Penderyn Distillery, Wales

Once we landed at Heathrow airport, we picked up our rental car and drove two hours to a town just outside of Swansea. I cannot even begin to tell you how beautiful the country side is in Wales. I am just so thankful that my lovely cousin was willing to play tour guide! One our first day in Wales we headed to the Penderyn Distillery at the base of Brecon Beacons National Park.  

We signed up for a tour of the distillery (the website says to pre-book but we managed to walk in without pre-booking). Admission is £8.50 per person, this includes a guided tour and two tastings. For those driving, you are allowed one tasting and you get a miniature to take home.

Vacations are great because you get to day drink without the guilt! Penderyn Distillery asks that you not take any photographs while on the tour, so if you want to see exactly how they make their whisky, you will just to visit them in person! They were kind enough to let us take a few photos in the tasting room and gift shop. 

Penderyn Distillery buys used bourbon barrels from Buffalo Trace in Kentucky and ages their whisky in the barrels. The bourbon left over in the wood imparts a soft, sweet, caramel flavour. Did you know that bourbon distillery's are only allowed, by law, to use the barrel once? This rule was implemented during the American Depression to keep the barrel makers, and wood industries, thriving. This rule is still used today and bourbon distillery's ship their used barrels to Scotland, Mexico and here in Wales. 

Penderyn has a wide variety of whiskies, a gin, a vodka and my personal favourite, the Merlyn welsh cream liqueur. It's like Baileys but way better. Sorry Baileys. You have been replaced as the official Christmas drink in my house!

The distillery opened in 2004 with HRH Price Charles on hand to help open the facility. I have to admit, it was pretty cool to be standing in the same place as the future King of England!

You can purchase a whisky or other spirit to take home and enjoy. We bought a bottle of single malt madeira, after maturing in a bourbon barrel it is finished in a Madeira cask, and a bottle of cream liqueur. They managed to survive in our checked baggage on the journey home and will be a special treat later on. 

After the tour, we were feeling hungry but still wanted to see more of the beautiful Welsh countryside. My cousin suggested we head to the first pub of our UK trip, The George IV Inn in Upper Cwmtwrch. I won't even pretend that I can pronounce that. We drove along the edge of the mountain on A4109 (here are the full directions). It was a 30 minute car ride through the most magical looking mountain range I had ever seen. 

If you google 'Wales' and 'King Arthur' you can find all the sites they believe he and Merlin lived and are possibly buried. The thick fog adds a little mystery to the mountains. Like at any moment a medieval character or a dragon might appear. 

AMH and me.

Wales is known as the castle capital of the world. This little outpost along the lake was designed to mimic the area's castles.  

All signs in Wales are in English and Welsh. Also, any white dots you see on the mountain are actually sheep. They are everywhere and too cute for words. 

A little know fact is that Wales has wild horses! This guy here was part of a farm, the wild horses are so fast, I was not able to capture a clear photo of them! 

My cousin and our lovely tour guide @chantelleselby. Isn't she adorable! 

The George was perfect for our first pub. The decor is traditional British pub and this particular one is well known in the area for their Sunday roast beef dinners. 

After snooping around and snapping a few photos of the decor (one day I will have a fireplace just like this one!) we headed back through the magical mountain with memories of a wonderful first day in Wales.  

Travel Style

I'm back from vacation and feeling very well rested (which is amazing considering how much ground we covered!). AMH and I flew from Toronto to London, drove to Wales, then to Scotland, than to Liverpool and finally back to London in only 11 days. We managed to spend a lot of time with family, see a lot of sites, and still have time to relax. So, what's my travel style?

In a word -comfortable.

Leggings: Old Navy (on sale!) | White long sleeve: Banana Republic (similar from The Gap) | 
Large scarf: H&M (similar) | Trench: Michael Kors (it rained the instant we deplaned) | 
Shoes: Converse | Bag: Louis Vuitton | Carry on suitcase: London Fog Cambridge print (similar) |

 We were on the plane for almost 7 hours and I had hoped to get some sleep in (that did NOT happen). I wore no make up to the airport and packed a few face cleansing clothes in my carry on to wash my face before and after the plane ride. It's my little trick to feeling fresh. I love these L'Occitane Verbena Refreshing Towelettes and always make sure they are in my carry on. 

Also, I love a good blow out. I truly enjoy getting my hair done. I also really like that my hair looks great for about three days (I usually shampoo every other day). I do not like the hassle of washing and blow drying my hair so when I go on vacation I try to get a blow out at least once. On this trip I managed to score two! I visited Element Hair in Waterloo on the morning that we were leaving. It was a relaxing way to start the vacation and I didn't have to worry about doing my hair for a few days! Just spray a little dry shampoo and comb. That's it! 

Getting everything I asked for. Running out of pages in my passport. 

The leggings, shirt and scarf were comfortable, looked appropriate for walking through an airport and for meeting up with family afterwards. It was a long first day but I followed my mom's advice and stayed awake the first night as long as possible and went to sleep at 9pm UK time. This helped hold off jet lag and got me on UK time without any issue. 

