Hello & Welcome

to the Winter edition of TheBAY

During the year, our front covers have featured illustrations of our contributors, but we have made an exception this month. I’m not sure if Santa is depicted having a rest after delivering gifts to boys and girls around the world, or if he is in danger of getting so engrossed in his copy of Bay, that he might miss his deadline.

I hope you find it as interesting as he appears to.

This month’s issue is full of travel, food and things to do. Nick Smith has been to the North Pole but I don’t think he managed to get to see Santa Claus. Liz explores the Andalusian city of Córdoba; I’ve been to Granada but I now want to return to Southern Spain and discover other parts of the country. Closer to home Kim Jones has been on a bike ride in Brecon which incorporated a ride on the little train from Pant Station. If you go on this ride before Christmas you can book a trip on the Santa Special. If you are going to embark on Ian Bateman’s walk up onto Fan Gyhirych, please do so with caution. Although it isn’t a difficult walk, the ground is very uneven as it is grazed on by cows and sheep that make deep ruts in the moorland. A sturdy pair of boots is essential. Details of the route and a map can be found in our Lifestyle & Leisure section.

We have lots of great recipes for you in this issue – proper festive fayre. Personally I think that a Christmas lunch without a turkey is a bit like a full English break-fast without bacon – but I know that many people think that turkey is dry and tasteless. Last year I ordered our turkey from Old Castle Farm in Tonna and I can honestly say that it was the best bird I had ever cooked and eaten. So much so that I have already ordered mine for delivery this year. If you’re cooking for a crowd and want something traditional, then why not go for a rib of Welsh beef – it certainly makes a stunning centre piece. We have a recipe for a roasted rib of beef, or Welsh lamb with winter spiced pears in our Food & Drink section. These recipes come courtesy of eatwelshlambandwelshbeef.com where you’ll find lots of other interesting ideas for feeding the family.

Alternatively, why not let someone else do the cooking and more importantly, the washing-up, by going out for lunch on Christmas day. You’ll have to get a wriggle on though, as lots of restaurants are already fully booked on the 25th December.

Rachel Jamison has a very festive vegan recipe for a Christmas Layered Pie which looks impressive and will please the non-meat eaters with its rich red wine and porcini mushroom gravy. If you have a lot of vegetables to buy, why not call on Get Fresh, the green-grocer based in Swansea Market – they deliver free of charge on orders over £15. They source their vegetables from Gower wherever possible, and because they collect from the farm they can often get them onto their counter the same day – no supermarket can compete with that. I know I bang on about shopping locally, but it is so vitally important for our small businesses to know that they are getting our support. As they say ‘use it or lose it’. I’m aiming to buy all my food and gifts from local suppliers this year. There are plenty of craft fairs and markets coming up this month, and we have some very talented artists who exhibit in local galleries. I’ve been looking at the fabulous range of ceramics in the Riverside Gallery in Ystradgynlais, and have my eye on a couple of pieces to put on my Christmas wish list.

So that just leaves me enough space to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. It’s been an absolute pleasure talking to our advertisers and readers this year and I look forward to doing it all over again in 2018.

Best wishes, Lesley