Back in 2005, this was the property that Judith Matthews (known to most as ‘Bun’) bought – pretty unrecognisable as The Outbuildings guests enjoy today.
The house and old stone farm buildings at Bodowyr Uchaf, between the villages of Llangaffo and Brynsiencyn on Anglesey, had been empty for over 50 years. Ivy, brambles and sycamore trees were blocking what turned out to be a rather spectacular view – rolling farmland giving way to the stunning vista of the Snowdonia mountains beyond.
Bun renovated and moved into the house, and the farm buildings became a great venue for hide & seek, then teenagers’ parties as well as a log store, lawn mower shed and home to anything else that needed storing.
The huge slates on the roof were beginning to slip, so the buildings had to be re-roofed. On summer days mowing the lawn, Bun would then imagine the buildings’ continued transformation into an events venue and dining room, parties on the lawn…..a decision made, money borrowed and work began.
The Outbuildings was completed, furnished and open for business in 2010. The grain store is now the kitchen, the stables are now bedrooms – Pink Spotty Jug and Granary Steps, the cart shed now the sitting room. From the outside, the building is still exactly the same as it was years ago – just a bit less ivy and a lot more pointing and glass!
Bun spent her formative years in the catering trade, not having a clue what she wanted to do when she left school. She started work at The Dolphin in Rhosneigr (now Y Morfa) and then onto the Anglesey shooting lodge, Presaddfed before heading off to London to cook directors’ lunches. By this point, hospitality was a career she was keen to pursue
A return to Anglesey lead to outside catering, estate agency and then North Wales’ director at the Country Landowners’ Association before buying Menai Holiday Cottages in 2000.
Bun has grown that business from a 70-cottage lettings agency into what it is today – five regional offices, 30 employees and over 300 cottages throughout Anglesey, Snowdonia and the Lleyn Peninsula.
Bun shares her time between both businesses, and is enjoying handing over the reins of The Outbuildings to her son, Jack and partner Millie whilst her older son William heads up Menai Holiday Cottages.