Warm welcome awaits at cosy traditional pub

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					20   SOUTH WALES EVENING POST             SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2009                                                                                                         visit our website        visit our website                                                                                              SOUTH WALES EVENING POST         SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2009                 21

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   It’s Saturday!
It’s Saturday!
                                                                                    TRAVEL                                                                                                                                                                                                         TRAVEL                                                       in association with

                                                      W                                           Warm welcome
                                                                       HERE else
                                                                       but Ireland
                                                                       could you                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               STAR DEALS
                                                                       visit a pub
                                                                       and end up                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  UK/IRELAND                 CYPRUS First Choice (0871 200 4455)

                                                                                                  awaits at cosy
                                                                       on the first                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           offers seven nights’ self-catering at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   JERSEY (0845 230 3240)
                                                      night of your stay drinking                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  offers four nights’ B&B at three-star      four-star resort from £220 (four sharing),
                                                      Guinness and dancing the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Merton Hotel commencing Sundays and        saving £175, incl flights ex-Luton Oct 7.
                                                      Irish jig with the owners?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Mondays on selected dates from £245        SOUTHERN SARDINIA Sardinian Places
                                                          No, I didn’t quite out-dance                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             until Oct 19, flights ex-Gatwick and       (0845 330 2050) offers seven nights’
                                                      Riverdance’s Michael Flatley. But                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            various reg airports (at supp), car hire   self-catering in two-bedroom villa in
                                                      heck, it wasn’t half bad for a first                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         and airport parking.                       south of island from Oct 3 from £1,163,

                                                                                                  traditional pub
                                                      attempt, fuelled by a couple of pints                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   saving £100 on brochure price.
                                                      of the dark stuff.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           LONDON (0871 226
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   0808) offers two nights’ B&B at the        Flights/car hire extra.
                                                          One thing had led to another and
                                                      all of a sudden I found myself with a                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Strand Palace Hotel from Oct 2 from        IBIZA Interhome (020 8780 6629) offers
                                                      drink in hand, leaping up and down                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           £270, based on two sharing a superior      seven nights’ self-catering in villa
OLD TOWN Paphos, Cyprus.                              in a rather valiant attempt to put that                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      club double room.                          sleeping eight just outside resort of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   POWYS/SNOWDONIA Four-star Lake             Saint Joan de Labritja with large garden,

Town like
                                                      guy with the perm and lightning legs
                                                      to shame. But after three pints, it was                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Vyrnwy Hotel (01691 870 692) offers        pool and barbecue area. Total rental is
                                                      my wife and friends we were                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  three nights’ midweek break                £1,711, or £213.87 per person at full
                                                      travelling with that I put to shame                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          (Sun-Thurs) for £405 (saving £145) per     capacity.
                                                      rather than the man himself! Oh well.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        couple, through Sept/Oct, incl                             LONG-HAUL
                                                                                                      IRELAND boasts one of the best-oiled tourist machines in
                                                      I’ll chalk it up to one of those holiday                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     five-course dinners and cream teas on      JORDAN RED SEA VJW (0845 166 7035)
                                                      experiences.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 first two afternoons.
                                                          We were booked in to Johnnie and            the world, but there is more to the Emerald Isle than just                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              offers seven nights’ B&B at five-star
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Movenpick Tala Bay, incl Monarch flights
                                                      Mags       Hurley’s    An     Seanachai
                                                      restaurant and bar at Dungarven in
                                                                                                      hype and top notch marketing. As the new Swansea-Cork                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ex-Gatwick from £545 on some
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              departures in Oct/Nov, and from £495

                                                      Co. Waterford. To that, add their 12
                                                      holiday cottages, newly built within
                                                                                                      ferry was unveiled this week ahead of its first sailings next                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           dep Dec 1 & 9. Optional excursions incl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Petra sightseeing £79, Dead Sea £63,
                                                      staggering distance of the pub.                 March, PETER SLEE has been finding out what treasures                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Wadi Rum £59 and Neptune Submarine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              £27. VYW fixes Jordanian visa for UK
                                                          We had arrived a couple of hours
                                                      earlier but already felt at home.
                                                                                                      lie ahead for visitors . . .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            passport holders.

