Every time you visit us, you can be sure it will be a little bit different. We have chosen a great selection of properties around North Wales. We will have personally checked it out, using our hit-list of must have features. We want large communal areas for us to relax in the evenings and make our plans for the following days swim.
We love saunas and hot-tubs, but rather than luxury items being essential – we want the place to have the right feel. Most importantly, we want you to feel at home with us.
With a long history of working in water safety and rescue, the Gone Swimming team take no risks with your safety. We want you to enjoy your holiday swims, and not be terrified by the over-head-height surf!
As part of the holiday packages we offer, we want to improve your skills. We want to give you the confidence to arrive at a new swim location, and make a decision on whether or not it is safe for you to swim there and then.
We have carefully planned each trip, with several safe alternatives depending on what the weather does, and depending on what you want to do. After all, it is your holiday - we will be doing what you like! Dan and Gabby will have swum in every location that we take you to. Admittedly, sometimes they were a little bit shorter and maybe less enjoyable due to sideways sleet in December. Hey, how much wetter can you get?
It’s magical when the water is warmer than the air. We call the feeling “minty”. Minty swims are our favourite.
We stress to people again, and again. You don't have to train to come on one of our holidays. There is no set distance you have to swim. There is no set speed that you have to swim out. Each swim has options, we are flexible. There is no pressure on you - you are on holiday, so if you are not enjoying yourself, then something is wrong.
When you are as active and busy as we are, then a big focus of the day is food, and we want to share some of North Wales greatest ingredients with you.
Gabby will be out in the water with you as much as she can, but she is also just as happy making all the goodies for everyone else. Dan is always thrilled to come back to a hot meal, and (less thrilled) the dishes!!
We try to source as much as we can from local suppliers, and will always prefer to make things ourselves, rather than buying off-the-shelf - that way we know exactly what is in it, and also we think it tastes better too.
We promise you, we know that it takes a long time to get to North Wales by car. We race all over the UK, and it is almost always a long drive.
If you want to get the train, we can collect you from the railway station. If you want to take the plane (yes, there is an airport in North Wales) we can collect you from the airport (it is at Valley on Angelsey in case you were wondering). Whatever we can do to make your holiday journey easier, tell us and we will do our best.
We will transport you to and from each swim in comfort. There will be a few transport options, so nobody will be forced to wait for hours until the last person is out of the water.
I remember the first time I had sweet chilli sauce. I thought that nothing had very been more perfect. After leaving school I had stayed in touch with one of my amazing teachers. She had invited me, and a few others who she had also not been able to shake off, to dinner at her house and on the table was this little pot of mystery goo. I was reluctant to try it as I was convinced I did not like spicy stuff. But when I did, I nearly asked her for a straw so I could just slurp it up. Since then I have become converted to the way of the chilli and am often seen panting and sweating at the table has I have found a new chilli that maybe I should have left at arm’s length.
But any way- have a go at making your own sweet chilli sauce. Pour it over goats cheese as a different addition to a cheese board. Marinade fish or chicken in it with some soy sauce. Even stick it in your bacon butie! Like everything else I write up here feel free to fettle about with this and add more of what you like and less of what you don’t!
- Some clean jars
- 500g fresh red chillies
- 3 garlic cloves
- 750ml white vinegar
- 645g caster sugar
I like to chop everything by hand, as I like my knives and I like to feel like I have done stuff by hand; and I also don’t own a food processor..... But it is best to make this in a processor or a blender at its a lot of chopping and it all needs to be very small!
If you like your stuff spicy then leave the seeds in all the chillies, or leave in half the seeds, or none of the seeds if you are not into it. A good balance is to leave the seeds in 100g and de seed the rest. You might want to use rubber gloves when you chop them as a rub of the eye or trip to loo might leave you in a bit of pickle.
Bung them in a food processor once you have halved them and removed any the seeds and the green stem.
Add the garlic cloves and 250ml of the vinegar. Pour all this into a sauce pan and add in the rest of the vinegar and all the sugar. Keep the heat med to high as the sugar melts. Let it bubble for 30 to 40 mins until its thick and lovely but be careful as it will be very hot if it splatters! Let it cool and put it in sterilised jars. And let me know how you got on!
I found this in a crazy little dock side bar in the Caribbean, and It was a must have before I did anything exciting, fun and dangerous....
What we are going to do it layer up amazing things on a base of either a flour or corn tortilla.
In our family we have 2 breakfasts. My brother and I have always been earlier risers so that means more time during the day to need to be fed! I get up and have a pint of water and a cup of tea while I watch the dog check the boundaries of the garden to be sure we have not had any invaders during the night, and then I have a few bits of toast, a banana and anything else that looks like it needs eating... The we are off on an adventure. It may be a quick few clicks round the park or a swim in the river nearby, but you can be sure that by 9 or 10 our stomachs are in a flat panic that they will never again be full. So we have Mexican eggs. Brace yourself, you are gonna need a run up for this one!
- One corn of flour tortilla (tesco value wrap just the job!)
- Half a can of refried beans (by the tacos and stuff in the supermarket or see down there for recipes for your own.)
- Salsa (you can use shop bought, but see below for home made)
- 2 eggs per person.
- Bit of cheese
- Sour cream of crem fresh and some chilli sauce too!
So bung the refried bean in the microwave to get the warm through.
Turn on the grill to super hot.
Make you eggs however you like. I love mine fried and with a really runny yoke.
