For this ‘Postcards from PE’ feature we travel to Wales, where artist Lisa Hardy guides us through her favourite spots to eat by the seaside, galleries and trails to walk along moorland and forests.
Discover the gardens and landscapes that inspire her latest collection of abstracted botanical paintings ‘The Wild Flowers’.
As we live in a rural area next to the Cambrian Mountains, interesting places to eat and drink tend to be a little more out of the way. Pizza Tipi in Cardigan, about an hour away is fantastic. Their massive tent with fire pit, the location right by the mouth of the River Teifi, and chilled vibes make it a brilliant place to visit in the summer.
We also love Llangrannog. This is our most visited beach, we head down for lunch and have something from Tafell a Tan to eat while watching the waves. A walk along any stretch of the coastal path is always worth it, it's stunning. A regular for us is fish and chips from the fishing town of Aberaeron. We also often stop in at Coffi a Bara in Tregaron to grab some pastries and fill up our flask with coffee before heading out for the day.
Oriel Myrddin in Carmarthen is a fantastic contemporary gallery - it's currently closed for the year as they are expanding which is exciting news - I hope to have a show there one day. The Oriel Aber Arts Centre Gallery is also excellent.
If you are a fan of textiles and Welsh blankets then Jane Beck is a must-visit. The charming small tin shop has an overwhelmingly large selection of new and vintage blankets. There are also a handful of mills in the region still producing cloth which are worth visiting.
I go to Aberglasney Gardens if I want a proper garden fix, I’ve visited throughout the seasons and always come back with ideas for our garden and for painting. The National Botanic Garden of Wales is also near and you can stop in to Wrights for a delicious lunch. I also love the National Garden Scheme and have visited some incredible open gardens for inspiration.
National Eisteddfod of Wales. This is a cultural festival celebrating the language, music, dance, and visual arts of Wales. This year it’s being held in our neighbouring town Tregaron. It's a pretty big deal here, flags, welcome signs, flowers and banners are going up everywhere in the region so I am quite intrigued and looking forward to going. Saturday 30 July - Saturday, 6 August.
When we first moved here from Hastings ‘Wild Wales’ by Daniel Start and Tania Pascoe was our bible. It’s a guidebook to out-of-the-way hidden gems like secret waterfalls, ancient woods, hidden beaches, quirky campsites, etc. Every single recommendation has been excellent and totally up our street.
Our favourite spot to walk is Craig Twrch. It’s at the top of the other side of the valley to us and is an area of open moorland and forests. It's littered with ancient monuments and feels special. It has a rocky elongated ridge overlooking the valley, it's incredible whatever the weather. I painted a series, when we first moved here, of the opposite wall of fields and distant hills so those will always remind me of Wales.