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Cooking up Cake Adventure Trails



cakeadventureCARMARTHENSHIRE is hoping to lure more visitors to the county this summer with suggested routes to explore coast and country via some of the finest tea shops, bakeries, delis and restaurants.

Given a day exploring the countryside , most of us admit to crowbarring in a cute tea room, trendy deli, ice cream parlour or farm shop to sample local sweet specialities – be it goat milk ice cream, a cream tea or a traditional tea time cake. For summer 2016 , Carmarthenshire is declaring itself cake county and sharing its sweet secrets with two new ‘ Cake Adventure Trails ‘ – one by bike and one by car.

Completely free for visitors to access and download from the Discover Carmarthenshire website, the Cake Adventure Trails are suggested routes around the county which combine delicious homemade cake with sightseeing highlights in two different areas of the county; including a 50-mile circular cycle route for taking in the south coast’s cycle paths, estuaries and beaches and a linear driving route taking in the Dylan Thomas Boathouse, the National Trust’s Dinefwr Park and the cute market town of Llandeilo.

Each self-guided Cake Adventure Trail provides the flexibility of covering as little or as much cake county as visitors fancy. In between sightseeing, driving or cycling there are suggested stops to refuel with treats such as traditional Welsh cakes, bara brith fruit loaf, crempog (Welsh pancakes) slathered in Welsh butter and jam, Tiessennau mel, also known as Welsh honey cake or even a hearty Gentleman’s Tea (available for ladies too) with a chargrilled beef burger topped with Welsh cheese!

“We know that visitors to Carmarthenshire really enjoy the county’s independent food producers and eateries so we wanted to encourage visitors and locals to combine a day of enjoying the very best cake, baked goods, ice cream and sweet treats with an outdoor activity enabling them to also take in the beautiful countryside – by car or bike. Holidays are about taking time to indulge and enjoy traditions such as elevenses and afternoon tea so it made sense to launch the Cake Adventure Trails, which visitors can easily access via our website , ” explained Carmarthenshire’s County Councilor , Meryl Gravel. “What’s not to love – a big slice of countryside, coast and cake – these new tours really are the icing on the Carmarthenshire cake!”

Cake Adventure Slice One – by car: The Cookies and Cake Tour of Carmarthenshire’s Sweet Temptations

Begin in the west of the county, exploring Dylan’s beloved Laugharne with Welsh Cakes or buttered Bara Brith on the terrace of the Dylan Thomas boathouse. A short drive will give you a taste for the coast at Llanseffan – this pretty seaside village has a medieval castle overlooking the gorgeous beach at Scotts Bay , before driving inland to Wrights Emporium for freshly baked apple turnovers and Pork Belly Cubanos for lunch. Just a few miles away is Dinefwr Park and the winding streets of Llandeilo for cool independent shops and , if it’s a hot day, cool down at Heavenly with an ice cream or pick up some pastries from Ginhaus Deli. At the end of the day , head up Carreg Cennan Castle to watch the sun go down before heading back to The Plough – a local pub that serves Bara Brith ice cream! Do the whole adventure in a day or pick ‘n’ mix from the suggestions.

Cake Adventure Slice Two – by bike: The Great British Bike Off Circular Route

Start the cycling circuit with a hearty breakfast at Calon Cafe in the centre of picturesque Carmarthen, then head into the countryside on National Route 47 via Wrights Food Emporium for a quick coffee and delicious pastry or head straight to the National Botanic Garden to view the world’s largest single-span glasshouse. Next head down to the coast along a traffic -free route to Llanelli for lunch at The Stradey Park Hotel before looping back along the River Taf estuary on Route 4 for afternoon tea at Whitford’s in Burry Port. End with the return route to Carmarthen enjoying gluten free cake or scones at Burns Farm Shop at Kidwelly – There are five legs, each between 25 and 100 minutes and the total cycling time around five hours.

More information about great places to eat and drink, activities and accommodation in Carmarthenshire can be found at www.

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Llandeilo Festival publishes its Entertainment schedule



“CHILDREN AND families are at the heart of our festival this year,” announces festival vice chair Debbie Ince. “On Friday 18th November the festival stalls will start trading at 10am but in the evening there will be the official opening, followed at 6:15pm by Santa coming through the town on his sleigh. A children’s Lantern procession from CK to King Street led by Llandeilo Primary School’s Samba group will meet Santa on King Street to tunes by the Llandeilo Town Band and bilingual hymn singer Ffion Haf. Once the children had their fill of Santa, the Christmas Lights will be switched on by Mayor Gordon Kilby. Local legend singer and actor Harry Luke and Ffion Haf will entertain the crowd until 8pm.”

People enjoying the festival

A spectacular and pet-friendly Laser Show will replace the controversial fireworks at 8pm. “There’s also a tea cup ride on King Street for kids,” adds Ince. “On Saturday and Sunday kids can go to Santa’s Grotto 10 – 4, and on Saturday to St Teilo’s Church or Hengwrt for activities. At our park and ride on Beechwood Estate ‘Sgiliau’ will be open for our youngest visitors.”

