I finally saw Portmeirion a bit over a week ago, and was astounded. It was so much more than I expected! It's been so close by all this time (1.5 hrs through great landscapes), but Martin never thought of taking me there... in fact I'm so enthralled by this magical and wonderfully fanciful folly that I hope to acquire seasontickets (which is an affordable option) with some birthday money.
"Sir Clough Williams-Ellis designed and constructed the village between 1925 and 1975. He incorporated fragments of demolished buildings, including works by a number of other architects. Portmeirion's architectural bricolage and deliberately fanciful nostalgia have been noted as an influence on the development of postmodernism in architecture in the late 20th century." (Wikipedia). Apparently he wanted to prove it was possible to build something quite wonderful without spoiling the beautiful natural scenery.
We got there very late, and didn't have much time or energy as I was exhausted from a long day and started to get very hungry. No shops or cafes were open, and there was no one about apart from a wedding party, so it was otherwise a great time to be there. But we hope to go back on my birthday. Meanwhile, I wanted to share some of my photos here as a blog post. The light was getting low, but I'll capture some more on another day.