Archive for the ‘Dragon Posts’ Category

Celebrate the Festive Season at The Dragon Hotel!

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Celebrate Christmas 2015 in style at Swansea’s favourite hotel. Whether it’s for an office party, family get-together or just meeting old friends, we can offer you the best Christmas dining experience in Swansea.

Full details of our events for 2015 will be published shortly. Should you like a Christmas Brochure mailed to you, make a reservation or require any further information please call our Events Team on 01792 657100, or email
We hope we’ll have the pleasure of welcoming you this Festive Season.

Wind St. on New Year’s Eve: Where to Go

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

swansea

(image: Wales Online)

If you’re wondering what to do in Swansea this New Year’s Eve, then Wind St. might just have the answer! It’s the perfect spot for painting the town red and ringing in the New Year in style; here are our top picks of the best spots to celebrate NYE this year:

Revolution

If copious amounts of vodka is your idea of the perfect NYE party then head over to Revolution. This year, they have three party packages for you and your friends to choose from – each of them guaranteeing a good night:
• The Big Ben Package: Perfect for groups of 10, this package is priced from £110 per group and includes: two bottles of Prosecco, a sink full of Peroni, and ten flavoured vodka shots.
• The Times Square Package: If you want a little more liquid, then the Time Square package starts at £210 per group and includes: one bottle of Stoli vodka, two bottles of Prosecco, a Peroni sink, and ten shots of their famous vodka.
• The Harbour Bridge Package: This package is labelled as ‘Glitz, glamour and a damn good party’ and it’s easy to see why; with prices starting at £425 per group, you’ll enjoy: two bottles of Grey Goose vodka, three bottles of Perrier Jouet champagne, a sink crammed full of Peroni, and of course, ten tasty vodka shots.
All of the above packages come with queue jump and table service, making it a great night out with friends.

No Sign Wine Bar

If live music is more your scene then No Sign Wine Bar have the NYE party for you; The Offbeats, a local funk and rock band, will be welcoming in the New Year with a live set in The Vault. Doors open at 9pm and entry is free, so go ahead and check it out.

Pitcher and Piano

If you want a touch of elegance while ringing in the New Year, then round up your friends and take them to the Pitcher and Piano to enjoy fine wine and cocktails. You can get glammed up and enjoy NYE P&P style as you toast to 2015.

Wind Street really is the place to be in Swansea for New Year; whether you choose one of our top picks above, or whether you party the night away in Varsity, Walkabout, Yates, or Ice Bar, we hope you have a fantastic time.

Happy New Year from The Dragon Hotel.

The 50th Annual Santa Swim in Porthcawl

Friday, December 19th, 2014

xmasswim

(image: Wales Online)

The annual Porthcawl Christmas morning swim is now in its 50th year, with this year’s event set to be the biggest yet. Will you be one of the merry lunatics to embrace the freezing waters to raise money for some very worthwhile causes this year? Swimmers can register online or just turn up on the day, and there is no minimum distance that you have to swim. There’s also no set time limit on how long you have to spend in the water either, so there’s really no excuses!

Registration begins at 10:30, even if you have already completed the registration process online you will still need to let the organisers know that you have arrived. The hour or so before the swim begins offers you plenty of opportunity to soak up the atmosphere and meet your fellow swimmers. One or two star jumps probably wouldn’t go amiss either! The swim itself begins at 11:45 and the swimmers run down to the water from the Hi-Tide pub on the beachfront.

Get Wet for a Great Cause

The main beneficiary of the year’s event will be Ty Hafan, a fantastic charity that supports the families of children with life limiting illnesses. There are also a number of other charities that will be supported by the swim this year, and people are asked to nominate any organisation that they feel would benefit from the fundraising that will take place at next year’s event.

Participants are encouraged to ask for sponsorships for taking part in the event, and it is this money which is passed on to the charities that the event is supporting. Every little bit helps, so make sure that you embrace social media, call on your neighbours and get friends and family to dig deep in order to bolster the coffers. Sponsorship forms are available to download from the website and people are also able to set up Just Giving pages to raise money too. Any money donated in this way will be given directly to Ty Hafan.

A Real Cross Section of a Wonderful Community

This event really is for people of all ages with a diverse mix of people attending every year, and there are often several generations of the same family taking part. People travel from all over Wales and the rest of the UK to take part in this event. This adds to the whole atmosphere of the morning and is one of the reasons why this swim remains so popular, even after fifty years.

