Archive for the ‘Dragon Posts’ Category

Could You Enter the Mumbles Raft Race 2014?

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

race

If you’ll be in Swansea this summer, grab your swimsuit and start thinking about fancy dress themes. The RNLI Mumbles Lifeboat Crew Fun Raft Race is back for another year and you can get involved!

What is the Fun Raft Race?

The RNLI Mumbles Lifeboat Crew Fun Raft Race is a great day out for all, whether you take part or just watch from the side lines. Competitors build their own rafts and get dressed up in silly costumes to battle it out and raise money for a good cause.

The race is now in its 29th year, and is organised each summer to raise money for the Mumbles Lifeboat Station that has stood as an essential part of the community since 1863. Competitors must paddle along a one mile stretch between Norton and Knab Rock, and come in first to claim the prize of 2014 champion.

All funds raised will go to the lifeboat station that rescues more people than any other station in Wales. A volunteer led organisation, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) provide 24-hour search and rescue across the UK from their 236 lifeboat stations.

The RNLI also has over 1,000 lifeguards on 180 beaches across the country, making fun at the beach safer for everyone. As a volunteer charity service the RNLI relies on public donations to fund its rescue service, and this is why the raft race is held every year (plus its loads of fun).

The Best of Last Year’s Race

The 28th RNLI Mumbles Lifeboat Crew Fun Raft Race in 2013 was a roaring success after the 2012 event was sadly cancelled due to bad weather. 47 rafts battled it out along the famous course, some made it across the line but many sank.

Here is a round-up of our favourite teams from last year. Could you take inspiration from these teams for this year’s race?

 

1. Swans Football

These creative fellows got arty with balloons, masks and a giant swan costume for a local football themed raft.

swan

2. Hawaiian Fever

Then there were the Linden Tree girls who went all exotic and dressed up as Hawaiian hula girls.

hoola

3. Titanic 2013

Then there was this clever boat building by Alberto Culver’s Titanic team.

titanic

4. Watering the Plants

We’re not quite sure what this team was supposed to be but we can see Scooby Doo in there. We wonder if everyone fell off into the water by the end.

sink

When and Where

This year’s raft race will be held on 10th August 2014 and will start at 5:30pm. If you would like to get involved contact Tony Bowen at the boathouse on 01792 361268 or email themumblesraftrace@gmail.com.

 

(All photos courtesy of RNLI Mumbles Lifeboat Crew Fun Raft Race’s Facebook)

How to Make Your Own Chic Hen Party Invitations

Monday, June 9th, 2014

invite

 

When you’re head hen or Maid of Honour, organising a bachelorette party on a budget can seem a little daunting. But once you get started you’ll realise it’s easier than you think. With an affordable night’s stay at the Dragon Hotel you can have a fun night out in Swansea for less and if you hand make the invites and decorations you’re sure to come in bang on budget.

And to help you out in your craft quest, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite hen party invitation ideas.

How to Make Hen Party Invitations

HEN Do

The easiest invitation theme is to run with the ‘hen’ idea. Print a greyscale picture of a chicken onto white card along with ‘NAME‘s Hen do!’. Fold in half and hand write all the need to know info inside. These invites will cost mere pennies to make and they look quite classy.

‘L’ Plates

A fancy dress staple for hen parties are the ‘L’ plates, which are worn to show that the bride-to-be is a wife in training. So why not keep to modern tradition and celebrate your friend’s last night of freedom with these simple signs.

A pink and white ‘L’ plate theme looks great on invites along with some classic calligraphy. Once you’ve printed the invites, stick them onto pink card and add a little glitter for that special touch.

Tickets Only

If you go to a concert, the theatre or book an activity you will be given a ticket as proof of payment, and to remind you of all the vital details. So why shouldn’t you have one for a party? You can mock up your own hen do tickets quite easily on your home computer, and as they are smaller in size than a regular invite they should be cheaper to print.