by Katie Hodge                                            It was cosy and homely, bordering
                                                      on hotel-boutique chic.                    can’t help tripping over wherever you       either side of the road. Then, finally,     out of our hands when our new Irish
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   HOMELY ACCOMMODATION The An Seanachai bar and restaurant at Dungarven, Co. Waterford.                                                                                      GAMBIA Gambia Experience (0845 330
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2087) offers seven nights’ B&B at
                                                          And when you arrive, the Hurleys       turn such is the popularity of the          we arrived at An Seanachai. Each            friend, Johnnie, offered to drive us      Knockmealdown mountains. Our              overlooking the sea below. A perfect      Johnnie and Mags, we were left with                                                    four-star hotel from £379, ex-Gatwick
FROM the moment I touched down in southern            welcome you like one of the family         place — seem to have sweet natured          cottage grouped around an outdoor           around the region showing us some         various journeys saw us stop off at       place to prop up the bar, and enjoy       a compelling thought. However                                                          Oct 13, incl transfers. Ten-night stays
Cyprus, I was whisked into another realm.             rather than a paying guest. Both           personalities.                              courtyard just 25 metres or so from         of the best of what was on offer.         Lismore via the picturesque               the craic with a pint of Guinness.        great a place is, it is the efforts of                                                 £519, 14 nights £519.
   Legend has it that Aphrodite, Greek goddess of     exude a gentle calm that seems to            The two-and-a-half hour car               the thatched pub itself. It couldn’t           It is true that when in Ireland you    Blackwater Valley; Kilkenny and its          The Hurleys rescued it from            people like them to share it with                                                      PERU Collette Worldwide (0800 804 8700)
beauty and love, was born on this Mediterranean       have seeped into every corner of the       journey to Dungarven from Rosslare          have looked more Irish had it tried.        can just go where Ireland takes you.      12th Century castle, the world            near-dereliction to reopen it in          visitors that really make it even           RELAXING Views over Lake Vyrnwy.
island and, so the story goes, her continuing         place.                                     had     been     a    delight,   with          Dinner at the early 19th Century            But it is much better if you happen    famous Waterford crystal centre           2006, maintaining its traditional         more special. It’s their attention to
presence brings unremitting sunshine. It’s not            Even the pub regulars — which you      breathtakingly rugged scenery on            pub, beautifully cooked by Mags, was        to chance upon somebody such as           (though sadly these days a shadow         look in the process. The result is        detail and the small things that sets                      SHORT BREAKS
hard to believe.                                                                                                                             local fish, seared scallops, monkfish,      Johnnie. His enthusiasm for the           of its former glory), the bustling        pretty much picture postcard per-         this place apart from others. They          FLORIDA Bon Voyage (0800 316 0194)
   On arrival, the first thing to hit me was the                                                                                             lamb or steak, with her home-baked          region and its people is infectious.      town of Clonmel — home to the             fect. Our cottage, which could have       are the glue that makes traditional         offers five nights’ room-only at four-star
golden glow and blissful warmth which drew me                                                                                                soda bread. We ate sitting in front of a    The sort of person you never really       South Tipperary Arts Centre — a           slept up to six, was a bit like staying   venues like this keep their place on        Doubletree Hotel Universal Studios from
through the airport throng.                                                                                                                  roaring, giant log and turf fire in what    seem to find in any other country.        string of beaches along the south         at a friend’s home within staggering      the landscape when they could so            £599 on deps to Oct 31, incl frequent
   I was staying in a junior suite at The Amathus,                                                                                           was once the property’s original               There’s none of that straight-line     east coast as well as the simplicity of   distance of a really great local.         easily just disappear into history.         fear pass to experience Halloween
a hotel perched on the seafront, and a stone’s                                                                                               kitchen. The home-cooked seafood            mentality when you head off on the        mile upon mile of the brown turf of          Of course, there are lots of              A couple on a mission to spread          Horror Nights at Universal Studios
throw from the centre of old-town Paphos.                                                                                                    chowder we started with was                 road with him around West                 bogland.                                  cottages to rent in this part of          the word: The personification of            Orlando theme park. Not suitable for
   My room was palatial, with beautiful marble                                                                                               sensational. Tired and content, we          Waterford. Left, right, and onwards.         Centre     stage     though     was    Ireland. But I doubt there are too        everything a family-run local               under-13s.
bathroom, minimalist Manhattan-style decor                                                                                                   drifted off to bed, impatient for           Mile after mile of picture perfect        Dungarven itself, a thriving market       many like those at An Seanachai           restaurant, bar and holiday venue
and a private, floodlit plunge-pool.                                                                                                         another day to explore this magic           scenery, golf courses, walking trails     town and medieval port which we           that have a host and hostess ready        should be, creating a benchmark             ROME BA Holidays (0844 493 0758) offers
   A welcoming bottle of champagne set the tone,                                                                                             country — fishing, hill walking, golf or    and even the odd castle or two.           really liked for its unspoiled,           to go that extra mile to make your        place to stay in the process.               three nights’ B&B through Oct from
and a sophisticated bunch of flowers brought                                                                                                 pony-trekking, or a boat trip.                 To our right, Dungarven Bay itself.    unhurried charm. That and the An          stay such a memorable one.                   Dungarven is lucky to have them          £245, incl flights ex-Gatwick.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ANCIENT SIGHTS Petra, Jordan.
some Cypriot warmth to the room, as did a                                                                                                       But any decision-making was taken        Off in the distance, the Comeragh and     Seanachai which sits on its outskirts        As we said our farewells to            on its side.                                              SHORT-HAUL SUN
                                                      TRADITIONAL SOUNDS Enjoying the craic in Ireland.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       offers 14-day escorted tour from Nov 3

