention to detail that the orchestra had, the togetherness and how attentive they all were. There was an element of fun as well and some of the girls were rather enthusiastic on that section of Bohemian Rhapsody that has everyone head banging along, did I mention that Sinfonia Cymru is described as ‘progressive’? I guess they have to be to take on Mr Mercury’s incredible songs, from Bicycle Race, including bicycle bells, to Love of my Life which gave me chills, down to who Wants to Live Forever which was by far my favourite piece played, there wasn’t a thing that didn’t work in my opinion.

I was a little concerned about the fact that nobody would be singing at this show, it was purely music and I wondered how Freddie Mercury’s showmanship could ever be replicated. Well that was left to Vlad Maistorovici, who as composer, conductor and violin soloist had his work cut out for him, however I think he did an outstanding job, of not only pulling the whole orchestra together, in time, with enthusiasm, but he also played many of the solo parts of the songs that Freddie would have belted out, with his violin alone. I honestly don’t know how else to explain it other than he did it justice and I think Freddie would have been impressed!

This team of musicians also included the very talented pianist Robin Green and Harry Cameron-Penny on the clarinet who was mesmerising to watch, both incredible musicians and both adding something unique to the whole ensemble. The piano sections of Bohemian Rhapsody were spot on and my girl chatted excitedly about this at the end, she couldn’t believe how it sounded exactly as it does on the recordings, he even played the piano in an unusual way at one point. Harry gave an air of confidence that made me feel as though he didn’t have to put any effort into his solo performances, making it comfortable and entertaining to watch, it was almost as if he just made it up as he went and still sounded flawless, a real talent.


I won’t pretend to know if the notes were all spot on as I am not musical myself, but I do know that as someone who wasn’t sure what to expect from an orchestra playing Freddie Mercury’s songs, I was absolutely blown away by every single part of the show, Vlad was incredible and brought Freddie’s spirit to life momentarily for me, Robin and Harry were a pleasure to watch/listen to, and we enjoyed it so much that I bought tickets for the next night at The Riverfront theatre. This time taking my Dad (who is a big Queen fan) and my youngest daughter, and they both loved the show as well! I think this is a true testament to Sinfonia Cymru as all ages were clearly entertained.


I think we witnessed something special in the Freddie Mercury Project, and think that the effort and skill poured into this production did not fail to impress. The standing ovation at both shows we went to echoed this as well I think.

Thank you Sinfonia Cymru!

Chalk About Review

I had seen some adverts for ‘Chalk About’ at the Riverfront Theatre Newport recently and when I was asked to review the show I of course was looking forward to it, there hasn’t been a show that I haven’t enjoyed with my girls so far. I had a look at the trailer and wasn’t sure my youngest would be able to understand the content very well, but decided to take both my girls along to the show and see what it was all about.

The show started before we’d actually taken our seats, Christine and Neil were already drawing all over the floor with chalk. We took our seats and we sat and watched the duo doodling on the floor.

Then next came some interaction with the children in the audience, my eldest girl was so keen to jump up and have her silhouette drawn on the floor that she nearly bounced out of her seat to be involved, she was very proud of her shape that stayed on the floor throughout the performance.

Christine and Neil started the dialogue with the audience about the things they were told by children about what they would like to see in a children’s show, this part really made me smile, because it included dinosaurs, Beyonce, No art and no romance! This really is a snap shot of a child’s wonderful mind I thought.

ChalkAbout1So began the ‘story’, and the dancing, the very expressive and intriguing dancing, the sort of child like conversation that kept the children in the audience interested and the words that took us all on an emotional roller-coaster. I really felt as though I got to know the performers in this show, even though one of their stories wasn’t even in English, the emotions and way in which the stories were told were captivating, and showed that spoken word isn’t always necessary for communicating a story.

Amongst the dancing, talking and music there were also some white balloons, with white felt people attached, the white chalk I mentioned, oh and the white clothing of the dancers, plus some white sheets and a pretty little cloud which was white, of course. This really is a contrast to the usual children’s shows that are usually full of colour and noise, which isn’t a bad thing in my opinion, just different.

As the performers took us through the scenes, keeping us all engaged along the way I really couldn’t help feeling the emotions with the act, because everything was just so simple, it was hard not to be drawn into the performance.