Tell All Cocktail

Okay, so this invite idea takes a little more crafting and will require you to be handy with a pair of scissors, but they look fab and are well worth the wait.

Start off by cutting out a cocktail glass shape from card in the colour of your choice. Then fold and fasten it to form a pocket shape with the glass cut out facing forward. On a separate piece of card create a bottle shape – this should be the perfect size to slide into the card pocket.

To decorate the bottle colour in some liquid on the upper half and on the back write the essential information for the party. Slide the bottle into the pocket, neck first, and you are all done.

The idea is that while the bottle is in the pocket the glass will look full, and when you remove the bottle the glass will be empty. And as you do so it will look like you are pouring a glass of the bride-to-be’s favourite cocktail.

Did any of these hen party invitation ideas take your fancy? You can tell us all about your artsy invites when you come to stay.

hen

(images: Organise a Hen and Ruby Sohi)

Beaches in Swansea – Limeslade Bay

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

limelimeslade

Wales is famous for its beautiful coastline and Limeslade Bay is no exception. If you are paying a visit to South West Wales sometime soon make sure to pay this stunning beach a visit.

About Limeslade Bay

Whether you prefer a sandy or pebbly beach with a rock shore, you’ll have the best of both worlds here. The beach is just a short walk from the Mumbles Hill Nature Reserve so take a stroll along the coastal path and take in the stunning scenic panorama. It’s a brilliant spot for a picnic too!

Thanks to its rocky areas Limeslade Bay is perfect for rock pooling with the kids, and with excellent water quality the only issue you may have when swimming is the temperature. Limeslade is an award winning beach having been given the Green Coast Award, and is Marine Conservation Society Recommended.

Facilities

If you fancy a light bite there is a café and restaurant nearby, with the nearest parking only 2 minutes away at Bracelet Bay. There is a small charge for this convenience however.

The beach is cleaned twice a day and there are litter bins provided in order to keep the beach safe for all. If you are travelling with pets be aware that dogs are not allowed on the beach during the summer months.

Swimmers must also be aware that there isn’t a lifeguard on duty here.

How to Get There

Limeslade Bay’s nearest town is Swansea. To get to the beach from here you will need to drive down the A4067 to the Mumbles. You’ll have to head straight through the village and towards the pier in order to find Limeslade. It will be just around the headland.

The nearest parking is at Bracelet Bay but there are a number of other car parks within walking distance:
Mumbles Hill – 0.4 miles away
Swansea Bay South – 0.5 miles away
Southend – 0.6 miles away
Mumbles Tennis Courts – 0.9 miles away

If you will be travelling by public transport, bus routes 2 and 2a from Swansea will take you to Mumbles. From here change to the number 37 bus which heads to the beach. The nearest railway stations are Swansea (approximately 4 miles away) and Gowerton (approximately 6 miles away).

Limeslade Bay Accommodation

If you like the sound of Limeslade Bay and are thinking of paying a visit then you are in luck! The Dragon Hotel is located perfectly.

So grab your sunglasses and put on your sensible walking shoes, and enjoy a walk down to Limeslade; after your day out, get the bus back and we’ll have a table in the Dragon Brasserie waiting for you.

 

 
(images: Wikimedia and Wikimedia)

Where to Meet in Swansea on Business

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Visiting Swansea on business? You’re in luck. Here, there’s somewhere perfect for meeting clients, contacts and acquaintances – regardless of what you’re looking for…

If you want somewhere posh…

It’s really tough to look past Café TwoCann in Swansea Docks, which is a chic café by day and a much-admired fine dining restaurant by night. Situated in a grade 2 listed building, TwoCann is highly recommended if you’re looking to really impress their clients.

We challenge you not to fall in love with TwoCann’s coffee, particularly its latte, with coffee that has ‘bean’ locally toasted in Ogmore Vale.

