Plas Newydd

Café I – Condiments

Date

31 March 2019

Location

Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, Anglesey
SH 52085 69639; 53.20317°N, 4.21601°W

Information

Plas Newydd;
More posts in the Plas Newydd series

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Scotch Whisky Experience

Gaelic coffee

Date

19 August 2018

Location

Royal Mile, Edinburgh
NT 25421 73524; 55.94891°N, 3.19579°W

Information

The Scotch Whisky Experience opened in 1988 as The Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre in a joint venture by 19 different Scotch whisky companies. The visitor attraction changed its name to the present one in 2006 and in 2008 it became home to the Diageo Claive Vidiz Whisky Collection – a collection of over 3,000 bottles built up over 35 years by Brazilian whisky enthusiast Claive Vidiz. The centre offers tours and whisky tutoring and features a shop and the Amber Restaurant & Whisky Bar.

Further Reading

The Scotch Whisky Experience

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Philharmonic Dining Rooms, Liverpool

Philharmonic Dining Rooms

Date

15 February 2018

Location

Hope Street, Liverpool
SJ 35571 89879; 53.40177°N, 2.97051°W

Information

The Philharmonic Dining Rooms is a pub and restaurant located diagonally opposite Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. Designed by Welsh-born public-house architect Walter William Thomas (1849-1912) for Irish-born local brewer Robert Cain (1826-1907), ‘The Phil’ was built in 1898 as a gentleman’s club. Renowned for its ornate interior decoration, the Grade II* listed building is now part of the Nicholson’s chain of hostelries.

Further Reading

The Philharmonic Dining Rooms (Historic England);
The Philharmonic Dining Rooms (Nicholson’s)

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Zip World Adventure Terminal

Zip World Adventure Terminal

Date

17 September 2017

Location

Penrhyn Quarry, Bethesda
SH 62228 65513; 53.16883°N, 4.06249°W

Information

Construction of Zip World’s new £3.3 million Adventure Terminal started in spring 2016 and it was built by Llanelli-based WRW Construction. The opening of the company’s new headquarters was planned for Easter 2017 but took place in September 2017. In addition to offices and the kitting-up area for the zip-line ‘flyers’, the building features the Blondin restaurant/café bar together with viewing galleries and a function space.

Further Reading

Zip World;
Penrhyn Quarry

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Harvey’s, Bangor

Harvey's, Bangor I

Harvey’s, Bangor I

Date

1-2 April 2016

Location

Cyttir Lane, Caernarfon Road, Bangor
SH 56381 69985; 53.20745°N, 4.15191°W

Information

Harvey’s US-style diner and drive-thru outlet in Bangor opened in March 2016, with planning permission having been granted in September 2015. The restaurant was built on open ground next to Tesco Extra to designs by consulting engineers H A Structures. The chain, owned by St Asaph-based family-run business Restaurant 72 Ltd, opened its first restaurant in Llandudno in 2012 and a drive-thru in Rhuddlan in 2014. It also has ambitions for outlets in a further four locations: Menai Bridge, Holyhead, Wrexham and Chester.

Further Reading

Harvey’s New York Bar & Grill

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Bulkeley Hotel, Beaumaris

Bulkeley Hotel coffee shop

Bulkeley Hotel coffee shop

Date

25 March 2016

Location

Beaumaris, Anglesey
SH 60586 76042; 53.26298°N, 4.09163°W

Information

Liberal politician Richard Bulkeley Williams Bulkeley (1801-1875) of Baron Hill, 10th Baronet Williams-Bulkeley of Penrhyn, built the Bulkeley Hotel in Beaumaris for a royal visit to the town in 1832 by the then Princess Victoria. He engaged architects Joseph Aloysius Hansom (1803-1882) – who later invented the Hansom safety cab – and Edward Welch (1806-1868) and construction commenced in 1829. Hansom, from York, and Welch, from Flintshire, had formed an architectural partnership in 1828 and at the time were also engaged on the renovation of Bodelwyddan Castle (1830-1832). Construction of the three-storey, neo-classical Bulkeley Hotel was completed in 1831. It was altered by Bangor architect Peter Shearson Gregory (b 1862) around 1899 and extended in the 1930s by Colwyn Bay architect Sidney Colwyn Foulkes (1884-1971). The hotel is a Grade I listed building.

