Author Archives: Amy

Gwalia Cabin Cake (A Poem by Sarah Grass)

Sarah and Lee came to stay in early March and Sarah wrote this wonderful poem, we were absolutely delighted to receive it. It makes me smile every time I read it. It feels like she captured everything we hope that our guests enjoy about staying in the Cabin. She agreed to let us put it here for all to enjoy!

There’s a photo of Sarah at the top lake enjoying the wintry weather.

SarahGwalia Cabin Cake
(The recipe for a slice of heaven!)

In the middle of nowhere, off the
beaten track is a little slice of heaven,
the Gwalia Farm wooden shack.
Tucked away amongst the hills and the
Silver birch, you can watch the clouds
roll by and listen to the birds that perch.
As they serenade you, the winds melody as
the strings, you become enchanted with the
echo from the springs.
Leave behind the daily grind and pack it
all away, forget about the mundane things
as the night closes in on the day.
Sit and breathe the cool crisp air and
watch the water ripple, enjoy the moons
pale spotlight with your favourite tipple.
Unwind inside this haven as the fire crackles
and sends out an amber glow, you wont want
to burst this bubble to pack your things and go.
When you wake in the morn there’s a drizzle of
snow on the lake, just like a fine mist of
icing sugar dusted onto a cake.
Looking out to the banks with their thick
mossy rug, you sit on the porch with a
steaming hot mug, you think about this
glorious view and now you have a reason,
you must return to see it’s wonder
in the summer season!

Sarah Grass (03/03/15)

I Do…

28th May 2011 was a wonderful day here at Gwalia as it was the day when the lovely Amy and I became Mrs and Mrs, or rather Ms and Ms as we prefer it.  I write this because having had so many people want to come here for a romantic getaway, it seems only fitting that we tell you about our own little celebration.

 To start with, it rained all week in the run up to our Saturday wedding.  It even rained all morning and so there was much concern about whether we were entirely sane to organise a wedding in a field in Wales.    Nonetheless, the marquee was up, the bunting was hung, the bouncy castle was waiting in the wings and we were ready.  The place looked fantastic.   Friends and family arrived from all over the UK, many of whom pitched their tents in our little campsite and the whole event felt like going to an amazing festival with all of your mates.  In fact the event was unofficially deemed “Wedfest”.

Come lunchtime, as we rather nervously got dressed and make-uped and haired, the skies began to clear.  Yes, actual blue skies.   It felt like a good omen.  As the guests assembled on the lawn, seated on picnic rugs and plastic chairs, we were sitting in the cabin all ready to make the dramatic entrance.  It was magical.  The sun was streaming through the green leaves making them glow brightly and the yellow iris’ were blooming on tall green stems by the lake.  We weren’t even living in Gwalia at that time but I knew then, as I was about to enter the Chandler family, that this place would become a big part of my future.

As we stepped into the throng of well-known faces, through the specially made willow archway, 2 red kites circled high over-head.  The celebrant welcomed us all to this beautiful green place and in what seemed like a blink of an eye, we were married.  Forever!  We kissed and then ran gleefully towards the bouncy castle for a celebratory bounce.  The rest of the day passed by in a bit of a blur really.  Everyone was sitting about the marquee, eating from picnic hampers and drinking wine, whilst the usual speeches and merriment ensued.  An evening ceilidh from the local band gave way to random disco classics and as we lit the bonfire, we danced and sang our way beyond the setting sun.

Over by the cabin, Harry got the barbecue going to feed the hungry hoards while our friends secretly decorated the cabin for us.  We spent the night there, which at that point was very, very different from its current state.  It was however, as special as ever to wake up to the sounds of the birds chirping cheerfully to herald a new day.

The photos in the gallery below were all taken by local, awarding winning photographer Tina Jones who is lovely! 

The Gwalia Wine Vaults

[singlepic id=58 w=220 float=left] Since arriving at Gwalia we have started to get keen on the ‘good life’ of making stuff, some such stuff is wine. This isn’t really a new idea. Harry and Livy used to make wine when I was little so there’s a fair amount of bottles and equipment tucked away at the back of one of the barns. I went exploring!

[singlepic id=55 w=220 float=right] We were surprised to discover a very, very old looking bottle of wine. “Let’s try it!” I said. Thinking about it, we have calculated that the wine is probably 25 years old (at least), Harry and Livy stopped making wine c.1988 so let’s discover if this was a vintage year…

I had some difficulty persuading the others to try. We identified it as crab-apple wine, it had a very dry, sherry-like smell – not too bad. It looks great, clear and colourful a deep amber it reminds me of a yummy dessert wine.  However “dessert wine” was not a good thing to be thinking when tasting this one, it was really, very dry and had a slightly pungent flavour. Here’s Dee after I persuaded her to try –

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We tried adding lemonade to sweeten it up a bit. This made it clear that it was crab apple wine, it tasted and smelled like cider. Much more palatable as it lost the dryness but unfortunately maintained the pungent slightly off flavour. Here’s Dee with the lemonade added –

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We threw it away and endeavoured to make our own.  Probably not worth ageing this stuff for 25 years though.

Have a look at the wine-making gallery here