If ever there’s a Welsh model of Downton Abbey, then spectacular Bodysgallen Hall and Spa could be an ideal venue. It actually has the heritage. Originally constructed excessive on Pydew Mountain some six centuries in the past, Bodysgallen tower, now on the core of the pink sandstone home, gave early warning to low-lying Conwy Castle of approaching hostile forces.
Bodysgallen Hall and Spa has the required grandiose setting for the Celtic tackle Downton. Two miles south of Llandudno, on a North Wales peninsula, the corridor offers spectacular views of medieval Conwy Castle and the brooding peaks of Snowdonia.
A Grade 1 listed constructing, restored and revived after its buy by Historic House Hotels in 1980 and its gifting to the National Trust in 2008, Bodysgallen is now a luxurious rural retreat of gables, roaring fires, undulating flooring and chiming grandfather clock.
A protracted drive meanders ever upwards, by sheep grazed pasture, artfully concealing Bodygallen’s splendour till the final second. The receptionist guides us by higgledy-piggledy stairways to our room while a porter in his sensible waistcoat delivers our baggage. Bodysgallen was constructed lengthy earlier than lifts have been even considered.
Number 18 has a wall dedicated to mullioned home windows framing a spectacular view throughout the formal gardens, past ripples of inexperienced valleys and onto the imposing battlements of Conwy Castle.
From the Narnia depths of the wardrobe by to a seven ft huge double mattress, every part is on a generously aristocratic scale. Warm swimming pools of sunshine from table-lamps present a delicate glow. A floral bedspread, sheets and blankets are from a bygone period. No wall-mounted televisions right here. A modest tv is partially hidden away in a quiet nook. Only just lately have tea trays been launched as a nod to the twenty first century.
The rest room
Featuring reassuringly stable stainless-steel plumbing and yesteryear plugs with chains, there’s additionally a retro really feel to a toilet containing separate tub and bathe.
Named after the Latin phrase for oak, Penhaligon’s Quercus toiletries add sophistication to the lavatory with an aroma of basil, jasmine and lemon.
Set under the corridor, the Bodysgallen Spa is a haven of tranquillity housing a big indoor swimming pool with spa tub, sauna, steam room, gymnasium, six spa remedy rooms, Club Room and a leisure room.
The vary of remedies makes use of merchandise by Aromatherapy Associates, Environ and Mii Nails and CACI.
A dark-wood corridor the place the barometer appears to all the time level to “Change”, an ancient-tome-lined library and the drawing room are idyllic spots for afternoon tea.
Portraits of the topped, wigged, robed and generally beheaded, look down enviously on crustless sandwiches, scones and immaculately introduced desserts.
An AA three rosette restaurant, giving views throughout the terraced gardens, with white-draped linen tables, is certainly a kind of eating places the place you gown for dinner. From Wednesday to Sunday, Head Chef Abdalla El Shershaby presents a nice eating menu. Local elements are introduced with imaginative aptitude.
For a starter an Arlington egg comes with a Welsh asparagus salad, recent truffle and salad dressing. One of the principle course choices is gradual cooked Conwy Lamb accompanied by salsify and pak choi. Currently on Monday and Tuesday a invoice of fare menu is served.
A two miles drive down the Royal Welsh Way arrives on the Victorian grandeur of Llandudno the place a prolonged pier nonetheless stands. An extremely huge promenade suggests how fashionable this seaside resort was in its heyday.
Though that is citadel nation with Conwy Castle very shut certainly. For many centuries, North Wales was an uneasy land the place drawn-bridges have been repeatedly pulled-up. Although it’s greater than an hour’s drive away, Chirk Castle, now cared for by the National Trust, internet hosting a powerful choice of flintlocks, reveals what number of a citadel transitioned to turn into a household house.
Heading west, the North Wales Expressway crosses the Menai Straits into Anglesey. Idyllically located on the banks of the Straits, Plas Newydd is one other National Trust property.
After enjoying a number one function within the victory over Napoleon’s forces, Henry Paget of Plas Newydd, was given the title of Marquess of Anglesey.
Today the home shows art work and relics from the battle.
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Other good touches
Fresh flowers convey the aromas and colors of the backyard into the principle home. In each room a leaflet summarises Bodysgallen Hall’s historical past.
It additionally recommends three itineraries for days out exploring the area.
Bed and breakfast start from £250 per room.
The finest bit
Bodygallen’s 200 acres of gardens, wrested from a grudging post-volcanic. post-glacial terrain is amongst Wales’ best. Over the centuries, pink sandstone walled gardens have been constructed to shelter roses, delphiniums and fruit timber from blustery winds racing in from Colwyn Bay.
In Victorian occasions the gardeners’ mission was to place fruit and veg on the desk early and late, regardless of the season. Today, the kitchen backyard nonetheless provides the restaurant. For gardening cognoscenti, the gardens’ primary attraction is the parterre, a proper backyard made up of aromatic herbs, enclosed by field hedging. Sage and bronze fennel thrive in a sheltered setting.
Through the descending terraces, the gardens stream from formal, lily pond and roses, to lawns and woodland.
The closing verdict
There’s an outdated Welsh saying “dod yn ôl at fy nghoed” which, I’m advised, actually interprets as “coming back to my trees”.
Perhaps, in right now’s phrases, it speaks of returning to a state of stability and well-being. For Bodysgallen Hall and Spa, the place there’s a trace of Celtic magic within the air, that Welsh phrase actually is an apt motto.
Disclosure: Our keep was sponsored by Bodysgallen Hall and Spa.