colourful platter of canapes: a hint of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LISBON Opodo (0870 243 3406) offers        via Lima, Sacred Valley of Incas,
indulgences to come.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               seven nights’ room-only at four-star
   I spent my first afternoon lazing by the pool                                                                                             rolls with a cup of tea. If that doesn’t    in six languages.                         choice really is agonising.               golfers at all levels the opportunity                                                                                            Macchu Picchu, Cuzco, Uros Floating
along with a few of my fellow guests.
   Paphos has a lot to offer, and whether you are
                                                               things to do in South East Ireland                                            appeal, a few euros will buy you
                                                                                                                                             anything from carrot cake to scones,
                                                                                                                                                                                         ●Cliff House Hotel, ArdMore.
                                                                                                                                                                                            The hotel is one of Ireland’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Two nights B&B and one night
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   dinner, from 130 euros.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             to play at the courses.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                West Waterford Golf & Country            WHERE TO STAY Peter Slee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Novotel Lisboa from £1,059 for family of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   four, with flights ex-Heathrow Oct 16.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Islands, Lake Titicaca, Paracas from
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              £2,440, saving £350.
there to bask in the sunshine or explore an island    ●The Tannery Restaurant, (tel: 00          at around 28 euros a head. Two              seed and butter loves or buttermilk         standout restaurant hotels, offering         In a word: Dreamy!                     Club (18 hole, Par 72, 6,800 yards).        stayed at the An Seanachai bar            NORTH CYPRUS Direct Traveller (0845        ANTIGUA Tropical Sky (0870 907 9600)
steeped in myth and tradition, you will want to       353 58 45420), 10 Quay Street,             courses and excellent value. Also           browns.                                     crisp Irish classicism and a              ●The Local, Dungarven Town                Tel: +353 (0)58 43216 or 41475              and restaurant at Dungarven,              409 1490) offers seven nights’ B&B at      offers seven nights’ all-inclusive at
venture out.                                          Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.                  worth investigating is its adjoining           All very quaint.                         welcoming, rustic warmth. Notable            This pub is the quintessential         or email info@westwaterfordgolf.            Co. Waterford.                            Colony Hotel, Kyrenia, from £567,          Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts on
   I began my days like any self-respecting             Not devoted exclusively to fish, but     cookery school set alongside its own        ●Waterford Museum Of Treasures,             design      elements     include      a   Irish boozer.                             com.                                        HOW MUCH? Mini break rates:               ex-Birmingham Oct 28.                      selected Nov deps ex-Gatwick from
goddess: indulgently. Breakfast on the                celebrated chef-patron Paul Flynn          walled garden.                              The Granary, Merchants Quay,                grass-covered roof naturally crafted         Packed to the rafters the night we        Dungarvan Golf Club (18 hole,            299 euros to include five nights          ALGARVE Holiday Jewels (01293 533 338) £649, with resort transfers.
