CONWY

Conwy Castle
The third day of our North Wales tour, after a short stop at St. Asaph, we arrived at Conwy. Conway is recognised by the UNESCO as the World Heritage.

The castle of Conwy is one of the most beautiful of the Welsh castles, and probably the best preserved one, including the monumental town wall. In this photo is the walk on top of the wall, and one of the city gates with twin towers. You need to buy a ticket, but it is free to walk on the wall.

Conwy Castle
This is also a part of the town wall. It remined me of the town wall of Istanbul and the Crusader castles in Greece. The town centre of Conwy is completely enclosed by the town wall. You might be able to recognise the castle itself in the upper right side of this photo. I wanted to take photos of the castle, but it was huge and I could not get put it into the frame. I should have parked the car before entring the town to get the full view of the castle.

This also is one of Edward I's castles, and the construction started in 1283 by the master mason James of St. George.
The Smallest House
This is "The Smallest House in Britain", that you can find just outside of the town wall facing to the sea. It is 3.05m high and 1.8m wide. Its status is recognised by the Guinness Book.

There were many curious British in front of it, and although we waited for 10 minutes or so, I could not get any photo without people in front. There was (it seems she always is) a rather eccentric looking elder woman in front explaing about the house to the tourists. The building dates back to the 16th century and had been inhabited until about 1900. The worst thing about this house is the absence of toilets.

Castle Hotel, Conwy
At 11:50, we visited the Castle Hotel for lunch (see at the end of this page for address and phone number).

We looked for a nice place to eat for about an hour of the sightseeing, and this is the only one looked promising to us. There are several cafés and chippies, but we wanted something nice, as we did not eat any decent meal since the first day lunch time. There were a couple of other restaurants, but they were open only in the evening (including Bistro Conwy where we wanted to go.

The exterior of the building is mostly of the 19th century, but it is a historic building of which tradition dates back to the 14th century. Consequently the interior is very traditional and gorgeous. I started to feel anxious worrying how much I should end up in paying, even though I checked the price on the menu outside (it is poorman's psychology; sad, init?)

Fish Pie, Conwy
We at at the bar area. The larger hotels in Britain often have, apart from the main dining room, bar/lounge area where light(er) meals are served for more affordable price. It is often very convenient, not only for the price, but also because the dress code is more relaxed, the opening hours are often longer (all day in some cases), and also because you are not constrained to eat two courses (it is even possible that one person eats and the other has a drink only, as it is technically a bar).

It was empty when we entered at 10 to 12, but as soon as the noon came, many people arrived in threes and fours, and it got filled up soon.

Broccoli, Conwy
I ordered Fish Pie (£8.95; above) and butter sautéed broccoli with rarebit (£1.95).

Notice how my folk looks small in comparison to the dish. It came in a huge quantity (real man's portion it is). Below the cheese crust and rich mushed potato, there are chunks of white fish and salmon, large prawns, and some shell fish. It was extravagant! Although it was really good, I had to give a portion to a friend as it was too much. I ordered the broccoli as I wanted to see the Welsh rarebit (Welsh cheese toast), but as far as this one goes, I did not understand the real charm of it.

Butcher, Edwards, Conwy
After the lunch, we went to this butcher, Edwards, also standing on High Street as well as the Castle Hotel. It is a handsome shop selling beautiful meats, cheeses, pies and other delicatessen stuff. If you are looking for a cheap but locally produced lunch, or if you are looking for a snack, you can buy pies and pasties here.

Cheese, Edwards, Conwy
What I wanted buy was local cheese. The girl who served us cut smaller pieces without fuss. We ate them at home, and were pretty good.

We were attracted also by meats, but as we were not going back directly to home, and as we did not have ice-bag, we gave up the idea of buying it.

Oggie
These pies are not of the Edwards', but from a nearby bakery.

I wanted to take a photo of the Welish pasties, oggies. £2.60 for one is not cheap, but it is quite large and it can easily stand for a light lunch. Maybe it is not a bad value (but it depends on the quality of the pie and filling, so it is difficult to tell). I should have tried it to report, but I really don't like this type of pies. Thus a photo only.

After the satisfactory meal, we headed again for Betws-y-Coed, this time hoping for a better weather condition for walking

Castle Hotel
Address: High Street, Conwy LL32 8DB
Telephone: 01492 582800
Fax: 01492 582300
Website: www.castlewales.co.uk


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