Yoga is my favourite type of exercise and we’re really spoilt for choice in Cardiff. There are so many different yoga classes on offer, you’re bound to find something you like. Saying that, I’ve yet to see an aerial yoga class in the area, please do let me know if you see one as I reeeeeally want to try it.
Anyway! My current favourite form of yoga is hot yoga. The first hot yoga studio opened in Cardiff a few years ago and since then, more and more have popped up, proving just how popular it is among Cardiff yogis.
The pod is basically a cocoon-like portable heated yoga studio, this one is situated at Cardiff Central Sports and Community Centre off Ocean Way (the old Virgin Gym).
The pod fits around 20 people, is heated to 37 degrees and promises an intense workout.Hot yoga is always going to be an intense workout, the constant 37 degree heat means your muscles are warmer, giving you more flexibility and enabling you to push yourself much harder than usual. You sweat loads too, which is said to rid toxins from your body. I don’t know if this is true but I always feel great and sleep really well after a hot yoga class.
Our teacher, Adell, was good – giving us a challenging flow with lots of variations and different postures thrown in. The class is said to be suitable for beginners, but I think someone completely new to yoga would’ve struggled a bit.
What I really liked about Hot Pod Yoga was the pod itself. It was heated without feeling ‘sweaty’ – there was none of that moisture dripping down the walls that you often get in a hot yoga studio. And I noticed that the pod didn’t smell of stale sweat either – a definite plus! Because the pod is dimly lit I felt I could really focus on my own practice without getting distracted by the other people. The purple lighting also made the pod feel calm and relaxed.
Hot Pod Yoga also offers a ‘nurturing flow’ restorative class on Wednesday evenings, which I’d love to try next.
You can read an older post about more of my favourite places to do hot yoga in Cardiff here.
I ran the Race for Life 10k in Cardiff yesterday – go me! I was really chuffed that I ran the whole race without stopping, but my little sister Sarah only bloomin’ went and came first! She’s a proper runner type, mind. She wears running socks and everything. You can read her blog post here.
If you’re looking for a running challenge The Race for Life is a good place to start. It’s more of a fun run than a race – you’re not timed with a chip, in fact people are actively encouraged to walk it. The route loops around Blackweir, Coopers Field and Bute Park, which means it includes some of Cardiff’s best landmarks; Cardiff Castle, The Millennium Stadium, Sophia Gardens and the Taff Trail. But if you are a regular runner you’d probably be disappointed by the terrain of the route (very uneven and lots of running on grass) and the sheer amount of women taking part meant it was almost impossible to run at any speed in certain sections. It definitely thinned out when the 10k route split away from the 5k one though and I found that more enjoyable.
Many people run the race in honour of loved ones or to show solidarity with those affected by cancer. So the atmosphere was really supportive and reading people’s signs and t-shirts got me quite emotional at times.
I finished it in one hour and 15 mins. Next stop, Cardiff Half. Eeeek!
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen that we took a walk along the Fforest Fawr sculpture trail at the weekend.
The trail is situated in Tongwynlais, in the woods above Castle Coch, but I would never have known it existed if I hadn’t seen Cathryn at Cardiff Mummy Says blogging about it last year.
It’s a 1.5mile walk, filled with rustic-looking sculptures of dragons, wizards and strange creatures. The idea is that children are encouraged to create a story based on the sculptures they see, and five-year-old J had lots of fun talking about the ‘angry wizard’ and the other creatures and finding the hidden treasure chest.
The entrance to the trail is situated in the free car park, which can be found if you drive from Tongwynlais, past the entrance to Castle Coch and continue for about a mile.
It was a warm day on Sunday but the trail is shaded and it was quite cool and very muddy in places. I carried baby F in the sling, we did see a family with a buggy but the ground is very uneven in places and not that suitable for wheels.
All in all the walk took us about an hour, but we were dawdling!
There were no picnic tables along the way although plenty of makeshift sitting areas in clearings along the wood. We made our way back to the car park and ate our lunch on the stone circle. J also had a play on the giant dragon.
Note the discarded can on the ground in this picture. It isn’t ours. Take your rubbish home people!
If you’re looking for something to do in the summer holidays, this is a good way to spend a few hours. Next time we’re planning to do one of the longer walks and take in the Castle at the same time.
Mum and I went for lunch at Bodlon in Whitchurch last week. The coffee shop and gift shop opened around a year ago at the roundabout near Whitchurch Library, on the site of the old Malvern newsagent.
It’s amazing that I’ve never been before as both my parents live in the area, but for some reason we’d always passed it by. Perhaps because it’s slightly away from the main shops in Whitchurch village.
