Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Macmillan Golf Day

On Sunday 26th August the 10th Macmillan Golf Day was held at the Bull Bay Golf Club. It has become a regular event on Bank Holiday Sunday and is supported by many golfers keen to play golf and, at the same time, support this worthy cause. The first event was the result of a challenge to Richard Butler, a local hair stylist, to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Since then Richard has continued to organise this popular event very effectively.

This year the summer has been very bad for weather and we worried what sort of day it would be as we made our plans. As the day dawned we realised that we were in for a great day with blue sky all the way through. During the period leading up to the day Richard was active selling many raffle tickets to his customers and friends at the golf club. He and his partner, Annwen Williams, approached a number of business people to sponsor the event and they were well supported. The members of the Anglesey Macmillan Committee all volunteered to help on the day. We had people staffing the hospitality tent on the 10th green and Pentraeth Caravans kindly loaned a caravan for catering purposes. The tent was supplied and erected by the local Scouts in Amlwch and a classic Bedford Dormobile was sited there to provide cover in case any further catering needs were identified. The Dormobile is owned and driven by Richard Southgate, one of Richard Butler's golf team on the day. Most of the food was freshly prepared by committee members and there was plenty left at the end of the day.

As the golf teams teed off on the first hole they were photographed by Annwen Williams and I acted as official starter. The photos were processed during the day by Richard Southgate's 11 year old daughter and then presented to the teams as they left the 18th hole. Barclays Bank are our sponsors too and they sent a team of people to staff the raffle ticket table as golfers arrived at the clubhouse. The whole day rolled on like clockwork with everyone knowing what was required of them and we had a great time.

Once the last team had gone off I went home and collected Pauline who came back with me to enjoy a meal in the clubhouse with Richard and Annwen before the presentations were made. This year we had a short entertainment by two excellent belly dancers who showed how technically difficult their hobby is. One of the dancers had done it for 11 years and did a display showing fantastic balance and poise. She works as a nurse at Ysbyty Gwynedd in the Accident and Emergecy Department. The other dancer told me she had been a dancer for 6 years and admitted that without her spectacles she could not see far. I had felt the wind of the stick she was twirling as she danced and now I knew how much danger I had been in!

The presentations went ahead and a good time was had by all. Richard thanked the people who had supported the day and Eleri Brady, Macmillan Fundraising Manager for North Wales and Powys added her thanks to Richard for his hard work. We are already looking forward to our plans for 2008!

The photo shows the winning mixed team with Richard Butler, the organiser, second from the right.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Eating Out

Last week my daughter and her family stayed with us and the weather was actually kind and we had sun most of the week. On the Friday evening we headed across Anglesey for a meal at Rozis Tandoori House close to RAF Valley. Seven of us sat down to dine and we experienced the best Indian cuisine we had known. Accustomed to Asian takeaways and restaurant in Greater Manchester (including the famous Curry Mile in Fallowfield) we were extremely pleased to eat food which was beautifully cooked and presented. The cost for 7 people was £94 approximately.

So please were we at the excellence there, Pauline and I went again on Wednesday this week. On the earlier occasion I selected Chicken Dupiaza so I rang the changes and ordered Chicken Jalfrezi. Pauline had opted previously for Lamb Korma and this time decided in favour of Chicken Dupiaza. Once again the food was wonderful and well presented. On arrival we found ourselves the only people in the restaurant. Twenty to tweny five minutes later this changed dramatically. Firstly a group of young Indians arrived quickly followed by other young men and about three women. Apart from a small number they were all people in their late twenties, maybe early thirties. Of the older diners one was carrying three bunches of flowers and the other came in with what looked like a picture under his arm.

Clearly, all the diners, who numbered about thirty, knew each other. Then the penny dropped. They were trainee pilots celebrating the end of their flying course at RAF Valley. The two older men were carrying flowers for the three women and a picture with all the trainees shown together. Only a few days earlier one of them might have been flying the aircraft I was photographing at the end of the runway as they landed. I thought this was a good sign of a successful restaurant in that it was selected for the occasion and the Indians obviously ate there from time to time.

For anyone who prefers more traditional food served in a homely atmosphere I would recommend the Lastra Farm Hotel near Amlwch. The food is locally produced and is the sort of thing no one would complain about. Sadly, the original owner there died last year. Maurice was an Englishman who had been taken to their hearts by the local people. He had been the Chairman of the Amlwch Town Council up to his death and was mourned by over 800 people at his funeral.

If, like us, you like popping out for a bar snack, I recommend the Ship Inn at Red Wharf Bay (Traeth Coch in Welsh). This is a pub which dates back over at least three centuries and serves good beer, good wine and good food. It is never empty! Like many establishments they offer the usual suspects such as fish and chips and lamb shank, but these are of the highest order. Also on offer is seafood, beef, pork etc with choices for the vegetarian. On one occasion we had a vegetarian with us and she was highly pleased with the standard and choice of food. To order your food you go to the bar where you can start a tab with your credit card (if using one) going into a special safe container until your bill is paid. Once your order is taken you are given an empty wine bottle with a number painted on it. This ensures the correct food comes to you when ready. The architecture is typical of an ancient pub and there is a huge log fire in cold weather.

Only a hundred yards away is an establishment called the Old Boathouse where you also get food of a high quality. They do a varied menu for all tastes and you can sit outside if the weather is warm. During the latter part of the week the other restaurant on the first floor is open. This is called The Quarterdeck and here you will be served food to die for. The dishes are imaginative, taste wonderful and are presented well. Prices are above those paid in the Old Boathouse but not a lot. But the difference is all the difference in the world. Next time I am flush I shall book a table there again.

If you are looking for something to eat whilst in Llangefni I can recommend the Bull Inn in the town centre. Good food at reasonable prices is the order of the day and even ordinary dishes look and taste appetising. Shortly after moving to Anglesey we booked a table for Sunday lunch with my cousin and we were not disappointed.

For those of you who, like us, are into seafood, there is the Lobster Pot at Church Bay. It is open all week only in the season. During the winter it is weekends only. This is an establishment where, upon visiting for the first time, you think you are in an old boozer. this is because you go first to the bar which resembles a slightly better than "spit and sawdust" place. However, once you are eating you go through such a change as never! In this restaurant you can have lobster in many different styles - Lobster Thermidore, Lobster Granville, Lobster Salad etc. Also featured on the menu is crab in different versions. This is the seafood place to die for on Anglesey. After your meal you are invited to take coffee in the lounge which is a large room heated by a coal fire in winter. But finding this place on a dark winter night can be hair raising. It is well off the beaten track and you have to drive on narrow lanes to get there. But it is worth the drive!

There are other establishments which we have not yet tried so watch this space in a few months for more recommendations. During a summer afternoon though, the best afternoon tea in the world is available at Llynnon Mill as I have mentioned in an earlier blog. Their scones just melt in the mouth. They are exceptional!