The World Drinks Awards, which runs the annual competition, only selects the best internationally recognised style of drinks.
Ellen Wakelam, co-founder of In the Welsh Wind, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, said: “We’re delighted to see Dewi Sant, from our Eccentric Spirits range, be recognised in this way.
“It’s a herbaceous gin with fennel notes and works equally well in cocktails as it does in a refreshing G&T. Dewi Sant also won a gold medal in the Global Gin Masters 2022 too, so it’s flying high!”
In the Welsh Wind Distillery produces a range of award-winning spirits including its Signature Style Gin, Cask-Aged Palo Cortado Gin and its newest addition Three Grain Vodka.
The Eccentric Collection, which uses a range of Welsh botanicals in its six gins, also includes Cardi Bay Vodka and Black Batch Rum.
The World Gin Awards ‘World Best’ winners will be announced on February 23.
Baroness Bloomfield with Montgomeryshire MP Craig Williams and Open Newtown chief executive Stuart Owen at Hafan yr Afon on Friday.
Baroness Bloomfield, Wales Office spokesperson in the House of Lords, has praised the achievements of Open Newtown, a community focused development trust, during a visit to Newtown.
Accompanied by Craig Williams, Montgomeryshire MP, Baroness Sater and Russell George, MS for Montgomery, she met Open Newtown’s chief executive Stuart Owen and Mollie George, building manager of Hafan yr Afon, the town’s new riverside community and visitor centre.
Mr Owen gave a presentation about the history of Open Newtown, starting with public engagement to discover what the townspeople would most like to see in their town. Open Newtown is now supported by 30 community organisations.
In 2019, 130 acres of green space and river in Newtown were transferred from Powys County Council to the Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn Town Council and sublet to Open Newtown, which secured £1.1 million funding from the National Lottery Community Fund Wales to support projects.
Open Newtown must invest this money by December this year to establish the town as a destination to benefit businesses, local people and the wider community. To unlock the economic potential of the green spaces and river, opportunities are being created for sports, recreation, events, well-being, tourism and the local economy and community.
One of Open Newtown’s successful projects is Hafan yr Afon, described by Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford as a “striking, landmark building” on the banks of the River Severn.
Hafan yr Afon received funding support from the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government, the National Lottery Community Fund Wales, the town council and Powys County Council.
Mr Owen listed an extensive programme of both indoor and outdoor events planned for Newtown in 2023, including a 10K run on May 21.
“I am really impressed by what Open Newtown has achieved,” said Baroness Bloomfield, making her first visit to the town. “This is an example of what you can do when you get the local council on side and everybody pulls together. If you don’t get that, nothing happens.”
Mr Williams said: “It was great to bring my colleagues to Open Newtown to show them what happens when you bring the community and funding together. It was good to talk about what’s next for Newtown because the job is not done yet and Open Newtown has my full support.”
Mr Owen said it was encouraging to receive positive comments from the politicians about Open Newtown’s achievement and future plans.
“The feedback we are receiving about Hafan yr Afon and our other projects is fantastic,” he added. “People have such a great experience when they visit Newtown and they take that away with them.
“Open Newtown has even been described as ‘inspirational’ by community leaders from other parts of Wales, which is lovely to hear.”
Tourism, hospitality, attraction and activity businesses across Mid Wales are being encouraged to be creative to capitalise on this year’s theme adopted by Visit Wales, “Llwybrau. Wales, by Trails”.
Val Hawkins, chief executive of MWT Cymru (Mid Wales Tourism), believes the theme, which encourages both visitors and residents to explore epic trails, is perfectly suited to Powys, Ceredigion and Southern Snowdonia.
MWT Cymru - https://www.visitmidwales.co.uk/ - represents around 600 tourism, hospitality, attraction and activity businesses across the rural heartland of Wales.
Visit Wales, the tourism arm of the Welsh Government, wants trails to be the springboard into exciting experiences and new opportunities. The theme aims to encourage visitors and residents to find forgotten treasures, embrace journeys of the senses and make memories along pathways around attractions, activities, landscapes and coastlines.
From works of art to mountains, from coast to castles and from Welsh food and drink to stargazing in Dark Skies, there are trails for all businesses to link themselves with and for visitors and residents to enjoy.
“Following the pandemic, people are seeking curated experiences that reconnect them to heritage, culture, nature, community or something else altogether,” explained Val.