If you want somewhere achingly hip…

Well, why not the Attic Gallery? It’s a bit of a Swansea institution and has been showcasing modern and traditional art in South Wales for over 50 years. There’s an ever-rotating array of art that you can cast your eye over while, of course, appearing achingly cool to the clients or contacts you’re meeting.

If you want somewhere cheap…

If you haven’t been blessed with the company card, then it makes sense to try somewhere slightly affordable. And nowhere offers a great value for money than the One Shoe Café on King Edward Road which is well-known locally for its chic atmosphere, ever-excellent espressos and very generous portions found on the lunch menu. We recommend the wide variety of paninis on offer. Yum.

If you want somewhere with a view…

You won’t find anywhere higher in Swansea, or in Wales for that matter, than the Grape and Olive which is situated on the top floor of Swansea Bay’s Meridian Tower. Offering a sensational view over Swansea Bay, The Mumbles and the rest of the city, it’s a great place to go, even if it can be a little pricey.


Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor

If you want somewhere outside…

Sure, it’s probably not practical (and there’s definitely no Wi-Fi or coffee on tap) but when the sun’s shining it’s a shame not to get outdoors and see Swansea in bloom. On a nice day, we’d recommend getting down to Singleton Park, where you could chew the fat in its botanical gardens and gain some creative inspiration from the stunning natural sights.

If you want somewhere all-encompassing…

dragon lounge

Visit us at The Lounge in The Dragon Hotel! It’s not just our great location, comfy beds and brilliant breakfasts that our businessmen love us for. When it comes to business meetings, we’ve got it all covered – from free Wi-Fi, a great selection of coffees and AA Rosette a la carte lunches to great views and an ever-friendly atmosphere. When you sit down at The Lounge, you’ll find us to be as classy as it is comfortable and convenient.

Looking for great business rates when staying in Swansea? Talk to the team at The Dragon Hotel today!

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring! What Are We Going To Do In Swansea?

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

If you follow our Dragon posts then you will know there is plenty of outdoor activities to do in Swansea. We love the stunning beaches in and around the area in particular! But what do you do when the heavens open and it chucks it down? Well, not to worry, we have the solution with these indoor activities in Swansea.

See Some Hieroglyphics

 

hyro

The Egypt Centre at the University of Wales Swansea in |Singleton Park is a great day out for those interested in the Pharaohs and pyramids of ancient Egypt. Admission to the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities is free too!

Most of the 5,000 items on display here were collected by a pharmacist, Sir Henry Wellcome. And the others come from locations such as the British Museum and private donators. So if you are looking for an authentic Egyptian experience brimming with history head over to the Egypt Centre for an educational experience.

Make and Taste Delicious Chocolate

 

choc

For a tasty afternoon trip book into the Chocolate Factory at Kingsway in the Swansea West Industrial Park. Tour around one of Wales’ leading chocolate factories and see how the delicious treat is made. Learn about the history of chocolate and of course enjoy a taste of the many different types they make at the factory. Yum!

Read a Poem

 

sylan

Born in Swansea, in 1914, Dylan Thomas was a Welsh writer and poet who became hugely famous in his short lifetime. If you would like to learn more about the wordsmith pay a visit to the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea city centre.

This is a permanent exhibition so is open all year round chronicling the life and times of the literary giant. Or for even more fun why not attend the annual Dylan Thomas Festival?

Play With Lasers

 

laser

Lasers are cool right? Well, play with them in a safe and fun environment right in the city centre next to Swansea castle. Laserzone is a high-tech, live action laser game which is played over the multi-level themed play arena. There are special effects such as fog, laser beams and pulsing music for an exhilarating experience like no other.

Anyone over the age of 7 can play and groups of up to 30 can battle it out at any given time. So strap on your body armour and pick up that laser gun and protect that base!

Watch a Show

 

theatre

A 5 minute walk from the Dragon Hotel is the drama-filled Swansea Grand Theatre, the perfect place for a show after dinner. This is a cultural gem in the middle of the urban city with many live events and shows held every week. The Swansea Grand Theatre plays host to around 450 performances every year in its auditorium and another 200 in its purpose built Arts Wing.

