Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Wonderful Weather in Porthmadog

Sunshine Sunshine

Are you feeling hot, hot, hot?!

Wow, what have we done to deserve this glorious spell of weather? We've no idea, but we're not arguing and we've got all fingers crossed that it lasts! The weekend saw temperatures sore into the twenties; amazing figures considering it's not even April yet.

And our very own little town of Porthmadog made the news at the weekend - it was the hottest place in the UK on Saturday, with a record 22.2 degrees! The temperature matched the previous record for the 24th March - it was set in 1918 in Nottinghamshire.

The all-time hottest record for March weather in Wales was set in 1965, when the temperature reached 23.9 celsius on the 29th March. Here's hoping that tomorrow will match it!

Get your shorts on, the hot weather is set to last into the weekend. Wahoooooo!!

image by iandrei on

Monday, 26 March 2012

Easter Bunnies

Easter Egg-Tastic

Because the Easter holidays are getting sniffingly close, we thought it was about time to delve head first into a blog post about one of our favourite topics - CHOCOLATE!

Easter is the one of the chocolatiest times of year, but where did it all begin? What's the history of Easter eggs, why do we give them, and what's with all the chocolate??

It's all thought to have started a few thousand years ago, far, far away, in the deserts of the Middle East. An ancient civilisation - the Zoroastrians - decorated birds' eggs in sumptuous colours and designs, to celebrate their New Year, which always fell on the Spring Equinox.

Photo by Algirdas on wikicommons

And when Easter became a fixture in the Christian calendar, the humble egg became an important symbol - of resurrection, of the tomb of Christ and the beginning  of new life. Eggs came to be linked with Easter, as worshippers brought baskets of decorated eggs to their church to be blessed.

Today, it's the chocolate eggs that take pride of place in most households, and this tradition is a relatively new one. Easter always falls at the end of lent, when traditionally, the eating of eggs was forbidden. So the end of lent was often marked with a celebratory egg-feast!

These celebrations turned to chocolate in the 19th century. Wealthy households in France and Germany began to give little solid chocolate eggs as gifts to mark the end of lent and the start of the Easter holidays. The first eggs weren't very tasty - they were bitter and dark, because the production of chocolate was a new science. But, gradually, as techniques improved and cocoa became more widely available the tradition spread to many parts of Europe. Different countries had their own unique design, pattern or flavour of chocolate egg.

The first mass produced chocolate Easter eggs were made here, in the UK, by John Cadbury in  1875, when Cadbury found a way to make liquid chocolate flow properly into moulds. In 1905 the Dairy Milk Easter egg was launched with great success.

image by Crispin Semmens on wikicommons

Today, most of the chocolate Easter eggs sold in Britain are made from sweet, milky chocolate, and chocolate eggs are recognised across the world as a symbol of Easter - by children and adults alike. Last year, we spent £280 million on chocolate Easter eggs!

Don't forget to enter our fabulous raffle for a beautiful chocolate egg, and come and join us for a day of fun with our Easter Egg-stravaganza. There'll be a brilliant Easter Egg hunt, stalls, lots of laughs and a visit from a special Easter bunny - click here for details.

image by essie82 on

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Winning Wales

Wales bring the Six Nations Victory home!

Mon dieu! We've done it! After a storming win over France on Saturday, the Welsh Rugby Team were crowned the deserved winners of the 2012 RBS Six Nations Tournament.

Thousands of fans were celebrating at the weekend (including here at the Oakeley - our hangovers have just about gone!) with the Welsh team winning their third Six Nations Victory since 2005. The brilliant team lived up to a whole nation's expectations as they rose to one of the toughest challenges of the competition, and beat France at the Millenium Stadium.

As the French Coach said before the game, France weren't just playing against a team, they were playing against a whole country!

Well done boys! We're super proud of you. What a great day for our little country!

photo by zoonabar on wikicommons

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Easter Egg Hunt

The Hunt is On!

Here at the Oakeley, we've just about reached fever pitch. The sunshine's dancing in the beer garden, a giant bunny's just walked into the bar and the smell of chocolate is in the air.

It can only mean one thing - Easter's nearly here!! And to celebrate we're hosting an Easter Extravaganza. It'll include one of the best Easter Egg hunts in Gwynedd, as well as stalls, an easter bunny and the chance to win this stunning egg in the raffle.

