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Welsh Rarebits celebrate the places of which they are a part. They create a true sense of place and find ways to reflect its heritage, culture, language, and personality. In a world of sameness, we applaud difference. Reassuringly different, The Albion is all that and more.

This exciting brand-new hotel is the most ambitious, and yet somehow reassuringly similar, project from the accomplished team at fforest farm. It likes to be known as a ‘maritime hotel’ and has a seafaring story to tell. The painstaking nuts and bolts renovation is designed to celebrate the town’s nautical heritage, balancing contemporary comfort and style with the immersive qualities of a priceless heritage building. In 1819 the brig Albion set out from Cardigan, carrying 27 families to a new life in New Brunswick, Canada. Many proceeded to Fredericton, where they took up tickets-of-location for forest land founding the first Welsh settlement in Canada.

Much of the original fabric is left exposed, the evocative pencil sketches from the mid-19th century of tall ships and calculations of rope lengths and sail canvas cover much of the internal lime-washed walls of the third floor. The use of re-purposed timber, stripped back steel and minimal lighting gives a warm, kicked back feel, unstuffy and uncorporate, relax without pretension. The twelve individually styled rooms are cossetting and use clever joinery to evoke a captain’s cabin: quirky reclaimed wood lines almost all of the walls, the floors are of knotted 150-year-old oak, custom-made furniture, upcycled and hand-picked reclaimed fixtures, Welsh wool blankets and textiles woven to traditional designs. They make the most of the original floor plan, no two rooms are the same, and most have ever-changing views over the tidal river Teifi framed by carefully restored low-slung wall openings. For a treat, we love the top floor Cabin Suites, with their far-reaching watery vistas. Despite being a mile from the coast, it’s easy to imagine the sights and sounds of the bustling quayside and the busy 18th century lime kilns over which the Albion still proudly presides.

Arts and crafty, wonderfully laid-back Cardigan has had a renaissance in recent years. Now a thriving destination, offers river and sea-based adventures, artisan bakeries, chilled eateries, cool coffee houses, stunning galleries and indie shops, a memorable place to lose a few hours. Alternatively, a half hour wander through the nature reserve brings you to the original two-hundred-acre fforest farm, at the heart of which is one of Wales’ tiniest pubs.

The intimate residents lounge and bar have beamed low ceilings, shared refectory tables, quick wi-fi, proper coffee, and serve scandic small plates, a perfect temporary office. If you’re looking for a bigger bite a short stroll takes you over the river bridge to Pizza Tipi; outstanding wood-fired casual dining from the same stable. Yr Odyn (The Kiln) restaurant, specializing in over the fire cooking, offers dinner on Friday, Saturday and special occasions in the first floor guest lounge. During spring 2023 it will relocate to a gorgeous newly-created dedicated space in the adjoining riverside warehouse, echoing the accountable use of sustainable seasonality and fine local products, some from their own farm, that personifies the ‘doing good things’ attitude that personifies the fforest group. Uncommon excellence.

Welsh Rarebits

Welsh Rarebits are a million miles removed from the bland, corporate, soulless places run by the big boys of the so-called hospitality industry. So what makes a Welsh Rarebit? They're all different. Very different - everything from traditional country houses to cutting edge boutique boltholes, luxury spas to historic inns. We look at things like comfort, attention to detail, food, decor and all those small touches that add up to so much, separating the best from the rest.
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