Archive for the ‘Dragon Hotel Blog’ Category

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?

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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.

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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.

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The Castles of Swansea

Monday, November 24th, 2014

sandcastle

Are you a bit of a history buff? Then you’ll love a visit to South Wales, as there are hundreds of historic landmarks. So if you are looking for things to do in Swansea, why not take a look around one of its seven castles?

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The Must-Buy Golf Clubs of 2014

Friday, November 21st, 2014

golfclub

Are you, and your friends, frequent visitors to Swansea’s best golf courses? Then for your next weekend away why not impress everyone with a brand new set of clubs?

Here is a list of the best golf clubs of 2014:

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Mumbles Pub Voted Welsh Pub of the Year!

Monday, November 17th, 2014

THEPILOT

The Pilot in the Mumbles has been voted the Welsh pub of the year in the CAMRA awards for 2014. Have you already enjoyed a tipple or two at this award winning public house?

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Swansea’s Christmas Parade 2014

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

swanseaparade

(image: Enjoy Swansea)

Are you and your children counting down the number of sleeps until Father Christmas comes? Perhaps they’ve already written and sent their letters. Well, Father Christmas will be returning to Swansea this Sunday 16th November for the annual Christmas parade. Will you be joining him? We bet the kids would love too!

Swansea Christmas Parade 2014

Although the Christmas songs have been playing in shops for weeks already, the festive season will officially kick off this weekend when the lights in the city centre get switched on.

At 5pm on Sunday 16th November 2014, none other than Father Christmas himself, will flick the switch. So wrap up warm and bring the kids down to the city centre for a fun family night out, and for the chance to meet Santa!

Once he turns on the lights, Father Christmas will join all of his festive friends in a Christmas parade through the city centre. The parade will start at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Somerset Place, will travel along Wind Street, College Street, the Kingsway and then eventually down St. Helen’s Road, where it will end at the Guildhall.

Revellers lining the route should expect to see community and theatre floats built by the people of Swansea. As well as a Dylan Thomas themed float to celebrate the centenary of his birth in his hometown, and a Waterfront Winterland float, which Santa will proudly ride along on.

If you want to get into the spirit of things you can always wave or dance along from the side-lines. Make sure to get there early though for the best spot, and uninterrupted views of the parade.

Want to make a night of it? Then there’s always plenty of things to do in Swansea. Why not book into one of the Dragon Hotel’s comfortable four-star rooms and enjoy a delicious meal in the Dragon Brasserie afterwards. It’s a great way to warm up after an evening on the cold streets of Swansea.

Win this Christmas!

To celebrate the opening of the Waterfront Winterland 2014, Swansea are giving your family the chance to win a cracker of a prize. Enter their prize draw to win free ice skating, funfair rides and a visit to see Santa himself in his Swansea waterfront grotto!

You have to be in it, to win it! So enter here, and good luck!

 

* Swansea’s Christmas parade and light switch on is kindly sponsored by The Wave and Swansea Sound radio stations.

Swansea’s 11 Finest Beers and Real Ales

Monday, November 10th, 2014

The people of Swansea, it’s fair to say, love a drink. And who can blame them – in this pretty part of South Wales we’re blessed with several brilliant breweries creating distinctive, ales and beers.

So we thought we’d celebrate that fact by sourcing Swansea’s best beers. After some serious, painstaking research – believe us, it was tough – we compiled this list. In no particular order, here are our 11 favourites.

Blodwen’s Beer (5%) – Tomos Watkin

Blonwen Beer
Named after Blodwen Parry, famed for being the finest cockle picker in the whole of Wales, this pale beer is crisp, with a tasty citrussy splash. Which works by us.

It’s eminently drinkable, but don’t just take our word for it – this blonde bombshell won Gold at the 2012 True Taste awards for the Best Beer.

Neath Ales Gold (5%) – Neath Ales

gower-gold
Deep, dark and complex, with perhaps the bitterest taste in this list, is the Gold from Neath Ales. It’s a thinking man’s (or lady’s) beer with a hint of dark orange – just perfect alongside with a selection of local strong cheeses.

Gower Gold (4.5%) – The Gower Brewery

Gower Gold

Last year, Gower Gold was chosen by Sainsbury’s shoppers as the best Welsh beer. It’s tough to argue with that. It smells zesty and sharp, but the taste is pretty sweet – while drinkers are rewarded with the faint hint of lemony sherbert on the palette.

