Portmeirion is a whimsical, fantastical, Disneyesque (in a good way) Italian style village on the north coast of Wales, situated right on the broad estuary of the River Dwyryd near to Penrhyndeudraeth village and close to Porthmadog.
It was Clough William- Ellis’s grand vision and now eighty years later my delight to visit.
You can enter as a day visitor and explore the tiny settlement with a free guide who will lead you round the village and answer questions about the buildings. There is also a small cinema giving a detailed film story of the beginnings of Portmeirion and a train which takes visitors around the Chinese Lake and through the adjoining woodland.
Souvenir shops and cafes can extend your stay but I would recommend a drink at the hotel on a fine day as the views across the estuary are amazing, there are coastal and woodland walks to make an overnight stay very much worthwhile.
The Grey Traveller stayed in a village room on a Double Bed and Breakfast deal for 2 nights. I stayed at The Bridge House which was decorated in an old fashioned twenties style with all mod cons. The icing on the cake was the sherry and the incredible estuary view. I chose to eat dinner at Castle Deudraeth on the first night and the hotel on the following evening. In both cases the service is exemplary and food first class. The Hotel menu reminded me very much of The Great British Menu with its emulsions and foams and incredible presentation.
Hats off to Clough for creating this unique corner of Wales and hats off to his grandson who is continuing to maintain it.