We leave after lunch for the drive to Portmeirion, which with a clear run could take as little as four and a half hours. On the M40 warnings appear of long delays on the M6, so we take a detour to avoid it and manage to keep moving, albeit not always at the maximum speed allowed. As we near our destination we disturb an eagle feeding on some roadkill. We finally roll into Portmeirion at around 7, some five and a half hours after leaving Reading.
Simon and I have both been here before, just for day trips, but it’s a first for Alex. We’re staying in the Gate House, one of the first buildings you encounter as you walk down into the village. It sits above an archway through which visitors walk, but the front door is tucked away to the right. We offload our luggage and go for a walk through the village before dinner.
I love it here. The architecture is quite bonkers, but everywhere you look there’s something beautiful to see. It’s a lovely evening and the day visitors have left, so we encounter very few people. We walk all the way down to the hotel by the beach and then make our way back up to the castle for dinner.
The weather is mild enough for drinks outside, before we move inside for dinner. The food is quirky – my sun-dried tomato tartlet starter comes with goats cheese ice-cream - but excellent.