Afternoon Tea – The Royal Connection.


With the launch of our new afternoon tea imminent, we felt it fitting to share with you the ‘Royal Connection’ of this historical tradition.

The origins of afternoon tea, a quintessentially English tradition, are rumoured to date all the way back to 1662 when Catherine of Braganza married Charles II of England, she brought with her a casket of tea, introducing it to the royal court and became known as ‘the tea drinking Queen’.

The tradition of Afternoon Tea as we know it (with savouries and cakes) took a little while to develop and is attributed to Anne, 7th Duchess of Bedford who, in the early 1840’s requested light sandwiches, tea and cake be brought to her in the late afternoon to ‘stave off that sinking feeling’. Over time, she started to invite close confidantes to join her, to exchange news and stories over tea and light refreshments: one of Britain’s finest traditions was born.

Other social hostesses quickly picked up on the idea and the practice became respectable enough to move it into the drawing room.  This pause for tea became a fashionable social event. During the 1880s upper-class and society women would change into long gowns, gloves and hats for their afternoon tea which was usually served in the drawing room between four and five o’clock.

Traditional English afternoon tea parties are all about socialising and enjoying time relaxing with the warmth of tea and friendship. Even though there seem to be a lot of rules, how you eat your scone or hold your teacup doesn’t really matter. But if you want to stick with tradition, good manners are all part of the authentic afternoon tea experience.


Traditional Afternoon Tea in the Drawing Room, Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa.

2013 Fishing Season Review

Mr Makin, one of the lakes most regular fisherman has been kind enough to write this review of last years fishing season. We will soon be moving to a dedicated fishing blog – please, bear with us – it’s on its way!

The 2013 season was dominated by extremes of the local weather. The opening months of March and April featured snow on the surrounding hills with, melt water coming into the Lake via the feeder stream and the occasional snow shower to test the fortitude of the anglers. However, the early season fishing gave good sport for the hardy souls who ventured out. The fish were in superb condition and both the rainbows and brownies fed hard at times and gave good sport to both sinking and floating lines. Whitegates fished well on some days. Brian Owen had a bag of 18 brownies and 2 rainbows on bumbles and black and green lures fish on an intermediate line. Paul Makin had 11 brownies (best 1.25 lbs) and 8 rainbows (best 4.0 lbs) taken on Bumbles, Montanas and Caddis fished on floating and intermediate lines.

May, June and July proved to be very wet and cold at times with the rivers pushing coloured water into the Lake. However, the fish fed hard during the warmer spells with some excellent catches. Paul Makin had 12 brownies best fish 1.25 lbs and 11 rainbows best fish 2.5 lbs on Bibios, GRHE, Claret bumble taken on a floating line at Whitegates. GV & H Westropp took 22 brownies using a sink tip with Invictas, Bibios, and Connemara Blacks from Whitegates. Brian Owen (fishing with gillie John Davies) took 20 brownies and 12 rainbows on Black and green lure and Welsh Witch from Whitegates. Messrs Hughes and Ogbourne took 17 brownies and 4 rainbows to 3.8 lbs. on Bibios and Claret Bumbles. Messrs Dickson and Coleman-Smith took 25 brownies and 1 rainbow on Bumbles and Vivas. P Hutchinson (fishing with gillie John Davies) took 27 brownies and 3 rainbows on green and black lures.  Paul Makin (taking advantage of a fishing break) had bags of 16, 28 and 20 brownies taken from between Whitegates and the Cedic on a slow sinker Bibio, Grenwells and GRHEs.

Eddie Wilkinson had 10+ brownies on a dry Hopper from between the Cedic and the Tower. Derek and Owen Edwards had 19 brownies – best fish 2.5 lbs and 1 rainbow from Whitegates. M Edwards (fishing with gillie John Davies) had 13 brownies and 1 rainbow on Dabblers and Welsh witches fishing from the Boathouse end. Messrs Owen and Sleigh had 22 brownies and 1 rainbow on Black Pennels, Butchers and Zulu using floating lines. GV and H Westrop had 13 brownies on Connemara Blacks and Bibio from Whitegates. Messrs Naylor and Horton took 13 brownies by dapping with Sedges from Whitegates. Alan Thomas took 9 brownies and 2 rainbows from the Boathouse end.

