Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Top of the Town

Well i've got to say, Upper Mostyn Street has seriously been upcoming in the past 12 months. In the coming issue of the magazine, there's a terrific double spread of various advertisers from this end of town, and i've been up this way quite a lot recently. It's been an absolute joy getting to know some of the proprietors personally. A few businesses really deserve credit, i've seen Merrymoon just down the bottom of the road change remarkably, they have a terrific selection of different gifts, one I can't quite remember the names of... naughty bears of some kind doing terrible things, but very cheeky, I might start collecting them myself amongst many other niche lines to their usual ailments and therapies.

As you look around the street, various cafe's/bars have some excellent flower arrangements, the London, Fountains, the addition of colour makes a real difference. Across you've got Cafe Kava, what a swish, clean modern atmosphere inside, Ken and Monica are a superb duo, they offer a class service. Either side of them you've got Grump'ys, they've given the shop a real old fashion and traditional feel inside, recently expanded their stock to include temperance drinks, D&B is a big favourite of mine as she knows, i'll be in to get some more shortly. The other side you have Sue and Maggie, two wonderful ladies, I admire them both for their good old fashioned values and honesty, i've learnt buying locally isn't necessarily expensive and encourage readers to stop buy sometime and take a look inside.

Across the way is the Little Deli, wow what a business that has come leaps and strides. I discovered them a year ago when Moulin Rouge shut down, and i've been going there since, they strive to produce their own homemade brand, and they've recently added Jams, Jelly's, Fudge and Ice Cream to the list, well worth stopping by.

A few doors away is the Handycraft Centre run by Wyn friendly chap he is, and has quite possibly one of the most impressive collections of fine quality teddy bears in the area, always a winner for valentines day with the ladies!

For the first time recently I stopped by the Gresham with a good friend of mine for a burger/coffee, I didn't quite know what to expect. I found the environment to be very modern, clean, and classy, the food and presentation was top notch, the coffee has to be one of the best in town i've tried so far, on par with the Summit in fact (love their coffee too).

There are so many businesses to name, and I don't mean to exclude anyone, but this street is racing ahead, I take my hat off to the traders here, they've faced some tough times in recent months and every bit of credit is due to them.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Dewberry Picking

Wild Dewberries

I'M ALL SET for the blackberry picking season next month, but I like to be one step ahead of those eagerly waiting to get first pickings. I've reported earlier in my blog the 'doorstep edibles' available to us locals here in Llandudno, to add to the list is 'Dewberries' which crop a little earlier than Blackberries and are presently available in small quantities on the West Shore. Not so far away is 'Sea Buckthorn' which produce yellow/orange berries with a distinctive orangey/peach cirtrus like aroma. Again I could divulge the locations, but the fun is really getting out and about, enjoying the flora and fauna around you, instead of being couch potatoes and watching it all on TV. Anyway, i've had my pickings so feel free to pick what remains :D either that or the birds will have them!

Mediocre Portions


LAST NIGHT I quite fancied some fish and chips for tea, it had been quite a while since I had them last, in fact I can't remember, which is probably why I couldn't wait to pop down to the chippy and go get some. I stopped by a takeout in town (not my usual), and asked the counter assistant for a large chips £1.70 (I think) cod £3.00 and a pot of gravy. They were all wrapped waiting for my arrival for when I got home. To my surprise I was a bit shocked, the large chips only just level-filled a small white tray with a piece of cod no longer than 5 to 6 inches sat on top, and the pot of gravy was only 2/3 filled. I'd of normally gone back and complained, but I was already home, almost starved, and no fuller after the meal either.

Well, I guess it serves me right for trying somewhere different, I should of gone to Becky's instead where your guaranteed a real value for money local size portion whatever the time of year, not some quick buck holiday maker portion!

Friday, 10 July 2009

Seagulls under Attack

SEAGULLS have become the subject of increasing attack from people reading into the local press lately. Gulls are sure a common sight here in Llandudno, but over recent years they seem to have become more and more of a problem. Swooping down stealing ice creams and other food straight out of peoples hands, tearing refuse sacks apart etc. As I understand the town used to operate culls 'pricking eggs' so i'm told, but is this really the right thing to do? Some would argue and say it's our fault they behave this way leaving food and bin bags lying around.

What's the opinion of our readers on this topic?