So whether you are after dance or drama, a show from a touring company or a local production the Swansea Grand Theatre is a great place to start.

There is always plenty to do in Swansea, whatever the weather. For more rainy day activities ask a member of staff or ask us on Facebook!

 

(images: Wikipedia, Noctourniquet, The Guardian, robnlizzie and Wikimedia)

13 Reasons We Love Nev from the Call Centre

Friday, May 30th, 2014

We won’t need to tell you that we’re huge fans of the BBC Three program The Call Centre, which has just finished its second series. Principally, we love its protagonist, the self-made millionaire Neville Wilshere – or as his loyal workmates call him, Nev.

Here are 13 reasons to salute the big man:

1 – He’s a proud Swansea boy

Like us, Nev loves this fair city. Born and bred in South Wales, he worked his way up and now employs hundreds in his famous call centre. That makes him alright by us.

2 – He’s unconventional

Nev takes an irregular approach to HR. When a member of team wanted a promotion, he said he could… as long as he beat Nev in an armwrestle. Did he win? Take a look at the video:

3 – He’s a trier

Nev may be in charge of a multi-million pound business, but he knows what it’s like to lose it all. In the 90s, he divorced and his business went under. Unable to see his kids for 6 months, Nev couldn’t even sign on to unemployment benefits.

Nevertheless, he got back up, started again and look where he is now.

4 – He’s not averse to being a bit of a prat

Nev Call Centre Gif

5 – He’s funny on Twitter

nev

6 – He’s not averse to Dad jokes

Midway through the first season, Nev was in his car giving the film crew one of his trademark pearls of wisdom when he was interrupted by an onrushing ambulance:

“He’ll never sell any ice creams going at that speed”.

There’s no joke like a Dad joke.

7 – He’s positive to a T

As with many successful entrpreneurs, Nev is relentlessly chipper – optimistic until the very end and insisting that “happy people sell”. And that’s a good way to be.

8 – He’s created a great workplace

Nev’s Save Britain Money Group is currently fifth in the Sunday Times list of the best UK companies to work for. Impressive.

9 – He’s got an excellent approach to dating

Nev believes in “SW,SW,SW? N! – some will, some won’t, so what? Next!” It’s tough to argue with that.

10 – He’s a singer

Like any good South Wales boy, Nev loves a sing song and is well aware of the power of music.

11 – He’s a shouter

But in a good way.

12 – He finds a place for staff who don’t fit

Many bosses are unsympathetic to staff who don’t cut the mustard. Not Nev.

When members of his team aren’t up to the job, he tries to find them a suitable role somewhere else in the company – like when he gave Hayley Pearce a new lease of life as the office ‘tea lady’.

13 – He’s cool under pressure

And doesn’t get flustered when he’s ambushed on the BBC!

Yeah, it’s fair to say that Nev is a bit of a Swansea institution. But you know what?

So are we. We’ve been standing proud in Swansea City Centre for over 50 years. Make the most of our fair city by checking out more of our blog today.

Or, for exclusive rates on four-star stays in the heart of Swansea, call +44 (0)1792 657 100 or book your stay online today.

Staff Member of the Month: Bryony Williams

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Bryony Williams We’re delighted to announce that Brony Williams is the latest Dragon Hotel Staff Member of the Month.

Bryony has been a Beauty Therapist with us for the past 2 years and she is always found with a smile on her face. She’s enthusiastic and passionate about her work, delivering treatments to the highest standard. Customers often remark on how they have enjoyed their treatment time with Bryony and return time and time again.

Here’s what she had to say on winning Staff Member of the Month:

“I’m very happy! I absolutely love my job and look forward to meeting new clients each day and giving them a treatment of the highest standard.