During the show there was a small segment that let us hear from other children via a recording, it was again a simple idea but it was heart wrenching listening to the young voices speak of things that bother them.ChalkAbout2

At the end I was feeling quite surprised at how quickly the time had flown and just how emotional I felt, my girls sat quietly throughout and they both enjoyed it even if one of them is a bit younger than the target audience. It was lovely to see them enjoying yet another great theatre experience and they have talked about it a lot since, I think it helped them explore their own emotions and open up conversations that they might otherwise have felt difficult to approach, and they have been copying Chalk About and dancing around the room whilst talking about moving topics, which is very sweet and so funny in equal measures. I think it’svery important that children feel able to talk about things that make them sad as well as happy.

Overall I really didn’t know what to expect from Chalk About, and even once it had finished I wasn’t sure what I had seen, however I do know that I thoroughly enjoyed Chalk About and so did my girls.

Thank you to the Chalk About team and the Riverfront for a lovely afternoon with my girls.

To find more from Unicorn Theatre click here- Unicorn Theatre

Cardiff Wyevale Garden Centre Reopens

Two years ago the much loved garden centre in St Mellons, Cardiff suffered a horrible fire that brought it to its knees, it was just before Santa was due to arrive and the local community were pretty shocked and saddened at the news.

Today however Wyevale opened the newly renovated and brand new Cardiff Wyevale garden centre and I went along with my Mum and my girls to see how everything looks.

We headed straight for the Christmas trees because my Mum has been looking for a really big tree for her new living room, and the ‘tree expert’ Ben was lovely and helped her choose the perfect one, meanwhile my girls hurried around every display looking at all the Christmas decorations and the “twinkly lights” and I noted that the staff really were considerate and helpful. One team member even shared his excitement with us that it was finally open and how happy he was to be there.

My youngest girl then fell completely in love with a Christmas ornament but I had to explain that unfortunately Mummy doesn’t carry £200 around as a rule! I certainly started feeling in the Christmas spirit though and I’m usually reluctant to let that happen until at least the middle of December.


I caught up with Mike Greenwood the centre manager to congratulate him on the opening of the new store and I asked him a little bit about the opening, he explained that he was very pleased with the opening and how great everything went today. Mike also explained that this weekend will be very busy as Santa arrives on Saturday in a Rolls Royce and there are elf workshops for the children happening too. Mike said that there were some parts of the adjoining building not quite finished yet but in December there will be new concessions including Yankee Candle, Bon Marche, Cotton Traders and Edinburgh Woollen Mill, plus early next year there will be a learning area run by expert gardeners who will provide daily top tips and be on hand to answer questions. Mike also said some of the fire fighters that originally put out the blaze at the centre two years ago came to the opening too, so it was great for them to see how it has all worked out in the end.

Bird1Clearly there is a lot happening at this centre, and with a cafe and play area for the children I can imagine that plenty of families will be visiting this new Wyevale store in the coming months. crowd

Good luck to everyone at the Cardiff Wyevale garden centre and thank you for being so welcoming and helpful on our first visit, no doubt we will be back to explore the shiny new centre again! I also have no doubt that many people that used to love visiting in the run up to Christmas before will be rushing back to experience the new centre too. 
Polar Bear

I was also lucky enough to be given a goodie containing some lovely gifts. Thanks Wyevale!

To find out more visit the Wyevale Cardiff site here- Wyevale Garden Centre Cardiff

Jack and the Beanstalk at the Riverfront

I have see a few Hiss and Boo productions at the Riverfront now, last year’s Dick Wittington was wonderful with a few modern twists that I didn’t think could be rivalled, and Cinderella a couple of years ago was magical, I honestly wasn’t sure they could get any better, I was wrong.

This year’s pantomime offering from the Riverfront and Hiss and Boo company is Jack and the Beanstalk. The story starts with Jack, Jill, Dylan the Daft and Jack’s Mam all singing and bouncing around with energy I envy, but the plight of poor Mrs Trott was woeful, cue her cries of “Woe, woe and more than twice woe!” and the audience’s shouts of “CHEER UP CARIAD!”. Jack was of course nominated as the hero of the story by the lovely Fairy Liquid (Nerine Skinner) with a curtain of bubbles, and he sets off to sell Daisy the cow so hope was restored we thought…

The audience participation in this panto is great, as always the children in the audience were just waiting for their chance to shout and cheer, and there was plenty of opportunity, from the cheering up of Mrs Trott, to giving Jack a bit of a confidence boost and of course the booing and hissing at the very convincing villain Fleshcreep (Patrick Marlowe), there was plenty for everyone to get involved with. The song that Dylan the Daft taught us was well received and loud too!

