A Weekend in Tenby – Part Two

To pick up where we left off, my Mum and I spent our second day in Tenby exploring the beaches and filling up on ice cream. As we had spent most of the first day overlooking Castle Beach, we decided to stroll along to the South Beach and see what it had to offer – which, to be honest, wasn’t much besides some nice milkshakes! The walk to South Beach was nice though, lots of private sea-facing gardens sprawl along the front between the beaches, so the flora and azure seas make for a very pleasant scene.

We then had a wander in the opposite direction, stopping off at Cadwaladers for some seriously delicious ice cream before strolling towards the North Beach and the harbour, where there is more going on because it is closer to the high street. Again, this part of Tenby is so incredibly picturesque, with gelato-coloured houses lining the road – which, incidentally, always remind me of this song that my primary school teacher taught us alongside When I’m Sixty-Four

Naturally, when I came across a mint-coloured house I again harangued my poor mother for a picture as my brown polka dot Primark top and trusty white Topshop jeans made the perfect homage to mint choc-chip ice cream – AKA the king of ice cream.

We concluded our wander with a late lunch at The Fat Seagull, which is a tiny, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it restaurant on the high street. It’s super cosy, there are only about six tables inside, so it is worth booking ahead of time! Again, not a food critic, but the crepes are chocolate-covered heaven.

And that was our weekend! It did mainly consist of walking and eating, but that is the best way to experience the town – it looks beautiful wherever you turn and is full to the brim with sugary goodness. I guess you could say, it’s the sweetest… I’ll see myself out.

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A Weekend in Tenby – Part One

A short while ago my Mum invited me to spend the weekend with her in the Welsh seaside town of Tenby. Technically I was a replacement for her partner who had to look after their newly acquired cat (they didn’t intend on getting a cat, and then adopted one incredibly quickly) so I was called in last-minute lest the hotel go to waste, and hopefully because my Mum enjoys spending time with me! So I thought I would share what there is to do in a weekend in Tenby, things to see, where to eat etc.

We arrived late in the afternoon without much of a plan, Tenby is a town best enjoyed via a wander. We headed up to Castle Hill to soak up the views, from the very top you get a great panoramic view of the town and its beaches. We sat down by the Bandstand and looked out over St Catherine’s Island, which made for the ideal backdrop for the many photos I insisted my poor Mum take of me.

Once the ‘photoshoot’ was over, we went to grab some food opting to eat at The Qube, mainly because it was the first restaurant we saw whilst walking along the high street! It was a great decision though, the food was excellent – I’m a terrible food critic so I won’t attempt to describe the meal, but there was a group of us and we all scraped every last piece of food from our plates. As an alternative, I’ve also eaten at the Plantagenet House before, which is a 10th Century building turned into a restaurant with a very Tudor feel. It is an incredible building and the food there is good too if you prefer something a little more historic.

After dinner we had a bit of a potter around the shops too, I bought some sweet little amber earrings from the shop Equinox, which is full to the brim with trinkets and souvenirs. I also went in every sweet shop I came across (of which there are many) and discovered so many different flavours of rock – did you know you can get pizza flavoured rock?! My favourite of the bunch is Lollies because it is a traditional sweet shop, and is filled to the brim with sugary goodness.

As we lucked out with the weather, I wore my white Topshop straight leg jeans with a linen Jaeger jacket/top that my Mum picked up for me at a car boot sale a few years ago. As I knew we wouldn’t be doing a lot of walking, I wore my beloved Castañer wedge espadrilles– I am truly distraught that it is now too wet and too cold to wear these again. Until next year I guess…

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A Walk to Mumbles

On a temperate day back in March I embarked on a walk from my home to The Mumbles, known as the ‘gateway to Gower’ it is a coastal town (or rather a village, lest I ruffle any feathers) with a host of good ice cream joints (important), a few shops, plenty of cafes, and of course a beach. It is also over four miles from my home. I guess I fancied the challenge.

I walked beside the beach, stopping every now and again to read my book and enjoy the bird song. It was thoroughly delightful, but I felt deserving of a hazelnut ice cream basket from Verdi’s Cafe by the time I arrived (it was delicious, 10/10 would recommend.)