Mum and I both had very good Americanos and we both went for the nutty superfood salad (I can’t remember exactly how much this cost but I think it was around the £6 mark).
The salad was gorgeous, chock full of quinoa, beans, nuts, leaves, Spring onion, seeds and a minty dressing. It was healthy and really filling. Sadly we didn’t have time for cake, as they looked delicious.
Baby F was happy as Larry sitting on the comfy sofa and smiling at passers by.
Bodlon also sells lovely gifts and Welsh foods to take away.
I’m already planning my next visit. I’ll definitely try the cake next time!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock on a desert island you’re bound to have heard of Wahaca. The Mexican restaurant chain is the brainchild of Masterchef winner Thomasina Miers and in my opinion, one of the best chain restaurants around. I was so excited when one opened in Cardiff, as part of the St David’s 2 development a few years ago. I’ve been to this branch a few times and various other branches in London (with and without kids) and I’ve honestly never had a bad meal there. So when I was invited to try the new spring menu at Wahaca, I jumped at the chance!
We were starving when we sat down so ordered some tortillas with guacamole to eat (£4.45) while we perused the menu. The kids were with a babysitter so I also went wild (!) and ordered a classic margarita cocktail (£6.95). Wahaca does the best margarita in Cardiff. Believe me, I’ve tried a few.
Street food is what Wahaca does best – think Mexican tapas. I love it because you get to try loads of different things. Perfect if you’re a greedy guts like me. The Spring specials and new additions to the menu looked awesome and I was delighted to see that one of my favourite large dishes, the fish tacos, are now available in a smaller street food portion.
In the end we went for; the new cactus and courgette tacos (£4.10) (these were amazing), the chorizo and cheese taco special (£5.50), summer pea and mint empanadas (£4.25), cod baja tacos (£5.50), chilli quesadillas (£3.95), crab and shrimp taquitos (£4.95) and a side of grilled summer corn (£3.95). Yes it was enough food to feed an army. Yes we ate it all.
The cactus and courgette tacos and corn on the cob side were probably my favourite dishes, but it was all amazing and I’d eat any of it again. My mouth is actually watering writing about it. I couldn’t manage dessert, but a couple of good coffees and a square of chilli chocolate did the trick.
I love the atmosphere at Wahaca too – it’s the kind of place you can take kids or have a meal and a few drinks with friends. While we were there James Dean Bradfield, from the Manic Street Preachers came in for lunch and sat on the table next to us. If you’re interested he had a tortilla bowl salad. He seemed to enjoy it…..
Buttered asparagus with poached egg, ham and hollandaise sauce to start.
A MASSIVE plate of Roast lamb for main. With a Yorkshire pudding! Lush. The other Sunday lunch options were pork, salmon and gnocchi for the vegetarians. Something for everyone.
I also had a good Eton Mess for dessert, which of course I gobbled down too quickly for a picture.
It was good value – £20 for two courses, £22 for three. For kids it was half the price and half the portion sizes. It was fairly kid-friendly as they gave us a high chair for baby F and sorted J a bowl of ice cream for dessert, although the ice cream was sprinkled with lemon balm and lavender – if you have kids you’ll know that this was a disaster. But a quick scrape and the ice cream was up to the 5-year-olds standard.
We paid in full for our meals at The Pickled Radish
Well the sun has been shining (on a bank holiday and everything!) and the world seems a little better doesn’t it? We had a lush weekend filled with bubbles (of the Prosecco variety), a BBQ, a birthday (mine!) and books. Here are a few of our highlights from the last week.
We were invited to try the new menu at Burger & Lobster last week. You can read all about it here.
I’ve wanted to visit the Hay festival for ages and on Saturday we finally did it! It’s only an hour away from Cardiff and, as a book lover, it’s crazy that I’ve never been. We spent a good few hours at the venue and wandered into Hay town which was so pretty. Next year I’m going without the kids though – there wasn’t enough to keep them entertained all day. Full disclosure; we had tickets to see Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson first thing on Saturday morning but we got lost on our way there (human error not the sat nav’s fault) and missed it. Gutted. Ice cream cheered us up.
We tried the new breakfast menu at the Grazing Shed on Sunday. I went for the kale and egg fritter (£4.50) which was yum and I could trick myself into thinking it was healthy as it had kale in it.
G and J both went for the waffles (Also £4.50 each) and G and I had lovely smooth Americanos from the Handle Bar Barista on site. We’re huge fans of The Grazing Shed anyway and these breakfasts are a good addition.
Have a good week everyone – sending lots of coffee and sunshine wishes if you’re off with the kids for half term, like me.