sun-drenched terrace was, predictably, a feast        presents a menu brimming with                 Newly-opened, it offers short            Waterford, Tel: 051 304 500. Open:          into the cliff on the east wing from      called in, at the rear, a band played     Par 72, 6,708 yards). Tel: +353 (0)58       bed & breakfast; three dinners            offers seven nights’ self-catering at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         and three rounds of golf. Based                                                      BALI Seasons in Style (01244 202 000)
from the heavens.                                     gutsy, modern seafood dishes.              courses under the tutelage of the man       seven days a week.                          which the Cliff House takes its           a jig while we contented ourselves        43310 or email dungarvangc@                                                           three-star complex near Albufeira for      offers seven nights’ B&B at Karma
   But gods must concern themselves with higher         Highlights of a menu which               himself.                                       The award-winning museum tells           name.                                     propped up at the bar drinking the                                 on min. four people. Other                £175, incl flights ex-Gatwick Oct 5.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         activities can be substituted for                                                    Kandara between Oct 1-Dec 19 from
matters, and leaving gastronomic delights             concentrates on highest quality            ●Barrons Bakery In CapPoquin.               the thousand-year story of Ireland’s           The Cliff House’s bedrooms offer       dark stuff!                                  Gold Coast Golf Club (18 hole,                                                     ZANTE First Choice (0871 200 4455)         £2,025, saving up to £460, incl BA
behind me, I made my way deeper into the              ingredients include seared tuna with          Nestled in a little house in this tiny   oldest city and celebrates the ethnic,      sweeping vistas over the Irish sea.          A great evening to remember.           Par 72, 6,788 yards). Tel: +353 (0)58       golf. web:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         HOW TO GET THERE He                                                                  flights.
ancient world.                                        a dressing of creme fraiche and lime,      village, this is one of the last bakeries   cultural and religious diversity of all.    The meal we enjoyed here will go          ●The Dungarven Golf Triangle              44055 or email info@goldcoastgolf
   Unesco has recently added the whole town of        and fillet of John Dory with a morel       in Ireland to still use a traditional          The      superb     historic     and     down as one of our best ever, offering       One for golfers this, but offering                                   travelled with low fares ferry
Paphos to its World Heritage list, and not without    and parma ham cream. Stylish dining        Scotch brick oven producing a bread         archaeological collection ranging           up great interpretations of traditional   excellent value. For 80 euro, you            All three offer some challenges          company Irish Ferries between
reason.                                               room, too in a building which dates        with a unique taste, flavour and            from Viking Age and medieval to the         Irish dishes.                             can play three courses for the price      for the discerning golfer wanting to        Pembroke/Rosslare. Fares start
   In what feels like an open-air museum, the         back to the 1800s.                         crust.                                      20th Century is enlivened by fun               One of those menus packed with so      of two.                                   test their skill in a magnificent and       from £69 one way for car and
immortal verses of ancient Greek playwrights            We opted for their Early Bird menu          Worth trying are its famous Blah         interactive displays and sound guide        many good things that making a final         This Monday to Friday offer gives      spectacular location.                       driver. or
still resonate.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          08717 300 400.
   Once the island’s capital, Paphos is now