I then had a wander around the town (village), headed to the pier (closed), strolled up to Oystermouth Castle (also closed), read some more of my book, and took a whole host of photos on my Grandad’s old film camera – which I am still struggling with. I think it is a bit too complex a film camera for me at the moment, but I’m nothing if not persistent.

Most of these photos were captured on the journey back, as for some reason, despite my legs crying out for rest, I thought walking back would be a good idea too. By about a third of the way home I deeply regretted my decision but didn’t want to quit, because I’m stubborn. I practically fell into the house on my return and felt so stiff I could barely walk up the stairs. I feel it was worth it though, given the golden light tinging most of these photos. It was a beautiful walk and I would gladly do it again.

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Sicily on Film

As I have so far only posted incredibly wordy and lengthy posts on this blog, I thought I’d share something more picture heavy. As I just reviewed The Godfather, I thought it was a good excuse to reminisce about my trip to Sicily last year.

I stayed in Taormina, a town built into the hills and overlooking the ocean. It is a beautiful little town, with shingle beaches, an ancient Greek amphitheatre and public gardens that contain not one, but two gravestones memorialising murdered dogs. Yeah, I don’t know either.

I’d visited before with my mum, and thought it would be perfect for a solo trip. I could stay in the town and have my pick of restaurants without having to wander too far on my own at night, and then relax on the beach during the day. I hadn’t considered, in my plan, that the weather would be anything other than glorious. It wasn’t. It rained every day that I was there (and I was only there for a very short amount of time), and when it wasn’t raining, it was threatening to. There was only one day that I was able to take advantage of the beach (and the view of Isola Bella pictured above) and even then, it started getting very windy and cold by three o’clock, and when I headed out for food in the evening it absolutely pissed it down, completely drenching my shoes, which meant I spent the next few days walking around in wet footwear. Not great.

And while Taormina is lovely, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it, when you are expecting to spend your time reading by the sea, it becomes difficult to fill that time with an alternative when everything else that is within walking distance is easily do-able in a day. When it was dry but not warm enough to sunbathe, I headed to the dead dog gardens (there is more to them than that) and had a wander and a read. When mum and I visited we came across a litter of kittens there that we visited every day. Unfortunately, there were no kittens in the gardens when I visited. Strike two.

Not only was I not having luck with the weather, or with kittens, I also took my newish film camera (obviously everything is relative, it wasn’t new new, but I was still getting used to it) with me to document and practise film photography. It was my Grandad’s camera before me, a Praktica MTL3, German design, practically indestructible… until it met me. We were both getting on just fine until I had finished my first roll of film and started to wind it back in. The thing jammed, and wouldn’t un-jam until I heard the film tear apart. Also, not great.

To compensate for all the bad luck, I booked myself a ‘Godfather Tour’, an excursion that takes you around some of the locations used in the first film. In case you are unaware (or just not as big a fangirl as me), The Godfather was not actually filmed in the town of Corleone (nearer to Palermo on the island) as it was too modernised. Instead, Coppola & co filmed the Sicilian scenes in Savoca and Forza D’agro, both of which a relatively close to Taormina – making it an ideal place to stay in Sicily if you too want to geek out about The Godfather as much as I clearly do.

A word of warning though for any fellow fans, this tour is not for the faint of heart. Some of the towns used are incredibly high up, and the drive to and from them is up winding roads that don’t seem wide enough for two passing cars, let alone a bus. I’m not generally too afraid of heights, and this had me feeling pretty nervous.

If you can stomach it though, the views are incredible. And the town of Savoca (pictured above, from a distance) is well worth a visit. It is a sleepy town, that feels frozen in time with cobbled streets and no cars in sight. And even though I went with a group of people, it was still very quiet, and as I walked the streets I hardly passed by anyone.

While there you can visit the church where Michael and Apollonia get married in the film, as well as the bar where he asks her father’s permission to marry her – Bar Vitelli. It is perfect for a fan of the films, and just a sweet little town even if you’re not.

I would like to explore more of Sicily in the future, and revisit both Taormina and Savoca – hopefully next time I’ll leave the rain at home.

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