If you win, save some for us please!!

It's all taking place on Easter Sunday (8th April), so come along and join the fun.
There'll be a small charge for entry, and all proceeds to go to the St Twrog's church fund.
More details to follow soon!
Be there or be a square egg :)

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Triple Crown Win for Wales!

Cymru Crown

Wales' national rugby team have done it! Thanks to their spectacular performance in the RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship, the Welsh team are revelling in their success so far, and a week and a half ago they lifted the Triple Crown trophy after their 12-19 win against England.

The Triple Crown is awarded to the team that defeats the three other home nation teams in the Six Nations Competition - in Wales' case they beat Ireland, Scotland and England.

Despite the crown being first awarded to England in 1883 (although the phrase triple crown wasn't used then) in what was the first Home Nations Championship, traditionally there was no actual trophy awarded for this prize. Six years ago the competition sponsors RBS commissioned a trophy and was first awarded in the 2006 Championship.

image by blackcat on wiki commons

The Triple Crown has been won 63 times since 1883, and England have won it the most times - 23, with Wales following closely behind - this was their 20th win.

Wales' next match is on the 10th March - at home against Italy. All fingers and toes are crossed to make this another win for Wales, who'll be another step closer to winning the Championship!

And don't forget that during every Wales match, there'll be free grub at the Oakeley - some delicious home-made chilli or curry! So come and join us to cheer on the team! See you soon

picture by ezioman on wiki commons

Monday, 5 March 2012

Toad Hall

Spot a Toad

"Ribbit ribbit" said the frog to the toad.
"Riiiiiiiiibit off" said the toad to the frog, so the frog hopped off.

Wildlife lovers will revel in this event run in association with the BBC's Autumnwatch programme.

The Great Toad Extravaganza is an exciting opportunity to witness one of the biggest spectacles of natural migration in the Welsh countryside, as toads move to their spawning ground - the bogs and marshes where they lay their eggs.

The event is at Moelyci Environmental Centre in Bangor. Click here for a link to their website with more details and directions.

The event takes place tonight (Monday 5th March) and for the next 3 Mondays after that - last event 26th March. How many toads you'll see depends on the weather and other environmental conditions, so pop along a few times to really catch a toady glimpse!

Don't forget to take waterproofs and warm clothes, as well as wellies and a torch.
The event is free.
Time: 18:00 to 21:00
Contact: Moelyci Envirnmental Centre, Bangor.
E-mail  or tel: 01248602793

Did you know.....
A group of toads is called a knot?

Image by M Fuller on

Thursday, 1 March 2012

A Day for Wales

Happy St David's Day

At the Oakeley Arms we're extremely proud of our Welsh heritage and culture, and so what better way to celebrate our fabulous country than to wish all our customers and friends a very happy Dydd Gwyl Dewi today! And for today's Oakeley Blog post, we thought we'd delve a little deeper into the history of St David's Day - the national day for Wales.

Dewi Sant (or St David) was born sometime at the end of the fifth century, although it's not sure exactly when. He was a Celtic monk, and founded a monastery at what was then a wild and remote corner of Wales - where the town of St Davids is now situated. There is still a fabulous cathedral there, but it has been rebuilt many times over since Dewi Sant's time.

Statue of Dewi Sant at St David's Cathedral.

Dewi's reputation as a wise and spiritual monk spread across the country, and his passionate support of his home land meant that he soon became recognised as a symbol of Welsh patriotism. The exact year of his death isn't known for sure, but he died on the 1st March. His fellow monks and followers were heart-broken and his religious foundation became an important shrine and pilgrimage site, as well as being the most important religious site in Wales.

Today, March 1st is officially recognised as the National Day for Wales, and is celebrated across the country. Children at school dress in traditional costume, there are parades, feasts, festivals and concerts to mark the day. There are even lots of events abroad - like in the USA, where the Empire State Building is lit up in red, green and white colours in honour of Wales.

So, what can you get up to in celebration of St Davids Day? You can pin a bright daffodil to your coat, you can eat a local delicacy - Welsh rarebit for breakfast or cawl for dinner, you could organise your own Eisteddfod, you could recite a welsh poem, or sing a rousing verse of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, or come and celebrate with us at the Oakeley, with a pint of local ale and a real Welsh welcome.

Whatever you get up to, we hope you all have a great day and enjoy the celebrations!