Just a quick blog post today. I am currently working my way through the 3000 or so photos that AMH and I took while on our UK vacation. I'll be posting lots over the next few weeks but I will leave you with a few lessons that I learned while on this vacation.

  • Driving on the opposite side of the car and road is doable. I didn't drive but AMH did and he did a great job. He said you have to constantly think about what your are doing, as opposed to to just following you instinct. That being said - buy the upgraded insurance. It costs a lot but you are covered in case of anything. We hit a curb only a matter of minutes outside of the rental place. Covered. No big deal at all. 
  • The UK has service centres everywhere on the highways, very similar to the highways in the United States (dear Canada, please get on board). They all have wi-fi, gas, fast food and Marks and Spencer so you can purchase healthy food options. No need to worry about travelling on their highways (called the M series).
  • If you type an address to your GPS, make sure the house or building number is saved somewhere else. We saved all the important addresses as a favourite in our GPS, which was very convenient to just be able to select the favourite when you were on your way, but once we arrived they house number they were not presented! We first travelled to visit my family in Wales and if they had not been waiting outside for us, I would have had no idea which house they lived in! Write the addresses down on a piece of paper or the Notes app on your phone. 

Pretty in Pink

Outfit | Trench: Michael Kors | Skirt: Target | Shirt: Ralph Lauren oxford
Purse: Micheal Kors Selma (similar) | Flats: Nine West (similar) |

Make up | Blush: Bobbi Brown in Nectar & Shimmer Brick in Rose (I use the shimmer brick for bronzer, highlighter and eye shadow) | Mascara: Dior Overcurl | Lipstick: Dior | Nail polish: Perfect Formula Pink Gel Coat |

A quick post today - I am prepping for my upcoming trip to the UK! I can't wait to see London in person. I've been following so many London instagrammers and I'm so happy we decided to visit in the Spring. Everything is in bloom there, and here in Waterloo Region. It's just such a beautiful time to be outside...and snapping a few photos!

A classic spring outfit, a trench for any weather, a little pink skirt and a classic oxford. Leopard flats add a cute pop and match my Michael Kors purse perfectly.

Enjoy your weekend!

Hand washing Clothing

I have always shied away from purchasing hand wash only clothing, that is until my washing machine died and I bought my new Samsung. I've moved away from the front loading (for many, many reasons. If you have a front loading washer you are probably pretty frustrated with it and can understand) and opted for the top loading washing with the built in sink. Just like in the commercials with Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard. But this isn't a blog post about my new washing machine (let me know in the comments if you are interested in a post about the machine!).

One of the reasons I wanted this washer was for the built in sink. I just knew it would make hand washing clothing so much easier and it has! Alternatives to the built in sink are a clean kitchen sink or a large bowl. No matter what you use to hold water, the process is pretty much the same.

Here's my new Samsung washer. You can see the black sink has detached from the glass lid. This is how you turn it into a useable sink. I hand wash my clothing one item at a time and wouldn't add anything heavier than a wool sweater. For larger items, like coats, I just have them dry cleaned. 

Today I am washing a silk, hand wash only, shirt. I have two bottles of Woolite, one for white and colours and the other for darks. I use a small amount, around a tablespoon for each wash. 

I turn on the water (you can see the little blue spout on the left hand side) and add my Woolite. I make sure to submerge the entire garment and set soak for about five minutes. 

After a few minutes I give it a good swish. This is also the time that I work out stains such as deodorant. Using the ridges of the machine, I scrub the armpits of shirts and especially bras. I'm not sure if they put the ridges there for this purpose but it's working out well for me. And when I say scrub, I mean lightly rubbing until the stains are gone. You don't want to wear out delicate fabric. If you do not have the ridges, try lightly rubbing on the edge of your bowl. Anything that will have to move stubborn deodorant. 

Drain the water and refill with fresh water for rinsing. 

After rinsing, lay the garment out on a clean, dry white towel. 

Roll up and squeeze out excess water. 

Lay flat to dry. 

That's it. Seriously. I only figured this out a few short years ago. Do you know how many items I ruined or passed away because I didn't know how easy it was to hand wash clothing? This also comes in handy because I like to buy vintage silk scarves and I'm such a germaphobe that I HAVE to wash them. I follow all of these same steps and then they are dry, I iron on a very low heat. 

So, are you willing to give hand washing clothing a try? Have you been doing this all along (why didn't you tell me it was so easy then! LOL)

Liberty London x Havaianas

Liberty London and Brazilian shoemaker Havaianas, best known for their flip flops, have teamed up to bring us bright coloured footwear in the famous Liberty prints. 

I own multiple pairs of Havaianas and I am so happy to see that they have teamed up with Liberty London to bring us this assortment of bright coloured flippys. Liberty prints are always so cute, putting them on flip flops just makes me want to buy them all and head to the beach. Who's with me? 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...