Fun and Food by the seaside! – Criccieth Food Slam 2017 – by Helen

Last year we had a such fantastic time wandering around the Criccieth Food Slam – sampling just about every brilliant food and drink stall there was, and  taking in the great entertainment for a highly enjoyable few hours. So this year we decided we wanted to be a part of it all!

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Gorgeous views of Criccieth Castle from the Festival location
Becci looking ready to greet the public on our lovely little stand – featuring helper Alex deeply immersed in our latest issue!

This year we took our We Love Llŷn ‘Roadshow’ with us to the Food Slam and became part of the atmosphere promoting the magazine and mobile app out of our 1982 vintage VW campervan which is of course painted in the We Love Llŷn colours – that along with our colourful stand drew lots of attention! We received loads of wonderful compliments about the magazine, the app and the website and there were some amazing vibes from both established readers as well as new together with great feedback from advertisers who have been receiving lots of response from their advertising with us.

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Our ‘We Love Llŷn rock’ went down very well!

We were giving away We Love Llŷn magazines together with We Love Llŷn pens and sticks of rock (all in our signature turquoise and white colours!) and it was lovely to chat to so many people, both local and lots visiting Pen Llŷn.

We were serenaded by brilliant live entertainment throughout the day

We Love Llyn has also got together with the Wales Air Ambulance to run a summer Treasure Hunt around Pen Llŷn giving visitors and residents the opportunity to explore the Peninsula  right round to Aberdaron with an intriguing set of clues to follow!  The prize is £50 and can be completed any time over the summer until the end of September! We sold lots of entries at the Food Slam and if you would also like to take part, it starts in Abersoch and you can enter by contacting us at the We Love Llyn office or calling at Present Thoughts in Abersoch! Entry forms are £5 each with all proceeds going to Wales Air Ambulance.

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Richard from Pant Ddu said that they were pleased to be in such a great place on the sea front to sell their cider, and Matt from Merywen Gin said their first visit to the Food Slam had been very busy and were delighted by the quality and quantity of traders that were there, with a crowd drawn from all over Wales and beyond, and would definitely be there again next year! Gemma from Dylans summed it up saying ‘What a lovely family friendly event again this year.  Great music, stalls and lots of happy faces’ and we can only agree, it was a tremendous success and huge thanks to the organisers for a well managed and superb event!

Look out for the We Love Llyn Roadshow at other events over the coming months and come and say ‘Hi’!

Thanks for reading!

-Helen, (Big Boss Lady at We Love Llyn)

To keep up to date with events we’ll be attending over the summer, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.   If you see us at any events, take a selfie with us! Share it with us on our facebook wall, tweet it to us or tag us on Instagram!

Don’t forget you can download our mobile phone app for FREE on the Apple and Play stores, search ‘We Love Llŷn’ or click here.



A Day out in Criccieth – by Jo Toft

Last spring Jo Toft spent a day in the lovely local town of Criccieth and wrote all about it for our Spring 2016 edition of We Love Llŷn magazine. Read on to find out what she thought of her day out!


Criccieth is located on the south side of the Llŷn peninsula, close to Porthmadog and Llanystumdwy, and is very much a destination in its own right. Known for its landmark ruined castle and its connection with former Prime Minister David Lloyd George, Criccieth is a small town which became a popular Victorian seaside resort thanks to its station on the Cambrian Coast railway line.

We took a short drive to spend the day in Criccieth and found ourselves with plenty to do!

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10am – Cadwaladers

Our first stop is the famous ice cream café and coffee shop, Cadwaladers, located on Ffordd y Castell/Castle Street. Opened in 1927 by the Cadwaladers family, and originally a general grocery store, this is where the Cadwaladers story began when Hannah Cadwalader started making batches of vanilla ice cream in the window of the family shop. Her original recipe was a closely guarded secret, reputedly including ‘6lbs of shan’t tell you’ and ‘a great deal of love and care’. Eventually the ice cream became the family’s main focus and by the 1960s the shop had become an ice cream parlour. To this day Cadwalader’s vanilla ice cream is still made using Hannah’s secret recipe.

At 10am on a grey February morning, in the midst of Storm Gertrude, it’s not an ice cream we’re after but a strong coffee! We sit in the window at the back of the café and watch the huge waves crashing into the breakwater, a lone surfer attempting, and failing, to catch a wave. It’s a nice spot and in the summer would be the perfect place to enjoy an ice cream sundae and take in the view.


11am – Criccieth Castle

The ruined castle really dominates the small town of Criccieth, standing high above the rows of houses on a rocky hill. Despite the howling gale we decide to venture up to the castle. As its low season the visitor centre, a small cottage which has been converted into a shop/ticket office/exhibition isn’t open, however, there is a gate at the side of the building which is left open, allowing free access to the castle ruins.

Although the castle appears to sit high above the rest of the town the path up to the ruins is actually quite short, it is however steep and there is only a simple handrail so it might not be suitable for everyone and certainly not for unruly young children!

Originally built as a Welsh castle, Criccieth was used as a royal residence and prison. Llywelyn ap Iorwerth began work on the inner ward around 1230, the outer walls being added in the 1260s by his grandson Llywleyn ap Gruffudd. By 1283 however the castle was in the hands of the English; Edward I did much to fortify it, heightening the walls and towers and strengthening the North Tower in order to mount a siege engine. Just as well he did as by 1294 the castle was under siege during a Welsh revolt. On that occasion it held, however it was sacked and burnt in 1404 during the uprising of Owain Glyndŵr. It was never rebuilt and consequently is now in a poor state compared to some of our other local castles – See our castles feature on page 52

There are some information boards mounted on the castle walls, along with a map of the original castle outline, so you can just about picture what it would once have looked like. Standing on the sloping ground in front of the ruined gatehouse towers you can image that with men stationed atop the tower, flags flying and the sturdy portcullis down this would have been an imposing and impressive sight.

Perhaps most impressive today are the amazing views which can be seen from the ruins; beyond Criccieth itself you can see along the coast in both directions with Harlech easily visible on a clear day. Due to the incredibly strong winds we stay within the castle walls, such as they are, but on a less blustery day we could’ve ventured outside the walls and enjoyed the view from one of the various benches that are dotted around.


1pm – Dylan’s

After nearly blowing away whilst exploring the castle we are cold and hungry and more than ready for lunch. We arrive at Dylan’s and despite it being a miserable Monday in February there are quite a few other people already seated.

We thoroughly enjoy our lunch here – see our ‘review and recommend’ feature opposite.

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2.30pm – Beach Walk

Following lunch we have a brief walk along the esplanade which runs parallel to the beach. Thanks to Storm Gertrude there’s sand and stones all over the road and some quite impressive waves to watch. In the summer this is a popular beach, it’s an easy walking distance from the town and there is a large car park just yards away. This summer Dylan’s will be serving coffees and ice creams on the beachfront from their newly restored retro van. Perfect.

If you want to extend this walk continue along the esplanade (which becomes Lon Felin) past the lifeboat station on your right, and up the hill towards the castle. Once you pass the castle rising up on your left you’ll begin to descend towards Marine Terrace, an imposing row of Victorian houses, now mostly B&Bs and guest houses, presumably originally built to cater for Criccieth’s Victorian holidaymakers. Here you can choose to walk along the road or the beach, which once again runs parallel on your left. Follow the road to your right, over the railway line and you’ll find yourself back on the main road which runs through the centre of the town, here you’re in the perfect place to wander along Criccieth’s main street and enjoy its many shops.


3.30pm – Antiques Shops

We browse the antiques shops, of which there are several. Criccieth Gallery Antiques/Yr Oriel Criccieth is my favourite, it’s a real treasure trove of jewellery, pottery, silverware and small pieces of furniture and is well worth a look if you want to add some unique touches to your home, or if you’re looking for a quirky little gift. There are several other antiques and gifts shops along the high street so take your time and enjoy a good browse.

It’s also worth taking a look at Rousell’s Auction House if you can catch it when it’s open – auctions have been held here regularly on the last Saturday of the month, however the Auction House is currently in the process of being transformed into a shop which will sell a ‘range of home wares, gift ware, antiques and curios’.


4.15pm – On the trail of David Lloyd George

David Lloyd George, Prime Minister between 1916 and 1922 grew up just a few miles down the road from Criccieth in the village of Llanystumdwy (where you can visit his childhood home). In later years he lived in Criccieth and before we head home we have a quick drive around in search of his family home, Morfin. We find this not far from Cadwalader’s, on a small side street called Tanygrisaiu Terrace. It’s an unassuming building, one of a short row of three storey Victorian terraced houses, and was Lloyd George’s home for around 10 years and also the location of his very first solicitor’s office. If this sort of historical trail interests you then take a look at Criccieth Memorial Hall, set back from the main road the Memorial Hall is a large public building, the foundation stone of which was laid by Lloyd George in 1922.