famous for the remains of the Roman Governor’s                                                                                                      FROM Roman battle sites to helping European                                                                                                                        But he got it right! I still don’t
palace, with its strikingly well-preserved mosaics                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     know how he did it. It must have
of times long past.                                                                                                                                 orphans, Swansea director of charity Love and                                                                                                                      been a trick and I fell for it!
   Wandering around these ruins opens a door                                                                                                        Care for Moldova Mervyn Cartwright, recalls some                                                                                                                   What was your most memorable
into another world, bringing history sharply into
focus and leaving the explorer feeling humbled.
                                                                                                                                                    of the highs and lows from his holidaying past.                                                                                                                    holiday moment? Not exactly a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       holiday moment, but when I went
   My meanderings took me deeper into the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              to a school in Moldova where our
ancient world, and through the mass of cultures                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        charity had delivered computers.             HOLIDAY DESTINATION Lisbon.               SCENIC Lake Titicaca, Peru.
and      religions    which     have    left  their                                         What was your best holiday? It was           making lace on one of the islands in           once bought a caravan holiday in a                                                                                             Staff were on holiday but they
variously-shaped footprints.                                                                a holiday in Italy in a place called         the lake called Isola Maggiore. My             charity raffle. It was a bargain. The                                                                                          had all turned up to say thanks.             offers seven nights’ self-catering at     ●CARDIFF is to have a direct link to
   Cyprus, the third-largest Mediterranean                                                  Passigno sul Trasimeno, on Lake              son was able to run round                      place, Borth, was lovely, the                                                                                                  We went to the staff room where              three-star resort from £229 (four         Florida next summer thanks to the
island, is at the crossroads of three continents.                                           Trasimene, in the centre of the              everywhere and we all had a                    facilities good and the caravan was                                                                                            they had laid out food and drink.            sharing), saving £175, ex-Newcastle Oct   Scottish low fare airline flyglobespan.
The geographical position has, since antiquity,                                             country. The weather was glorious,           fabulous time.                                 a nice place. But the weather was                                                                                              We had a wonderful meal and                  11.                                       The web-based airline plans to launch a
played an important part in its turbulent history,                                          the views spectacular, the scent of          And the best hotel you stayed in?              appalling — it poured with rain for                                                                                            their thanks were overwhelming               TURKEY Club Med Palmiye (08453 676        scheduled service from next May.
while the influences of Africa, Asia and Europe                                             the flowers heady and the hire car           We rarely stay in hotels but it was            the entire week. Venturing outside                                                                                             but the best moment came when                767) offers seven nights’ all-inclusive   They will fly every Wednesday from
abound.                                                                                     worked just fine. I was able to visit        very romantic when we stayed in a              was a definite no-no. We went a few        BEST HOTEL Mervyn stayed in a romantic hotel in Florence.                           they sang. It made me cry! As I              from Oct 9 in four-star resort near       Cardiff direct to Orlando Sanford.
●Katie was a guest of Amathus Beach                                                         the site of a battle I wrote about in a      hotel in Florence close to the Il              places in the car but it seemed to be                                                                                          said to the director of the school,          Antalya from £735 per adult, and £524     Flight only prices from Cardiff to Sanford
Hotel, Paphos, and Sovereign Holidays.                                                      magazine — Carthaginians against             Duomo.                                         wet everywhere.                            bought the services of a man in           month of birth. I thought I was           if people were to ask my why I               per child, including flights.             start from £170 per person.
Sovereign reservations: 0871 664 0227.                                                      Romans in the Punic wars. My wife                                                           The daftest thing you bought on            Las Vegas who claimed to be               onto a sure winner — he would             do this, then this song would be
●                                                                          was able to view the elderly ladies          What was your worst holiday? We
                                                      HOLIDAY Mervyn Cartwright.                                                                                                        holiday? I think it was when I             able to tell people’s year and            pay me double my fee if he failed.        my answer.