Monday, 29 June 2009

Meet your Council

Inside/outside Venue Cymru today, Conwy County Council are hosting their own event where you can find out more about the services which they deliver in the County. I went along myself and picked up some information from various stalls. I found those involved in the event very helpful, I looked at a few items of interest such as the local CCTV service and was kindly given an insight into the areas covered by CCTV monitoring system, aspects of community safety, code of practice, monitoring, and town centre radio links. Another thing which took my interest was recycling, there was various leaflets and help on hand. As a keen gardener I have plenty of garden waste and discovered local residents can have their very own compost bin delivered to their door for just £16 which is very reasonable considering the size of them, i'll be ordering one of those soon.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Strawberry Picking

The day got off to a great start weather wise, and as a treat I decided me and my partner would take a trip to Anglesey. Anyway, a spot of afternoon rain makes perfect chance for a blog entry...

We had an enjoyable morning in the hot sun out on an open 'pick your own' farm picking strawberries for a bargain £3.00 a Kilogram, so we got a few Kilo's worth which we'll consume in various ways over the next day or two, smoothies, with cream, or maybe for a bit of fun we might even try making a conserve. There was other seasonals to pick yourself which included Gooseberries, Rhubarb and Broad Beans, and in just a few weeks or so Raspberrys and Blackcurrants will be on the menu too. I realised not just how lucky I am to live in North Wales in general, but Llandudno too. Being situated half-way between Holyhead and Chester, it's within perfect reach of most attractions and points of interest. In just under 30 minutes we were away from the hustle and bustle, and walking through sweet smelling strawberry fields with wonderful views, you just couldn't beat it on a day like today.

It made me think, wouldn't it be great if Bodafon farm had it's very own pick your own?

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Monday, 22 June 2009

Royal Tern Turns up for Me!

WELL after hearing the news yesterday I got my wellies on and headed down onto the North Shore beach for an hour or two, but nothing. I returned back to base for an update and heard it had recently been spotted on the West Shore, so I trekked over there, again nothing. A few disheartened twitchers packed up their equipment in disappointment, some travelling from as far a fields as England, they really should have stayed the night. Shame really, as just an hour or so ago I had just left my house to take the usual scenic walk to the office, and low and behold there it was, flying right in front of me as i'd only just stepped foot on the promenade. It was flying around the Craig-y-Don end of the promenade around 12.00 p.m. swooping down intermittently into the depths of high tide then making it's way over to the pier end out of my sight.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Royal Tern visits Queen of Welsh Resorts


IT SEEMS i've not been the only one doing a spot of ornithology lately. There have been hundreds of twitchers flocking the town after a rare bird has been seen at Llandudno's north & west shores, the 'Royal Tern', only the 5th sighting in Britain in fact.

To follow the latest gossip on this subject, visit our Llandudno Local website > Local Talk section, see 'Royal Tern'

Read below to find out more about this bird, Ref: Wikipedia.

The Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus, syn. Sterna maxima - see Bridge et al., 2005) is a seabird in the tern family Sternidae. This birdhas two distinctive subspecies.

T. m. maximus breeds on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the southern USA and Mexico into the Caribbean. The slightly smaller T. m. albididorsalis breeds in coastal west Africa.

American birds winter south to Peru and Argentina, and African breeders move both north and south from the breeding colonies.

African birds may reach as far north as Spain. This species has also wandered to western Europe as a rare vagrant, these records probably being from the American colonies.

This species breeds in colonies on coasts and islands. It nests in a ground scrape and lays one or two eggs. Like all white terns, it is fiercely defensive of its nest and young.

Royal Tern feeds by plunge-diving for fish, usually from saline environments, like most Sterna terns. It usually dives directly, and not from the "stepped-hover" favoured by Arctic Tern. The offering of fish by the male to the female is part of the courtship display.

This is a large tern, second only to Caspian Tern but is unlikely to be confused with that carrot-billed giant, which has extensive dark underwing patches. Royal Tern has a long yellow bill, pale grey upperparts and white underparts. Its legs are black. In winter, the black cap becomes patchy. Juvenile Royal Terns have a scaly-backed appearance. The call is a characteristic loud grating noise like a Sandwich Tern.


Anyone been lucky enough to spot one yet?

