Have you ever heard of Santes Dwynwen? If you’re not from Wales, there’s a good chance you haven’t. It is the Welsh’s little secret! It is our Valentine’s Day and we celebrate it on the 25th of January, before restaurants’ tables-for-two become fully booked and the prices for roses and chocolates are hiked to daylight-robbery levels.
Each month, Pâtisserie Verte creates three themed macarons and as it’s January, we’re doing a Santes Dwynwen theme! There are many versions of Santes Dwynwen’s story, and as this might be read by younger people, I’m going to do a version that’s appropriate to all ages, but feel free to do your own research to reveal the sordid details.
You might want to pick a romantic setting and surprise your loved one with a Santes Dwynwen evening. Rehearse this story, purchase some macarons, and distribute as instructed:
Dwynwen was born to Brychan Brycheiniog, one of 24 daughters. (Reveal a box of 24 macarons, each macaron symbolising the beauty of each daughter.)
They lived in Brycheiniog (Brecon). (Pick out the Gin & Tea macarons, made from Brecon Gin, and consume.)
Dwynwen fell in love with Maelon Dyfodrull but her father forbade their love. Dwynwen, living in a patriarchal society, didn’t want to disobey her father, so she drank a potion which froze her love instead. (Pick out the mint macarons and enjoy!)
She wanted to spend her life helping anyone who was in pain through love, so she sailed off in a boat which took her to a little island off the coast of Ynys Môn (Anglesey). The island is now known as Llanddwyn and featured in the BBC series, The 1900 Island. (Pick out the salted caramel macarons, made from Halen Môn, and devour…)
She established a little cell there and other women who’d found God came to Dwynwen and a church was built. People still visit to pray to Dwynwen about love and visit her holy well. (Now finish the rest of the box of macarons in honour of love.)
Bon appétit mes amours!