I'll admit, I had hesitations about spending my birthday weekend in Anglesey, it's where I grew up and although I have a horde of happy memories, I wasn't sure how much it would keep us entertained for a whole weekend.
When we were little, we spent hours and hours outside exploring the outdoors, the beach and the forests of Anglesey, but since then my tastes have changed to also include eating out and drinking wine (not your usual hobbies of a 10 year old!). I wasn't expecting to have a huge choice of restaurants and local shops as I'm used to an Angelsey devoid of anything but fish and chips, but after a quick peek in the Good Food Guide and asking my cousins who still live there, we suddenly had a huge list to choose from!
We had a lovely four days in Anglesey so I've picked out four of my favourite places we visited that I hadn't been to before that I would thoroughly recommend.
We never visited this beach when we were little, we lived round the other side of the island and even though it only takes about 40 minutes to drive across, we stuck to the beaches we knew and loved. It is an absolutely stunning beach, we went twice in three days! Once with my mum, sister and her little girls (hi Ruby if you're reading this!) who joined us for Saturday and Sunday, then another time just Joe and I before we headed home on Monday.
It's not only a beautiful beach, it's also home to red squirrel woodland so you can walk through the forest and still hear the sound of the ocean, something I adored! Be careful with tide times though as the beach is entirely engulfed in water until around 10am at this time of year which you can see in the photo right at the top of this post, it looked incredible though. We went with the girlies around 3pm when there was plenty of beach for them to run around on, explore rock pools and jump around on sand dunes. It's lovely for the whole family, plus it's dog friendly so we made some furry friends!
The details: It costs £4 to park at the beach and you can't get down to it without going through the barrier so make sure you have change with you. There's usually an ice cream van down there and there are toilets etc too. You can find out more here.
This was recommended to us by my cousin's girlfriend Linsey (along with a huge list of other suggestions too that we need to go back and try!), and we were not disappointed. Because we had been to the beach and the Sea Zoo (got to love the Sea Zoo) we were not what you would call, presentable... So we felt a bit under dressed when we got there as it was way fancier than we expected, but we dusted off our sandy shoes and got on with it!
We chose seats right at the back of the restaurant, overlooking the sea in a covered veranda which were by far the best seats in the house. We ordered drinks and looked over the menu, we pretty much wanted everything so it took us forever to choose! But eventually I went for whitebait to start and half a lobster for main, Joe went for calamari (his classic) and pork belly. The food was delicious but the view over the Menai Straits was the best thing about the restaurant, we could have stayed there for hours watching little boats come in, eating lovely food and chatting but we had to head back to real life.
The details: There's a car park about two roads away from Dylan's as it's a bit of a nightmare to park right near it, it only takes a few minutes to walk through though. You can find out more and check out the menu here.
We HAD to visit Plas Newydd, as we drove past the entrance on the way to our cottage, we saw a red squirrel at the entrance which we were both stupidly excited about. Joe's from London so had never seen a red squirrel in his whole life so we went back after lunch to find more.
Anglesey is pretty special because it only has red squirrels, the grey squirrels have never made it over to the island. We strolled around the protected woodland for a couple of hours with no luck at all on the squirrel front, but the woodland itself was beautiful from the eucalyptus trees to the giant fir trees. We got lucky towards the end and became pretty experienced squirrel spotters, seeing 4 (which may have been just one really quick one who followed us...) by the end of the trip!
Plas Newydd is also where we always went on school trips so it was lovely to reminisce, we didn't visit the house this time but it is lovely if you get the chance to visit. Plus I got to wear my new Hunter jacket, got to love a waterproof that actually looks good too!
The Marram Grass Cafe
Joe spotted this restaurant in the Good Food Guide so we booked in straight away, it's had some great bits of press and reviews so it would have been rude not to seeing as it was about 10 minutes down the road from our cottage.
It was oddly in a little camp site, the cutest little restaurant surrounded by gardens and covered in grape vines, along with very fancy chickens patrolling the area.
The food was some of the best we've had recently - amazingly high quality ingredients, beautifully presented and just delicious. I went for mussels (so fresh and delicious!) and fish of the day, Joe went for oysters (which he fell in love with) and wild sea bass. As it was my birthday we also had a Set Pumpkin Custard to share which was honestly the best thing!
The details: You can find out more and have a look at a sample menu here.
This isn't somewhere to visit but the cottage we stayed in was so lovely and we had such a good experience with the whole booking process that I have to mention it, we booked through Menai Holiday Cottages and they have so many lovely properties on there to choose from. I'll definitely be using it again and big thanks to Mari who went above and beyond when my emails and payments weren't going through properly. I wish we were back there right now, there was a hot tub and everything!