August September and October were distinguished by very low water conditions with little water entering the lake and days of bright sunshine. However, there were days when the fish fed well. Rys Williams (fishing with gillie John Davies) took 4 brownies from Whitgates. Tom Chambrrian had two good days 23+ brownies and 19 brownies plus 2 rainbows caught on Claret Bumble and Mallard and Claret at Whitegates. Mr Edwards (fishing with gillie John Davies) caught 5 brownies up to 1.5 lbs on a black and green lure and a sink-tip. Messrs Jones caught 23 brownies and 11 rainbows from Whitegates on Olive Dabbler, Gold Pennel and dry Daddys. R Hillier and R Sumsion had 15 brownies and 1 rainbow on floating black Hoppers from the Boathouse end. Paul Makin had 4 brownies and 8 rainbows to 3.0 lbs on Missionaries, Sweeny Todds and Peter Ross on a medium sinking line from Whitegates. Brian Owen and Hyada Steele (fishing with gillie John Davies) – 7 brownies to 3 lbs and 4 rainbows taken on Cats Whiskers, Muddlers and Black and Green lures on sinking lines from the Boathouse end. Neal and Carol Moss took 7 brownies to 1.0 lbs and 1 rainbow at 2.25 lbs taken on mini-Muddler, Gold Butcher and GRHE using an intermediate lines from the Boathouse end.

Most productive flies were Claret Bumble, Connemara Black, Bibio, Green and Black lure, Montana and GRHE.

Unforgettable Days Out – Whatever your Age!

We have lots of ideas to inspire fun days out whether you are staying at Lake Vyrnwy Hotel and Spa or simply visiting the area for the day…

Wonderful Wildlife

The lake is home to an abundance of wonderful wildlife; the RSPB hides and walking trails are a great place to start. Pack a pair of binoculars; you never know what you might see on a warm spring day. Look out for new born lambs or sheep being sheared, even birds of prey displaying – peregrines, buzzards, red kites and hen harriers may be visible over the moor.

Walking Lake Vyrnwy

Take a leisurely stroll around the lake at the foot of mountains, with its breath taking tower and dam or explore one of the many RSPB nature trails; our favourite is the Rhiwargor trial. Starting and finishing at the Rhiwargor car park, the trail is 2.3 miles long and includes mountain views and a spectacular waterfall.

For the more adventurous or serious walker there’s miles and miles of footpaths to take you off into the hills and mountains and the opportunity to feel the splendid isolation of the spectacular countryside around Lake Vyrnwy.


Hire a bike and you can spend hours exploring the shores of the lake. The road around Lake Vyrnwy is 11 miles long and couldn’t be more perfect for a leisurely bike ride with its flat road and picnic stops. Bikes are available to hire at two stations over the dam; Artisans and the Barn Café.

Lambing Live

At this time of year you can embrace rural living – your very own version of ‘lambing live’. The RSBP farm is alive with lambing activity – over the next few weeks hundreds of lambs will be delivered and farm gates open to visitors. Lambing lives makes for a truly unforgettable experience for all of the family. The farm will be open throughout the weekends in April as well as May bank holiday (5th and 6th) with all events starting at 1pm from the RSPB shop, just over the dam. You’ll need to wrap up warm – the lambing sheds can get a little chilly!

Spring time is a particularly special time of year for us at the lake; the sun begins to shine and everything wakes up, providing a beautiful backdrop for your activities. Whatever you get up to this spring we hope that you have a wonderful time and will share your adventures with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Springtime, Lake Vyrnwy.

Hello World.

We are so pleased to have our new website up and running. Lake Vyrnwy Hotel has entered the digital world – we would love to know what you all think!

Keep a look out on our blog; regular posts coming soon! Everything from spa products to recipes and the great outdoors, we are certain that there will be a little something for everyone.

For day to day updates on the Lake Vyrnwy goings on, why not Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter