With the cold and wet weather dragging into spring, it’s time for a break, and what better place to escape to than an award-winning hotel or two right here in good old Pembrokeshire?

It seems that I am not the first person to decide that a mini-break close to home is a great idea. When I mention it to friends and family, I find out that other people have done the same, either to celebrate a big birthday or a special anniversary.

Case packed and ready for a bit of rest and relaxation, I head first to Twr y Felin in St Davids. The old windmill on the St Davids skyline was run as a outdoor centre and I have a vague recollection of spending an evening there many moons ago.

Now it has been transformed beyond all recognition into Wales’ first Art Hotel by Keith Griffiths and the Retreats Group.

On arrival, the welcome is warm. I am offered help with my bag and led to my room, with various works of art pointed out enroute. I am sure I recognise a couple of familiar faces in the recently installed portraits by St Davids artist Grahame Hurd-Wood.

Tivyside Advertiser: A room on the garden wing at Twr y Felin.

My room is classy hotel neutral with dark but not imposing furniture. It is super spacious with a desk and seating area, a big bathroom clad in Purbeck marble, with Aromatherapy Associates products, a deep tub and a power shower.

There are thoughtful touches. Pocket doors, lighting for all occasions, a small light in the loo that you can leave on all night, a coffee machine, good tea and biscuits, with a gluten-free alternative provided for my friend are all included, along with a cute little bottle of milk in the fridge.

Patio doors open out onto a little terrace with table and chairs and a Pembrokeshire hedge full of stickyweed and foxgloves neighbouring a field of horses.

And beyond that is the sea. It cannot be understated how good for the soul that expanse of blue on the horizon is. When I tear my eyes away, it’s to gaze at more blue in the room with seascapes by Lynda Marwood adorning the walls.

We have an evening walk to Caerfai under a sickle moon and blue spring sky before a quick blast under that power shower and a walk through the lovely lounge and bar area festooned with art to the multi award-winning Blas restaurant.

The art continues with quirky pictures by Querty as you enter, sculpture by Mitch Cleal and ceramics by Adam Buick.

Tivyside Advertiser: Blas restaurant with art by Pure Evil.

We are watched over by Cerys Matthews, Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey from Pure Evil’s Nightmare Series as the food arrives to a series of exclamations, begun for the perfect scoops of butter that arrive with the bread.

Tivyside Advertiser: Even the butter at Blas is served in perfect pats.

For my starter, I have the cured trout with melt in your mouth beetroot, delicious roe and a sauce that had to be scooped to the last bit with my bread.

Tivyside Advertiser: Cured trout starter- so good.

My friend has the chicken parfait, which looked like a sea anemone but was a smooth and light chicken mousse underneath the jelly topping.

Tivyside Advertiser: Chicken parfait- light and delicious.

For mains, I have the stone bass, a substantial chunk of fish with crisp skin on top. Complemented perfectly by leeks shallots and hazelnuts and a light ver jus sauce poured at the table.

Tivyside Advertiser: The stone cod main. I could have licked my plate at the end to get to that sauce (but I didn't)

It is so good. I am aware that when I finish it I am rather loudly scraping my plate to get the very last morsels.

My friend has the lamb, which she says is absolutely delicious with a delicate flavour, accompanied by a "divine" properly-made faggot. The lamb is a bit too pink in the middle for her taste, not bloody but a bit pink and she says that the anchovy sauce tastes a bit like herbal cough medicine.

Tivyside Advertiser: The lamb main complete with 'divine faggot'.

We accompany our mains with creamed potatoes of a perfect consistency and carrots roasted in honey and French mustard, which we both say we will try to make at home.

The waiting staff are lovely, striking just the right balance between being friendly and giving you your space, and it is on to the desserts.

Tivyside Advertiser: Chocolate heaven.

I go for the chocolate ganache with blobs of passionfruit, gold leaf and boiled milk ice cream. The ganache is crunchy on the top, smooth on the bottom and deliriously chocolatey, offset by the tangy passionfruit.

My friend has the raspberry and lemon cremeux accompanied by pickled lemons little sticks of merengue, she gives it a huge thumbs up for textures and flavours presentation.

Tivyside Advertiser: The cremeux. A perfect balance of flavours and textures.

The meal is rounded off with homemade raspberry pastilles, a very nice palate-cleansing touch.

I have a good night’s sleep on a comfy bed with plump squishy pillows and rise refreshed for breakfast.

This consists of a help yourself continental buffet on a pleasing oval marble table. The fruit juice is in pretty and tactile jugs and there’s a choice of granola, yogurt and fruit compote as well as perfect croissants with a punchy and pungent raspberry jam.

Tivyside Advertiser: Help yourself to breakfast treats.

The full Welsh that follows is not too big to be overwhelming, a nice balance of smoked bacon, half tomato fried egg beans. My friend has scrambled egg and smoked salmon. She says that the salmon is not too smoky or fishy and the eggs are just right.

Tivyside Advertiser: A full Welsh and smoked salmon and eggs.

We pack to the sound of horses neighing in the adjoining field and spend the day mooching round the shops in St Davids, including a first look at the delightful garden centre near Oriel y Parc, coffee and cake in the Really Wild Emporium and a free choral concert in the cathedral.

Twr Y Felin is something special; the abundance of Welsh art on the walls; the incredible food at Blas; the views; being able to walk into the city or to the beach; the accommodating staff and well-thought out rooms. 

Definitely something for us Pembrokeshire people to be proud of and a place to book when you want a luxurious mini break that's not too far from home.