Located in Gwynedd in North Wales, Portmeirion is a coastal town unlike you’ve ever seen before. The Italian-style village designed and built between 1925 and 1976, looks like something out of a fairytale.
With unique sets of towers and columned rotundas, all painted with vibrant contrasting colours such as aqua and pink, blue and white, yellow and red, a human-sized cheese board, and a pool-like pond, you could easily think you’re somewhere lush in Tuscany.
As you walk into the town, you’re instantly transported to an wonderland and you’re not quite sure what to make of it. It’s really odd but fantastically marvellous at the same time.
What to do
There’s not much to do in Portmeirion a part from walk around, explore and take-in the grandeur of the village. It costs £8 for a day ticket and you can spend as little or as long as you’d like there (until the town closes at 7.30pm). It’s a small place, so you could pop in for an hours visit, although as the surroundings are so gorgeous, you could easily stay for longer. There are a few gift shops to have a peek in, as well as a spa, if you’re up for a pamper.
Where to Eat
Portmeirion has a few eating spots including a cafe and an ice cream shop located in the centre of the village. We ate at the cafe, which to our surprise was actually really lovely, and had good Italian, French and New Zealand wine. Afterwards we treated ourselves to the homemade ice creams, which were fresh, creamy and delicious!
If you fancy having a bit of a luxe experience, the Portmeirion Hotel has a fine dining restaurant, which has a bit of a reputation of wowing diners with their interesting, work-of-art dishes. Just outside the village lies Castell Deudraeth Brasserie, which is a renovated Victorian building, and serves a variety of hearty meals in a charming but contemporary setting.
Where to Stay
Although there are self-contained apartments and a hotel in Portmeirion, we decided to stay in Barmouth, about a 30-40 minute drive away, so we could get in another town visit while we were in Wales.
It was actually really difficult to find accommodation in the north of Wales, which suited our kind of style – chic, luxe, quirky, stylish. Many we found were, to be honest, a little dowdy. We spotted the divine looking Y Meirionnydd, but unfortunately it was all booked out. Finally, we came across The Tilman in the town centre of Barmouth, and booked right away.
Newly renovated, The Tilman is a bar and boutique hotel in one. The design-led space has a modern retro feel about it. The bedrooms are spacious, minimalistic and comfortable, with large plush beds, rose gold detailing on nearly every decorative accessory from coat hangers, plant pots and the clock, scandi-style furniture, and large en-suite bathrooms with walk-in showers and luxurious baths (if you stay in the superior room, which we did!).
Price wise, the rooms range from £90, and breakfast is included in your room price. We were really impressed with the breakfast, which included a buffet of fruit, yoghurt, berry coulis, cereal and pastries. On top of the buffet, you could also order an al carte meal, where you had the choice of various hot breakfasts, such as typical English and vegetarian.
While in Barmouth, take a look in…
Pieces for Places! There are two of these charming stores in the main town, and for design and shabby-chic lovers they’re a must to check out.
One of the shops, has cute and quirky little bits, great for presents or soft furnishings for the home. The other is a larger store located in a restored chapel, where they have an array of items, from candles, to sofas, dining tables and kitchen items.
If you really love how The Tilman is decorated, make sure you go to have a look in Pieces for Places. The hotel is completely decked out with pieces from there, so if you loved it so much, you can take some of The Tilman home with you!
Shop E’s Portmeirion style:
Are there any other areas in Wales you recommend we visit? E. Xx