Three Cliffs Gold (4.7%) – Swansea Brewing Co.

Three cliffs gold
The Three Cliffs is a grassy, hoppy, fresh golden ale that makes this writer feel like a goat, gambolling over a grassy knoll. Which is to say, it carries a very pleasing natural taste. In our opinion, it tastes as good as its namesake looks.

Mumbles Gold (4.3%) – The Mumbles Brewery

Mumbles gold
This, the fourth local ‘gold’ is a pale ale that utilises a sumptuous combination of lemon and lime to delicious effect. Our sources tell us that the Mumbles Gold was the biggest seller at the Swansea CAMRA Beer Festival.

Old Style Bitter (OSB) (4.5%) – Tomos Watkin

0000996_tomos-watkins-osb-45_300
One of Tomos’ vintage creations, it’s not hard to see why the OSB is popular with ale lovers across South Wales. Taste wise, it is quite light and a little citrusy like many of Tomos’ best brews but its distinctive, utterly tempting red hue makes it stand out from the crowd.

Gower Power (5.5%) – The Gower Brewery

gower-power
Probably the sweetest brew in the list, the bright orange Gower Power is a Welsh slant on the Indian Pale Ale – a WPA, if you will – but has plenty of hops and spices to ensure that your attention remains piqued for the entirety of the pint.

It certainly deserves a spot on this list.

Oystermouth Stout (4.4%) – The Mumbles Brewery

Oystermouth
In Victorian times, the Gower was famed for its oyster industry. Although overfishing and viruses saw the species near enough disappear from the area, the Mumbles Brewery is reimagining this age-old tradition with this stout, which actually includes real oysters in its brewing process.

The oysters give the stout a distinctive salty, natural tint that more than earns its spot on this hallowed list.

Lighthouse Lager (4.5%) – The Gower Brewery

Lighthouse
A proper thirst-quencher that tastes like something you’d find on the streets of Prague or Berlin, this lager is a real delight and shows that the Welsh can do moreish light brews just as well as anyone on the continent.

Green Bullet (6%) – Neath Ales

Bullet
Another supremely-drinkable ‘WPA’, the amber-toned Green Bullet gets its name from the distinctively sharp New Zealand hops, which are complemented beautifully with a sweet biscuity malt-infused body. It’s very hard to stop drinking this one.

Cwrw Idris (5.2%) – Tomos Watkin

Cwrw idris
A dangerously drinkable premium ale, and named after war hero Idris Parry who survived German torpedo attacks – twice! – and then created the Hurns Mineral Water Co., this zesty tipple offers a slight promise of butterscotch. It’s ruddy lovely.

What do you think? What are your favourite local beers and ales?

Have we missed any of your favourites? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter today.

Read more:

6 Reasons to Try the Mumbles Mile
Swansea Marina’s Best Restaurants

Thanks to Tomos Watkin, The Gower Brewery, Neath Ales and The Mumbles Brewery for images.

Where to Watch the Rugby in Swansea

Friday, November 7th, 2014

The Autumn Rugby Internationals kick off this weekend with Wales playing Australia on Saturday at 2:30pm. We don’t know about you, but we’re getting excited about it.
Where will you be watching the match? Not sure yet? Well, here is our pick of the places to go in Swansea for the game.

Yates’ – 1 to 4 Caer Street, SA1 3PP

 

 

If you are looking for somewhere to watch the match in the city centre, there is nowhere better than Yates’. Located right next to the Castle Gardens and McDonalds, Yates’ is in a prime position at the end of Wind Street.

With a Tudor style exterior and modern up-to-date interior, 2 floors and 2 bars, it is a popular nightlife location and is known for its affordable prices. Plus there is a big screen and 10 smaller plasmas. So if you fancy a few beers while watching the match you’re in luck!

The Wig – 134 St. Helen’s Road, SA1 4BL

 

 

If you’d prefer to watch the game in a classic pub environment head over to The Wig, where classic interior meets all the modern facilities. The Wig has recently been refurbished, and a comfy bar lounge was created, perfect for watching the game separately from the dining area.

Enjoy some traditional and warming pub grub from the kitchens here and there’s free WIFI for all guests if you want to discuss the game on social media.
Make sure to check out their ‘2 Can Dine for £9.99’ menu for a great bargain!