“I love listening to people and chatting to them about their lives and sharing stories. I adore all of the treatments that we offer here at the Health Club especially our Power Regeneration Facial as I love seeing the amazing results that can be achieved after just one treatment.

“I think that I am a bubbly, smiley person and like to think I make people feel comfortable and at ease in my presence. I love nothing more than seeing how pleased a client is after receiving a treatment.”

Congratulations Bryony!

Are You Man (Or Woman) Enough for the Mumbles Triathlon?

Monday, May 19th, 2014

The Mumbles Triathlon is now less than a month away.

DSC00230

The famous race, voted as the race of the year at the 2012 Triathlon Awards, starts on Saturday 14th June 2014 and invites some of the UK’s most talented athletes to put their bodies through hell in the sensational surroundings of The Mumbles.

Check out this video of the triathlon from 2010.

How the race runs (and rides, and swims)

There are two races: a ‘long’ course and a ‘short’ course – which is still pretty long, all considered. The long course consists of:

  • A 750m sea swim P1030649
  • A 32km bike ride
  • A 5k run

The short course consists of:

  • A 750m sea swim
  • A 21km bike ride
  • A 2.5km run

The run takes athletes along Mumbles Road, with full views of the seafront, while the swim is yet to be confirmed but will involve a dip in the cold Mumbles sea.

The bike ride starts alongside Mumbles Road before veering into the picturesque hills to the west of the area, taking in Pennard and (for the longer contestants) a loop around Fairwood.

Think you’ve got what it takes to win this esteemed event?

P1030635

Last year, the short and long courses were won in (frankly ridiculous) times of 1hr 20secs and 1hr 22mins respectively.  Good luck!

Unfortunately, the Mumbles Triathlon is now full up, but there are still places up for grabs at the Gower Triathlon on 27th September.

Remember, the sea will be a little warmer in September…

Looking for Mumbles triathlon accommodation?

Join us at The Dragon Hotel. We’re chosen by many endurance athletes every summer as the perfect accommodation for the Mumbles Triathlon. Carb load beforehand at our esteemed AA Rosette restaurant The Dragon Brasserie and then enjoy the perfect night’s sleep afterwards in our luxurious, well-appointed rooms.

Want special rates for triathlon athletes? Call our bookings team today on +44 (0)1792 657 100.

(Images: Mumbles Triathlon)

Golfing in Swansea – Pennard Golf Club | The Dragon Hotel

Friday, May 16th, 2014

The latest edition of our Golfing in Swansea series sees us tee off at one of South Wales’ oldest, most esteemed courses, Pennard Golf Club.

Ladies 14th tee to 16LR

Where is Pennard Golf Club?

In the middle of The Mumbles, Pennard is just south of Swansea airport and a 20-minute drive from The Dragon Hotel.

To get there, take the A4067 westwards out of Swansea when it will become the B4436 (Pennard Road).  Follow this road into Pennard, past the primary school and you’ll see signs for the course.

How it Plays Out

Designed by the golfing legend James Braid, Pennard is known in South Wales and beyond as ‘the links in the sky’. Some 200 feet above sea level, it’s still chock full of links-style dunes, humps and hollows – as well as a smattering of wild cows and horses.

These often-hidden hazards mean that blind shots aren’t unheard of – you’ll certainly enjoy your fair share of ups and downs when playing Pennard, both metaphorically and literally.

At 6,329 yards, Pennard isn’t the longest course, but it’s quirky, charmingly rough around the edges and packed with plenty of pretty punches.  The whole course is overlooked by the ruins of the 12th-century Pennard castle and the short par 4 7th with its elevated tee and undulating fairways, coupled with the castle on your right, is a particular highlight.

Other popular Pennard holes include the downhill par-3 5th and the wide, barren 11th with a sensational angled green that tempts you towards a treacherous sand trap.

Best of all however, is the 493-yard ‘Great Tor’ 16th which demands a blind 2nd shot and delicate approach play to reach the clifftop green in good nick. Once you’re there, the green gives some frankly ridiculous views over the surrounding area.