5pm – Time for another coffee!

Here at We Love Llŷn we need at least two strong cups of coffee to see us through the day – before we leave Criccieth we grab a takeaway coffee from No. 46, a lovely coffee shop right on the main street. Along with Cadwaladers and No. 46 there’s also the Blue China Tea Rooms, located close to the Lifeboat Station and Caffi Cwrt, a quaint little traditional cottage tea room set below the grassed area just off the main road, both of which are worth a visit if you’re spending the day in Criccieth.

-Jo Toft


Never miss out on an issue of We Love Llŷn! subscribe!

For up to date events, local business listings and interesting local information – download the We Love Llŷn app, search for it on the Apple or Google app store.

As usual you can follow us on facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest, dont forget to share your pictures of where you are enjoying reading our magazine, we love seeing them!

5 Things you should be looking forward to in our spring magazine!

My avid blog reading fans (Hi mum!) may have noticed it’s been a bit quiet on the blog front for a little while. Well – We Love Llŷn’s premier blog writer (me) has been busy moving house but fear not! Life is settled and I’m back at my keyboard.

I’ve spent the last few weeks bringing together our lovely Spring magazine, and the whole team is excited to share with you our fantastic 5th edition. We can’t believe it’s been a whole year since we launched WLL, it’s flown by! Our 5th edition is even more stuffed full of wonderful content than ever, here’s a sneak peek at  what’s in store when the mag hits the shelves in a weeks time:


1. Getting Married? This issue is for you!


Our Spring issue is a wedding special, so if you are planning a Llŷn wedding you’ll love our selection of the best venues, caterers, cake makers and so much more, all on our doorstep! There has never been a better time to ‘buy local’, we are spoiled by all the quality services we have available to us, to make your special day totally unique and magical.

Aside from our main feature article we also focus on the wonderful Grade I listed wedding venue Pennarth Fawr near Chwilog,  the lovely florists Bloda Eluned, award winning cake maker Hayley Hill, and we also feature some gorgeous reader-submitted photos of weddings that have taken place on Pen Llŷn.


2. Three words: Mouth. Watering. Cakes.


Hayley Hill is a magician with cakes, for all occasions! I think my mouth was watering the whole time I was putting together this article. They say you eat with your eyes and these cakes just look so gorgeous. I also have it on good authority that they taste fantastic too – Our wonderful editor Jo met with Hayley several times while writing the article and each time left her house laden with all sorts of free samples! ….Now, I know its essential to do your research while writing an article… but designers need cake too!!! Hint Hint!!

3. Got some rhubarb in? You’re in luck!


I love a good new recipe idea, especially one thats a little bit different. This issue our resident chef Si gives us not one but three recipes based around that wonderfully tart fruit that should be soon gracing our supermarkets and greengrocers. There are a lot of advantages to buying seasonal produce, from reducing your carbon footprint to just getting the best tasting food you can – so give these recipes a try. And don’t forget, if you give it a go, share your food pictures with us on social media!


4. A day out on our doorstep


Only a short drive off the peninsula is the wonderful town of Caernarfon. We all know it’s famous for it’s castle, I myself remember visiting it when I was very little – climbing up the worn spiral stairs to the highest tower to survey the breathtaking view of the town and the water. Theres plenty in the town to turn a little visit into a cracking day out – in our feature Jo Toft went wandering around Caernarfon’s historic streets and discovered some amazing treasures not to be missed.


5. Diaries at the ready – Spring is going to be a busy one!


Our ‘What’s On Guide’ is once again full to bursting – there’s something for everyone to do this spring. Art, music, markets, and of course plenty of easter egg hunts – theres even some amazing looking events for little ones. One reccuring event that has caught my eye is the National Trust’s ’50 things to do before you’re 11 and ¾’ – there are almost weekly events all over the peninsula that help your little ones tick these amazing things off their list – a list that includes things like ‘catch a fish with a net’, ‘hunt for bugs’ and ‘build a raft’! Is it wrong to wish that adults could tick things off the list as well??