Put the bean on top of the tortilla and spread it around, then plonk on some salsa, then your eggs and top with some grated cheese. Now stick that under the grill till the cheese in metled and toasty. The edges of the tortilla might get toasty too and curl up... Ohhhh so so yummy! Now have at it! I have a blob of sour cream and some very, very hot chilli sauce with mine.
It’s made in a trice, yummy and if you use the recipes that I am about to give you then full of protein and low in fat.
Salsa is easy. No cooking, just chopping and goes with EVEYRTHING. I make seemingly enough to feed an army, but then it goes in a day! Its nice to use up the bits and ends of veg and fruit that are kicking about, but the are a few core ingrediance that you will need to have to hand. I am giving you quantities here to make a batch, but if it looks like too much then just half it, or double it if you need more.
- 4 tasty tomatoes. The supermarkets have the plum ones for a good price now. Or if you have some cherry ones they are great too.
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- Half a red onion or a few spring onions
- One red or green chilli
- A lemon or 2 limes
- Salt and pepper
Then I add in other stuff- often some black beans, pine apple, cucumber.... anything tasty!
So quarter the tomatoes and take out the seeds and it will make the salsa too wet. Chop up all your ingredence nice and small. Chop the chilli smaller than the rest of the stuff, leave in the seeds if you like it very hot. Roll the lemon around to make it juicy and then squeeze half in the salsa, add salt and pepper and then try a taste, if you think it needs it add more juice. Now do the same adding the chilli, add half or so, stir it about and have a taste, add more if you like. Stick it in the fridge and eat with everything.
There usually made with either kidney beans, black beans or pinto beans. But whatever we do with them here I am sure a real Mexican would shudder and call it sacrilege! They are not really re-fried, they are cooked then fried. So they are re-cooked.
Prepare the beans as instructed on the pack, if you are using dried beans. Be careful if you are using kidney beans. If you are using tinned then just drain them and go from there.
Heat up a heavy bottomed frying pan with some fat in the bottom. I like to use olive oil as my body is a temple....(cough.) but they say to use lard. So whatever. Lob in the beans, mash and fry them as you go.
You want them to get mushed up like mashed potatoes but with some whole. If it’s too dry add some water, beer, cooking juice form the beans or stock and carry on mashing. They need to be sloppy. Add salt and pepper and some folk like grated cheese, but I see that as bit of waste of calories as I am going to be sticking them with loads of tasty stuff. This is not a perfect explanation so just do it and figure out the way you like them.
Either eat them now as a side dish to anything, in the breakfast for Mexican eggs, or in fajitas and so on. If nothing else you might beable to use to it re-grout the bath room or hang some wall paper.... They keep in the fridge for a while, dunno how long.....
So you can plod down to the shops and bring back some mince pies, slip them out of the foil and then shove them at your unwelcome guests. Or you can put a bit of love in your mince and be some smug that you invite all and sundry round to try your pies. I vote smug.
I have a few twists for you too!
- Jar of mince (cheap is fine, they are all the same)
- 1 orange
- Handful of dried fruit; whatever you like, but if they are big them chop them up a bit.
- Either ready-made pastry or use this recipe for extra smugness:
- 350g of plain flour
- 225g slated butter (or half lard and half butter)
- Mixed spice (not all spice, or old spice...)
- 1 egg
- little bit of water
Heat your oven to 250C
To make the pastry, cube up the butter and lard, and add it to the flour and put in a half tea spoon of mixed spice. Rub this in until its fine bread crumb stage. This has to be done quickly and with cold hands, cold butter and a cold bowl. Now mix in the egg by using a cutting action with a knife. If it does not come together with just the egg, then add a table spoon of water at a time still cutting with the knife. The dough should not be wet.
Wrap it in cling and stick it in the fridge for 20 mins or so.
Tip the mince into a bowl and add the dried fruit. Finely grate in the orange rind and also some of the juice from that if you think it looks a bit dry now. I use raisins, apricots and cherries.
Roll out the pastry on a cold floured board. (I am lucky enough to have my grandmothers old marble pastry block!) If they are small ones you are making, then make the pastry as thin as you can , but if they are normal size then you can make the pastry a little thicker.
To tart these up you can either make shapes to put on the top or you can make a bit of basic crumble and put that in top! I make mini ones with a crumble top, as I think they present better.
Cut out the pastry into the right fit for the tins and add in enough mixture to come to about 2/3 of the way up. Make sure if you are putting a full lid on, not crumble or a shape then it has a little hole for the steam. Use a little bit of water to glue the base to the top.
You can use egg wash to make them pretty and shiny.
Bake them for 15 mins or 20 if they are bigger.
Enjoy them all!!!
Take a banana for each person and slice it down the middle length ways with it curving up towards you.
In the gap stuff bits of chocolate, some fudge bits, dried fruit- whatever you like.
Then place them on foil (double layers) and scrunch up the sides to meet at the top. The either bung them in a hot oven or put them in the embers of a camp fire.
When they feel soft if you poke them they are done. Take them out of the fire and let them cool for a little while, then you can hand them out and they can we eaten out of the foil. If you have wrapped them right then they are easy to open.
This is a great favourite on our Wild Families trip and the kids love to help out making them.
OK, so many people have enjoyed the cakes made by Gabby on our holidays - that we are putting up a recipe section so you can bring back a little bit of the Gone Swimming love into your lives.