Featured Post: Ladies Who Lodge at The Celtic Manor

Hello you lovely lot!

Well, not so long ago, Maria and I had the pleasure of being invited to sample some of the loveliness that is the Hunter Lodges for an event; #ladieswholodge. We went along to see how they could fit into a perfect girlie getaway, namely, your luxurious hen party! And boy it did not disappoint!


We arrived and were whisked away to the beautiful lodges, nestled amongst the trees of the stunning landscape that surrounds the 2010 Ryder Cup Course of the Celtic Manor in the Usk Valley.

Entering the room felt like we were entering the home of Father Christmas himself. It was decked out absolutely beautifully, showcasing the lodge in all its ‘Classy, Comfortable and Cwtchy‘ wonder.


The living area of the lodge itself is open plan with vaulted ceilings, and high end kitchen and is the perfect space for entertaining, but with a gorgeously cosy feel to it around a burning fire and cwtchy sofas.


With four double en suite bedrooms, an indoor sauna and a hot tub with incredible views, you and your girls could live in complete lavishness .

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After a lovely introduction from Marketing and Glenn Lewis who designed the interiors, we had a fabulous welcome in the form of the most delectable cocktails, made in front of us by the very talented Mixologist, Jan Kosler. A little taster of what we were going to be treated to later in the evening.

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In the kitchen, casual as you like, was the amazing Executive Head Chef Michael Bates, surrounded by canapés and prepping for Christmas puddings!


I was roped in to help (ok ok, I volunteered!) and loved it.  The smell of the orange, lemon, cinnamon, dark rum and treacle (to name but a few ingredients) was just Christmas personified!

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It was thirsty work, but we got through it and thankfully Maria was on hand behind the camera with one of Jan’s “Vanilla Snowball’ cocktails.

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We were all treated to our own little pudding to take home!

Following the pudding fun, we continued to drink and moved into the living room area to cosy up for a moment with our own fondue.  Who doesn’t love fondue!?


And then onto the fabulous cocktail class with Jan! So brilliant, and so much fun to do with your girls! Admittedly, when making your own, you always tend to be slightly more generous with the portion control!ladies_lodge-15-of-38 ladies_lodge-16-of-38 ladies_lodge-17-of-38

I want Jan to me my new best friend.  I think he was a little alarmed by me.ladies_lodge-30-of-38

In the morning we all headed to The Forum, The Celtic Manor’s in house Health Club and Spa, for a massage, a swim and generally feel awfully special! Then to top it off, we were sent home with a gorgeous goody bag!

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All in all, it is just a fabulous place. For a group of girls, celebrating in a luxurious manner for a hen party, you just cannot beat this place! I want to go over and over and over!

Thank you so much for having us! x

Images by Maria Farrelly Photography


Review: An evening at the Celtic Manor

Is ‘DATE NIGHT’ coming up soon? Do you need somewhere to entertain the future in-laws? or maybe you’d just like to treat your mum to a lovely meal on Friday night?  If so, did you know that the Celtic Manor have recently opened three new restaurants at the resort? Yes, THREE! They can even cater for intimate weddings too!

Steak on Six, The Epicure Experience by Richard Davies and Cen.

I was lucky enough to be invited to an event called #nightatthemanor a few weeks ago. Alongside some of Wales & Bristols’ leading bloggers, I was treated to a tour of each restaurant, served divine cocktails and sampled a selection of lavish food from each of the restaurants (I was one lucky and very FULL girl afterwards haha).

All images in this post by me: Maria Farrelly Photography


Signature Lounge

 The evening started with cocktails and canapés in the recently opened Signature Lounge.

Diners at Steak on Six can enjoy drinks before lunch or dinner here which boasts spectacular, elevated views across Coldra Woods.

Maria_Farrelly_Photography-166Maria_Farrelly_Photography-161I was pretty fascinated with this hand carved cured ham, it tasted incredible.

Maria_Farrelly_Photography-164 Maria_Farrelly_Photography-165Maria_Farrelly_Photography-158Each of these canapés were a delight and i think if you were considering hosting a small intimate wedding here, the food would certainly wow your guests. I just don’t think one of each canapé would be enough for my friends… they’d LOVE all of this and i’m pretty sure they’d happily of taken the tray off the waiter.

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Steak on Six

In a spectacular elevated setting on the sixth floor of the Resort Hotel, this recent addition serves succulent steaks from around the British Isles and has already earned the coveted accolade of two AA Rosettes!


Most of the tables in this restaurant were laid out for two which instantly made me feel this was an intimate couples restaurant rather than somewhere a family/large group would dine. I really liked that. Their website does state they will accommodate a maximum of 6 per table. Its also worth noting there is a dress code. I’m afraid you’ll have to leave your flip-flops where they firmly belong (at the beach). 

Maria_Farrelly_Photography-168Alongside signature cuts of the finest steaks from around the British Isles, diners can also take their pick from an array of other fine meats and fresh fish, all grilled to perfection.