“They want inspiration, recommendations and interlinked, tailored selections - cherry-picked trips rather than infinite choices. “Whether the trail is a path through dense ancient woodland, a section of the Wales Coast Path, a culture crawl linking arts venues together or a food-fuelled walking route around local producers’ eateries, there’s a way to find a trail to suit all occasions, interests and businesses.
“In Mid Wales, there have always been trails - be they trails connecting landmarks together, trails through the great outdoors or trails weaved through language, culture and ancestry. 2023 is a call for us to celebrate Wales’ trails, from the well-trodden to the brand new, and to open up our country for all to enjoy.
“This year holds massive potential for Mid Wales and I am encouraging our member businesses to be creative and innovative in putting together a whole range of attractive options for visitors, from traditional walking and heritage trails to taste and stargazing trails.
“There are lots of opportunities for businesses to engage with communities, other businesses and visitors for their mutual benefit.”
MWT Cymru wants its members to make use of trails all year round to breathe new life into activities and events.
They are being encouraged to embrace the seasons, pair up with activity providers with ready-made trails, offer a flexible trail itinerary that can be changed to suit the weather, create historical trails by linking up with museums and events, use existing trails to run guided tours of historic buildings and use Welsh words along trails to increase visitor engagement.
Mid Wales has many areas with truly Dark Skies protected from light pollution, where people can enjoy the wonders of stargazing. The Elan Valley is an International Dark Sky Park, the Cambrian Mountains has many accessible Dark Sky Discovery Sites and both the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia National Parks have been designated International Dark Sky Reserves.
Businesses are encouraged to offer stargazing-related trails and events, such as the self-guided Cambrian Mountains Astro Trail.
Focusing on unique Welshness, ‘only in Wales’ trails that have a real sense of place are suggested. The trails can be based on the area where a business is located, its history, heritage and use of the Welsh language.
Taste trails are another popular way of engaging with visitors, allowing businesses in destinations to work together to showcase Welsh cuisine through food and drink, cooking workshops and food presentations.
Many existing walking, running and cycling trails across Mid Wales offer fantastic opportunities to explore the great outdoors. For example, the region includes sections of Offa’s Dyke Path, Glyndŵr’s Way, the Cambrian Way and the Wales Coast Path.
The region is also perfect for water-based trails including kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, coasteering, surfing, rafting and wild swimming. Mucky trails could include gorge walking, assault courses, paintballing, bog snorkelling and wild running.
For those interested in trails on wheels, Mid Wales has ideal locations for mountain biking, cycling, quad biking and guided off-road motorcycling. High and low trails comprise climbing, abseiling, caving / potholing and zip lining.
In addition to walking trails, there is geocaching, orienteering, foraging, birdwatching and running.
Wildlife is another big visitor attraction and Mid Wales has many nature reserves, rivers, lakes, two National Parks and the Cambrian Mountains within its catchment. Tourism businesses are being encouraged to create trails celebrating their nearby flora and fauna, which might include the once Red Kite, osprey, bottlenose dolphins and otter.
This triathlon is an Always Aim High Community Event, with profits going towards supporting local projects, charities and community groups.
On Saturday, March 25, Harlech also hosts the World's Steepest Street Run from the bottom of Harlech Castle steps, starting with a gradient of no more than 37%.
The triathlon begins at 8am the following day and comprises a 400-metre swim in Harlech swimming pool, followed by a beautiful 21.5km cycle and an impressive 5.5km run, with a final stretch along the beach to the famous ‘Storm the Castle” finish.
Ed Glover, Salop Leisure’s marketing manager, said: “We are delighted to support the Harlech Sprint Triathlon, an event which brings thousands of people to the town and grows every year.
“Having three holiday parks in the area, it Is vital that we support local events like this which help put Harlech on the map.”
Harlech Triathlon chairman Dave Sullivan said: “Our triathlon is very well supported and tends to sell out weeks before the event. Many of the triathletes tell me it’s their favourite because of the scenic location, the beach run, finish inside the castle and the organisation.
“We are very grateful for the continued sponsorship and support from Salop Leisure who have always been great supporters of our Harlech community. Hopefully, the triathlon will help to promote the company’s holiday parks and their 5 star luxurious rental holiday cottages promoted via Dioni website.”
Any businesses interested in sponsoring the triathlon are asked to contact Mr Sullivan by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 07730822280.
In the Welsh Wind distillery founders Ellen Wakelam and Alex Jungmayr with Hairy Bikers Dave Myers and Si King.
