If you’ve ever dreamed of playing house at your own country estate in Britain, gazing out over an endless expanse of sheep-dotted green grass, and ending the night with a glass of whiskey by the fire….get thee to Crug Glâs Country House Hotel and Restaurant in Wales.
Make your way from Cardiff or Swansea (about two hours) or from the UK’s smallest city, St David’s (10 minutes) to Pembrokeshire, where the Crug Glâs sits on 600 acres of unspoiled farmland, not far from the stunningly beautiful and rugged coast of Wales. Pull up the tree-lined drive and, once you’ve turned off the car, the only sounds you’ll hear are the birds, and the occasional mooing of the resident cows or the bleating of far off sheep. This is the Welsh countryside in comfort.
You’ll be greeted by the owners, husband and wife Janet and Perkin Evans, who have a long history with the property. There was a home here at Crug Glâs as far back as the 12th century; in the 1600s the Harries family, ancestors of Janet, were tenants. Hundreds of years later, the house was purchased by the family of Perkin. When Perkin and Janet met and fell in love, it seemed only right that they move into Crug Glâs, a place so inextricably tied to their family histories.
Janet and Perkin farmed grains and raised cows…and children. When those children were grown, Janet and Perkin decided to renovate the old house, add en-suite bathrooms, modernize the facilities, and add luxury touches to turn the house into a country inn that guests would love to return to after a day exploring the surrounding Welsh countryside.
It’ll be Perkin or Janet will show you to your room; this is a true family-run inn. There are five rooms plus the Coach House and Long House, and each is decorated in soft colors and antique furniture. The aesthetic is homey, classic, soft and cozy and oh-so-welcoming after a day out in Wales’s notoriously moody weather.
If you’re lucky, like I was, you might end up in room four, the largest of the inn’s double rooms. You’ll be tempted to throw yourself onto the bed, which forms the centerpiece of the room and has a staggering 7-ft tall canopy, but first, flip the switch on the fireplace, set the kettle for tea (don’t forget the complimentary biscuits), and fill up the deep tub in the sunken bathroom.
In addition to the five rooms in the house, there’s also a Coach House with floor-to-ceiling windows, living space, and two bathrooms, as well as the Long House, a renovated barn. Both offer plenty of privacy and quiet, but no wifi access (wifi is available for free in the main house) so bear that in mind if your plans involve anything other than disconnecting and relaxing.
Once you’ve thoroughly enjoyed the room, head down to the parlor for a pre-dinner drink. The bar is fully stocked, so choose from a glass of wine or prosecco, a cocktail, or a warming glass of Penderyn’s Welsh whisky to enjoy by the fire. The dining room is right next door, so you can linger in front of the flames for a bit longer.
For dinner, choose from modern interpretations of traditional Welsh dishes, such as local Pembrokeshire lamb with a red currant reduction, local Pembrokeshire steak in a mushroom and brandy sauce, duck with port and plum sauce, or mushrooms cooked in white wine with leeks and cream. The next morning, you’ll find those offerings replaced coffee, tea, juice, and all the makings of a traditional breakfast: bacon, sausage, beans, tomatoes, toast and eggs, any way you like them. It’s the perfect way to cap off a stay at the Crug Glâs – country, with all the comforts.
If you go: Room rates range from £150-£190 per night.