“That’s the burning question, it burns like indigestion!”

As we were led through the familiar story it was great to see such an engaging and entertaining performance, I did miss Lee Mengo this year but I would say that Jack (Gareth Tempest), Dylan (Richard Elis) and Mrs Trott (Simon Nock) provide a firm basis for the story to build on, and the alternative ’12 Days of Christmas’ segment from the trio had myself and many others rocking with laughter, I won’t give it away but the sound of laughter around the theatre was proof it was a hit, and I think Simon Nock and Richard Elis were a fantastic team, bringing masses of humour to proceedings, even with the terrible jokes from Dylan the Daft.FullSizeRender (5)

Even though Jack was nominated as the hero, it was Jill played by Elin Llwyd who was the bravest character by far, Elin’s performance didn’t disappoint and she was certainly ready to fight that mean giant herself if necessary, I really enjoy Elin’s performances in these pantomimes and was pleased to see her name in the program again this year.

The next thing we knew it was time for Jack to overcome his fears and defeat the giant Gogmagog who was preparing to eat the stolen Daisy and Jill for his dinner. The story moved along quickly and the adventures along the way were well thought out, plus the scenery changes were fantastic. But the star of the show for me was without a doubt the special Gogmagog who is magically controlled by Jamie Anderson, I don’t know how it all worked but I was really impressed! Absolutely brilliant.

I also think it’s important to mention Daisy the cow, it really can’t be easy stuck in that costume mooving (see what I did there?) around to the music in time, and I take my hat off to Emma Anderson and Natalia Iles for their great and well timed performance too.

As we reached the end of the show and each character met their demise or found their happly ever after (no spoilers here), we were left with a nice big dose of Christmas spirit and happy children all round I think, and this is without a doubt the best panto we’ve seen. This was the first panto my friend’s little boy has ever seen and apparently he didn’t stop talking about it the next day, and considering he is still very young he sat through the whole performance without getting bored, I think that speaks volumes.

I have to applaud the whole cast and crew for not just entertaining the youngest and older children but the adults too, that’s not easy to do I imagine. The singing and dancing from all the dancers was excellent as well, which helped.

If you are thinking of booking tickets for Jack and the Beanstalk at the Riverfront I don’t think you will be disappointed, I definitely think this is the best one yet.

Thank you to the Riverfront for inviting us to another fantastic production, we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!

Tickets can be booked here- Riverfront

Cineworld Friars Walk Opening

Last night I had the great opportunity to attend the opening of Cineworld in Friars Walk Newport, if you didn’t already know Friars Walk is the new multimillion pound development in Newport that promises hundreds of new jobs, a hive of entertainment and shopping plus the hope of a new era for Newport. And Cineworld have decided to take up residence there for the forseeable future, adding to the screens already in the Cineworld Spytty, twenty one screens in total between them.


I was pretty excited to receive an invite to the opening night because the hype surrounding the Friars Walk development has been unavoidable, it’s the biggest thing to happen to Newport for a long time and I think a lot of locals have high hopes.

My lovely Dad came along as my ‘plus one’ to the event and once inside the new cinema we were handed some drinks and snacks and serenaded by the Nidus Children’s Choir on arrival, they had such wonderful voices. We also spotted our local Mayor and Mayoress, and it was nice to see so many excited people waiting to see the new cinema screens!


We were lucky enough to get a little preview before the crowds poured in and I was able to take some pictures of the empty seats (which were really comfortable with lots of leg room), and the impressive new screen.


