205 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type



Date of travel

Dec, 2013

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with


Reasons for trip


It’s a funny time – that weekend between Christmas day and New Year’s Eve. The hectic build-up to festivities, frantic preparations in the kitchen, last minute shopping and then – peace. A contented, quiet stillness, a time to relax, recover your sense of humour and fondness for the human race before welcoming a new year of challenges. This was a perfect time to take advantage of the special ‘Friday in December’ offer of dinner, bed and breakfast for £160 per couple at the 5* Harbourmaster hotel, 20 miles south of Aberystwyth. Its distinctive façade is seen around Wales and beyond, due to excellent marketing of this high-quality hotel in the Georgian harbour town of Aberaeron, its enviable choice of superb wines and the chef’s seafood dishes. Staff are welcoming and always take care to greet you as an old friend if you have visited them before. Rooms are first class, well appointed, especially the bathrooms, the fantastically-snuggly beds covered with smooth, white linen. Facing the harbour, it was surprisingly quiet on this particular stormy night despite gale-force winds and high tides forcing waves through the narrow harbour mouth, the smooth swell crashing against walls and spray cascading over the path as fast-flowing river meets the incessant pounding of the sea. Almost all the boats have been hauled out of the harbour by crane leaving just one or two still anchored to their allotted marker each precariously shifting with the force of the tide. A more careful glance picks out a dark line of an object surfacing every now and then. Maybe a tree trunk? But no, we could see it was an overturned open tender now forlornly battered by the storm and unable to right itself in the swirling water. This special offer includes a three-course meal in the restaurant and what a delight this was! Starters included cockles and lava bread patties or Welsh Perl Las blue cheese soufflé. For our visit, the main course was something to remember and talk about many times in the future. We chose the two-haddock dish, one deep fried in a light beer batter sat on a bed of crushed peas with a swirl of tartar sauce (we were convinced there was a hint of horseradish too) and the other a ramekin dish with smoked haddock in a creamy sauce and brown bread crumble. This was the most exceptional fish dish we have experienced in a long time. Twelve fat chips were stacked like bricks in four layers – OK, so it doesn’t sound much but it really was all you needed to accompany the fish. With a bottle of dry Chenin Blanc, it was our idea of heaven. We could not manage a dessert, but for those with a bigger appetite, the ones we saw looked suitably substantial. It was a treat to just relax and enjoy the whole experience whether you travel a long distance of just three miles as we did. Enjoy an unrushed breakfast of your choice and promise yourself another comforting break next year. Photograph see The Harbourmaster website Notes: there are facilities for those with wheelchairs and staff are happy to help. There is a small car park behind the hotel but plenty of on-road parking along the harbour wall.


Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.