Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Back to reality...

What a lovely weekend away!  It was my Mum's 60th birthday and my troops accompanied her, my father and my brother away for the weekend to The Old Corn Mill, in a little village called Cynwyd, near Corwen.  This is also where we spent Mr G's 50th birthday last year and we all fell completely head over heels in love with the place.  Mum had decided she didn't want a party this time, having had one for her 40th, 50th and various anniversaries in between.  She wanted to just get away from it all, and celebrate her birthday in peace.  We knew the perfect place!

Mum's birthday cake - I can't take the credit for this one though!

We were due to pick up the keys at 4pm, so we left home at 12.15pm and drove to The Berwyn Arms, a little pub/restaurant in Glyndyfrdwy, which is between Corwen and Llangollen.  We thought it would make more sense to have the birthday meal in the day so we would be able to unpack and relax at 'home' with a couple of drinks in the night time, as we had two drivers in the party.  We had an amazing meal in The Berwyn - it's the sort of pub that everyone wishes was their 'local' and so we booked again for Sunday lunch.  The food is spot on, and the staff are all ever so friendly, nothing is too much trouble for them.  The kids had some time in the soft play area (after their ice creams!).

The Berwyn Arms in Glyndyfrdwy
My lot, waiting patiently for their grub

We arrived at The Corn Mill a little after 4pm, and Nan - the owner - had kindly lit a fire in the woodburning stove, and put a banner and balloons up, and left my mother a bottle of wine, chocolate and Welsh cakes, which was a really nice touch.

The Corn Mill from the rear

We quickly unpacked all our bits and bobs, shoved our food in the fridge, and opened a few bottles of wine.  We all gathered round whilst Mum opened all her cards and presents - she'd shown amazing restraint, waiting until the evening of her birthday to open it all!  In a couple of hours we were all feeling a bit peckish and so we made a little buffet up, Mum had baked a huge ham, we'd bought fresh rolls, sausage rolls, pork pies, crisps and other nibbles.  Mum made us all glasses of Pimms and we all sat around the huge table with our buffet.

Mum making a start on all her goodies!

On the Saturday we had brunch in the Mill, and then went into Llangollen for a mooch around.  Steve managed to find a 'Not quite right' photo opportunity there too, which I will put into another blog post - honestly, I can't take him ANYWHERE!  We had a coffee and cake in a nice little Café and then we went home.  I'd made and frozen a huge Chicken Tikka Masala earlier in the week for the occasion, so we had that with rice, naan bread and poppadoms, and a slice of Mum's birthday cake.  Then - we all had a game of the board game LOGO, which was great fun.  

On the Sunday we had an easy morning, I had a sit down with a coffee and read my Kindle, and then we went back to The Berwyn Arms for our Sunday dinner.  Four of our party went for the roast dinner, which was huge and looked amazing.  The only complaint we had (which, if it's remedied immediately by staff and without grumbling - is it still a complaint?)  One of the vegetables was Cauliflower cheese.  Three of the four who ordered the roast dinners - don't eat cheese.  It had tainted everything, was in the gravy etc.  It's not something I would personally put with a roast dinner, specifically gravy, but I'm no expert.  I also don't like cheese.  We asked the waitress if we could have clean plates just to move the food off, and they insisted on taking the plates back to the kitchen and giving us three new dinners.  Which was awfully decent of them and ensured that our meal wasn't spoiled.   I really wish The Berwyn Arms was closer to home than the 50 miles away it is - we'd be spending a lot more time there!  After a hearty dessert and the kids letting off some steam again in the play area, we went home.  As we had to leave early on the Monday, due to other commitments, we packed what we could and pottered around, nobody was really hungry so we made some sandwiches and plated the leftover food and had another buffet tea.  

From the moment I went into our bedroom on arrival, I opened the small window next to the bed, as I wanted to hear the sounds of the waterfalls and streams at night.  I actually listen to this sort of stuff on my MP3 player to help me drift off to sleep when at home, so I certainly wasn't going to keep the sound shut off when I had it outside for real!  On the Monday morning, I was awake before everyone else, and I sat outside with a coffee just listening to the water and birdsong, the sky was blue and the sun was shining, and it was just perfect.  Absolutely perfect.  One of those rare moments where everything is ok with the world.  No rushing around, no cajoling children, no stress, no dishwashing, no making lunches.  Just peace.

This is a little video I took around the back of the Mill that morning.

Then, after my peace was shattered, and everyone had been fed breakfast, it was time to pack the car, and double and triple check every room, before we started on our journey back home, and back to the old routine. I don't think anyone wanted to leave, I think I could have stayed there forever to be honest!


  1. The birthday for your Mum looked to be a success. The Corn Mill looks charming.

    1. I hope she enjoyed it as much as we all did, Cindy. It truly is a magical place, and I think both times I've left there, I've left a little bit of my heart there. I really could live there, away from the insanity of suburbia - but then I suppose even if I did, housework still needs doing, kids still need school, I still need to go shopping and cook and wash... it would just be my life here - but more picturesque. Best keep it as a retirement fantasy, I think!


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