The cinema filled up quickly with the people there to support the event, including the Newport Gwent Dragons rugby team and the local press, we all sat ready with our popcorn waiting for the show to begin. Before the film started we heard a few words from the new Cineworld’s Manager Kerrie Hanbury, who thanked the many people involved in the project for helping make it a success, she was clearly proud to be taking on this new cinema and extended thanks for all the support. The Mayor, Herbie Thomas, who also cut the ribbon, spoke a few words about how great the development is, how it’s been a long time coming and that is a great thing for Newport so we should support it. I agree, I don’t think it takes a genius to work out that an estimated 11 million people through the doors in a year at Friars Walk will be a great boost for the local area.


We were then treated to the new Star Wars movie trailer, and I have to say it looks amazing, I am not usually a big Star Wars fan but this will be on my ‘to see’ list for sure!

The film we were invited to see last night was Steve Jobs, before general release. I did have have some idea of who Steve Jobs was and how he moved the technology industry forward and I am firmly in the iPhone camp, but this film really was an eye opener. We saw a very raw and intimate portrayal of this man’s journey, however we only saw a snapshot of his time, three segments from 1984, 1988 and 1998, each part in actual time. There was some fantastic acting from Kate Winslet and Jeff Daniels and for me a particularly moving performance from Seth Rogan who I am a fan of already, as well as the three wonderful actresses that played Lisa in the film, I think the cast really brought this film to life. As much as Steve Jobs seemed to be, well, ‘not very nice’ with a terrible management style, it is undeniable that he had a brilliant mind and determination that makes for a great success story.

As the film progressed there was silence in the cinema, I was completely engrossed in the story too, and as the outstanding performance from Michael Fassbender continued I found myself wanting to know more, needing to find out more and having lots of questions, but that all disappeared at the end of the film, I am no film critic but I know I was happy with the ending (I will avoid spoilers here though) and the film overall made me laugh, tear up and made me think about Steve Jobs and curious to find out more.

If you aren’t sure about this film I would recommend giving it a shot and giving it time, it is worth it in my opinion, and now I want a Mac even more!

Once the film had finished we walked out into the brand new ‘plaza’ area which is lit with many colourful lights and interesting designs, I know I will be returning to Friars Walk soon, and with Christmas on the way it will be lovely to stay in my home town to do my shopping rather than travelling to Cardiff or Bristol. Exciting times for Newport I think. #Theresalottolike there really is.


Good luck to Kerrie and her team, plus everyone at Friars Walk, everything looks fantastic!


Have you been to Friars Walk yet?

Hotter Shoes Cardiff Event

So I’m not like your average woman if you’re a fan of clichés, I own some functional, comfortable shoes and boots but that’s all they really are, I’ve never been that interested otherwise, my Mum certainly didn’t pass her clothes and shoe obsession to me. Even so I thought the Hotter event in Cardiff would be quite nice, and wondered if they could convert me…


I arrived early for a change and chatted to one of the lovely ladies that work at the Cardiff store, who explained that Hotter was created in 1959 by a couple making slippers, and eventually they realised that shoes can also be as comfortable as slippers, and so Hotter was born. Of course the older generation were the first to take to the new choice of shoe, because they are great for people with health problems (such as diabetes), and because of the fantastically comfortable and roomy nature of them, you can tell I’m a fan of comfort can’t you?


Recently however Hotter has released some new styles for those that want comfort and style, and I feel they have achieved a brilliant balance between the two personally.

A while ago I saw Kellie (Big Fashionista) post a photo of the ‘Donna’ shoes from the Leeds Hotter event and pretty much fell in love at first sight. So I naturally I made a beeline for them at the event. I tried them on in different colours, in different sizes and wandered around in them for a while to make sure I was happy, I was, very very happy. Even though I hadn’t tried on any other shoes I was doing what is known as the ‘Hotter rock’ and likened it to trying on wedding dresses, you know when you find ‘the one’? Apparently you smooth it with your hands (I did with mine), and I was sure the ‘Hotter rock’ was the shoe equivalent.


I swanned around in my Donnas chatting to the other lovely bloggers, some of who I felt like I’ve known for ages even though I had never met them in person before, and it was great to finally chat ‘in real life’, plus doing some laughing with Sarah (Herniman household) about something inappropriate no doubt. It was also great chatting to Mel from Hotter about, well Hotter of course, and Russell Brand. I’d also like to thank Susie Wales for being so lovely and the compliments she gave about how the shoes suited me.