Welsh distillery In the Welsh Wind has recorded its best-ever sales after appearing on the Hairy Bikers Go Local TV series.
The Ceredigion distillery had a surge of interest in its spirits and its Welsh Cask Vinegar after the Hairy Bikers show aired on Thursday last week – resulting in a huge 400% increase in sales over the weekend compared to its peak Christmas trading.
Website traffic also hit a new high as viewers logged on to buy the vinegar. The Hairy Bikers duo of Si King and Dave Myers selected the vinegar as one of a trio of innovative local products to match with a neighbouring restaurant.
The distillery, located near Cardigan, produced its first Welsh Cask Vinegar in 2021, using unsold beer that was going to be poured away due to the Covid-19 lockdowns.
A collaboration with Bluestone Brewing Co and Orkney Craft Vinegar produced the Welsh Cask Vinegar, which is softer and more complex on the palette, meaning it can be used in the kitchen as a salad dressing and also in cocktails.
This versatility saw the distillery sell out of its entire stock almost instantly, while its award-winning Palo Cortado cask-aged gin and Dewi Sant gin also proved a big hit with online buyers.
In the Welsh Wind co-founder Ellen Wakelam said: "We have been truly overwhelmed by the response we had to our appearance on The Hairy Bikers Go Local.
“We spoke to some of the other businesses who had appeared on earlier episodes and they told us that they had seen a huge surge in demand – so we were ready.
“We took the precaution of pre-packing most of our vinegar for posting before the programme aired which gave us a head start but we still had an intensive day packing up all the orders we received - only to find that our courier's van broke down!
“Thankfully, there wasn’t much impact and the orders are on their way to our customers!”
The Hairy Bikers Go Local series, which ran for eight consecutive nights on BBC 2, was filmed in July 2021.
In the Welsh Wind’s Welsh Cask Vinegar was introduced to the owners of The Stackpole Inn and head chef Matt Waldron, who sources local products for the gastro-pub menu.
After trying the Welsh Cask Vinegar, Matt said it was ‘100 percent’ something they would consider using.
Ellen added: “We enjoyed meeting Dave and Si and introducing the distillery to them. We hope through the show that more people will have enjoyed finding out about the distillery, our products and the area where we're based.”
The distillery will be producing more of its Welsh Cask Vinegar to keep up with demand.
For the latest news and updates from In the Welsh Wind follow the company on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Pictured with the new window vinyl installation in South Street, Rhayader. are Rhayader 2000 chair Kerena Pugh, secretary Bill Stow and Tom Jones of Hafod Hardware, designer of the new Rhayader branding and vinyl design.
The directors of Rhayader 2000 have commissioned a promotional film and four short films to showcase the town and its new branding - “Rhayader - The Outdoors Capital of Wales”.
The filming has begun and will continue during the year, showing the different seasons and activities on offer. The new branding, designed by local artist Tom Jones of Hafod Hardware, has increased awareness, helped by a new website and social media presence.
During a busy 2022, Rhayader 2000 board set out its vision and values. The vision is to work to ensure that Rhayader is a flourishing and unique place to live, to do business and to visit.
Its values are inclusive, supporting and promoting the well-being of all local residents, businesses and visitors.
The board emphases that it listens to and respects all views, welcomes change, is creative in its approach, is friendly and collaborative, works with Rhayader Town Council, businesses and other partners to achieve its vision and cares about the environment of the town and surrounding area.
Rhayader 2000’s work during 2022 focused on continuing to implement its strategic plan objectives and strengthening the new branding by working in close collaboration with the town council.
The board is keen to increase its work with local businesses, forming a stronger communication and ‘working together ethos’ to help Rhayader grow even further.
A new window design vinyl has been installed in South Street, to remind drivers passing through the town, what a wonderful place Rhayader is to stop and take a break.
A Totem Interactive Board, installed in the town centre in January 2022, has provided visitors with access to Rhayader website to find information on what to do, where to stay and eat from businesses that are listed. New businesses are asked to subscribe and current subscribers are encouraged to continue their much valued contribution.
The board is looking forward to Rhayader benefitting from new signage throughout the town after working with town and Powys county councillors and Powys Highways.
Rhayader was very colourful and vibrant during the summer months thanks to a hanging basket scheme. A new Rhayader Town Guide, Rhayader Town Trail and the three Rhayader Walking leaflets have all been redesigned using the new branding and logo.
Another important role of the board is to deliver the Ted Taylor Travel Fund legacy to help local young people living within a five mile radius of Rhayader to travel abroad.
