The silence is deafening, the air pure and clean, the views over the Dee estuary towards the Wirral expansive and uplifting. But it might be the stuff on site that makes your heart beat faster. Because Arosfa Lodge is one Welsh wizard of a house, packed with toys and games, Agas and hot, bubbling tubs. Well, one of each.
Arosfa sleeps 16 of the two-legged variety plus a couple of four-legged friends keen to run fast and free along Offa’s Dyke or across the sweeping sands of Talacre Beach. It’s a juicy haven of plush, plumped-up seats and beds, slow-cooked stews, crackling wood and family films.
Eat around the chunky dining table or out on the terrace, serving up steaks on the Rangemaster barbie beneath the dipping swallows and the soaring skies. Warm your soul over the firepit. Or invade the lounge’s squishy spaces to binge a boxset on Netflix and raid the bullet-fast broadband. Then learn the meaning of deep slumber.
Maybe the real garden’s beyond the walls, the green fields that spin out towards the Dee Estuary, and the winding roads that twist their way towards the Snowdonian peaks. Nevertheless, Arosfa pinches a full acre of North Wales and packages it pretty nicely.
There’s plenty lawn for cricket or kiddie cartwheels and the terrace sits ready for afternoon tea or a barbie from the Rangemaster, while the kids shoot hoops in the basketball net or pound the sunken trampoline.
When the day starts to fade, pile into the six-seat hot tub and soak under the light of a gazillion stars.
Arosfa’s living spaces are comfy and techy, all rolled up in one. The FTTP broadband bullets around the place at an improbable 300Mbit/s. There’s Netflix, Amazon Prime and multiroom Sky Q on the array of large smart TVs. And your soundtrack comes care of a BOSE Bluetooth Airplay system.
After a day hiking the hills or racing the dogs across Talacre Beach, plump up the plush seating in the living room that’s framed by the wooden panels, exposed beams and the original stone fireplace. Load the logs from the basket into the woodburner, break out a Bordeaux and nibble on snacks as you binge on a boxset.
There’s a hearty feeling of home here, in the family-friendly leather sofas, with your dog by the fire and the heat from the Aga wafting the aroma of home cooking around the place. Book-based escapology is possible in the L-shaped sofa that adjoins the kitchen, with the doors open to the terrace and the tranquil twitter of the garden birds.
Living spaces here are colourful and characterful with endless history etched into the exposed-stone walls. It’s an ideal space for decompressing with hens, with friends and family, with music and merriment, or with games and books and a bottle of bubbly. One too many? Maybe you’ll gather round the piano and roll out the barrel.
Do it yourself on the homely, hearty Aga that breathes heat and the aroma of slow-cooked meat all over the place. Fire up the Rangemaster barbie. Or set the wine to chill in the cooler and call the pros. Catherine Skates is an American whose love of British cooking and fresh, local ingredients is just a phone call away. Don’t forget the waiter.
But if you can kill it in the kitchen, you’ll be ecstatic over the electric Aga with two ovens and two hobs, the island, the induction hob and the extra oven in the utility room. Eat around the chunky dining table or out on the terrace beneath the big skies while the kids get happily distracted by the basketball and the trampoline.
Pop out to The Kinmel Arms for plenty of Welsh cheer, local ales and a stunning Sunday roast. Head to the hills, to The White Lion in Llanelian-yn-Rhos for good pub grub washed down with malt whisky or wine. Or try Pen-y-Bryn for braised feather of beef in red wine or chestnut mushroom bourguignon pie.
The Queen’s Head in Conway is one of Wales’ finest, a warm and welcoming gastropub with well-kept ales. Raid the wine menu while you ponder the braised Welsh lamb shoulder or freshly caught Conway mussels with creamy white-wine broth. Or pop to Chester for beef brisket or hare bourguignon with parsley mash at Joseph Benjamin.
Arosfa Lodge sleeps 16 in eight lovely bedrooms in a world of crisp linen, deep carpets and thick silence.
Bedrooms one and two are kingsize en-suites, while bedrooms three and four both offer two single beds. Bedroom five is a kingsize en-suite and bedroom six also a kingsize. You’ll find four more single beds in bedrooms seven and eight.
All rooms have hairdryers and there’s a large family bathroom with bath and shower. But watch this space for another appearing very soon.
Wales is one giant adventure playground, but behind the stone walls, beneath big skies, Arosfa Lodge offers more than a little excitement of its own.
Inside, there’s space to go wild. And the living room comes equipped with squishy sofas and top tech. The bullet-fast broadband whizzes around the place at 300Mbit/s and five oversize smart TVs offer a choice of multiroom Sky Q, Netflix and Amazon Prime viewing.
For 3D action, there’s ping-pong or pool in the games room and enough space for an endless game of hide-and-seek. Outside, where the swallows dive and the steaks sizzle, there’s room to let off steam on the oversize terrace and one acre of grounds.
Shoot some hoops through the freestanding basketball net. Or get bed-ready knocking the sunken (and lit) trampoline for six. If you’ve been good, join the grown-ups simmering in the hot tub.