Before it was time to leave I had to take the shoes off to put them safely in a bag, but was very pleased to be taking them home forever, and really became quite attached, I’ve never worn a pair of heels as comfortable as these in my life!


I wore them to work the next day and took some pictures of them while walking about, so am definitely converted, I look at shoes slightly differently now and am sure I will end up with a few more pairs of Hotter shoes in my collection. I just need an updated wardrobe now to match (I’m working on it).

Autumn. Happy. #hottermoment #autumn @hottershoes #leaves #shoes #shoespam #lbloggers #blogger

It was also lovely to see that my mention of how comfortable and gorgeous the shoes are helped others discover Hotter when I was mentioned in this tweet-

Cardiff Gin Festival

I’ll be honest here, up until a few weeks ago I hadn’t tried gin at all, ever… I don’t really know why, it had just never appealed to me I suppose, but when the opportunity came up to visit the Gin Festival in Cardiff this year, I thought I would drag my gin loving friend along to try it out. And I am really glad I did.

The gin festival was all started by Marie and Jym, a husband and wife team, in 2012, because they love gin and thought other people would enjoy a gin festival too. It turns out they were quite right. The Cardiff gin festival was absolutely alive with people and was actually sold out before the night.


I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the evening other than, well, gin. But what we were presented with was a menu of sorts with very many different types of gin to choose from, a rather large glass and basically two of the four walls in the big hall, completely covered in bottles, with knowledgeable and friendly bar people ready to help. Before we had really began we found ourselves being educated in the different types of tonic available and which types of gin go with which tonic. I will admit I was a bit like a rabbit in the headlights but the staff were very helpful and chatty.

I tried a few different types of gin and warmed to them all really. We were also lucky enough to try the Cardiff Gin that had only been unveiled that week, it is made locally and very special and is-


EccentricWe listened to the talk from Eccentric Gin (in what can only be described as the basement) and I found it really interesting, the Eccentric Gin name itself came from an eccentric druid called William Price, who was the man responsible for cremation being legalised. He also lived in Llantrisant where the Eccentric Gin distillery is. As a bit of a gin novice I really enjoyed listening to how the gin is made and the story behind the company. Chandilier

Once the talk had finished we made our way back to the large hall, and I thought that Portland House really was a perfect choice for the event, the chandeliers, high ceilings and white walls really helped the atmosphere, and listening to and watching the string band play made me feel as though I had been transported back in time. ViolinViolin2

There was also food on offer too which even the aroma of made my mouth water. FoodSign

Finally a cocktail was in order and the little cocktail bar was a lovely environment, with fairy lights twinkling and soft fabric draped from the ceiling, the bar lady was speedy and friendly and the cocktail was delicious! Menu

Who knew gin could be so much fun? And who knew there were so many types? I now know why so many people are fans, I had a lovely evening and my friend agreed it was one of the better nights out she’s had. To top it off we found ourselves in a little bar down the road listening to some more music and finishing the night off with one for the road (Rest assured neither of us were driving that night though). Pub

Thank you to the Gin Festival for your hospitality and for a wonderful introduction to the world of Gin. I’m now a fan. Glass

If you’d like to find out more, or would like to find out if there is a Gin Festival near you, click here- Gin Festival

*We were guests of the Gin Festival for this event, alcohol however was purchased and all opinions my own.

Ministry of Science Live

This week we were invited along to the Riverfront theatre to watch the explosive Ministry of Science show, I have mentioned before that one of my little girls is very keen to learn everything about science, and even picked up her science book to take along with her, and once we had finally arrived on the right day (yes I turned up a day early, yes I felt stupid, no nobody was surprised, sigh) this is what we thought of the show.

I wasn’t really surprised that the theatre was pretty much packed out when we arrived, and those seats occupied, were full of children, just waiting for the explosions they had been promised. It really wasn’t long before the first explosion of the show and it made me jump out of my seat! My girls were delighted and there were many excited children bouncing around afterwards.

As the scientists talked about methane gases and cow poo my eldest was flicking to the right pages of her book, from information about the different types of energy to the periodic table, she is a big fan of science so was in her element recognising the things that she already knew and absorbing the new information like a sponge.


The exciting voice over from Peter Dickson (that one from the X Factor) added drama to proceedings too, and the great scientists in history scene explaining why they were famous was pretty special I thought. Especially as they included amazing women such as Ava Lovelace and Marie Curie.

