Aberaeron, Wales

Photo: Harbourmaster
Photo: Harbourmaster

Summer isn’t over yet. Really. You’re not just wishing and hoping for the warm weather to stick around. The calendar actually shows that there’s more than a week left of your favorite season. So how about one more seaside escape?

Aberaeron, in West Wales, is the perfect spot for a last-minute getaway. The quaint town, along Cardigan Bay, was a busy ship-building port in the early 19th century. Elegant Georgian houses were built along the central square, the River Aeron, and a steep beach. As its importance for commercial boats declined, Aberaeron became a resort town. It now sits along the Ceredigion Coast Path and is filled with independent shops, chic restaurants, and little hotels.

You snag a last-minute deal at the Harbourmaster, a boutique hotel right on the quay. You can’t miss the hotel. Its midnight blue building stands out among the other pastel houses that face the water. The hotel was built in 1811, as the harbour master’s home, and it later became a whaler’s inn. A major renovation, in 2001, turned it into a modern, stylish hotel. Bonus points for its restaurant that serves contemporary Welsh cuisine.

Photo: Harbourmaster
Photo: Harbourmaster

When you arrive at the hotel, you’re tempted to stop in the bar, which overlooks the harbor, for a pint of their own ale. But you’ll have plenty of time after you settle into your room. The Aeron Queen, in the warehouse next door, is more spacious than the rooms in the original building. You walk in to find huge windows with a panoramic view of the harbor, a super king bed, and a living area with colorful velvet furniture. But your favorite feature is the huge free-standing tub in the bathroom. Now you’re ready to relax for the weekend.

The weekend starts with dinner at the hotel. The cozy restaurant is decorated with oak floors, zinc-topped tables, and copper hanging lights. Home-baked bread is still warm when it’s set on the table. While it’ll be hard to choose between the dishes on the three-course menu. A half-dozen Carlingford oysters or pan-fried scallops with Bloody Mary ketchup to start? Half of a Cardigan Bay lobster with tarragon butter or a local lamb rump over pesto hummus after that? Only dessert—a thyme-roasted peach with Glyn Aeron honey ice cream—is an easy choice, especially once you learn that Aberaeron is famous for its honey.

Don’t worry, you’ll work off your decadent meal. You’ll spend the weekend walking along the beach, biking along the coastal path, fishing off the dock, and crabbing at low tide. You’ll shop for honey and eat lots of ice cream. And you’ll enjoy every single minute of your final taste of summer.

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