We Love Llŷn magazine hits the shelves on the 29th of Februrary, so look out for us in all good local shops, of if you don’t want to miss out, subscribe!



For up to date events, local business listings and interesting local information – download the We Love Llyn app, search for it on the Apple or Google app store.

As usual you can follow us on facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest, dont forget to share your pictures of where you are enjoying reading our magazine, we love seeing them!

Thanks once again for reading!


Creative Director

Sweet and Refreshing! Raspberry Lemonade Recipe

If you’ve been lucky enough to pick up a copy of our Summer magazine already, you may have noticed we’ve gone with a bit of a BBQ theme! For our cover shoot I decided to contribute a delicious and refreshing beverage for our faux BBQ-goers, and it turned out so nice I want to share the recipe!

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We had some wonderful photos taken by John Wormald of Totally Abersoch

‘Twas the night before the photoshoot… and all through the house… the smell of lemons… was extremely strong!

Let’s just say I have a few more muscles in my arm now after juicing all those lemons. There were at least 12 in the first bag, then when I saw it was nowhere near enough to fill my kilner drink dispenser I had to run to the shops for more! I dont think i’ve ever juiced that much in my whole life!

Everything laid out ready!



Of course you lovely people at home wont need to juice so many, the real recipe only calls for one cup of lemon juice, and that produces enough for maybe a small jug full of lemonade. Unless you are having a big get-together and have one of these lovely kilner dispensers to fill (It would actually be ideal for that!) then kiss goodbye to your upper arm strength for a few hours…

Mashing and straining the rasberries

Apart from a tiny bit of elbow grease, this is a very easy recipe, a great one to try making with the kids, its a sweet treat with real fruit in! I’m sure they would enjoy mashing the raspberries and measuring out the simple quantities of ingredients.

The finished drink ready to take to the beach the next day!

The finished drink was so refreshing, I had a cup or two for myself, having spent the day walking on llanbedrog headland in the sunshine (and then burning calories squeezing lemons) it was very welcome. On the day of the photoshoot I added in the sliced lemons for visual effect and added some ice to make it look chilled and refreshing from the condensation on the outside of the glass. We borrowed some of those cute milk bottles to serve and topped them off with a slice of lemon and some cute floral paper straws.


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The lemonade ended up being a sweet accompaniment to our delicious seafood BBQ recipes! Photo by Totally Abersoch


Here’s the recipe so you can try it out for yourself!

Raspberry Lemonade

You will need:

1 cup rinsed fresh raspberries (6 oz.)
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup lemon juice (fresh is always best!)
2 cups water

In a small bowl, with a potato masher or spoon, mash 1 cup rinsed fresh raspberries (6 oz.) with 2/3 cup sugar. Let stand 10 minutes, to allow the sugar crystals to dissolve.

Press through a fine strainer into a pitcher (at least 1 1/2 qt.); discard seeds.

Stir in 1 cup lemon juice and 2 cups water. Taste and add more sugar if desired. Pour into tall, ice-filled glasses.

Original recipe from



You can find the food recipes from out seafood BBQ cover shoot in We Love Llŷn Magazine, available in shops over Pen Llŷn, or you can now subscribe online at

As usual you can follow us on facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest, dont forget to share your pictures with us if you try this recipe out for yourself!


5 things you should be looking forward to in our Summer magazine!

The weather on Pen Llŷn this week has been… well, phenomenal! Unfortunately I’ve been cooped up indoors putting together our summer magazine (if someone finds some sort of computer screen unaffected by sunshine glare please let me know!! I’ll be outside working before you can say ‘ebay!’) So anyway we’ve been truly plunged into the summer mood. It’s a perfect time to look ahead at our summer mag, out in a week’s time!

What a busy couple of weeks we’ve had here at We Love HQ! Between (finally) getting our fabulous mobile app launched, and completing our second ever magazine (you know when a music artist releases an album that people quite like and then there’s the pressure for that ‘difficult second album’? Let’s just say the pressure was on!)

But yesterday once again we kissed goodbye to the digital form of our little magazine and we eagerly await delivery of it’s final physical form… which I can happily announce will hit the shops near you on June the 9th!

