Despite growing up around golf and covering the sport during the 2010 Ryder Cup and on S4C programme Golffio, Llinos is a novice player. By contrast, Chris spent time as a pro on the European Long Drive Tour and is a regular on the greens of his local club Caernarfon. Here's what they discovered on their gourmet golf trip.
Playing golf in Wales doesn’t have to be daunting
Llinos. I covered an event at Royal St David’s in Harlech for Golffio, so I’d seen how challenging it could be even for the pros. When I learned we’d be playing there I was initially quite nervous, but with Chris there to hold my hand it was fine once we got started. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t the best player. If you’re into golf, you can play anywhere.
Chris. Llinos really enjoyed herself. It was good to give her a few tips and see her smashing it.
Llinos. At first It was terrifying playing with Chris because he can really smack that ball so far. I’ve had a few lessons a while ago and was pretty rusty, but after a few minutes with Chris he corrected my swing and I was hitting them straight for a change. We had such a good time.
Golf in Wales is about more than just the game
Chris. You don’t have to be good at golf to have a great time playing these courses in North Wales. The courses we played at Nefyn, Conwy and Harlech are just stunning, with amazing backdrops of the coastline, castles and mountains. Even if you’re not that great a player you can still enjoy a walk and breathe in some of the Welsh sea air.
Llinos. That’s the thing about golf here. Even though it’s such a hard sport, it can also be so relaxing. You get to have a good chat, enjoy the fresh air and soak in all the beautiful scenery. The courses we played on are so spectacular that you’d have a great time even if you just went for a walk around them.
There’s lots for non-golfers to enjoy too
Chris. There are plenty of things for non-golfers to do on a trip like this. There are the mountains, an abundance of coastline all within a stone’s throw of each other. I live on the coast in Caernarfon but I’m only minutes from the mountains of Eryri.
Llinos. If someone in your party doesn’t want to play golf, there’s many more things they can do here, whether that’s going to a beach, exploring the surrounding towns and villages or just getting relaxing at the clubhouse. There’s something here for everybody, whether you’re an avid golfer or not.
You’ll find fine food and perfect produce everywhere you go
Chris. Eating in The Jackdaw in Conwy was fantastic. The restaurant’s name comes from the nickname for the people of Conwy who are born within the castle walls. Nick Rudge is such an amazing chef and has an incredible team. He grew up in Llandudno and worked for years with Heston Blumenthal, so it’s great that he’s back here in North Wales creating these incredible dishes using ingredients from the area. It’s not just cooking, it’s celebrating local produce.
Llinos. The meal we had at The Jackdaw in Conwy was just incredible. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten anything quite like it. Chris is such a foodie. I learned a lot from him during the meals. He knows so much about food that it really makes you appreciate it a lot more.
Chris. The Welsh food scene is on the way up. There are so many great producers. We also visited Harlech Grocer, a deli that’s full of amazing food from Welsh producers and suppliers. We have some of the best produce in the world here in Wales. I’ve been shouting about it for years, so it’s good to see it being enjoyed by local people and visitors.
Wales is an inspiring place packed with unique experiences and places
Llinos. When you live in Wales, you sometimes forget about all the amazing places that are right on your doorstep. We had a picnic at Harlech Castle and stopped off for a drink at the incredible Ty Coch Inn at Nefyn. This trip was a reminder of how much there is to see and enjoy here.
Chris. Ty Coch in Nefyn is fantastic. I don’t know any other pub in the world with a view like that.
Llinos. We’re both from Wales, we’re both Welsh speaking and we’re advocates for Wales. It’s not just the landscape that makes Wales so special, but also our unique culture and language. We’re so proud of where we’re from and we want to show it off to the rest of the world.
Just the facts
Our intrepid golfers played at Conwy, Royal St David’s and Nefyn, where you can play the Point at certain times of the year. You’re spoiled for excellent courses in this part of Wales. Take your pick from places like Maesdu and North Wales (both in Llandudno), Caernarfon, Porthmadog, Pwllheli and Bull Bay on Anglesey – the most northerly club in Wales.
Chris and Llinos sampled intricate fine dining at The Jackdaw in Conwy, picked up the perfect picnic at Harlech Grocer and enjoyed a refreshing drink at Porthdinllaen's Ty Coch Inn (the best beach bar in the world). There’s fabulous food and drink all over. Try delicious Conwy mussels pulled fresh from sparkling North Wales waters, eat in or take away at Dylan’s restaurants and delis (found in Criccieth, Llandudno and Menai Bridge), and choose from the finest in local produce at Bodnant Welsh Food near Colwyn Bay.
Off the course
North Wales is also home to some of the UK’s best beaches – including the sweeping sands of Harlech, secluded Porth Iago on the Llŷn Peninsula and the pebbly seafront of Llandudno (complete with fun-packed Victorian pier).