LIVING was invited for a two-night getaway to the grand Nanteos Mansion Country House Hotel in Ceredigion, Wales near to Aberystwyth. Check out our review and find an exclusive reader offer below
Since its multi-million pound refurbishment in spring 2012, Nanteos Mansion Country House Hotel has established a firm reputation for its unrivalled character, charisma and charm. The hotel caters for all crowds with rooms ranging from luxury doubles to twin rooms, spacious suites and family rooms.
Nanteos actually dates back to the eighteenth century when it was built under the direction of Thomas Powell, MP for Cardiganshire. It remained in the Powell family for 180 years until 1951. After that it was passed onto a chain of owners that failed to maintain its beauty until the mansion underwent the refurbishment to open as a hotel.
Location, location, location
As you follow the signs to Nanteos in the depths of the Welsh countryside, you’re led down an eerie single-track road which leaves you feeling slightly sceptical about what to expect from your stay. But you’re soon reassured when you’re greeted by the handsome Grade 1 listed Georgian mansion stood proudly in its grounds.
Part of the hotel’s appeal is its 30 acres of land. Guests can enjoy the incredible views from the comfort of their rooms or you’re welcome to explore the grounds’ lake, pet cemetery and walking routes. The pet cemetery is just one of the quirks that separates Nanteos from the rest. It contains memorial stones from as early as 1865 where William Thomas Rowland Powell laid his beloved pets to rest.
We stayed in the luxurious Dyfi suite that was ideal for a couple’s romantic retreat. When you open the door to the Dyfi a grand hallway with high ceilings awaits, leading you to a cosy bedroom that is stylishly furnished to complement the room’s original Georgian architecture.
A comfortable king-size bed is dressed to perfection and there’s an array of facilities to ensure you have everything you need. The suite boasts a supersize en suite with rainfall shower, toiletries and fluffy bathrobes. And we were pleased to find warming finishing touches like freshly cut daffodils and homemade biscuits.
Library bar and fine dining
We began our weekend away with an 8pm dinner reservation at the hotel’s restaurant, yr Eos. The restaurant, led by Head Chef, Gerwyn Jones, has a wonderfully varied cuisine with that all-important dose of Welsh character.
We were shown to a table in the cosy library bar to peruse the three (yes, three) menus on offer. To start I chose the breaded chicken with paprika mayonnaise and followed with the chickpea and spinach curry with basmati rice and mint yoghurt for a main. My partner chose leek and potato soup with crusty bread and the 10oz sirloin steak served with chips, tomato, mushroom and bearnaise sauce. The food was delicious – real comfort food cooked to perfection.
And breakfast the next morning did not disappoint either. There was a selection of cereals, fresh pastries, fruit, yoghurts, pancakes and more to help yourself to. As well as a cooked breakfast option. We both chose the Welsh breakfast which was made fresh to order, and we enjoyed it so much we both had it again on the Sunday morning.
Unbeknown to us it was Saint David’s Day during our time in Aberystwyth. There was a real buzz about the seaside town on the Saturday as live bands jived in the streets in celebration of the patron saint of Wales. After the excitement of watching the performers in the town centre, we had a brisk walk along the seafront until we reached Aberystwyth Castle to explore the sights. There are quite a few tourist attractions in Aberystwyth such as the Vale of Rheidol Railway, Aberystwyth Cliff Railway, Ceredigion Museum and the Magic of Life Butterfly House.
One evening we ventured into Aberystwyth to discover the town’s nightlife. Despite feeling secluded at Nanteos we were pleased to find the bars were just a 10-minute taxi ride away. Nanteos staff recommended we visit The Libertine cocktail bar where we sampled the Rum Puncher cocktail – I don’t know about punch, but it certainly had a kick.
Just 12 miles away from Aberystwyth is Devil’s Bridge Falls where there are two walks to choose from; Nature Trail, Waterfalls and three bridges (difficult) or the Punchbowl and three bridges (moderate). We took on the challenge of the most difficult route which wasn’t for the faint-hearted. It took approximately 45 minutes – it may not sound long – but we had to negotiate steep, uneven steps which was a challenge on a rainy day. But it was worth it as we saw the beauty of the three waterfalls up close.
Boasting spectacular views of the countryside, fine dining, luxurious rooms and tourist attractions close by, Nanteos has everything you could wish for a relaxing weekend away. The staff offer attentive, yet discreet service and guests can find ultimate peace and tranquillity during their stay in the countryside. If you crave a little more excitement Nanteos is just a 10-minute drive to the closest seaside town, Aberystwyth, where there’s a variety of restaurants, bars and shops to visit.
Prices start from £135 per night bed and breakfast. www.nanteos.com.
Staffordshire Living has an exclusive offer for its readers wishing to visit Nanteos Mansion. Book a stay Sunday to Thursday and receive a complimentary upgrade (subject to availability) and a complimentary cream tea for two on arrival. Quote STAFFORDSHIRE LIVING when booking. Call 01970 600 522 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org