A lush lakeside retreat. Enthusiastic owners spoil guests rotten - comfy beds,sumptuous baths, exceptional meals, a hot tub under the stars.
Hike to Cadair Idris – the scenery is breathtaking. Return to a hot tub under the stars, and champagne to toast your good fortune. This lakeside B&B in southern Snowdonia is utterly spoiling and Ricky has become a chef of reputation. Slow-roast lamb shank, fillet of local salmon, a trio of Welsh ices; the menus change each day. Spacious bedrooms (one is downstairs) have ever-changing views, bathrooms are sumptuous and you wake to the smell of Welsh bacon: breakfasts are to die for. Binoculars for the birds, a wonderful welcome for you, candlelit dining... it's bliss. Read the full write up here »
The Old Rectory on the lake recently benefited from the services of Barclays Area Director, Adrian Davies, who spent the day working alongside us as part of his pledge to find out first hand about his customers needs. Adrian swapped his pen for a pinafore and suit for a saucepan as he carried out a range of duties from making beds to cooking breakfast! His day by the lake has just been featured in the Cambrain News and afterwards he wrote:-
“The amazing skill of chef Ricky was an utter joy to watch and thank you for letting me sample some of the food in between work – it was a real treat! You undoubtedly have all the ingredients to make an incredible business which I am sure your guests will want to experience time and time again.”
“When we were asked to take part in this laudable initiative by Barclays we were slightly sceptical and we never thought for one moment Adrian would get so involved. From the moment he walked up our drive he was so enthusiastic, tackled every task we threw at him cheerfully and above all he was so personable with our guests. No-one suspected that he was not part of The Old Rectory on the lake team and for that he should be applauded. We hope it gave you a useful insight into our hospitality operation and if Adrian ever feels the need to leave his day job he knows where we are!”
We reproduce below Adrian’s diary of his day with us together with images of his memorable time with us.
0808hrs. Despite getting up at 5am and leaving his Shropshire home at 6am Adrian is eight minutes late he had promised his new bosses that he would arrive dead on 8am but having punched into his sat nav the most scenic route the machine took him 20 miles out his way via Lake Vyrnwy another beautiful Welsh lake but the wrong one!
0815hrs. After having gulped back a much needed coffee Adrian starts putting out the fresh fruit ready for the eight guests.
0830hrs. The first guests arrive in The Old Rectory Orangery. Adrian takes their cooked breakfast orders and is soon quickly cooking their bacon and eggs on The Old Rectorys Aga – luckily past teenage skills working in a fish and chip shop comes quickly back to him and the bacon together with the rest of the full traditional breakfast is done to a turn. No-one at the tables knows his true identity!
1000hrs. By now all guests have eaten and have left bound either for the coast or the nearby mountain of Cadair Idris and Adrian has a mound of washing up to do. If only his wife and three children could see him with an apron on!
1100hrs. Adrian manages to stop for a while to have a hurried breakfast.
1115hrs. It is time to make up one of The Old Rectory bedrooms this one has stunning views across the lake to the mountain opposite but Adrian hasnt got time to stand and stare as the double bed needs to be changed with crisp Egyptian cotton sheets and the carpets need to be vacuumed.
1200hrs. Adrian goes to the outdoor hot tub and after checking chemical levels he tops it up with some chlorine. Many of Old Rectory on the lake guests enjoy wallowing in it under the stars after supper and Adrian makes a mental note to order champagne when he next visits with his wife he has already decided that this is the place to come and stay for a romantic break away from his young family!
1230 to 1500hrs. Adrian enjoys some welcome time off. He decides to walk around the 222 acre lake it takes about an hour or so and he is just amazed by the ever changing views and the silence. As a Barclays area director he clocks up 20,000 miles a year and he feels he now envies the owners of this amazing bed and breakfast who can get to work under a minute without even leaving their home!
1500hrs. As it is Bonfire Night the owners of The Old Rectory on the lake have bought many a firework for the evenings display. Adrian sorts them out and places them in mounds of sand in the garden and by the lake.
1600hrs. Ten guests are due to dine later at The Old Rectory and Adrian helps lay up the tables and fold the linen napkins. Todays napkins are in the shape of a bird of paradise and Adrian has many a go before he finally gets it right he hopes he can just remember all the folds so he can impress his three young children when he gets back home.
1700hrs. Its time to change into more formal clothes and start preparing the four course meal evening meal. Everything is freshly made in The Old Rectorys kitchens and soon chef and joint owner, Ricky, is showing Adrian how to put together the starters.
1900hrs. Adrian serves pre dinner drinks in the lounge while guests enjoy videos which show the resident otters playing in the waters and Talyllyn in its ever changing moods.
1930hrs. The evening service begins in earnest and Adrians feet barely touch the ground as he goes back and forwards carrying plates full of mouth watering delights and then returning with empty dishes. In between courses he stacks the dish washer and then reveals to the surprise of all that he is even enjoying washing up the large saucepans.
2045hrs. One of chefs Rickys signature desserts is his dark chocolate fondant surprise and tonight six are ordered. As he served them Adrian said the aroma of chocolate was just so tantalising - so it seemed only fair that he should try one himself – his verdict? Absolutely superb!
2115hrs. Time to light up the Talyllyn skies and Adrian sets to with great enthusiasm setting off the many fireworks and static displays. All enjoy the spectacle of the reflections in the lake and the sound of the deafening mortars echoing off the surrounding mountains.
2200hrs. Back in the warm over a late night drink Adrian’s true identity is revealed much to the surprise of some of the guests two instantly ask for loans and one cheekily enquired as to how large his bonus was last year! Adrian just smiled wearily and pretended this was the first time he had ever been asked this! However all agreed that he had been a great addition to their Old Rectory on the lake holiday experience.
Images by Adam Dorogdi.