GEORGE Borrow, one of Britain’s earliest travel writers, described Llandovery as ‘the pleasantest little town in which I have halted’.
And, after a short break at The Castle Hotel in the town, it’s hard to disagree.
Like many of Wales’ traditional coaching inns, The Castle’s fortunes have been mixed since Borrow’s stay in the 19th century.
But, having been revamped a year ago, it is now flourishing under new ownership as the social hub of the smart South Wales market town.
Hosts Jess and Glyn Bridgeman and Sean Gerrard have created a destination hotel within easy reach of the beautiful Brecon Beacons as well as the world-renowned Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire coastlines.
The trio are the brains behind Taste Inn Wales and, as well as The Castle, they also run Peterstone Court near Brecon and The Manor in Crickhowell.
All three hotels have quickly become well known for their quality food lovingly crafted from locally sourced products.
And The Castle didn’t disappoint on that front.
Their specialty is the Josper Oven, which gives a unique flavour by cooking over a charcoal grill.
Take your pick from rump, ribeye, sirloin or Tbone steak, all from cattle reared in Carmarthenshire and dry aged for at least 30 days.
After a delicious dinner we retired to the Lord Nelson Suite, named in honour of the Battle of Trafalgar hero who reportedly stayed here with Lady Hamilton in 1802 en-route to Milford Haven.
The suite, complete with a Nelson hat, comprises a huge individually designed bedroom with four poster bed, a sitting area and a superb large bathroom with roll top bath and separate shower.
Conveniently located on the A40, luxury like this is perfect for unwinding after a day of trekking through the waterfalls in the Beacons and all within an hour’s drive of Newport.