As with so many other charity fundraisers, people are encouraged to attend the event in fancy dress and the theme for this year is clowns and Vikings, so get creative. However, if the theme doesn’t get the creative juices flowing, the organisers still encourage any form of fancy dress, so the choice is yours.

While there will always be a variety of activities in Swansea and Cardiff for you to try, this event is an example of things that you can participate in that are held in smaller Welsh towns such as Porthcawl. The Christmas swim is an annual event that gets bigger every year as its popularity continues to grow. And only a short drive from Swansea it makes the perfect day trip if you are visiting South Wales this Christmas.

The Dragon Hotel Gift Guide

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Swansea is brimming with top spots to pick up beautiful, unique gifts that your loved ones will adore. And whether you’re an organised shopper or a last-minute panic buyer, we have some inspiration for you. Take a look at our Christmas gift guide:

Handmade Trinkets and Unique Gifts

If you’re looking for unusual gifts and handmade pressies, then look no further than the Christmas Street Market; this is the perfect place to pick up arts and crafts, and bespoke and personalised gifts for your friends and family. Taking the time to peruse the stalls will really show when your loved one unwraps that heart-felt package on Christmas day.

Treats for the Foodies

 


If you’ve got a foodie in your life, then getting them something scrumptious is the obvious choice, but don’t just rush to the supermarket and grab them a box of chocolates or a cooking gift set, get them something special instead.

Pop along to So Cocoa in The Mumbles where you can choose a selection of fine chocolates to gift or something a little quirkier – why not pick up chocolate building blocks or a chocolate chess set if you’re buying for someone who’s young at heart? They’ll love it!

If your foodie doesn’t have a sweet tooth, then head to the Christmas Street Market or to one of the many delicatessens in Swansea’s Indoor Market. A nice welsh cheese and a jar of homemade chutney will surely go down a treat.

Cymru Am Byth

If you know someone who loves all things welsh, then you need to stop off at The Welsh Stall at Swansea Market; here you can choose from an array of welsh crafts and wools, perhaps even picking a love spoon for that extra special someone.

A Fine Print

Do you have a friend or family member who enjoys the finer things in life? Then what better way to cater to their tastes than with a unique print that they can proudly display in their home? Head over to the Swansea Print Shop on Clarence Street to choose an original print – they cater for an array of styles and budgets so you’re sure to find something great.

The Perfect Pamper Package

massage


And finally, if there’s someone in your life who is always on the go, someone who is always taking care of others and never leaving time for themselves, then why not treat them to a pamper package for the Dragon Hotel in Swansea? A girls pamper day out would make a divine gift, and you may even want to indulge yourself while you’re at it … after all, all this Christmas shopping is hard work!

Do you have Christmas all wrapped up yet? If you’ve found some hidden gems for picking up great Christmas gifts, then share them with us.

Christmas in Swansea: The Big Event

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

Swansea at Christmas time is magical for the whole family; whether you’re enjoying a hearty winter meal, shopping for loved ones, or enjoying the pantomime, you’ll find there are plenty of things to do in Swansea to get everyone into the festive spirit. Here’s our guide to the best Christmas events:

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

 


 

The panto is a wonderful Christmas tradition, the kind that creates childhood memories that last long into adulthood. It’s the perfect family evening out, packed with fun and laughter.

This year, Swansea is welcoming Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the Grand Theatre; the show features TV and musical star, John Partridge, comedian Matt Edwards, and Swansea’s Kevin Johns, as well as a fantastic supporting cast. It runs from the 12th December 2014 to the 11th January 2015, and tickets cost just £11.50 – £24.00. You can grab your tickets here.

Waterfront Winterland

This is one of the main Christmas attractions in Swansea – and it’s award-winning too – making it a must-visit for the whole family.

The Waterfront Winterland at Museum Park is complete with two ice rinks – the Admiral rink and one especially for the kids, as well as a magical Santa’s Grotto, an indoor café, and a festive funfair that has an exciting new ride this year for thrill seekers!
Check out the website to find out more.

Christmas Street Market

Nothing inspires the Christmas spirit like a festive street market followed by a warm cup of hot chocolate or a delicious glass of mulled wine, so what are you waiting for? Head over to Oxford Street this year to enjoy an array of stalls with handmade gifts, arts and crafts, Christmas decorations, fine foods and other festive products all up for sale.

And if you get peckish, there’s plenty to eat too – how about a delicious hog roast or a turkey roll followed by some mouth-watering crepes? And what’s more, there will be entertainment for you to enjoy while you search for those special gifts. Perfect!
The Oxford Street Christmas Market is open from Friday 28th November until Sunday 21st December, from 10am to 5:30pm each day with late night shopping on Thursdays.

