Variety is the spice of life

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We couldn’t really have chosen a better time to visit Wales’ second biggest city.

The football team was on the eve of picking up its first major trophy in the Capital Cup and its renowned Rhossili Bay had just been named the tenth best beach in the world by Trip Advisor.

Yes you heard me right! The world, beating any Hawaii sands to take the title.

Swansea is a vibrant city on the up and the entire area has a buzz about it.

Our hotel was in the new SA1 development at Swansea docks – an area being billed as somewhere to live work and play.

Sitting alongside The Village hotel are smart new apartments, a pub, restaurants and office space.

The Village’s own sports bar was busy with diners and those meeting up for a drink before sampling the city’s nightlife when we arrived. The hotel also boasts a gym, pool sauna steam room, dining area and 116 modern bedrooms.

On our first full day in Swansea we headed for the Mumbles, birthplace of the darling of Wales, Catherine Zeta Jones.

Miss Jones still has a home in the pretty seaside town and it’s easy to see why.

Chic clothes shops sit alongside trendy coffee shops alongside a pretty coast overlooked by Oystermouth Castle.

We had lunch at Verdi’s Cafe.An impressive Italian inspired eatery with stunning views across Swansea Bay from every postion in the almost all glass building. The ice-cream here is a must!

We spent the afternoon in the city. The free National Waterfront Museum is well worth a look to discover a bit of Swansea’s history and heritage. There’s also a museum dedicated to the much admired Dylan Thomas which sadly we just ran out of time to see.

For shop-a-holics the high street has all the names you would expect but there are plans in the pipleine for a multi-million pound redevelopment.

In the evening we headed to The Grape and Olive which is at the top of Swansea’s tallest building, Meridan Quay .

We took the lift up to the top and it would be well worth a return in daylight hours for the birdseye view across Swansea and the Mumbles. The food was excellent and at decent prices and The Grape and Olive prides itself on using local producers.

If you’re in the mood to party it’s worth checking out the city’s Wind Street, a road closed off to traffic and packed with pubs -the locals know how to enjoy themselves!

Our second day we headed to Rhossili Bay to find out why everyone is raving about the place.

Swansea is a surfers’ paradise with plenty of beaches but the jewel in the crown is Rhossili. Just 30 minutes from the hustle and bustle of the city you’re in a peaceful paradise.

The stunning beach spreads out for three miles and if surfing isn’t your bag a walk out to Worms Head on the cliff tops is just as exhilerating.

We finished off a busy weekend sat in probably the best seats in Wales at the friendly family run Bay Bistro and Coffee House - an excellent beached themed eatery with panaromic coastline views drinkingthe best hot chocolate we had tasted.

If variety is the spice of life Swansea is the place to be.