B&B and Beyond: Fronlas, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire

This small, sleek retreat matches the colour and charm of its idyllic location, says Sue Watt

Tucked away in the side streets of Llandeilo, a pretty market town overlooking the Brecon Beacons National Park and the Tywi Valley, Fronlas exudes a warm and stylish Welsh welcome. Much is sourced locally and ethically, combining environmental sensitivity and elegance. Fronlas was in desperate need of attention when it was bought by its current owners four years ago, but a sensitive refurbishment has brought this Edwardian townhouse into the present in contemporary style.

 

The Bed

There are four en-suite rooms, each styled individually from retro to boudoir. Our room had a striking feature wall of different wallpapers in pink, purple and brown that melded surprisingly well, complemented by a pink orchid in full bloom. To my knowledge, I'd never before slept on an organic mattress and despite being a persistent light sleeper, I dozed blissfully on a soft but supportive bed made with Welsh lambswool. Special touches in the room included organic chocolates made locally by the appropriately named "Heavenly" chocolatier, homemade biscuits, and a cafetiere with fair-trade coffee.

The bathroom was stocked with robes from The White Company and luxurious toiletries from REN. There's something particularly welcoming about an honesty bar and that, together with a wood-burning stove and a selection of books and DVDs in the communal living room, enhanced Fronlas's convivial ambience.

 

The Breakfast

The breakfast room is crisp and uncluttered. Healthy breakfasts – muesli, fruit salad, porridge or smoked salmon with scrambled eggs – mostly use organic and locally sourced produce. I couldn't resist the full veggie breakfast, with sausages that had never seen a pig and eggs from a local farm. Carnivores can tuck into sausage and bacon from the nearby farm Y Graig. If the thought of leaving your organic mattress is too unbearable, breakfast can be brought to your room, if arranged the night before. Organic packed lunches can be provided too.

 

The Hosts

Having fallen in love with Llandeilo during visits from nearby Swansea, Owain and Eva Huw, who previously worked in IT and event management, saw a niche for a boutique B&B and took the plunge into the hospitality industry. But you wouldn't think it was their first foray, given their easy blend of friendliness without fuss.

The Weekend

You could spend all weekend wandering around Llandeilo, dipping into its boutiques, antique shops, delis and pubs. Dinefwr Park (01558 824512; nationaltrust.org.uk/dinefwr) with its castle, gardens and deer herds is a 10 minute walk away. For a longer hike, the Brecon Beacons (breconbeacons.org) beckon, spreading east from Llandeilo. If you only do one hike, make it to Carreg Cennen Castle (01558 822291; carregcennencastle.com), a ruin high on a hill with views of beautiful countryside, just four miles from Fronlas.

 

The Pit-stop

The Angel Hotel (01558 822765; angel bistro.co.uk) is located next to the Heavenly chocolate shop (01558 822800; heavenly choc.co.uk) on the main thoroughfare, Rhosmaen Street. It serves a divine dinner in its Capel Bach Bistro (meaning "little chapel"). It has been recently refurbished and sports pale wooden tables with brown and green furnishings accompanied by the occasional zebra print. Although the à la carte menu was tempting, we chose the table d'hôte and tucked into good quality, unpretentious food in huge portions. With pancakes for dessert (it was Shrove Tuesday) and a bottle of fragrant Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, the bill came to an affordable £36.50.

For another friendly locals' pub, try The White Horse (01558 822424; evanevansbrewery.com) across the road from the Capel Bach Bistro.

 

The Bottom Line

Llandeilo is ideal for a weekend of unhurried browsing, while hardy walkers can easily escape to the hills. Fronlas offers a stylish base, with admirable attention to detail, and both town and B&B have a distinctive Welsh charm coupled with a genuinely warm welcome. "Ardderchog" as the Welsh would say. Excellent.

 

The Essentials

Fronlas, 7 Thomas Street, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, Wales SA19 6LB (01558 824733; fronlas.com). B&B starts at £70 for a double room.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
PROMOTED VIDEO
Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
News
Not quite what they were expecting
news

When teaching the meaning of Christmas backfires

Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Recruitment Genius: HGV Class 2 Lorry Driver / CPC and HIAB Training Provider

    £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A HGV Class 2 Lorry Driver is required t...

    Day In a Page

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum