Shop until you drop in Llandrindod’s stunning Christmas markets

Then enjoy lunch and a glass of wine or coffee and a cake at The Metropole.

Llandrindod Wells is the place to be for a spot of Christmas shopping this year.

On November 29, the town will hold its special ‘Christmas Fayre’ at The Pavilion, from 10am-3.30pm.  Great gifts include jewellery, fabric and woollen crafts, handmade toiletries and handmade cards.  There’s also a chance to visit Santa in his grotto and to buy Christmas trimmings to deck out your home.  Charities represented at the event include Hope House Hospice, The Lion’s Club, The Bracken Trust and Cancer Research.

The following day, Sunday November 30, the town will be celebrating the festive season with a European Christmas Market – with stalls set up all along Middleton St from 12 noon until the evening. There will also be singing, music groups, an I-Spy treasure hunt for kids, and the switching on of the Christmas lights at 5.30pm.

The Royal Welsh Winter Fair is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014.  This two-day event running from November 30-December 1, has become a firm fixture in the agricultural calendar, drawing in stockmen and women from all over the UK to compete.  Away from the judging arena, a host of Welsh food producers will be showcasing their wares, and there will also be cookery demonstrations and a food hall, as well as Silver Jubilee themed celebrations and competitions.

Entry is free both days after 4pm, and there will be fabulous free firework display at 7pm on Monday evening.

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Gearing up for Wales Rally GB 2014

The Metropole will be welcoming the Wales Rally GB crews when the teams come tearing through mid Wales in November.

This year the rally sports a 160-car field, and the event will kick off with an opening ceremony on November 13 at Eirias Stadium in Colwyn Bay.

Top international entries include Volkswagen Motorsport’s reigning World Rally Champion and last year’s Wales Rally GB winner, Sébastien Ogier, plus the two leading home hopes: Elfyn Evans, (driving for the Cumbrian-based M-Sport World Rally team), and Kris Meeke, representing Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT.

Other notables targeting success in Wales are Rallye Germany winner Thierry Neuville, and former F1 star Robert Kubica.

British potential includes Matthew Wilson and Scottish Rally Champion, David Bogie, along with two up and coming Welsh drivers, Tom Cave and Osian Pryce.

There’s also a well-known rallying newcomer among the national ranks – former England cricketer Graeme Swann.

We wish them all luck, and are sure the event will be action packed and full of excitement.

source: Nerys Lloyd-Pierce

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Barnes Memorial lecture a huge success

We’d like to give a big thanks to Dr Rhys Jones who presented the annual Radnorshire Wildlife Trust Barnes Memorial Lecture, held here at The Metropole.

He was a great speaker, and the audience was inspired by his work and amused by his many anecdotes.

Dr Jones, a herpetologist, or snake expert,  at Cardiff University, is well known for his TV appearances, and has featured alongside naturalist Iolo Williams, on Iolo’s Welsh Safari, and BBC1’s Chris Packham on Nature’s Calendar.

Look out for his next appearance on the small screen in his forthcoming series, Wildlife Patrol.

Dr Jones, who did a PhD in molecular evolution, specialising in herpetology and parasitology, is also an ambassador to Wildlife Trusts Wales.

source: Nerys Lloyd-Pierce

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Top Gear to The Metropole

The Metropole was thrilled to welcome Top Gear to the hotel recently – the team stayed for several nights while filming for the new series on location in the spectacular Elan Valley.

Look out for the Claerwen reservoir, and other famous local landmarks when it’s screened.

Mid Wales is renowned for having some of the best roads for fun driving in the entire UK – quiet, winding, deserted and offering stunning views.

In fact, The Metropole is something of a mecca for car and bike groups, who often use the hotel as their base.

Two big events are on the calendar for this autumn:

The Historic Rally Car Register will celebrate its 30th birthday at The Metropole with an event called Autumn Leaves.  Members will buzz along a fabulous route which includes such classic roads as Epynt, Abergwesyn and the Elan Valley. For more info visit www.scenictoursuk.co/7/Autumnleaves

Hot on its heels comes CRA – Classic Rally Association and HERO – the Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation.  These guys know a thing or two about long distance driving – one of their events is called Le Jog, the Land’s End-John o’ Groats jaunt that tests classic car drivers’ mettle to the limit.

In fact, Le Jog has become known as one of the biggest challenges a classic car rally driver can undertake.

Next month, CRA participants will be testing their skills on the fabled roads of mid Wales, and earning a well-earned pit stop at The Metropole! For more info visit www.craevents.eu/Events/rally_of_the_tests/rally_of_the_tests_2014/

source: Nerys Lloyd-Pierce

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Summer cider special at The Metropole

Quench your thirst this summer with The Metropole’s luscious range of delicious ciders.

Cider aficionados will love Westons Old Rosie Cloudy Cider from Herefordshire, an old fashioned crisp and dry number with a light sparkle.

For something sweeter, there’s Dunkertons Premium Organic Cider, made from ancient Herefordshire apple varieties like Sheep’s Nose, Brownsnout and Foxwhelp.

Jack Ratt Scrumpy comes from Devon and is made from freshly pressed west country cider apples.  It’s named after a famous Lyme Bay smuggler, Jack Rattenbury.

And for those who like their cider with a different twist then there’s no resisting Brothers Toffee Apple Premium Cider from Somerset, complete with a delicious dash of cream soda and smouldering toffee.

And that’s not all!  To have a taste of the complete range of ciders on offer this summer, pay us a visit and try something different.

source: Nerys Lloyd-Pierce

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Tuck into Commonwealth tipples at The Metropole

Luxury hotel and spa, The Metropole in mid Wales, is marking the arrival of the Commonwealth baton in Llandrindod Wells on May 25, with a festival of Commonwealth wines.

Wines showcased include a sun-packed Chardonnay from Australia, a classic, peachy Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and a juicy, tannin rich Saam Mountain Pinotage from South Africa – the perfect partner to roast beef.

On Sunday 25 May, triple gold medallist, Kirsty Wade, 52, will carry the Commonwealth baton through Llandrindod Wells, her home town, and the place where her passion for running was born.

The former Llandrindod High student recalls that it was the cross-country element of her PE lessons, taking her through Rock Park, that made her realise that she loved running.

She went on to win the 800-metre gold at the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games, and two golds at the 1986 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games in the 800-metres and 1500-metres events.

In the build-up to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in July this year, the Queen’s Baton Relay will visit 71 nations in seven months.

Justin Baird-Murray, MD at The Metropole, said:

“We felt that the arrival of the baton in our town, carried by our very own champion, was a cause for celebration. The Commonwealth baton will only spend seven days in Wales, so we are proud that it will finish the second leg of its journey here.

“We have chosen a selection of whites and reds to suit different tastes, and hope the crowds will turn out to cheer Kirsty on, and enjoy a glass of Commonwealth good cheer with us afterwards.”

Please call 01597 828509 for further information.

source: Nerys Lloyd-Pierce

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The Metropole expands conference facilities

Luxury hotel and spa, The Metropole in mid Wales, has made a five-figure investment in upgrading its conference facilities.

State-of-the-art audio visual equipment has been installed in the hotel’s conference suites by Welsh company, PSVS, whose  previous commissions include projects at the London College of Arts and the Hilton hotel group.

The revamp of The Metropole’s conference facilities follows on from a £5m interior refurbishment programme that included full upgrade of the hotel’s bedrooms (including security systems, TV and Wi-fi), and a magnificent spa extension – The Rock Spa.

The Metropole is a family-run business, and MD, Justin Baird-Murray, and his sister, finance director, Sarah Hill, were responsible for implementing the extensive improvements programme – resulting in an upgrade to the hotel’s current four-star status.

“The spa extension widened our appeal, both to our local customer base, and to our overnight leisure visitors,” explains Justin Baird-Murray.

“The latest project adds value to our corporate clients when they hold a conference here,” he adds.  “We recognise that our location in mid Wales is strategically important, providing a halfway meeting point between the north and south of the country.  We also attract business clients from the Midlands, and border counties such as Herefordshire.”

The Metropole can host meetings for as many as 300 people and as few as six – 14 different function rooms allow space to be configured to suit any size or type of event.

There is also ample on-site, free parking.

Wayne Jarrold, MD of PSVS, who installed The Metropole’s upmarket AV system comments,

“Having installed high specification AV equipment for a diverse range of businesses throughout the UK, we are adept at providing a bespoke service to suit each individual location. The new system at The Metropole will increase the hotel’s desirability as a conference and function centre for a broad range of clients.”

The Metropole is a member of Welsh Rarebits and Historic Hotels of Europe.

source: Nerys Lloyd-Pierce

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The Baird-Murray family launch The Timeline

Luxury hotel and spa, the four-star Metropole in Llandrindod Wells, has launched a fascinating exhibition into the hotel’s history to celebrate five generations of family ownership.The hotel has been in the same family since 1897 and is now run by the great, great grandchildren of Elizabeth Miles, the original owner.Siblings, Justin Baird-Murray and Sarah Hill are now The Metropole’s managing director and finance director, respectively.

The discovery of a cache of fascinating black and white photographs charting the hotel’s past led to the launch of The Timeline.

“In the 141 years since great, great granny bought The Metropole, so many things have changed, but there is one constant, the hotel itself,” says Justin. “My mother, Norma Baird-Murray, unearthed a fantastic collection of historic black and white images, and we felt they deserved a wider audience, hence the launch of The Timeline.”

The fact that The Metropole has been in the same family for so long is a key selling point.

“One of the trends we have noticed in recent years is how much our guests enjoy the fact that we are an independent, privately owned hotel,” explains Justin. “In these days of corporate chain hotels I think people are really beginning to appreciate the individual attention you get at an independent hotel.”

Picture shows: Timeline launch -  Sarah Hill and Justin Baird-Murray of The Metropole, with their mother Norma Baird-Murray, and (foreground) family friend, Maisie Powell, 99, who was at the opening of The Metropole’s original swimming pool in 1935.
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Testimonial | MGA Register | 2013

I am writing to thank you and all the staff of the Metropole Hotel for the very enjoyable time had by almost 120 of our members during our stay for the 2013 MGA Register Spring Weekend. David Morgan was especially concerned that everything was to our satisfaction.

As you know, this was our second consecutive year at the Metropole and we found our stay to be first class in every respect. I did not receive one single negative comment about any aspect of our experience and the great majority of our members told us how satisfied they were. The rooms were excellent and well appointed and all of your staff were friendly and efficient.

The organization of our Gala Dinner on the evening of Saturday 1st June was exceptional; to serve 120 guests with a three-course meal with the minimum of waiting time is no mean feat and something I know many other hotels would struggle to match. We were also pleased with the reserved parking arrangements for our cars.

The icing on the cake was the marvellous weather we enjoyed for the whole of our three day stay and all of our members went away expressing great satisfaction with the whole event. Llandrindod Wells is the perfect location for a touring holiday for individuals and groups of all sizes. We look forward to another stay with you in the not too distant future.

The MG Car Club is made up of some 15,000 members spread across a number of MG model Registers, most of which organize an annual event such as ours and I will have no hesitation in recommending the Metropole to the organizers of those Registers.

Once again, very many thanks

Yours sincerely

Stuart Mumby
Chairman, MGA Register of the MG Car Club Ltd.

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Summer indulgence at The Rock Spa

The Rock Spa, at The Metropole – as seen in The Independent, The Times and Sunday Times – has a host of special treatments to offer guests. For example, our delectable Zingy Lime and Lemongrass salt exfoliation body scrub provides a welcome scent of summer, and ensures that your skin feels fresh, invigorated and revitalised.

Another perfect indulgence for summer is the stress-relieving Luxurious Luminous Rice Wrap, a comforting and silky wrap valuable for its nutritious ingredients including rice oil which is rich in antioxidants, rice water to aid in the renewing of skin cells and silky rice seeds. This is a soothing wrap which helps create a radiant skin, soft to the touch and gently scented with vanilla and white flowe

Heading for the beach? Then our Tanning treatment sets you up for a great time. Full body exfoliation followed by manual application of natural tanning mousse to give a no streak, natural look followed by tan saving moisturiser. The Natural Spa Factory product are unscented and contains organic aloe vera and powerful anti-oxidant extracts to protect and slow the signs of ageing.

If you feel like a whole day of indulgence, then book one of our spa days, bring a friend, and relax over lunch and a glass of wine in our stylish contemporary brasserie.

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Luxurious spa extension to broaden tourism horizons

Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Sciences and Transport, opened The Metropole Hotel’s new spa extension on May 3, 2013.

The four-star Metropole Hotel, located in Llandrindod Wells, secured a six-figure sum to expand its spa facilities, supported by Barclays.

The new development will include high-end treatment suites, nail bar, spray tan facility, and a comfortable relaxation and reception area.

The facility will create five new full-time posts, and will enhance the current facilities which include an 18m heated swimming pool and whirlpool spa, gym, sauna and steam room.

The Metropole is a family-run business, and MD, Justin Baird-Murray, and his sister, finance director, Sarah Hill, have overseen a £5m refurbishment of the prestigious Welsh hotel, resulting in an upgrade to its current four-star status.

“The spa extension will widen our appeal, both to our local customer base, and to our overnight leisure visitors,” explains Justin Baird-Murray.

“From a tourism point of view, our bespoke spa packages, which feature high-end treatments and spa beauty products, will bring in a greater range of guests. Over a three-year period we expect to generate an additional income of £175,000 per annum.”

Minister for the Economy, Edwina Hart, said: “The tourism sector is one of our key growth markets and is worth £5 billion to the Welsh economy and employs more than 8% of the workforce. Our tourism industry will only remain competitive if we continue to invest in upgrading the products that we offer. I’d like to congratulate the family team at the Metropole for their continued investment and effort which makes the hotel such an asset to Wales.

“The extended spa facility will help the hotel increase its appeal to a wider audience, and capitalise on the fact that people are taking fewer overseas holidays, but still need to recharge their batteries with weekend breaks. I’d like to wish the team a successful summer season and hope they reap the rewards of this latest investment.”

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Rambling in Wales | Walking Club

Please accept my sincere thanks and also those of all our members, for your part in making our weekend at the ‘Metropole’ such a success. Since our return there has been a constant stream of notes and emails stating what a super time was enjoyed by everyone.
What a friendly and cheerful lot the staff all are! It really is a great place to stay. In the event, even the weather proved quite pleasant and certainly did not prevent us from enjoying the countryside, the walks… and the Spa!
It was a pleasure to work with Adele, who received my initial enquiry and continued as chief contact, responding to my fairly constant steam of email enquiries to amend this and that or to find yet another extra room.
Reception, all equally obliging and helpful, nothing seemed too much trouble.
Must mention the seating arrangements for dinner. As a sociable crowd, exactly as we would wish, tables for ten or so gives everyone the opportunity to swap and share a meal with other friends. Restaurant service and food too, excellent!
A venue like the ‘Metropole’ makes any organiser’s life so much easier and, to quote our Hon. Sec. ‘I don’t know what the autumn venue will be like, but this will be a hard act to follow’.
I am sure we shall return to Llandrindod Wells and there can only be one hotel to stay at!
Best Wishes for the future.
You really do have a great team and a venue such as ‘The Metropole’ certainly makes the job far easier for any organiser. Sincere thanks from all who attended, to all who provided, such a memorable weekend.

J S Jones. Chairman, Somerset Walking Club.

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