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Sandcastles


SANDCASTLES great fun aren't they. I remember the ones I used to build when I was a kid, we'd dig a crater with thick steep sides all around making anyone standing inside feel as safe as houses. Sometimes i'd be competing with a few friends to see how long my construction could withstand the incoming tide before making an immediate retreat one the walls begin to collapse inward. Those were the days hey.

Deganwy is renound for it's Sandcastles so i'm told... sand grains will not stick together unless the sand is reasonably fine, the ideal ratio is eight parts dry sand to one part water. When the sand dries out or gets wet, the shape of a structure may change, and landslides can happen...

A spot of Bird Watching

AFTER WATCHING our neighbouring seagulls and their new chicks for the past few weeks or so from the distance of our bedroom window, me and my partner decided we wanted to get a closer look so we popped down to the shop and purchased a National Geographic telescope with variable zoom options. The detail is absolutely amazing, it's like watching our very own nature programme. The mother is constantly back and forth regurgitating its stomach contents to feed the 3 hungry little chicks who seem to have inexhaustible appetites, one of the chicks is smaller than the other two which poses questions to us whether it will survive full term to flight and be able to fend for itself. I shall let you know how they get on.

Friday, 19 June 2009

All Aboard 'The Pride of Llandudno' Route 1

Photographs (c) Llandudno Local

Photographs (c) Llandudno Local

WELL i've had a very enjoyable day so far, not only did I have the kind privilege of being invited to attend the launch of Arriva's new bus service, I also got best seat up front too!

Theres a new bus in town! The 'Pride of Llandudno' Route No.1 will run every hour from 28th June to 6th September from Llandudno's North shore. So what's all the fuss about? It is the only 'open top' tour service that covers Llandudno, Conwy AND the Great Orme's magnificent Marine Drive, so now you can sit back and enjoy some of the best sights in North Wales from the elevated height of the double-decker open top roof. The full tour takes approximately 2 hours and packed with audible commentary, and you can hop-on and hop-off as much as you like en-route.

Fare prices are £7 for adults, £3.50 for children, with a family saver option. Senior citizens £5, and free for local senior pass holders with terms.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Anwyl Breached Conditions of Planning Approval

The now demolished Pen Morfa

The following response from John Lawson-Reay, local historian and conservationist after reading recent news on the Llandudno Local regarding the future of the Pen Morfa site.

"This is something I knew this would happen. Anwyl are in clear breach of the conditions of the planning approval and was required to only demolish Penmorfa when contracts for the re-development had been signed and sealed along with the necessary funding. The fact is that Mr Detheridge, the former head of planning, after he left CCBC became a director of Anwyl as I understand it. He would know that the CCBC planning department would not get into an enforcement row because it would give them extra work and might cost money. This is the excuse that they always give. The fact that CCBC have £57 million in the reserves does not count! It is an absolute disgrace. The Pier Pavilion site, 14 years after the fire, is a national scandal. While CCBC have been able to find the funding for the Arena and extension to the theatre plus build a swimming pool it shows that they do not have the right priorities."

Monday, 15 June 2009

We're Almost There

Homemade Black Cherry and Almond Tart with Homemade Panacotta.
(Full recipe/how to in the upcoming Mag!)

FIRSTLY apologies to my loyal readers for the lateness of the current issue of the Local magazine. It has presented a tremendous challenge this time round and it is very much a learning curve at the same time. The magazine is projected to be somewhere in the region of 40-pages, the increase in size is part of the setback and i've had many sleepless nights playing catchup and devising a new schedule for the issue to follow thereafter so that it runs as sweet as a nut. It is a complete change from the previous newsletter, and the new format is quite refreshing.

It's a real community effort with local people doing their bit for the mag. Local business couple Emma & Mark Baravelli (The Little Deli) are featured residents of our new Food & Drink section and have prepared this Homemade Black Cherry & Almond Tart served with Homemade Welsh Honey and Vanilla Panacotta, this has to be the best perk of the job yet and I got the full joy of devouring it all in front of them both, the verdict, top marks 10/10, folks try this one at home! I've never really liked Honey or Blackcherries, but everything Emma seems to make, I somehow end up liking, they practically convert me everytime, if they do read this, I challenge them to my fear of mushrooms!

Likewise we have local celebrity TV/Radio chef Peter Osborne doing the main course, some great features, then there's the puzzles and games and prizes too!

