Thanks to Pedlars, I won tickets to go to a unique new festival over the weekend, created by Cerys Matthews and Charlie and Caroline Gladstone called ‘The Good Life Experience‘. It was one day of culture, music, good food and the great outdoors held on the Gladstone estate in Hawarden in Flintshire. On the Friday evening, we were on the guest list at The Glynne Arms to be sung to and have poetry read to us by Cerys, then for a deliciously fresh last-of-the-summer sharing meal put together by Aussie chef Bill Granger. Cerys’ Welsh songs made me very emotional, as it reminded me of my grandma and I was inspired by the Granny Smith apple incorporated into the crushed chive potatoes! After camping overnight, in the morning I did some archery and yoga, met Charlie Gladstone, discovered nice products by Best Made Co. and drank craft beer for lunch with Beer Bods. In the afternoon, we had a coffee brewing masterclass by London coffee roasters AllPress, bread making with Tom Herbert from The Fabulous Baker Bros and shared in the joy of baking vegetable cakes with Harry Eastwood. Around the site were craft tents for learning how to tie knots, stitch tote bags, screen print and even a vintage fairground. The atmosphere in the music tent was lively and this echoed across the festival with lots of families and dogs wandering around, with kids especially enjoying camp fires and activities. Sorry my photos aren’t fantastic but hopefully they show a little taste of the good life.
Last weekend, my husband Matt and I took ourselves off to Flintshire and Cheshire for a mini-break. We had chosen to go here for two reasons only – to eat at The Glynne Arms and visit the Hawarden Estate farm shop. And we did both.
The Glynne Arms in Hawarden is owned by the same family that owns brilliant homewares company Pedlars, whose products and style I’ve liked for ages. I knew that the interior would therefore be well-done, stylish and relaxed, and it certainly was. The walls were painted cool greens and greys and dotted with screen printed typographic framed posters, industrial vintage metal lamps hung from the ceilings, and Welsh tapestry patterned fabric cushions were on the benches in the bar. Aside from all this, it was the food that really made it all worth blogging about. I ordered…
Starter: Soused mackerel with a fennel and carrot salad and saffron mayonnaise
Main: Gnocchi with sweet potato, chestnut mushrooms, broccoli, parmesan and basil pesto
Dessert: Blackberry mouse sandwiched between a shortbread biscuit and apple crumble topped with blackberry icecream
Each meal was presented beautifully, the mains arrived on hot plates and it all tasted great. We were expecting good gastro pub style grub but were actually given nearer fine dining for decent pub prices. The staff also were pleasant and service was quick. Overall a fantastic evening’s dining experience and we really hope to go again.