Friday, 14 August 2015

Where did Summer go....!!

Something to brighten your day, another dull and rainy day today - although on the bright side its not cold. A few home grown flowers from our flower beds. I can't believe we are in August and so far the Summer weather has very disappointing. For the last 5 Mondays when we have been off and had our Family days out it has rained.....its quite a challenge entertaining 4 children from the age of 17 to 11 and keeping everyone happy. However we have had some great days out despite the weather.

Life here in the centre has been pretty hectic, balancing our daily jobs with finding new stock for the gift shop and antiques along with keeping an eye on  Edenshine, menus and baking...... I have to say we have fantastic staff that all do an amazing job, we are here really to back them up and work as a team.

Our menus in Edenshine change every 3 weeks allowing us to keep it seasonal and very fresh. We belong to the Clwydian Range Food trail - this means we use local produce whenever possible , supporting our local economy and producers. In return we get to use some fantastic produce and create very seasonal menus. When writing the menus we really try hard to ensure we use the best local ingredients and offer a mix of traditional dishes with a few more contemporary flavours.

Steak & Ale Pie  made with local beef, cooked gently in Hafod Ale with chunky carrots, onions & mushrooms. Served in our deep - short crust pastry
Salt baked Beetroot from Mostyn Walled Gardens, served with deep fried goats cheese, local leaves and walnuts. Finished with honey & mustard dressing
Banana Split , made with locally made Chilly cow Ice cream , perfect for anytime of the day, as we found out last week when someone enjoyed one for breakfast!! Whatever the time it's still yummy.. 

Summer time equals time for Pimms and long chats with friends with lazy afternoons.
I think we now need to make the best of the last bit of Summer we have with positive thinking all the way. Make the best of the dry days, go for long walks, go out and meet friends and family, sample good food and the simple things in life. Make memories that can be treasured forever.
With a positive note I will be back blogging now on a regular bases, maybe post a few recipes and tips for cooking - show you what's going on in the centre - who's coming in with crafts and who's been. Maybe what new stock is arriving both in the shop and in the Antiques, vintage dept. Until my next blog, and please feel free to reply - I will do my best to reply .
Best Wishes, Janet, Adrian and team xx  

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Catch Up with Afonwen Craft & Antique Centre

Apologise for the time laps since our last blog. Christmas came along and with all good intentions time simply ran away - and now its spring!!

A quick catch up:

After nearly 9 months of consultation and planning we changed our heating system in January from oil a Biomass boiler. We are very proud  to have made such a change to an Eco friendly Boiler. This burns wood pellets, which in fact we source at least 95% of these from Blazers in Ruthin - cutting our carbon footprint down even further.

We had a few hick ups along the way but all is good now and it is definitely a very positive move for us, and one we are very pleased about. 
                                       Great excitement new boiler just arrived.......................

                                                    Plus two 500litre buffers.....

And the snow the middle of the heating being installed, but at least we had a back up plan.

And the snow came again....... this time in March and much thicker.

Back in the late end of last year we said goodbye to a couple of members of staff and hello to two more. Sharon in the Antiques department decided it was time to have a complete change and moved away. Paula came to join our team and has fitted in so well. Gail, Paula and Sharon (another one) all keep our vintage and  antique stock so beautifully clean and sparkling.

Edenshine also said goodbye to a member of the team, one of our Chefs Dave. Our new chef Ani joins head chef James and Bethan in the kitchen, we are thrilled to say she has fitted in beautifully and is working really well.

We are in fact very lucky to have a very low staff turnover and are very proud to work with our amazing teams in both the centre and Edenshine.

Edenshine has been lovely and busy and I can't believe its now May!!. Easters been, the weather is a little warmer and its time to start thinking of our spring/summer to do list. It doesn't seem that long ago since we were ordering our summer plants last year let alone this year......

In March we were very pleased to fund raise for Ovarian Cancer and raised £340.00 with a coffee morning and raffle. Such a fantastic cause and we had a lovely time raising funds.

