Old Church and Cemetry
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Spring break: escape to the green valleys of Wales

We’re back!  You may recall we’d all been a bit homesick and with Spring break coming up made a last-minute decision to visit mum in the green valleys of Wales.  It was the perfect getaway to recharge our batteries at the same time staying away from Australia as going back there would completely do our heads in.

We enjoy visiting Wales.  It’s funny because we’ve never lived there, nor did I grow up there but we always get this comforting feeling like we’re coming home.  Probably because that’s where mum & my brother live and I love catching up with my cousins while we’re there.

Gower Peninsula

Single-lane roads in Gower

REVIEW: Brittania Inn, Gower

Having only one week was good: we did only the things we really wanted to.  One of the highlights of the trip had to be the divine pub meal we had at the Brittania Inn on the picturesque Gower Peninsula.  Every time we visit we take a drive on the narrow country roads, marvel at the rolling valleys with lush green grass and sheep feeling at home in the middle of the road.  It’s truly beautiful.  When we first visited of course we’d visit the grand old castles signalling the deep, rich history the country has to offer.  We still marvel at them but we almost take them for granted with a “been-there-done-that” smugness.

I don’t know if it was living in America for seven months (and being without British/Australian food) that caused us to rave, the change in ownership or watching Luke serve the entire restaurant and front bar on his own with his efficient yet laid-back Gower attitude, but we were captivated.  I ordered the Welsh Steak & Ale pie.  It was nothing short of To. Die. For.

Welsh Steak & Ale Pie

Welsh Steak & Ale Pie at the Britannia Inn, Gower. To. Die. For.

Remember we ate not long ago at TODD English pub in Las Vegas–celebrity chef and all–but this meal wins hands down with its simple, let-the-food-do-the-talking approach to food.  Everyone’s food was magnificent.

I started with a goat’s cheese tart that had freshly roasted vegetables in a fine pastry with freshly sourced goat’s cheese proving once again that quality ingredients are vital to making a good dish a great one.

Goat's Cheese Tart

Welsh Goat’s Cheese Tart

No room for dessert yet we still ordered and again that was stunning.  (I highly recommend the Vanilla Cheesecake with raspberry sorbet and its extremely generous portion–but still my brother was reluctant to share.  My son–the purveyor of profiteroles–thinks these are some of the best he’s had).

How does a pub literally in the middle of nowhere pull off such mouth-wateringly stunning meals?  And then how does a pub in the middle of nowhere retain a top chef like this?

It was so good we went back a couple of days later just to make sure the meals were as good as we remembered.  (And they were!)

Experiencing life from another angle

I love that everything in Wales is different–and you couldn’t get any more different from LA.  That’s what travelling is all about really. Frankly, that’s what living in another country is all about–experiencing life the way others’ see it and appreciating things from a different perspective.

When we lived in Shanghai it was easy to contrast our life there with life in Australia.  Now that we’re living in another Western country, though, it’s even more interesting to think about how different we all are yet we’ve come from the same place (for all intents & purposes).  It’s not just that the Americans tried to simplify spelling or started driving on the wrong side of the road or even that they made turkey an everyday protein rather than a special-occasion one, after a “number” of years at living in different parts of the globe we’re all different now.  It intrigues me so as I dwell on it some more be sure to get more posts on this topic.

And, it was interesting speaking to some of my readers about what they like hearing about, what they want more of and how much more they want.  The main thing everyone had in common was surprise that celebs actually walk around and do things normal people do (clearly not trash mag buyers!).

Two things hit me:

  1. Keep my blog dream alive–everyone is interested in life in LA and wants to hear more.
  2. Celebrities are just normal people.  It sounds strange to say but somehow because they’ve been successful in movies or TV Shows or created a phenomenal band and we see pics of them on the red carpet etc we don’t imagine them to be real.  They are.  They really are!  More to come on this too but in the meantime I’ll leave you with one thought … yes, celebrities fart too.

Meanwhile back in LA …

There was another earthquake over the weekend–bigger and more damage than the one that freaked me out.  Lucky for us it wasn’t as frightening where we are because the epicentre was much further away.  I thought there might be one while we were away.  I’m adopting the positive-thinking approach though and have a feeling there won’t be a big one like the “Shamrock Shake” for a while.

xxx It Started in LA xxx

Link to the Britannia Inn’s website if you want to book in lunch or dinner.  Especially if you live nearby, you’d be mad not to.


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