Last month, my family and I hired out the West wing of Penpont, a stately home located in Brecon, for the entire weekend.
We try and do this annually and the whole family gets together from the North & South of Wales and London for a few days of rest, relaxation, warm food and cold wine.
Anyone who knows the Beacons will know just how gorgeous a place it is. It must be the wild Welsh girl in me, but I always feel so at home in the rural hills, and Brecon is no exception.
We stayed in the Courtyard wing which is over 300 years old, as the main house is occupied by the family who own the estate. (Fab or wa?)
This part of the house sleeps 17, with a huge kitchen and living room so there was plenty of room to sprawl out and relax. Which was bliss. There was a games room in one of the outbuildings, so whilst I lounged around playing with my nieces an reading Vogue, the men in the group unleashed their inner competitive natures to battle it out on the ping pong table. I’m not just talking a little bit, I mean we would turn round on more than once occasion to find they’d snuck off for a late night game! On the Saturday, we held a Table Tennis championship, which I took part in, but was knocked out in the first round (I’ll stick to flicking through fashion magazines) The winner, my brilliant brother, was presented with a trophy at the awards ceremony, which my mother insist we open a bottle of Cava for. That moment has now become one of my all-time favourite family memories.
When we weren’t lying around, cooking, or playing table tennis, we were exploring our surroundings, which were breath-taking. The estate is just gorgeous, with a private chapel, woods, rivers, and hills which are all rural and wild and super romantic.
There are huge walled vegetable gardens too, where the family grow organic produce, which they sell in their little shop on the grounds.
We spent the entire weekend eating and drinking delicious things, and exploring the gardens. It was the perfect retreat.
I love city life, but every now and again, I just need to get out of the hustle and bustle, and into the hills. A lack of 3G meant I could totally immerse myself in it, which was lush. And I didn’t even miss Tiwtter or Facebook… (Ok, maybe the fresh air’s gone to my head!)
If you too are looking to escape, I cannot recommend the place enough.
Prices – 2014
For 2 Nights – £1050
For 3 Nights – £1250
Weekly – £1650
Christmas & New Year – £1950
Powys LD3 8EU, Wales.
All photographs taken by me