Its that time of year again…the Baileys and Partners annual staff summer outing…… an event which is top secret until all is revealed on the big day. Helen and Ed devise a full day of activities and making sure we are all fed and watered too. With North Wales having such a vast amount of activities on offer, we spend weeks racking our brains for what they might have in store for us. We all try every way we can to try and squeeze information from them. But no. Nothing slips. They remain tight lipped. So the big day came around.
It all began when we were collected at 9am. Then were transported North. Where were we going??? No swimming costume needed, no walking boots, they hadn’t asked us to bring anything in particular, just wear comfy clothes?
Heading towards Anglesey in numerous vehicles we tried our best to get information out of Helen, but she was good, we had no idea.
We turn into a car park in Menai Bridge and we all head through the town when we are directed down to the Marina, suddenly we are outside RibRide. Yes, we were heading out on a boat. But not just any boat. This is Velocity. The world’s fastest RibRide. “It is an adrenaline-fuelled fast moving RIB going from zero to the ‘speed of scream’.” Yes, speed of scream. Fuelled with excitement, apprehension and the sudden need of a toilet trip, we are bundled into attractive waterproof suits and life jackets and given a briefing whilst bobbing on the waves on the pontoon.
Once on board we were kitted out with eye protection and instructions to hold on, and we were off at a steady pace. This was nice!? Then he stopped and explained where we were headed, and off we went again. Faster. Faster. And then faster! We bent this way and that and went with such speed that I dare say my face looked somewhat distorted…. Amongst all this we saw the beautiful Menai Straits in all its glory. It was a beautiful sunny day and our surroundings were amazing. We slowed to see key places of interest and off we sped again, bouncing over the waves we had just made.
It all came to a gradual stop and we came back into the marina and carefully off loaded back onto the pontoon. Amazing. Loved it, all smiles and full of adrenaline we went to Dylans for refreshments.
At Dylans, enjoying the water views, and having a nice cool relaxing drink, a suspicious looking Ed walked towards us with sheets of paper in hand and notebooks. Our next challenge was to obtain certain items in two teams throughout the rest of the day. This can’t be too hard surely?! Ok, here a couple of examples: a toothpick, a red lipstick print, get a stranger to tell you a joke and film it (with their permission of course!). You get the gist! So this added extra entertainment for the duration of the day and just a titchy bit of competitiveness…
After we had a little break, back in the car and off we went again heading back out of Anglesey along the North Wales Express Way…..baffled, completely baffled.
We soon pulled into the car park of Conwy Marina and a restaurant called The Mulberry. A lovely meal set on the beautiful marina, looking out over the sea and all the boats! Fantastic!
Fed and watered we all set out again heading inland this time. Down a narrow road, where on earth are we heading? Then on a big sign Aber Falls Distillery. This was a very nice discovery, being a gin lover myself!
We met our lovely tour guide and had a great tour around the distillery learning that Aber Falls Whisky Distillery is one of only four in Wales, and the first in North Wales since the early 1900s. Sorry to get your hopes up but the whisky takes 3 years and 1 day to be legally classed as whisky so it is not on sale until 2020 but they also have a premium range of small batch, handcrafted gins and liqueurs! They saved the best till last…after our informative tour we had a taster session…delicious. All the different liquors and gins they produce it was hard to narrow it down to choose two to taste? But I found my favourite, Rhubarb and Ginger gin and the Coffee and Chocolate liquor! A brilliant delicious end to a fantastic day.
Before saying farewell the winners of the task were announced and prizes given (the losers were a little bitter after their desperate attempts of cheating..) My team won!!!!
A big thank you to Helen and Ed Bailey for yet another year of fun, adventures and laughter!
Diolch yn fawr