“There is of course plenty of entertainment for adults, too,” adds festival chair Christoph Fischer. “From Davies & Co Station Road to Flows on Market Street, most Llandeilo venues will play indoor music, many day and night. The stage will host a variety of acts: from school and adult choirs, bands, solo singers and dance groups, such as Mixed Youth Group, Lotus Sisters Belly dancers and Sunflowers Wales. Cooking demonstrations on Saturday and a Santa Run on Sunday morning round up the festival programme. You can find updates on the Llandeilo Town App Dyma Llandeilo.”

Santa at the Parade

“With our wide selection of street food, arts-,crafts-, fashion- and food stalls there should be something for everyone,” adds stalls coordinator and treasurer Mered Williams. “See you all on the 18th.!”

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Carmarthenshire County Council has launched its annual Christmas Toybox Appeal



The appeal, in its 12th year, helps hundreds of children with families who can’t afford to buy toys or gifts.

Last year saw us help more families than ever who were struggling financially with more than 7,700 gifts distributed to 1,287 children. This year during these unprecedented times we rely on support more than ever.

The appeal was launched online for the first time in 2020 following the coronavirus pandemic and people were asked to make a financial donation instead of buying gifts and toys.

This year people can either give a financial donation or drop off gifts from games, arts and craft items to toiletry gift sets for all ages – from 18 months up to teenagers, at one of a number of collection points around the county.

Schools, family centres and youth workers identify those who are in greatest need of support and council staff will distribute them in the run-up to Christmas.

The council’s executive board member responsible for the Toybox Appeal, Cllr Linda Evans said:

“I am proud to be following on from the legacy of Cllr Mair Stephens who sadly passed away earlier this year. The Toybox appeal this year is going to be more important than ever. We have always had fantastic support and this year we hope this will continue to ensure that hundreds of children will receive a Christmas gift. We know times are hard, but if people are able to spare a gift or a donation no matter how big or small, it will make a great difference to those families less fortunate.”

You can make a donation of your choice online at the Christmas Toy Box Appeal website. If you have a cash or cheque donation please call 01267 246504.

To view the collection point locations please visit the council’s website

Donations are being taken up until November 30.

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Council responds at pace to deliver significant improvements in its planning Service



Audit Wales has carried out a Follow-up Review of Planning Services by Carmarthenshire County Council and concluded that the council has successfully addressed all its recommendations.

In July 2021, Audit Wales published a report following a review of the council’s planning services, with its findings identifying significant and long-standing performance issues in the planning service that needed to be urgently addressed to help support the delivery of the council’s ambitions.

A total of 17 recommendations were made by Audit Wales for the council to address. All of which the report has confirmed have been met.

In response to the recommendations of the report, Carmarthenshire County Council convened an Intervention Board to provide oversight of a 49 point action plan to respond to the Audit Wales findings that were published in July 2021. Over the past 15 months, progress against the plan has been monitored through the council’s governance framework to provide assurance of progress made against the recommendations.

Audit Wales has been following the council’s progress through regular catch-up meetings with the council, document reviews and observing governance and audit committee meetings. They have also interviewed key council officers during the audit process.

Within the follow up-review, which can be viewed on their website, Audit Wales states that:

“The Council is to be commended for the swift, decisive action it took in response to the findings of our 2021 report, and for the way it has driven improvements in its planning service.

“The constructive way in which the Council received our report and acted on the recommendations is a particularly positive example of a Council demonstrating its commitment to driving improvement in service delivery.

“The Council has learnt lessons from the review that it has also applied more widely, particularly in relation to performance management.

“Overall, we found that the Council has successfully addressed all our recommendations and has responded at pace to deliver significant improvements in its planning service.”

Cabinet member for rural affairs and planning policy, Cllr Ann Davies said:

“I am very pleased with the Audit Wales report which states that Carmarthenshire County Council has succeeded in overcoming challenges within our planning department.

“The report is excellent, it praises the work and the change in systems, procedures and leadership, recognising the significant improvement that has been achieved.

“The issues in question were not due to a lack of work ethic, as I know first-hand of the effort and commitment that is put in by a number of our officers. It was rather the processes which were to blame and needed to be adjusted, as it did not provide officers with the appropriate environment to carry out the work required.

“I would like to thank all council officers that have worked so hard since the Spring of 2021 to achieve the goal of meeting all 17 of the recommendations that were initially set out by Audit Wales.

“The next step, of course, is to keep going, keep moving forward to stay at the forefront as one of the most productive planning authorities in Wales. There is further work to be done and we are committed to continuous improvement, especially in the world of enforcement but we are moving in the right direction with over 1000 enforcement cases having already been resolved in the last year.”

Click here to visit the Audit Wales website and view a full copy of the Follow-up Review of Planning Services.

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