One of the lovely benefits of having a Bodnant loyalty card is that they offer you a free three course meal for your birthday in their Hayloft Restaurant. This helps to offset the shock and horror that hits you every time you see how many points you've logged on your card and realise just how much you've spent in their shop on exquisite artisan bread, fine cuts of meat, and rollmops. It's Mr PlacesWhereWeGo who has the loyalty card, and since he celebrated his birthday a few days ago we decided to take Bodnant up on their kind offer and go for his free meal.
The restaurant is set in a lovely location, partway up the Conwy Valley and just over the road from the River Conwy, in 'Furnace Farm,' a group of buildings at the bottom of Bodnant Gardens which had stood empty and derelict for most of my life, until they were renovated by the current estate manager. The Welsh Food Centre was opened by Prince Charles in 2012 and has gone from strength to strength. If you avoid the ridiculously overpriced items (artisan crackerbread, penny sweets wrapped up fancily with a price to match) and pick and choose, you can get some wonderful food there. We'd been to the cafe before (a pretty nice place but with a few issues), but this was the first time we'd visited the restaurant. I didn't have my camera, only my phone, so the pictures are more like a stealth investigation than anything else.
|I really wish I could get a better picture of the sun setting over the mountains. I wish photographs didn't flatten the mountains out to tiny blips on the horizon. Rest assured, it was beautiful.|