Aladdin

 


As if one pantomime wasn’t enough for you, Swansea is hosting two this year! The Penyrheol Theatre will showcase Aladdin as this year’s festive production with two familiar CBBC faces centre-stage – Carmen Howle who plays Princess Jasmine and Leona Vaughan as the Slave of the Ring. You can catch Aladdin between the 11th and 23rd of December.

Those are our tops picks of Christmas attractions in Swansea this year – which ones will you be enjoying with your family?

Rhossili to Penmaen: A Walk

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Our hotel is great. But if you want to get out and about and explore the Swansea area, pull on your walking boots a warm coat, and go on a walk. The route from Rhossili Bay to Penmaen is one of the best, and passes through Britain’s first area of outstanding natural beauty.

horse
(image: Rodw under CC BY 3.0)

Essential Walking Information

Level: Strenuous
Type: Linear
Suitable For: Experienced walkers
Distance: 8 miles
Time: 4 to 5 hours

The walk from Rhossili Bay to Penmaen is known as the southern sector of the Gower Way, and is a popular walk among visiting ramblers to the area. This is mostly due to the stunning scenic views out across the sea, and the many terrains the walk passes through, including farm land and tracks, woodland and moorland.

The walk may be rather long for the inexperienced walker and therefore is defined as a strenuous route. But if you are in it for the long haul, this walk will reward you with picturesque views and panoramas, perfect for taking a few photos.

If you are planning on driving to Rhossili there is a private car park near the beach, which you can pay a small fee to park in or there are many public transport routes that pass by the area. There is also a small shop next to the car park, where you can pick up light refreshments to enjoy along your walk, as well as some public toilets, should you need them.

The Route

The walk starts off at the former Coastguard lookout near Worm’s Head, which has now been transformed into an information center. The Worm’s Head is a small tidal island, that itself is a must see attraction that brings many visitors to Swansea.

The walk is mostly in land, but will start and end at some of the best picturesque sandy beaches in the area. Along the way, keep an eye out for some of the 50 stone waymarkers that line the Gower Way. These are numbered and inscribe with the Gower Rambling Society logo, and mark the way to ensure walkers do not get lost.

Walk Highlights

The highlights of this walk are of course Worm’s Head and the two beaches either end. But there are also beautiful views out over the South Gower coast, where you can see Oxwich and Three Cliffs Bay, as well as a number of small villages.

And if you are interested in plants, you may also enjoy seeing the many indigenous flora and fauna that frequently appear along this walk.

To find out more about walking in Swansea, ask at our hotel reception, or for more information on this specific route pay a visit to the Swansea Tourist Information Centre. There are plenty of activities in Swansea, so take a look at a few of the other Dragon Posts for ideas.

Independent Swansea: The Best Boutique Stores

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

We’re going to let you in on a secret that only locals know: Swansea is great for shopping in small and independent stores. Yes there are all the regular high street stores, but if you know where to look, there are some real standout gems.

Here is our pick of our favourites in and around Swansea:

Oyster Gallery – 72 Newton Road, Mumbles, SA3 4AQ

 

The Oyster Gallery is an art store like no other. Stocked to the brim with original art work, limited edition prints and photography, there is something for every type of art-lover. And if you’re looking to display a purchase in your home, they have a picture framing service too.

Pop in for unusual greeting cards, handmade jewellery and other arts and craft gifts, perfect for presents this Christmas.

Attica – 52A Plymouth Street, Swansea City Centre, SA1 3QQ

If you are looking for something a little quirky or unusual then pay a visit to the clothing and gift shop Attica. With racks filled with pretty dresses, colourful scarves lining the walls and plenty of kooky homeware gifts, this is a great place to shop for someone who likes to stand out. It’s truly boho chic!

There’s even something for the guys – how does a clock made out of a Corona bottle sound?

So Cocoa – 28-30 Dunns Lane, Mumbles, SA3 4AA

 

 

Do you love anything and everything chocolaty? Then So Coca in the Mumbles is a must visit. Just off the main beaten track you will find the only independent chocolate shop in Swansea. With everything from luxury handmade chocolate sculptures to gourmet, small sweet treats, it’s like walking into Willy Wonka’s factory – minus the craziness!

They also stock a number of well-known brands like Booja Booja and Charbonnel, so you certainly won’t be disappointed. Make sure to try some of the desserts they serve here; there’s pastries galore!