The Eve appeal just gave people an excuse to come out and get together.

I was very lucky to be invited to Mostyn Walled Garden, it truly is magnificent set in the grounds of Mostyn Estate.   We are delighted to now be using their produce. Freshly picked and tasting delicious. Our salads have never tasted so good !!

           We now bake our own rolls  for soups and homemade burgers and bread for Welsh rarebit

                     And of course the cake baking never stops....... one of my favourite things to do

                                  Carrot and walnut cake with fresh orange (gluten free)

Raspberry cupcake with cream cheese frosting

I guess I better leave it for now on cakes as we could go on and on......

        One of our recent finds, with a little love and care it has come back to life and makes a beautiful piece of furniture - I'd love this in a hall with the telephone sat on top - just a little place to sit and chat !!

Vintage football boots - so cute

                             Time for picnics, vintage lemonade glasses and a gramophone just                                                 need a  bottle of  wine and some beautiful food!!

                                                 Looking forward to summer again.....

                                      Thank you for reading, hope you enjoyed our catch up.

 Love and Hugs Janet, Adrian and all the Team xx

Saturday, 13 October 2012

21 years at Afonwen Craft & Antique centre

Since I last blogged we have celebrated our 21st Anniversary, so proud to say we have been here since 1991. I can still remember our first day. What a manic day that was. People everywhere, the centre was so busy - we ran out of scones and our cakes were very much diminished!! so it was straight to baking again....
We have definitely learnt a lot since then and done a whole lot of growing up, made a lot of friends along the way and created a life for ourselves.

To celebrate we baked an extra large chocolate cake and shared it will all the staff and a few of our lovely customers. Maryrose pictured here with me has been coming to see us since practically the beginning, before Adrian and I were married, before  we had children and before we had as many staff as we do today. Sometimes I can't quite believe its been so long but every now and again something happens to remind me how time just goes on.
Today we had a visit from Georgina an old  member of staff, she just popped in with a friend for lunch and cake. George said the nicest thing that really made me smile and feel very proud of what Adrian and I do here. She said even 13 years on from leaving us, it was still the best job she has ever had and our training and standards have helped her right up to today. We have seen many wonderful young members of our team come and then go, as they progress on to University and their chosen jobs path.  All of them take with them some strong work ethics - the simple one that you can be average at your job or great! and great is what we always want here.
Thank you George that was a really lovely thing to hear and not only reflects on Adrian and I but the whole team.

This  gorgeous bunch of flowers was from one of our team - Ben who was going off to uni. We will miss him after three years, but of course look forward to holidays when he may be back on the team or at least pop in and see us. Good luck Ben.

Supporting Local in every way has always been important, whether that simply means more to me now or whether it is actually more important than ever I am not sure. The links we have made with other businesses over the years seem just so much more essential now. Its great to appreciate what we have here in Wales and even more so in both Denbighshire and Flintshire. I think we are very lucky to be located in such a fantastic spot with the Clwydian ranges behind us and the A55 only 5 minutes away. It seems like we have the best of both worlds - a fast and easy road system and the peace and quite and of course beauty of the rural area we are in.

Some fabulous vintage tins, a little loved from before but definitely still gorgeous.

They just don't make them like this anymore, just look at the detail.
Another classic piece for making butter. I can imagine this sitting in someones kitchen now looking splendid and being a real talking point.

                                                   Lots of new stock arriving in the gift shop

Gorgeous Ness Bags - fantastic quality and such wonderful colours

These have been selling so well, Tribal bracelets. Something for the gents and ladies.

Autumn is well and truly here now with the chilly morning and nights, pretty colours coming on the trees and that mist that sits over the fields on the way into work as the sun shines through the trees. Time to start thinking about our Christmas cakes and soaking the fruits. Christmas menu is now out and we will be starting to gather our orders for fresh homemade foods ready for Christmas.  Our homemade sausage rolls and quiche are always a winner along with all the fresh cakes, gateaux and caramels you can order.  Gosh where does time go.....