Further Reading

The Bulkeley Hotel;
The Bulkeley Hotel (British Listed Buildings);
More posts about Beaumaris

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Porth Eirias

Porth Eirias

Porth Eirias

Date

5 March 2016

Location

Promenade, Colwyn Bay
SH 85771 78918; 53.29486°N, 3.71528°W

Information

In 2011 Liverpool-based K2 Architects won a design competition funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Welsh Assembly Government for the ‘Colwyn Bay Watersports Hotspot’. This complex was intended as a key component of Conwy County Borough Council’s seafront regeneration plans for the town. The original design featured glass facades and gentle access ramps carrying the promenade over the roof of the building, which would function as a ‘public events park’.

The centre was built by Bodelwyddan-based Wynne Construction with work on the site commencing in March 2012. The final design departed in several aspects from the winning competition entry. The glass facades and projecting roof, for example, were replaced by a windowless, zinc-clad angular section, likened locally to a giant dumpster skip. The access ramps to the roof deck were found to be too steep for wheelchair use, leading to the introduction of an impractical zigzagging path between the scruffy-looking plant beds of the ‘living roof’. K2’s design was a finalist in the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) 2014 Wales Awards for Regeneration. The building was also nominated in June 2013 for Building Design’s ‘Carbuncle Cup’.

The Porth Eirias centre opened in May 2013, with the event being celebrated by a two-day music festival. The official opening by the First Minister of Wales took place in September 2013. Colwyn Bay Watersports, a Community Interest Company working in cooperation with Conwy council, is based in the centre and offers watersports tuition and equipment hire. The centre itself also features changing rooms and outdoor and indoor showers.

The £4 million facility has a new slipway next to it and is located at the head of a new rock groyne intended to prevent the 400,000 tonnes of sand that was pumped ashore onto the beach as part of a coastal defence project from being washed away.

In September 2013 it was announced that Denbigh-born TV celebrity chef Bryn Williams, who since 2008 has also been owner and chef of Odette’s restaurant in London, would be opening a bistro in the centre by the end of the year. The opening of the restaurant was, however, put back several times and concerns were raised over the long delays in the project with the new building standing largely empty for over a year and a half. The actual deal was not signed until April 2014, with Conwy council’s Chief Executive blaming the delays on “complicated legal things”. (It was later reported that Conwy council had in fact only embarked on the Porth Eirias project because European Objective 1 funding was available for it and had not developed any proper business plan for the centre.) In August 2014 the council agreed to spend a further £33,000 on alterations to the newly built facility to accommodate the bistro. There were in particular problems with the curved layout of the kitchen area. Building work on the bistro started in January 2015 and Porth Eirias’ public facilities were closed while the work was carried out. The restaurant eventually opened in July 2015.

Further Reading

Porth Eirias: Colwyn Bay watersports centre celebration (BBC 18 May 2013);
Bryn Williams at Porth Eirias

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Alpine Coffee Shop

Americano

Americano

Date

19 April 2015
Location

Betws-y-coed

SH 79515 56573; 53.09271°N, 3.80066°W

Information

The Alpine Coffee Shop in Betws-y-Coed is one of a complex of three ventures owned by Jacha and Gwyn Potgieter in the former railway station building (built in 1868 by local poet, historian and civil-engineering contractor Owen Gethin Jones (1816-1883) from Penmachno). The other two businesses, which both opened in 2014, are the Alpine Apartments self-catering accommodation and the Galeri Platform, which exhibits work by Jacha, a South African born artist and environmentalist. The Alpine Coffee Shop first opened in 1973 after Gwyn’s first husband purchased the station building. The Potgieters have developed it into an ethical café, which serves fair-trade, free-range and palm-oil-free fare and caters for gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan diets.

Further Reading

The Old Railway Station, Betws-y-Coed;
Alpine Coffee Shop

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