Moustache – 5 Cradock Street, SA1 3EN

For high quality, branded gear for men, Moustache is the place to be. Every discerning gentleman shops here, with brands like Fred Smith, Lyle and Scott, plus Polo by Ralph Lauren. Your man will be the best dressed in town after a trip to this city centre store.

Cover to Cover – 58 Newton Road, Mumbles, SA3 4BQ

 

 

Cover to Cover is a well-known and established boutique book store in the centre of the Mumbles. The store has been a popular local business since it opened back in 1999, and they really know their stuff here, as the owner was once in publishing.

The store stocks a number of fiction and non-fiction, new and old titles, on a variety of subjects, and is the go-to place for their range of local books. So if you’d like to get to know the ‘real’ Swansea, pick up a book here!

Stardust Boutique – 102-104 Eversley Road, Sketty, SA2 9DF

 

 

Do you love everything that sparkles? Then you’ll adore this shop. With formal, party and prom dresses ranging from £200 to £1,000, this is a 5 star shopping experience that any girl would love.

Expect to see stock from dress designers such as Forever Unique, Sherri Hill and Jovani. All of which would be perfect for a big event such as a wedding or ball.

Arora Boutique – 64 Wind Street, SA1 1EQ

For something a little cheaper for a night on the tiles, make a trip into the city centre and to Arora Boutique. Whether you are looking for a bodycon mini or a floaty maxi dress, there is plenty to choose from.

And Arora is just around the corner from the Dragon Hotel. We’re independent too! So pay us a visit and book a room. We have plenty of special offers on in the run up to Christmas and the New Year.

Walking in a Waterfront Winter Wonderland

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014


Christmas is just a few weeks away, and we’re starting to feel Christmassy, are you? Lots of people are staying in the hotel on festive shopping breaks, and all the families are raving about the Waterfront Wonderland. So exactly what’s happening in this festive part of the city? 

Waterfront Wonderland

From November 14th 2014 to January 4th 2015, Swansea’s award winning Christmas attraction has returned for yet another annual festive celebration. Experience all of the magic of Christmas in one place, right in the heart of Swansea city.

The Waterfront Wonderland’s main attraction is the two fantastically popular outdoor ice rinks. A small children’s rink for tiny tots, and a larger rink, sponsored by Admiral, for family fun for all ages. Tickets can be purchased from the Skate House by the entrance or head down to the Swansea Tourist Information Centre.

And once you’ve hung up your skates and got back onto terra firma, who better to go and visit than Santa in his Grotto surrounded by elves.

Fancy a bite to eat, then pop into the festive indoor café. But don’t eat too much or you may feel a little queasy when you jump on the rides in the funfair.

Every year Swansea’s Waterfront Wonderland has some great rides and this year is no different with a carousel, snow storm ride and funfair, as well as the regular children’s rides, simulator and game stalls. And there’s a new addition to the fair – the Air Maxx! An exhilarating spinning ride that takes you a full 360 degrees in the air; are you tall (and brave) enough to have a go?

Swansea’s Waterfront Wonderland is open every day over the festive season, apart from Christmas Day, so there is no excuse not to visit. And at just a 10 minute short stroll from the Dragon Hotel it is the perfect activity if you are looking for things to do nearby in Swansea. 

Christmas Street Market

 

For more festive fun head over to the nearby Christmas street market on Oxford Street. From November 28th to December 21st 2015, this popular part of the city will be lined by wooden chalets in festive shades of red and green, and filled with delightful wares perfect to give as gifts.

There’s everything from handmade arts and crafts, to fine foods, and unique gifts; a little something for everyone. And why not warm up with a mug of warm mulled wine or a freshly made crepe in one of the many food stalls. Time your visit right and you may even experience some festive entertainment. 

Christmas at the Dragon Hotel

There is never a dull moment in Swansea, so if you are considering a weekend away by the sea this winter, or maybe a last minute trip to South Wales to finish off your Christmas shopping, check out our special offers here at the Dragon Hotel! But act quickly if you want to visit the Waterfront Wonderland, Christmas is nearly here, and it will soon be packed up for yet another year!

Dunvant to Gowerton: A Coastal Walk

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

dunvant

(image: Simon Mortimer under CC BY – SA 2.0)

Are you visiting us soon and trying to decide what to do in Swansea? Well, if you’re feeling active, there are plenty of stunning coastal and country walks a short drive away.

Sound like your thing? Then get out those walking boots and prepare to get a little muddy. Here’s one of our favourite routes – Dunvant to Gowerton.

