A couple of months ago I was deighted to be asked to help with a promotional film at Gladstone’s Library for an exciting series of foodie events coming up in my home of north east Wales, filmed by Eastwood Media.
The Taste North East Wales events range from whitewater rafting for your dinner, a medieval banquet in a museum, foraging, campfire cooking, brewery tours and so much more.
The event we were tasked with filming for the promotional film was such a delight – afternoon tea in Gladstone’s Library. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to help.
Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden is Britain’s only Prime Ministerial Library. Gladstone was our Prime Minister four times over 12 years back in the late 19th Century.
He fought for working-class rights and, in his later years, moved his vast collections of books – 32,000 of them – from his private library at Hawarden Castle to a publicly accessible library in Hawarden village. His daughter once wrote that he was “often pondering how to bring together readers who had no books and books who had no readers…’. It is said that he transferred many of the books himself, piled into a wheelbarrow.
It is now a residential library – yes you can stay here! It also has a gorgeous bistro and, if you’re just visiting for a cuppa, you can take part in one of their ‘glimpses’ inside the silent library itself, without being a reader or a resident, which includes a short history of the library.
It. Is. Stunning.
So whether you’re interested in an afternoon tea with a difference, or a place to while away the hours with only the smell of old manuscripts and the sound of pages turning for company, don’t make it overdue to put this library on your list of things to ‘check-out’.