Lifestyle,  North Wales



Surf Snowdonia needs no introductions.

It’s the first and only inland Surf Centre in Europe and one of the premier tourism destinations in North Wales and the UK.

It’s been reviewed everywhere, it’s been filmed for Countryfile, it’s been profiled in magazines and newspapers and written about in the blogosphere.

But today, when we called to have a look for ourselves, I wondered to myself – has anyone reviewed the coffee and cake?

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To be honest, we were really very impressed with the place, despite not being a watersports type!

Surf Snowdonia is located in sleepy Dolgarrog, tucked away in the Conwy Valley, surrounded by lush steep sided hillsides. ‘Surfing in the mountains’ sums up the experience quite well.

We called late Saturday morning and the place was buzzing with groups of excited but slightly nervous looking wetsuited people. Some looked quite at home with their Surf experience, others like proverbial ducks out of water, only they were heading straight into the water. There were beginners, very advanced and everything in between.

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The Crash and Splash looked like fun and we enjoyed watching the same 3 guys hurling themselves off the scaffold onto a huge inflatable pillow, and then positioning themselves on the ‘flight zone’ ready to be catapulted bottom first into the water. Jump, scramble, fly, dunk… and repeat.

It amused us to notice that fully grown sophisticated adults really just want to play in the water like toddlers. We’re all the same really, and maybe it’s a good thing that after a week of working hard at the office and being all grown up we have a release mechanism that allows us to let go and just have fun at the weekend.

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Anyway, I promised you cake – and the café was really lovely. The café, bistro and bar are made mostly of glass so as to maximise the view of the water. It’s a viewing platform but with great coffee and really good cake. The furniture is modern and comfortable, natural light pours in and it’s a thoroughly pleasant place to sit for a while.

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Any kind of lemon cake is a good choice for me so we shared a generous slice of lemon curd buttercream sponge cake and were very impressed. It was all the things it should be – light, moist, and very lemony.

When I bake deep sponges I always make sure they have at least 3 layers through them for moistness and good flavour.  Sadly a lot of cafes serve huge wedges of sponge that are too thick and dry and not at all enjoyable. This cake had 2 generous layers of lemon buttercream and a further layer of lemon curd.  For £1.95/slice it was very good value and quite delicious.

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Surf Snowdonia exceeded our expectations. Often with tourist resorts the focus is very much on the activity and the café is a bit of any afterthought. Clearly a lot of planning has gone into the whole project to make it fun and enjoyable even for those who choose not to get wet.

I have already recommended it to friends as a great coffee stop and will continue to do so.

You should try it for yourself and let me know if you agree.









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