Essential Walking Information

Level: Easy
Type: Circular
Suitable for: All
Distance: 2.5 miles
Time: 1 hour and a half

This is a woodland walk in the North Gower, with plenty of history and stunning views along the way. Those following the route will pass through wooded areas and fields, walking on firm ground, grass and of course some mud.

The walk from Dunvant to Gowerton forms part of route 4 of the National Cycle Network, and therefore is just as popular with bikers as it is pedestrians. So if you are bring your bikes with you, why not go for a ride?

There is free public parking at Dunvant Square where the route starts and ends, just off the B4296. And thanks to this convenient location, this is a popular and accessible walk or cycle. There is also refreshments and public toilets in this area should you need them.

Take Notice: The route crosses a busy road, there are some steps and the route has a short, steep section.

The Route

The route starts in Dunvant Square where you can park. Head down the road and passed Dunvant Social Centre, before entering the woods. Turn left at the junction of paths and continue walking up the slight slope. At the top make a right along the asphalt track and loop back round to the square. It’s that easy to navigate!

Walk Highlights

The area between Dunvant and Gowerton was once heavily industrialised, but you wouldn’t know that now with its lush, green canopy and open spaces. There were once collieries, brickworks and railways here, and the passes close to the sites of four of these: Killan, Bishwell, Bryn Mawr and Dunvant. The first two closed in the 1970s, Dunvant in 1914 and Killan in 1925 after a large accident.

Here you can walk paths that the 900 men employed here may have trodden a century ago, while experiencing the tranquillity of one of the most beautiful parts of rural Swansea.

The start of this walk is only 4 ½ miles from the Dragon Hotel making it the perfect place to escape the city for the day. And after a long afternoon in the countryside, you can sit back and really enjoy the luxuries of modern conveniences offered here at the Dragon.

Make sure to book a table at the Dragon Brasserie for a delicious evening meal. You’re sure to have worked up an appetite.

Winter Woollies: Golfing Essentials

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

wintergolf

(image: Roy Hughes under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Have you signed up for a winter league this year? Or perhaps you’re planning a visit to the golf courses in Swansea for a few days away? Either way, you’ll need to be prepared for all weathers. Don’t catch a chill, keep yourself warm with these winter woollies and golfing essentials.

Bag Hoods

Don’t let your clubs get wet this winter, give your bag a hood and keep them dry! These can be picked up online for around £20 and are well worth an investment.

Thermals

Give yourself an extra barrier from the elements with thermal trousers and vests this winter, such as Under Armour. These will not only keep you warm, but as they are made of breathable fabrics you won’t feel as sweaty.

colouredballsColoured Balls

It may seem simple, but coloured golf balls can really help during the winter months. With a light cover of snow, the traditional white ball will camouflage in with the canopy of powder. Best of luck finding it!

A coloured ball will stand out, making it easier to find. And they’re quite cheap to pick up at your nearest golf store.

 

(image: Golf WRX)

Wrap Up

Did your granny always used to say you should wear a hat because all your body heat escapes through your head? Well, respect your elders and listen to her. A hat can be a lifesaver when playing golf during the winter months.

Make sure to tuck your ears in to avoid them getting cold and bombarded by the wind. And then wrap up and tuck a scarf into your coat for added warmth. A scarf can be a great nose warmer too.

Big Grip Wheels

So you’ve invested in an electronic bag trolley, to make a game of golf easier, but it keeps getting stuck on ice or frosty patches. What do you do? Well, like you can get winter tyres for your car, switch out the wheels on your trolley for some more suitable to theweather.

These wheels are easily attached and will have large plastic treads with plenty of grip. And thanks to their wide set, they’ll leave less of a track on the grass.

wintergolferWaterproofs

There’s no worse feeling than getting wet and cold, and having to stay in damp clothing all day. So protect yourself with waterproofs!

For waterlogged tees make sure to have waterproof thermal socks just in case your shoes leak, waterproof gloves will help you grip your clubs and a good fleece lined coat is a winter must-have to fight off cold winds and the rain.

(image: Ebay)

Reusable Hand Warmers

Gloves not enough to keep your extremities warm? Then invest in some reusable hand warmers. These little chemical pouches can neatly slip into your pocket, for a warm place to put your hands. No more frost bite for you.

Now you know all the winter essentials, get out there and enjoy a few holes. There’s no need to let the weather stop you.

Once you’ve enjoyed a fun day out with all your mates at Swansea’s golf courses we’ll welcome you back to the Dragon Hotel with a warm and comfortable room, where you can enjoy a refreshing shower before a hearty meal in the Dragon Brasserie.

Sound good? Then take a look at our golf offers!