BalloonAs the experiments and explosions continued and we all learnt something new the entertainment kept on coming, I’ve always said that children learn best when they are having fun and this wonderful show proved that. Even my youngest, who I thought might be a bit young to fully enjoy it all, sat still and was clapping and cheering with the rest of them.

From cannons made from fire extinguishers, to flowers frozen with liquid nitrogen the whole show was brilliant from start to finish, and I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the two scientists Mike and Vicky were very enthusiastic about everything they shared, getting members of the audience involved and even pulling one lucky girl around on a hovercraft made out of household items and a leaf blower.

I think it’s safe to say that this was one of the better shows we’ve seen to date and there wasn’t a dull moment, I was impressed and I know my children enjoyed every second of it. The quality of the set, performance and content was excellent and I would definitely recommend the Ministry of Science Live show to anyone.
The show is still running around the country until the end of November, click here to find out more- Ministry of Science Live

(Apologies for poor quality photos, I only had my phone with me this time).

*We were given tickets for the purpose of review, all opinions my own

Tredegar House Review

Family days together are precious, and it’s nice to spend time with the husband and girls sometimes without distractions, so during Cadw’s recent open doors event we decided to visit Tredegar House.

My girls were very excited about being ‘allowed’ to go inside the house, because even though they have walked through the grounds many times on family walks or helping their Nanny walk her dogs, they hadn’t actually been inside before.

We arrived quite early in the day and after we had chatted to the lovely staff on arrival we walked around the first small garden, which was home to some lovely exotic looking plants and flowers, and even though the leaves had started to fall and Autumn was creeping in, I managed to take a few snaps of the blooms. The girls and husband spent time as well finding as many apples as possible on the ground, they ended up left behind but it was a nice autumnal activity!


Once we’d finished wandering around the gardens, and it had started to rain, it seemed like the ideal time to venture inside the house. I have been inside Tredegar house before however that was years ago and before the National Trust took it over, and I have to say I was instantly impressed at how well everything was presented. It’s all in the detail and the effort to make everything seem as it would be hundreds of years ago, there was even a huge banquet laid out in the main hall.


All through the house children have been considered too, there are simple but educational information boards for them to read, which my eldest daughter really enjoyed reading aloud, a dressing up box with old fashioned dresses and costumes, an old light puppet box and lovely little wooden board games. I think we spent a good half hour just in the entertainment room alone, and It did make me think “who needs iPads?!”.

I really enjoyed looking at all the old paintings on the walls and the wall paper that was found behind a cupboard and preserved for many years. It was also very interesting to hear the story of the lady of the house that once decided she didn’t like her husband, and the various ways in which she tried to kill him off, even though ultimately she was unsuccessful. That was one of the great things about the house, the staff waiting to answer questions and interact with the visitors. My youngest asked a fair amount of questions one of them was what a an ink well was, I was surprised I hadn’t explained this to them before. It took me back to the time I was a child and I visited St Fagans with my school, we had to dress up as Victorian children and use real ink wells!


My favourite part of Tredegar House had to be the kitchen though. I’m always fascinated by the servant’s areas when visiting places like this, I loved the wall of bells and the many pots and pans. The day we went there were ladies in costume making traditional welsh cakes as well, which my family were more than happy to try of course, I can confirm they were lovely. There were plenty of other families visiting the house that day as well, but even though it was really busy everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves too and it wasn’t too cramped anywhere.


The last area we visited in the basement had a little stall with lavender bags and other sewn items, we were able to fill our own lavender bags to take home and they are proudly handing on our beds at home.

After we had finished exploring the house it was time to go on a little adventure around the lake, it was quite mild once the rain had stopped and it was lovely to wander through finding leaves and taking some more pictures (of course). There are so many lovely trees to walk beneath and even some old stumps being carved currently. I noticed plenty of wildlife and even some dragon flies darting around, which is always a sight that fascinates me.


As days out go we thoroughly enjoyed our day out at Tredegar House and will definitely be visiting again this winter. There are plenty of activities going on over the next few months with Halloween next.


I have to congratulate the National Trust on the work that has been done so far to Tredegar House since taking it on, I was impressed and we had a wonderful family day together.