Well I think its time for me to say thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed all of our pictures . Until next time.

Love Janet , Adrian and all the team xx

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Hello from Afonwen Craft & Antique centre

We had this gorgeous bunch of roses off a lovely customer - such a sweet thing to do. xx

Well I can't quite believe we have been using facebook now for just over a year and blogging since last year..... Our plan was to hopefully give you the same warm and friendly feeling that you get when you visit the centre. As you know Adrian and I are always around and here to have a chat to, as are our fab staff. We wanted to give you a little bit of us without visiting, and keep you up to date with whats going on. Our new website is all about this, giving you a little bit more, a little of us. We are getting closer and have even booked a little photo shoot with the wonderful Holly Edwards so we can have our pictures on the website !! ( That really is a huge deal for us both). However we are doing it.  We have also been working with Daydream Designs, a fabulous  local design company ran by Sian and Rob Saunders, Sian has been very patient with us and has created a wonderful leaflet - something that fits with the website and is a new and exciting look for us. Can't wait till it all comes together now. 

This is one of our new pictures - i just love it. Antiques and vintage is just so special, we have such wonderful finds and hidden treasures, things you can have at home, things to use and bits to love with a past and a life.

How sweet is this, and antique dolls pram. Someone very special would have owned this, and completely adored it.

The last few weeks have been a really busy with lots of stock arriving, some lovely gifts, stunning pine furniture and still we have more to come next week.

These are so lovely, not only practical but pretty also.

We also had some gorgeous mirrors delivered, completely different for us. Simple classic mirrors with a hand finished design to finish them off. 

Mango Wood, this has such warm colours, a hard wood that will last for years and years to come.

Lavender always looks so homely to me, something comforting about it.

Last weekend we had another cupcake decorating workshop, and again we had some fabulous people join in thefun.

Everyone can have fun and not only do you get to take it home and eat it, you can't make a mistake everyone is individual and a unique creation..... .  

Well that's nearly it for this time, but I feel like I really have to end with more cake.

Thank you for reading, hope you have enjoyed our tales from the centre, I will hopefully be back soon with more news.

Until then, Love from Janet, Adrian and All the team xx

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Whats been going on at Afonwe craft & Antique centre

Since we last blogged I just don't know where time has gone. Life seems to get fuller and fuller. Running a business and family keeps both Adrian and I very busy. This year we thought end of school term would be a bit easier with none of our four children moving school and going up to high school..... but not sure what happened- it was still really full on.

We snuck in a visit to Harrogate trade show and Manchester Furniture show. Harrogate was a really long day starting at 5.00am and back home at 9.15pm. We walked our little feet till they could walk no more!!

This sadly was our lunch break at 5.30 when we took our first break since arriving, by this time a packed of crisps and cup of tea was the best we could do.  We didn't find quite what we wanted at the show, sometimes everything all looks the same and we really wanted to find new and exciting for you all. We did however order some really cute bags from Ness - such a lovely company with gorgeous stock.

These are so sweet, they have such lovely accessories to go with the range.

More of the things we saw

Day Two at Manchester Furniture show was not as fabulous as we hoped. Think we are getting very fussy and really only want the best we can find for you all. We did bump into our Pine company and order some more beautiful Seattle's and quirky pieces with them and found a new mirror supplier - so all wasn't lost.

A spot of decorating in the restaurant, I love this painted green, its amazing how something so simple can make such a change. We have been thinking about changing our tables for a while now and taking the table cloths off, but after a lot of discussion and looking at alternatives we came back to the fact actually we like the cloths and so do all of our customers - so they are staying.

And we've even had some wonderful Ice cream weather....... at last.

                             Time to use the flowers from our garden area,  they are so beautiful xx

Hopefully I will be back blogging soon again and sharing all our news with you. Thank you for reading from Adrian and I and All the Team xx