Maria_Farrelly_Photography-171This unique setting with its spectacular views over Coldra Woods and breathtaking combination of stunning surroundings and exciting, creative culinary concept, are fast making The Signature dining destination a popular choice.Maria_Farrelly_Photography-169

The Epicure Experience by Richard Davies

The Epicure Experience by Richard Davies promises a memorable and exciting, modern restaurant experience sure to impress the most discerning of gourmets.

Maria_Farrelly_Photography-173 Maria_Farrelly_Photography-177Formerly of Gordon Ramsay London, Sawyards in West Sussex and the Manor House at Castle Combe, award-winning chef Richard Davies returns to The Celtic Manor Resort.

Maria_Farrelly_Photography-174 Maria_Farrelly_Photography-176Richard’s intricate menus reflect seasonality with a strong emphasis on the use of locally sourced ingredients, producing fresh, intense flavours for an unforgettable dining experience.

Maria_Farrelly_Photography-179It was such a pleasure to meet Richard, he was lovely and clearly passionate about his craft. He welcomed us with an introduction to his food as well as sharing a few trade secrets (my lips are sealed Richard) but all I will say is that I now have another use for my crinkle cutter! 

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At Cen, you can discover fresh, unique and truly inspired Asian fusion cuisine by Larkin Cen, 2013 finalist of BBC’s MasterChef UK.

Offering a deliciously different dining concept, this striking new restaurant features an exciting menu of fresh, contemporary Asian cuisine created by one of the UK’s most up-and-coming talents.


Before we dined at Cen, we were treated to an exclusive masterclass from Larkin himself where he showed us how he creates his mouth-watering Duck dish. Maria_Farrelly_Photography-192 Maria_Farrelly_Photography-193Maria_Farrelly_Photography-194

From delicious fluffy steamed bao buns to slow cooked oriental pork belly and succulent sharing platters of Cantonese duck, savour this sociable dining experience bursting with authentic pan-Asian flavours.

And there we have it! I bet I’ve made you all hungry now! ~ Maria x 

Valentines Day Offer: 50% off CWTCHFEST Tickets

Happy Valentines Day everyone! We hope you have all been spoilt this morning by a loved one.

If you haven’t and they’re looking for a way to redeem themselves. May we suggest you pop this amazing offer under their nose and hope they take the hint.

Alternatively, why not treat yourself?

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Valentines Day Offer

To celebrate our Third Birthday & Valentines Day we have a fabulous offer for you all.  For today only, you can purchase your CWTCHFEST tickets for only £5 each (General Admission is normally £10)!

YES… Thats half price! ARGHH! Hurry!

Valentines day offerWe really want to see you all at CWTCHFEST this year.

Not only do we want you enjoy the magnificent day we have organised, marvel at all the incredible wedding professionals that will inspire and help make your wedding the BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE! …BUT… we want to party with you all too!

Yes we do. We really want to dance like fools in a Wedding Tipi to iPop, sip a cocktail from Alternative Events, wear floral crowns and have a great big cwtch while laughing as we try to figure out how we managed to pull off one of the best events in the wedding calendar! And if it rains? who cares… if you’ve never danced in the rain, you will love it!

So what are you all waiting for? Let us help you plan the wedding of your dreams, enjoy a great party too and when the sun finally sets over The Glanusk Estate, we can all gaze up at the sky together and enjoy the awesome firework display!

Its going to be epic and you NEED to be there!

Bring your other half, bring your bridesmaids, bring the whole family if you like… or why not buy them all tickets and surprise them!

We’re so excited! Arghhh… Can’t wait to see you all there!

Happy Valentines Day everyone~ Maria x

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If you are a wedding professional and would like to get involved in CWTCHFEST We do still have some space available. Email Lindsey at cwtchfest@cwtchthebride.com 

Featured Venue: Lab 22

When you’re a professional working in the wedding industry its very rare you get the opportunity to meet up with other industry peeps unless its in passing at an actual wedding itself. With this in mind, I thought it high time I took a break and convinced some of my favourite wedding professionals to do the same. A mid week social, some cocktails, chat and lots of laughter.

I, along with the talented Cardiff based florist Beth Forbes-Simpson arranged the evening. Beth spoke to the lovely people at Lab 22 and they agreed to host the event for us. So, if you ever wondered what all us wedding professionals get up to on a night out over cocktails…take a look.

In all honesty, I never imagined so many would turn up. But then I thought the same thing when we organised the Cwtchmas Party!

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Huge thanks to Aga Tomaszek for taking all these images! and to Lab 22 for looking after us all so well. We’re looking forward to coming back and working our way through your cocktail menu…again!

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As the evening progressed, The cocktails did take over and it all got a little posey. heres a few more images taken by Ryan Welch photography






For all those that are featured in the pictures, show us some love! pop your link below and let our readers check out your work!

If you’re a super cool venue that would like to host our next get together, contact us here. We’d love to hear from you.

Maria x