Here’s 5 sneaky peeks of what we have in store for you…. I hope you are reading them while outside enjoying the fabulous sunshine. Thats where i’m headed once I finish writing this…. 😇

  1. Time for a new pair of flip flops..


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I don’t know about you… but after the usage from last summer and then months in storage my flip flops are looking a bit worse for wear… It’s about time I got a new pair! We’ve picked out a few pairs that might take your fancy, all available from shops on Pen Llŷn! There’s something for everyone, and every budget 🙂

2. Get BBQing!

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It’s time to get the BBQ out, from the humble disposable to the mighty gas-run pride of dad’s everywhere! We decided to celebrate some super tasty seafood BBQ recipes, as the humble fish is mightily overlooked when the BBQ’s out. We had a wonderful day photographing our recipes and also our cover photo at Abersoch Beach with photographer John Wormald of Totally Abersoch and the recipe mastermind Si Toft of The Dining Room Restaurant, who did a brilliant job of prepping the food and making it look both tasty and gorgeous! We hope you try out the recipes this summer, be sure to post pictures on our facebook wall, or tag us on instagram and twitter.


3. The launch of our bucket list

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We decided to lauch a ‘Pen Llŷn and Snowdonia Bucket List’, full of suggestions from ourselves and from you lovely lot! All so we can all get the most out of this wonderful place. At the moment we filled this page with our own suggestions to start it off, but we need some more suggestions from you! So get in touch with your ideas – email or post on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #welovellynbucketlist! One thing that all of us here in the office agreed on was that we all needed to climb Snowdon, something none of us have ever done (shameful, I know! Most of us have lived here most of, if not all our lives!) So we thought we’d make it into a challenge and raise some money for a good cause while we’re at it! We’ve set up a Just Giving page, and we’ve set the date, so wish us luck! -And be sure that i’ll be blogging (and possibly even v-logging!) our epic journey when the time comes 🙂

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4. Get your nose in a book

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We have chosen 10 brilliant books for you to get stuck into this summer – 5 english language books and 5 welsh, theres something for everyone to enjoy in this lovely little list. As I’m working on improving my welsh (as some of you eagle eyed welsh speakers may have noticed on our facebook, I write the welsh posts, and some of the grammar is a bit dodgy to say the least! I wont be offended if you correct me, I swear!) I plan on setting myself a challenge and trying to work my way through the welsh reads over the summer, wish me luck!


5. You have no excuse to be bored this summer

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Our ‘What’s on guide’ this summer is full to bursting – there was so much going on between June and August we had to extend our two page guide to a whopping six pages! Get your diaries out and your highlighter pen and plan your summer,  I know i’ve pretty much copied out most things into my own diary as i’ll be trying to get to as many events as I can so I can blog about them. What’s more, is that if you download our app (it’s free did you know!?) our what’s on guide on there is updated daily, so you can make sure you never miss out. If you know of an event we’ve missed out in the magazine or the app, you can let us know on social media, or get the event organiser to email the details to It’s free to list your event!


We hope you enjoy the summer issue, keep your eye on social media so you’ll know the moment it hits the shops, and we’ll also post our list of stockists!

To download the We Love Llyn app, search for it on the Apple or Google app store.

As usual you can follow us on facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest, dont forget to share your pictures of where you are enjoying reading our magazine, we absolutley love seeing them!


Thanks once again for reading!


Creative Director

Behind the Cover Shoot

When we decided to launch a magazine, one of the first things we thought about, apart from our masthead and logo, was what was going to be on our first ever cover!?!?

Our first impression, our introduction to the world… the pressure was on!

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The end result!


When I was designing the masthead and logo for ‘We Love Llŷn’, I needed a dummy cover (or five) so I could mock up a faux magazine to make sure it all worked well on a real life (pretend) magazine! Out of the stock photos I chose (and oh – there were many!) There was one picture that caught my eye and sparked my imagnation…

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My fakey magazine cover

…A bike leant up against a tree looking like it’s owner had just been shopping for a fabulous picnic. The wheels started turning in my imagination at once – a lovely looking bike against a local backdrop could look gorgeous for a spring cover.

My mood board on Pinterest

I set to work putting together some inspirational images of vintage bikes with various different things in their baskets. But where was I going to find a lovely looking bike like the ones on Pinterest? I could hardly use my old rusty mountain bike, it had seen better days

……..or could I??