16th tee

Why You’ll love it

As you’d expect from a golf course 200 feet above The Gower, the views at Pennard must been to be believed. Unspoilt, remote and utterly charming, it’s tough not to fall in love with the course’s rugged charm.

If you want a challenge, you’ll love Pennard. Aside from the tricky hazards, naturally uneven bounces and undulating fairways, there’s plenty of wind to contend with too. It is, after all, a couple of hundred feet above sea level.

Pennard also rewards tactical, astute golf play. This quirky golf course isn’t one that rewards the strongest, most consistent driver; at Pennard it’s the thoughtful, experienced golfer that will get the best from the surroundings.

Why You Might Not

There’s no doubt that Pennard’s charm lies in its ragged, rugged unpredictability, but that’s probably its weakness too. Its huge array of holes, bumps and quirks mean that you could play the exact same game twice and come out with wildly fluctuating scores.

Don’t get us wrong – you still need all your wits about you to get a half-decent score, but there will be times when you’ve done all you can and your scorecard will still be littered with bogies. Don’t worry – we’ve all been there.

Just enjoy the view.

Want a hotel near Pennard Golf Club?

Just 20 minutes’ drive from The Mumbles, the Dragon Hotel is a particular favourite for golfers looking for hotels near Pennard Golf Club.

Speak to our team today about how we can book your group a flexible golfing break package that incorporates all of South Wales’ most sensational courses. Make your booking today – call 01792 657140.

(Images: Pennard Golf Club)

The 18 Best Golf Quotes and Sayings of All Time

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Golf is a funny game – and over the years it’s provoked some amazing quotes. Here are some of our favourite funny golf quotes and sayings: some bitter, some witty and some wise.

“If I had cleared the trees and drove the green, it would’ve been a great shot.” – Sam SneadGolf ball

“I know I am getting better at golf because I’m hitting fewer spectators” – Gerald Ford

“To find a man’s true character, play golf with him” – P.G Wodehouse.

“The man who can go into a patch of rough alone, with the knowledge that only God is watching him, and play his ball where it lies, is the man who will serve you faithfully and well.” – P.G. Wodehouse, again.

“I’m the best. I just haven’t played yet.” – Muhammad Ali

“Hockey is a sport for white men. Basketball is a sport for black men. Golf is a sport for white men dressed like black pimps” – Tiger Woods

“While playing golf today I hit two good balls. I stepped on a rake”  – Henry Youngman

“In the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre: au revoir, Gopher” – Carl Spackler in Caddyshack

“One minute you’re bleeding. The next minute you’re haemorrhaging. The next minute you’re painting the Mona Lisa” – Mac O’Grady

“If you watch a game, it’s fun. If you play at it, it’s recreation. If you work at it, it’s golf “– Bob Hope

“You win all the Tucsons, all the Kemps, all the Iron City Opens you can, nobody remembers. You win a Masters, nobody ever forgets” – Bob Goalby

“Golf is played by twenty million mature American men whose wives think they are out having fun” – Jim Bishop

“I don’t fear death, but I sure don’t like those three-footers for par.” – Chi Chi Rodriguez

“They say that golf isn’t a contact sport. Not the way that we play it” – Alice Cooper

“Although golf was originally restricted to wealthy, overweight Protestants, today it’s open to anybody who owns hideous clothing.” – Dave Barry

“You little son of a bitch ball! Why you don’t you just go HOME? That’s your HOME! Are you too good for your HOME?” – Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore

“Obviously a deer in the road has seen you tee off before when he knows that the safest place to be is right down the middle” – Jackie Gleason

“I regard golf as an expensive way of playing marbles” – G.K Chesterton

Looking for bespoke golf breaks in South Wales? Speak to The Dragon Hotel today – simply call 01792 657140 and let us build a package that suits you and your mates.