Further announcements to follow for the Llandudno Local magazine, it's not too late to place an ad or send something in!

Once again, a big thanks to Emma & Mark & Peter with the Food & Drink section! Look out for it!

Friday, 12 June 2009

Pen Morfa - Ground Zero No.2

The now demolished Pen Morfa

"News first from the Llandudno Local...

Disappointment to Llandudno has come after the 
Local discovers a reliable source confirming Anwyl have no immediate plans whatsoever to develop on the Pen Morfa site on West Shore after being told by their bankers not to commence any developments for the forseeable future, the result of greedy developers who have no shame. Has Llandudno been left with yet another 'ground zero' on it's hands like that of the pavilion site on North Shore. The big question is, how long will this eyesore remain?"

How long this eyesore will remain is as good a guess yours as it is mine, if the loss of heritage is isn't hurtful enough to the town, now we're left with another pavilion site to showcase our resort. Welcome to Llandudno folks.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Llandudno Local Allotment

I decided to pop down to the Llandudno Local allotment yesterday evening and I was pleased to see this years strawberry plants are starting to yield glossy ripe red berries for my picking. There's nothing more satisfying than harvesting your own fruit and consuming them at their freshest shortly after picking, they went down a treat with a sprinkling of sugar and cream. Asides strawberries, I also grow raspberries, blackcurrants & blackberries and a variety of herbs and veg. I wonder if any of our readers like to grow their own too...?

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

A few too many...

Normally I try to put some kind of illustration or piece of thought imagery with every post on here, but for this post I didn't have my camera with me as much as I wished now that I had. Sunday night I had a few too many drinks with some friends of mine, we were having such a good time that we totally forgot about time itself. It became clear when I opened the door to leave and return home, it was light outside and the time was roughly 4:30 a.m. I had the delight of walking home back along the promenade, and for the first time in my life I saw the sun rise from the North Shore... I can describe what I saw in 2 words, absolutely amazing. The sea glittered like little pieces of gold, even the wind farms had an eerie feel about them, portrayed in such a way I felt they were acceptable... which under any other circumstance would be difficult for me to say lightly. If you're not much of an early bird, try to experience this, just the once. Next time I will be taking my camera...

Sunday, 7 June 2009

They're Everywhere

Well I knew it wouldn't be long before our neighbouring little sprogs were to hatch, they are now the proud parents of 3 hungry little chicks. Stay tuned to see more... coming soon...

Good Luck Phil


Firstly apologies for my distance lately, for I have been basking away in the sunshine. Now that finally a dull day has arrived, it makes perfect chance for a spot of blogging whilst other bloggers with nothing better to do prefer to make the most of the finer weather by logging on constantly throughout the heat of the day. Each to their own as I say.

Anyway, let's start off back with something a bit funny.

I happened to be walking across Upper Mostyn Street the other day when myself and good friend of mine bumped into our old towns friend Phil of the Kings Head, known by many locals in and around Llandudno, Phil is a true character and squire and I always have time for a bit of banter and friendly chat with him. He was making his way up town so we accompanied him for a short walk as we were going in the same direction. Phil walked between myself and friend of mine, and just moments into our walk a ray or sunshine shone over him and the heavens opened... literally, and he was anointed with the towns blessing. Was it sheer luck that me and my good friend were missed by a fraction..., or then again for Phil giving us the best laugh we'd had in ages, was he the lucky one for getting a free half off us!

Cheers Phil, will never forget that one!

God bless you.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Llandudno at it's Best

For anyone having visited the resort for their first time recently, Llandudno has surely shown it to them at it's best, it's polished up like an old brass penny. I've been very distant from my blog and website recently for this very reason and have tried to make the most of this fine weather we're having. Yesterday evening I took a walk across Nant-y-Gamar, the woodland air was refreshing and there was some interesting finds along the way, wild Sage growing in the shade, and even Blackberries were beginning to flower, it won't be long before they are ready for picking. I eventually pondered my way over to 'My Grand Mothers Chair' two pillars and a limestone slab which is well hidden, something of a forgotten tale almost and only found documented in old town guides, from there one will find the most spectacular views Llandudno has to offer. Panoramas sweeping from the Little Orme across Bodafon farm, and around the corner unobscured views overlooking the town and it's shores, combined with the sunset the view was truly amazing (see photo taken above).