Following the relaxation of Covid travel restrictions, the board announced an increase in the upper age limit for qualification to 23 until July 2023 to help young people who missed the opportunity to apply to the fund during the two years of lockdown.
Applications can be made via www.rhayader.co.uk//ted-taylor-travel-fund . Kenneth Rees, a recipient of the legacy, has made a short video to highlight the travel fund’s opportunities.
Rhayader 2000’s future work will focus on the vision and values, showcasing all the wonderful aspects of Rhayader and the surrounding area.
“The work to date would have been impossible without the support of the entirely volunteer board, town councillors Rhys Thomas and Jane Narborough, former county councillor Kelvyn Curry and new county councillor Angela Davies,” said Rhayader 2000 chair Kerena Pugh.
To contact Rhayader 2000 for information, please email email@example.com
Musician Keith Donald joins the award-winning poet and playwright Damian Gorman at Y Tabernacl, Machynlleth on February 1.
Legendary Irish saxophone and clarinet player Keith Donald joins the award-winning poet and playwright Damian Gorman for a one-off evening of music and poetry at Y Tabernacl, Machynlleth on February 1.
Donald, from the Irish band Moving Hearts, will be crossing the Irish Sea specially to join local poet and playwright Gorman for a unique event supported by The Tabernacle and Penrallt Bookshop, Machynlleth.
This is a unique event on the theme of negotiating trauma and opening new chapters of healing for St. Brigid’s Day, a day of healing and protection and the seasonal festival of Imbolc, passing from the darkness of winter into the warmer light of spring.
These two vastly experienced artists work together to find ways to resolve profound difficulties into joyous release through words and music.
Donald is one of Ireland's master musicians. While best known for his work with Moving Hearts, he has played with some of the biggest names in music, including Gerry Mulligan, Van Morrison, Zoot Sims, Ronnie Drew and Christy Moore.
His contribution to the evening will draw on his one-man show consisting of verse, prose and music, NewBliss. This tells the story of his professional life, through story, verse, jazz and blues, from his first public performance on BBC Radio at the age of 10 to playing high profile gigs in North America, Africa and every major European city and his own struggle with alcohol addiction.
A composer for theatre, film and television, he composed and played the soundtrack for Neil Jordan's muti award-winning film Angel starring Stephen Rea. As well as theatre work with Gorman, he wrote the music for Frank McGuinness's Carthaginians.
While born and reared in Co. Down, Gorman now lives in Glandyfi, near Machynlleth. As well as being a poet and playwright, he has been an encourager of writing in others for most of his working life, including at Ty Newydd, the National Writers' Centre of Wales.
His contributions to the evening will draw on his selected poems and memoir, As If I Cared and So Young, his rendering of his brother Gerard's life story (Blackstaff Press, 2022) which led the Irish Times to remark that 'words cannot do Gorman justice'.
Donald and Gorman have been friends and regular artistic collaborators for more than 30 years. Among the pieces they have worked on together are the BBC network documentaries Drink Talking and Great Journeys: Mexico and the short film United, winner of BBC Northern Ireland's first ever BAFTA.
Their occasional live performances together have included sold-out shows at the Seamus Heaney Homeplace and the Project Arts Theatre. They have also shared a bill at the National Concert Hall in Dublin and are delighted to be adding Y Tabernacl, Machynlleth to the list.
Tickets available online at: https://moma.cymru/en/e/the-player-and-the-poet/ or through our Box office: 01654 703355 / firstname.lastname@example.org
£8.00 Standard/£5.00 concession
This event has been made possible through the generous support of the Night Out scheme run by the Arts Council for Wales.
A perfect New Year’s present has been delivered to a multi-million pound luxury glamping resort in Mid Wales which is focused on the health and wellbeing of its ‘staycationing’ guests.
Love2Stay Mid Wales at Caersws, near Newtown is celebrating the news that Visit Wales has awarded the resort a five star grading.
Overlooking the picturesque upper Severn Valley, Love2Stay Mid Wales aims to make visitors feel totally in harmony with nature by helping them to relax and unwind in the peaceful location.
The £7.5 million resort, which is being developed in three phases by owners Trevor and Patricia Bebb, has an indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam and treatment rooms, well-equipped fitness suite, reception area, coffee shop and outdoor beach area as its centrepiece.
The first phase of development includes 31 luxury glamping lodges, each with their own hot tub, two play areas for children of different ages, a nature play area and a recreational lake for water sports.
