Love — the Welsh Way


Folklore, Lifestyle

Is that love in the air? If you’re in Wales, and it’s January 25th, it most certainly is, because it’s St Dwynwen’s Day.  Here’s your complete guide to lovin’, the Welsh way. Who Was St Dwynwen? Dwynwen was a princess in the fourth century (so, late Roman Britain), the fifth of twenty-four daughters of the […]

January 15, 2018

Owain Glyndwr, the last Welsh Prince of Wales


History

If you’re Welsh, you know Owain Glyndwr like you know Sosban Fach.  If you’re not Welsh, you probably know him, if at all, as “Owen Glendower,” a character from Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part I, and think, “Who was he?”  It’s extraordinary that such a legend of one country can be so forgotten in the neighbouring country, despite having […]

January 12, 2018

Where the Welsh Blacks Came From


Folklore

A common question from visitors to Wales is “What is Welsh Black Beef,” especially when the juicy, flavourful meat isn’t black at all, but a rich, tempting red.  They’re sometimes surprised by the answer that the black refers to the colour of the cow.  The Welsh Black is small, but highly regarded for its weight; […]

January 9, 2018

8 Big Movies and TV Shows Filmed in Wales


Lifestyle

Wales is gorgeous, we all know that: dramatic, breath-taking, inspiring.  It’s hardly surprising we’re the land of song, because the landscape alone defies adequate description in prose. But surely, with these stunning vistas, Wales must be a big attraction for people who deal with stunning vistas?  Hollywood, for example, always on the hunt for a […]

January 7, 2018

Madog, the Welsh Columbus


Folklore

It should hardly be surprising of a man who has nineteen sons (and, presumably, a similar number of daughters, the insatiable old goat!), that most of them were illegitimate; although, since six of them were legitimate (and, presumably, a similar number of daughters), his wife was certainly no slouch. The problem was that Welsh custom, […]

December 28, 2017

Taffy — still popular with Americans


Food

A corruption of “toffee”, it’s odd that this north-Wales Christmas tradition (sometimes thought to be the origin of nick-naming Welsh people “Taffy” (see here: Why Are the Welsh Called “Taffy”?) has been largely abandoned in Wales considering that taffy remains so popular in the USA.  “Noson Gyflaith” took place during the later hours of Christmas […]

December 24, 2017

Welsh Rarebit


Food

Welsh Rarebit is still very common in Wales, and well understood as a piece of toast covered in a sauce made from cheese, beer and mustard, and grilled for a couple of minutes until melted. So I was surprised to find this Victorian recipe (Mrs Beeton No 1652) from 1861, which prescribed a Welsh Rarebit […]

December 20, 2017

Curse of the Sand Faeries


Folklore

Henry de Beaumont, the French-speaking Norman 1st Earl of Warwick, was a horrid man: aggressive and arrogant. Hunting one day in the district of Three Cliffs Bay, his party espied a pretty Welsh girl singing in a clearing in the woods. Consumed with lust, he ordered his men to kidnap her, and drag her back […]

December 18, 2017