Varsity – Castle Square/Wind Street, SA1 1DW

 

 

This is another great bar with a central Swansea location. With a laid back and friendly atmosphere, Varsity Swansea is a large and spacious venue where you’re sure to find a seat on match day.

Varsity also has the best meal deal in Swansea with 2 meals costing £7.95, all day every day.

The Pumphouse – Maritime Quarter, SA1 1TT

 

 

The Pumphouse is the best of both worlds, you can watch the game on one of its many screens and then at half time take in the waterfront views through the window. And the staff here aim to create a ‘community bar’ making it the place of choice for local and visiting drinkers alike.

This is a premium bar with a stylish décor and a grown-up atmosphere. They have a vast array of cask ales you just have to try.

The George – 706 Mumbles Road, SA3 4EH

 

 

Just outside the city in the beautiful seaside town of the Mumbles lies a fantastic pub and restaurant with lovely sea views.

The George has been a staple drinking establishment in the Mumbles for years and is popular thanks to its upstairs balconies providing ample outside space if you fancy a break away from the bar and TVs.

There is a varied menu here, so arrive early to sample the best bits!

Other Saturday 8th Nov Fixtures
Italy v Samoa – 2pm
England v New Zealand – 2:30pm
France v Fiji – 4:45pm
Ireland v South Africa – 5:30pm
Scotland v Argentina – 5:30pm

If you are after a quiet retreat to enjoy a few drinks during or after the game the Dragon Hotel is just around the corner from many of these venues in the city. Or why not enjoy some food in the Dragon Brasserie, or Piano Bar?

Good luck Wales! We hope you win!

The Mumbles’ Best Restaurants

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Just fifteen minutes from Central Swansea, The Mumbles is one of Wales’ prettiest, most chilled out spots.

It’s also home to a number of lovely, individual restaurants. Here are some of our favourites:

SA3 Bistro

tomatosa
(image: Love to Dine)
This charming little restaurant on Mumbles Road is one of the locale’s most popular eateries. It’s really not hard to see why – it’s kookily kitted out and the slightly Italianate food is creative and terrific. Expect exquisite attention to detail and a few taste experiences you’ve never thought of before.

It can be a little pricey, although the lunch menu is just £15 for three courses, so we’d obviously recommend that.

The Kitchen Table

 

Describing itself as offering ‘homemade food from local suppliers’, The Kitchen Table’s mission statement isn’t ground breaking, but when you sample its lovingly-cooked fare it’s very tough to argue. Like SA3 it’s charming and cosy, but perhaps a little more relaxed. It doesn’t just do food; most Fridays its live music nights showcase some of the best up-and-coming musical talent that the Gower has to offer. Bunting, beers, bakes, breakfasts and burgers – you can’t say fairer than that.

The Mermaid Café Bar & Restaurant

It’s only been serving the good people of The Mumbles for just over a year, but The Mermaid has carved out quite a reputation for its modern family-friendly atmosphere and very consistent food. As the name suggests, The Mermaid does seafood particularly well – look out for its ever-rotating fish specials – although if you’re in the local area on a Sunday then you’d do plenty worse than sampling the carvery.

Munch of Mumbles  

 

Previously a tapas restaurant, Munch of Mumbles has evolved from standard tapas into something modern and distinctly spectacular since head chef Ben Griffiths took charge two years ago.

Munch is good, really good. For the quality you’re getting here, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d be paying through your eyeballs. But a set dinner menu is available for less than £30.

Munch has recently been included in the 2015 Michelin Guide – a worthy accolade for a restaurant that’s truly at the top of its game.

Chaplin Steakhouse

As you’d expect from the name, Chaplin Steakhouse isn’t ideal if you’re a veggie. It is, however, a carnivore’s dream. Its steaks, fish and cuts have been impeccably sourced and are cooked with absolute care.

Melt in the mouth stuff.

Verdi’s

verdis
There are people out there in the world that think ice cream can only be eaten between May and September. Don’t listen to them – they’re LIARS.

icecream

(Image: C Hello Sunshine)

It’s true that Joe’s is a Swansea institution, but when we’re asked to choose between that or Verdi’s mouth-watering ice cream, well, it’s just something we can’t do. It’s like picking your favourite child, you know? Frankly, both make us exceptionally happy.

If you are wanting to visit The Mumbles, then The Dragon Hotel is in the perfect position. Check out our amazing Weekend Escape Offer!