All the accommodation, which includes a dozen Black Barns, six Woodland Lodges, nine Hillside Cabins and four Wren’s Nest double lodges, are available to be booked online by visiting the Love2Stay Mid Wales profile on Hoseasons.
When fully developed, the resort will have 125 glamping lodges which will allow families and couples to escape from their busy lives into the tranquillity of the Mid Wales countryside.
Designed to maximise its valley side location, the resort is the Mid Wales equivalent of the original, successful Love2Stay resort in Shrewsbury, which is operated by Salop Leisure.
“We are delighted to receive the five star grading from Visit Wales which is a reward for the investment and hard work that has gone in to develop our resort,” said Mr Bebb.
“Having, from the outset, strived to achieve the highest standards at the resort, it’s very satisfying that the Visit Wales inspector has recognised the quality that we offer to our guests.
“Since we opened Love2Stay Mid Wales last August, the response we have received from guests has been very encouraging and we continue to develop the resort.”
The Visit Wales grading report said: "Love2Stay Mid Wales has a superb location in Mid Wales, the park is extremely well presented and features hot tubs and fully furnished, high quality rentals.
“The main building is attractive and the leisure facilities, including the spa, are exceptional. Great for a weekend break or a family gathering. The play areas and outdoor activities, including the lake, are really a highlight."
Free wi-fi is available across the resort but Love2Stay Mid Wales wants to encourage guests to put away their digital devices and spend quality time together enjoying the facilities, the spectacular scenery and the great outdoors.
The 28-acre site, on which the resort is being developed, was previously home to Mid Wales Golf Centre.
“The resort has been carefully designed to give the glamping lodges a great view over the Severn Valley and surrounding countryside,” added Mr Bebb. “We are keen to work with other local businesses to ensure that we all benefit from this development and I would like to thank everybody who has supported us.
“Our guests are encouraged to explore the local villages of Caersws and Llandinam, the nearby towns of Newtown and Llanidloes and the many attractions that Mid Wales has to offer.”
Some of the exhibitors from Wonderwool Wales 2022.
More than 230 exhibitors have booked their places at this year’s Wonderwool Wales, the award-winning show that celebrates all that’s great about Welsh wool and natural fibres.
Buoyed by support from the Wales Cultural Recovery Fund, the organisers are delighted with the positive response from exhibitors to the 17th show, which will be held at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells on April 22 and 23.
The show hopes to feature five knitted maps and a record breaking longest scarf, more details of which will be release closer to the event.
Tickets for the show, which traditionally attracts more than 6,000 visitors, can be purchased online in advance at www.wonderwoolwales.co.uk. There will also be tickets for sale at the gate. Tickets cost £12 per day or £22 for the weekend.
With 36 new exhibitors confirmed, there will be plenty for visitors to see and do at Wonderwool Wales, which was judged best event in Mid Wales at the inaugural Mid Wales Tourism Awards in 2019.
Wonderwool Wales was first held in 2006 to promote the market for Welsh wool and to add value to products made by small wool and fibre producers in Wales.
The festival celebrates the green credentials of Welsh wool and its versatility as a material for creative crafts, designer clothes, home furnishings and more.
Wonderwool Wales covers everything from the start to the end of the creative process. Exhibits of sheep, raw and hand dyed fibres, yarn for knitting and crochet, embellishments, equipment, dyes and books can be found alongside superb examples of finished textile art, craft, clothing and home furnishings.
For those seeking creative inspiration, there will be demonstrations and have-a-go sessions hosted by some exhibitors. When the shopping is done, there will be plenty of tea and coffee stops and a tempting selection of refreshments from Street Food vendors.
Many visitors grab the chance to attend one of the ever-popular Woolschool workshops and learn or perfect their skills with help from an expert. These are available to book on line.
“After the two year absence enforced by the Covid-19 pandemic, we were delighted to bring back Wonderwool Wales last year,” said Chrissie Menzies, a director of Wonderwool Wales. “After receiving so many positive messages about the show, we are delighted that an extra 36 exhibitors have booked to attend this year.”
Find out more about the 2023 show at www.wonderwoolwales.co.uk or like Wonderwool Wales Ltd on Facebook or follow on Twitter @wonderwoolwales
The Corris is a member of the Great Little Trains of Wales and Heritage Railways Association (HRA).
A spokesman said Corris Railway is delighted to be shortlisted and recognised for work carried out by its volunteers all year round. The volunteers are hoping that readers will vote for the railway.
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