Living by the sea may be a prefered retirement plan for humans but for bikes it means salt and salt means corrosion and rust! It still functioned but it had definitely seen better days.

After googling various ‘how to’s’ on the best ways to respray a bike, I had formulated a plan. There was no getting round the fact that the bike needed to be taken apart to be painted, this was a job where even the most creative masking taping would not do. I could have attempted to take it apart myself (I’m known in my household as the queen of Ikea flat pack furniture assembly) but there was no way I could get the bike back together again to resemble a bike, let alone be ride-able once again. (after all, it needed at least a screwdriver, possibly a spanner, and all Ikea furniture needs is an allen key – and determination!)

It became apparent I needed a proffesional. Gary at Llŷn Cycle Centre in Pwllheli was delighted to offer me all the advice I needed, and being the expert on all things bicycles he of course was the best person to take my bike apart for me.

Time to get my hand’s dirty. Or not, because I have marigolds…

Once I had the pieces of my bike back (rather sad seeing my beloved bike fit into a large carrier bag…) I set to work. I’m going to go into a bit of detail in case anybody at home wants to try re-painting their own bikes! Feel free to skip the next (colour coded blue) part if you dont want to hear me go on about my new-found bike painting skills.. 😉

How I did it:

The main frame of the bike was covered in stickers it had come with when I bought it, and after breaking a few fingernails trying to pick them off I discovered that it was way easier with a hairdryer to soften the glue.

Wish I had thought of this earlier…..

After that is was important to sand down the whole of the existing paintwork I was going to re-cover. For this I used wet and dry sandpaper, so as not to give it too rough a finish. For the plastic elements I wanted to paint there was no need to sand.

After sanding I gave the whole frame a good scrub and clean, there needed to be no dirt or grease in sight in order for the paint to stick. I also washed the plastic parts I wanted to paint well.

I used masking tape to cover parts that didn’t need painting, such as the moving parts where the pedals go and parts that had threading for screws.

Then it was time to start the painting! I took the parts to my dad’s shed which is well ventilated, but if you are trying this at home, always remember to use a face mask when spray painting anything, even if you are outside. The plastic parts needed a plastic primer on them, to stop any topcoats from cracking when they dried, so on that went.

The equipment! ^

I applied the base primer to the metal frame in short bursts, always moving the can and shaking it periodically, making sure I held the can at a good distance, not too close to the surface. I waited for the first side to dry for a few hours then went back to turn the frame over and do the other side. I let the first coat of primer dry for 24hrs and went back the next evening to apply another. By this time the plastic primer had set so I applied a coat of regular primer to those as well. I made sure the bike frame was covered evenly, easy to do when the original coat was blue and the primer was white.


The next evening meant colour time! I used kobra spray paint in ‘green’ for the metal frame (it is more like a turquoisey colour) and white for the plastic parts. Again I used a nice steady motion and kept the can a good distance away from the bike frame. Its important not to get impatient and move the spray can closer to get more coverage quicker, as this will cause the paint to drip and you wont get a lovely even finish. Again I waited for the first side to dry for an hour or two before turning the frame over to do the other side. I made sure I moved around the frame to get at it from every angle, so I got a good coverage. I repeated the spray painting procedure for another coat the next evening, then waited another day to apply the topcoat.

Last coat!

The topcoat wasn’t too glossy which I was very pleased with, I wanted a matte finish- but it was important to get a topcoat on there to protect the bike from the elements.

If I inspire you to re-vamp your old bike, do let me know!

Once dry the bike went back to Gary at Llŷn Cycle Centre, he very promptly and skillfully re-assembled it and then it was time to whisk it away for it’s close up.


On it’s way back to Llyn Cycle Centre!


Ebay was my best friend for the bike’s new accessories. The new seat, handles and basket in total costing me under £20. Bargain!

The finished bike

The Photoshoot

I wanted to think carefully about the contents of the bike’s basket. This is a local magazine so I wanted the produce I purchased for the basket to support the idea of buying local. I went to Lili Wen Florists in Porthmadog where they helped me assemble a perfect bunch of spring flowers. While I was there I popped next door to the greengrocers to buy some fruit, I bought a French baguette from a  little local supermarket and a bottle of ‘Celteg’ Welsh sparkling wine from Gwin Llŷn Wines in Pwllheli.


We watched the weather forecast carefully, selecting provisionally a day midweek that looked like there was going to be a break in the rain we had been having, and that our lovely photographer Phil Pownall was available. The day before the forecast remained sunny so we gave Phil the go ahead and the photoshoot was all systems go!

We decided not to include the bollard

All went relatively well on the day, apart from waiting for some clouds to move into their *ideal* positioning, and a bit of wind constantly trying to topple the bike over. (the one thing I forgot to buy for it – a new kickstand!) Unfortunately, the wind was eventually victorious and we worked out by looking at the photos that we probably got our winning cover shot moments before the wind sent the bike toppling over and the bottle of fizz smashing to the floor! 😦 There goes our post-photoshoot reward…

Phil sent me the final photographs and after a touch of computer magic we have what you see before you – the finished magazine. We put a lot of work into the whole thing, so we hope you enjoy reading it.


Oh, and what have I learned from this experience? Always bring spare bubbly. 😉


-Lauren x


Our first magazine- eep! (4 teasers from the new mag- if you’re as excited as me!)

What a busy week we’ve had putting the finishing touches on our first issue of We Love Llŷn Magazine! Its been sent off to the printers today and we waved it off like proud parents watching their children leaving home. It was emotional.

So now we wait – and with about a week to go until the magazine hits the shelves of shops up and down the Llŷn, what am I going to do in the meanwhile? Well I thought i’d tempt you with some sneaky peeks of whats in store in our lovely Spring Issue.


First teaser  – my next blog post

Coming very soon on the blog, i’m going to go in depth about the process behind building our cover. From start to finish! I’ve already started writing it and I have a lot more to say than I thought, so it may be a two-parter! On page 3 of the magazine though, I give a brief overview of how the magic happened…

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Oooooooh… first sneaky peek


Teaser Number Two – This one got me excited for summer!

Why? One peek at the events schedule of Oriel Plas Glyn Y Weddw at the end of this article. One of my favourite memories from last summer was attending ‘Starry Night Cinema’s screening of Dirty Dancing on a warm night in August. Blankets, friends, and a couple of bottles of fruity cider – it was spectacular. My top tip if you are attending any of the productions being put on at the open air theatre at Oriel Plas this year – take a cushion, I admit I did have a numb bum by the end of the evening!


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Photo: Oriel Plas Glyn Y Weddw in Llanbedrog, by Totally Abersoch


Teaser Number Three – A bit of inspiration

We have a few contributors to this magazine, one of my favorites is Shiwi, I’ve been to her wonderful yoga classes in Llanbedrog and I was very excited when I read her recipe for banana bread… I do love a good banana loaf, I’m definitely going to give that one a go. I have some bananas in the kitchen browning away nicely as it happens… 😉


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Shiwan is our guru on all things ‘feel good’


Teaser Number Four – My personal favourite

As creative director, I oversee everything arty to do with the mag etc, which also means I do the graphic design and layout of the pages. The one I enjoyed doing the most was one of our product feature pages – this spring it’s all about wellies!


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Major welly envy going on here


Counting down the days

Well after a mad week of laying out the magazine I’m not sure what to do with myself now my baby’s left home. I will probably be making use of my newly found spare time writing more blogs!

Look out on Facebook and Twitter for more info on when the magazine will be in shops and where it will be available.

-Lauren 🙂

Who What Why When?

 It’s time to start blogging. I’m sure a lot of creatives out there will be able to relate to this thought: Where do I start? So I thought I’d start with me. A blog is supposed to be slightly self-indulgent right? I hope to invite others to contribute to the blog but at the moment you’ll have to live with my thoughts and musings. So let me begin!


Who? Part I:Me!

This is a rather windswept me enjoing Llanbedrog headland last year in my best hiking outfit

My official title in our little enterprise that we call ‘We Love Llŷn’ is Creative Director – translation: In charge of making everything look pretty. I have other functions too though: technology interpreter, self proclaimed social media guru (I know the difference between hashtagging and tweeting and that makes me a god to them) welsh speaker (not very good at the grammar but I try!), and general bossy person.

I’ve got a background in art and I have been working as a freelance graphic designer for a few years now, this project piqued my interest (and it had to because the mastermind behind all this is my mother – and who really wants to work with their mother??) because it was about uniting the community with a positive message – something that appeals to me as I have lived here on Pen Llŷn all my life. It also was an opportunity for me to take creative control and produce something bloody lovely – which I very much hope it will be.

I’ve also wanted to start a blog for a while now- ever since I decided to document my travels around North America on a site called It started out as a way to let my family back home know that I was still alive without phoning each one of them every day with an update, and also to not plague my facebook feed with countless photos of all the fabulous locations I went to visit. I enjoyed it a little too much and in roughly 70 days of travelling I had as many entries in my blog and wonderful feedback from it’s avid readers! But where to start? What do I blog about now I’m not seeing the world, I’m just me in my hometown going to work like an average Joe – well now’s my chance. I have plenty to write about now that I have a subject matter to focus on: Home. Pen Llŷn. I have so many ideas for blog entries I can’t wait to get started!

Who? Part II : We

Errrmm… they havent provided me with headshots yet

So who are We Love Llŷn? At present there are four of us behind this venture. Helen (also known as my beloved mother) decided there was a gap in the market for an App that focused on promoting the Llyn, whether it be events, businesses, activities, something to not only for locals to utilize, but also to draw in tourism and distribute it between the different areas of the Llŷn. There are a couple of publications serving Gwynedd and Pen Llŷn, but not really any lifestyle publications with this vision of promoting the entire Peninsula to its inhabitants and to outside tourism. So she ran it by me – I started excitedly blabbering on about all the different things she could put on her app and in her magazine and concluded she’d be crazy not to do this!

Helen met with app developers far and wide, local and in the big bad cities of Manchester and London, and one app development company seemed to be as enthusiastic as she was about the project so they were the natural choice – and from day 1 I’ve been involved mostly to interpret some of the more ‘techy’ aspects of their conversations!

It was then we recruited Gill – our marketing fairy god mother – to the team. Gill was looking for a new project and this one seemed to get her just as excited as it did me! Gill is one of those natural saleswomen who can charm you just as well in person as she can over the phone, especially handy if we need to spread a new brand and get the support of local businesses across the Peninsula.

If we were going to make a magazine we needed a damn good editor to take charge of all things well… erm… magaziney. We knew Jo from working for the Tourist Information Centre of Abersoch on a few of their booklets and leaflets, and she has an impressive background in writing so was a very good choice!

That makes four of us, not including the elves from the app development company currently working hard in their little workshop at the North Pole (of Manchester. Also known as Salford.) on producing our fabulous We love Llyn App.


we love llyn promo image 1 copy

What exactly are we? I’ve pretty much explained above but simply put we are an App, a website, and a Magazine that will be available in physical form and online.

We Love Llyn will help you discover all there is to know about the Llyn Peninsula with our ultimate guide across all forms of media – and that last sentence was lifted straight from our media kit – Jo really does have a way with words, I cant say it any better. 😉


Porthor Gill
Porthor Beach -photo taken by Gill while walking her dog


…Why not? We love where we live, that’s why we live here! We also know a LOT of people who love it who don’t even live here, that’s crazy to think about as someone who calls this place home, I doubt someone who lives in some nice cul-de-sac in the west midlands can say that their hometown is loved by thousands of people who don’t call it home? I suppose that’s the definition of tourism but sometimes I think about it and it seems so surreal. I don’t blame people for loving it. Any doubt that may have existed before were extinguished the moment we reached 100 likes on the first day of launching the facebook page, even with only one post on the page people were interested, and continue to be interested. We’ve passed a few lovely milestones on facebook, twitter and instagram in the past few weeks with numbers climbing steadily – and we haven’t even released anything yet! That’s pretty exciting.


Magazine coming soon spring 2016 copy 2

The spring edition of the magazine will be out at the end of March/beginning of April. The app will be available to download late April (these things are not easy to pin down, for app developers are mythical creatures; you need an Ouija board or a magical carrot on a stick to get a straight answer out of them). In the meanwhile you can find us on all good social media outlets.

We’re so excited to show you what we’ve been working so hard on and we hope you love it!

 Parting thoughts…

So in the background of this word document in which I am writing this, I have a few different internet browser windows open; ’10 ways to write a successful blog’ stuff like that. None of them were that helpful but one of them said I should keep this short and sweet. None of them told me how I should finish… So here I leave you. Thanks for reading if you made it this far. Diolch yn fawr iawn o galon am darllen. #welovellyn …Peace… Over and out.