I’ve briefly mentioned that last month was our wedding anniversary. Ten years we’ve been married. That makes me sound quite old…..But we were only 16 when we got married. (Not really).
Anyway, ten years seems like a good reason to celebrate and my Mum kindly offered to take the kids so we could have a night away. Hurrah!
After a bit of searching we found a great deal at the Celtic Manor; £180 for bed, breakfast, a three-course meal for two in any of the resorts four restaurants and use of the gym, spa and pool.
After a delicious brunch at the Early Bird, we took the short trip down the M4, arriving at the Celtic Manor late morning.
We spent a few hours in the gym, pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi etc, before heading up to our room. We were staying in the Manor House, the original part of the resort, where Cen restaurant is located – where we’d booked a table for dinner.
The room was modern and spacious with fluffy dressing gowns and slippers (the sign of a good hotel in my book) and the perfect place to chill-out before heading down to dinner.
Cen is the Celtic Manor’s Asian restaurant, headed up by Larkin Cen, MasterChef finalist and previous owner of the much-missed Hokkei Box.
The food was absolutely wonderful and staff were so attentive.
I started with delicious Salt and Chilli Squid (£9) before moving on to the Miso Cured Black Cod (£26), which was the flakiest, most delicately flavoured cod I’d ever had.
For dessert I went for Coffee and Coconut (£7) – coconut ice cream, almond dacquoise, coffee gel and Thai basil. Yum
The staff generously gave us a couple of complimentary glasses of bubbles as they knew it was our anniversary, which was a really lovely way to round off a delicious meal.
The final bill came to almost £100 but, because the food was included in our hotel stay, we only had to pay for our drinks. It really was a fantastic deal.
I would definitely recommend Cen for a special occasion, the food was fantastic and staff wonderful. Thanks for a lovely night!
We paid in full for our stay at the Celtic Manor and the hotel and Cen restaurant were not aware I’d be blogging about them.
Greek dips at the Hellenic Eatery / Hulk Smash! at the Early Bird / Anniversary meal at Cen at the Celtic Manor / Vanilla Pannacotta at our anniversary lunch at Porro, Llandaff / A couple of locally-produced beers from Pipes and the Roath Brewery and / Blas y Mor pizza at Dusty Knuckle / nurturing yoga at the hot pod / Lightning on a grey day in Cardiff / Veggie Hula burger at The Grazing Shed
We had a babysitter on Saturday night (whoop!) so decided to get the train into town for dinner, something we haven’t done, just the two of us, in a loooong time.
Cardiff City Centre can be crazy this time of year. Groups of blokes wearing cheap Christmas jumpers, girls with flimsy dresses and no coats (not hating, been there myself, I’m just old now) and not-always-friendly door staff mean we usually avoid parts of town such as Mill Lane and St Mary’s Street. But on Saturday we found a gorgeous little safe-haven at Waterloo Tea in Wyndham Arcade.
The night started off with a less than successful trip to The Depot (I had a good moan about it on Twitter if you want to see). We decided to head back into town to grab a warming drink before getting the train home. I’d seen on Twitter that Wyndham Tea would be open so we popped in.
I’m sure you know about Waterloo Tea – the independent tea room has venues in Wyndham Arcade and Penylan in Cardiff and at Washington Tea in Penarth. I’ve written before about how much I love their cakes and afternoon teas.
Their new Saturday night pop-ups are being run in conjunction with The Dead Canary, the secret bar at the end of Barrack Lane (although it’s not so secret any more, last time I went it was PACKED). Waterloo tea’s own staff are providing the food while The Dead Canary works its magic on the cocktails.
We had already eaten, so we just went for drinks. G had a good American IPA while I went for a ‘winter’ cocktail; Penderyn whisky, Vermouth and bitters. It was lovely, definitely a winter warmer and not one to have if you’re driving!
There was a gorgeously chilled jazz duo providing live background music and the quiet arcade (It’s entry for Waterloo Tea customers only, via the gates on Mill Lane) made it feel as though we were in a real haven from the hustle and bustle of the city centre at this time of year.
We’ll be back for food next time!
We paid in full for our drinks at Waterloo Tea in Wyndham arcade and the staff were not told I’d be blogging about them.
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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard that Burger and Lobster Cardiff launched their new menu last week. Most of Cardiff seems to have been invited to try the new additions. As G said; “I’m surprised there’s any lobster left in the sea” – insert laughing emoji here.
Burger & Lobster Cardiff has been open a while but until last week we’d never been. I think the limited menu (a burger, a half lobster or a lobster roll was originally all they had available) put me off. Added to this, G is a vegetarian who eats fish (the proper name for this is pescetarian, but I just say ‘picky’) and although he does eat fish, he’d never tried lobster. So it would’ve been quite a gamble to visit.
Luckily the new menu helps with our quandary. They’ve kept their original menu items but added a few more including various lobster and brisket rolls, smaller ‘chick’ lobsters and a larger selection of burgers, including a kids burger.
We started off with a few drinks – cwtch beer for G and a ‘velour tracksuit’ for me – which went down easily but was very sweet. One of those was more than enough!
G decided to go the whole hog and ordered the half lobster (£24 – comes with fries and salad) while I went for the smack brisket brioche roll (£8) and side of lobster mac & cheese (£5). The server told me that the brisket was the best thing on the menu – high praise indeed.
Both my main and my side were delicious, but the mac & cheese was weirdly really sweet. Teamed with the brioche bun of the brisket and the very sweet cocktail I’d just drunk, everything was a bit too much on the sweet side for me.
The lobster was definitely the stand-out dish of the evening. It was delicious. It’s a little daunting to crack the shells etc if you’ve never eaten lobster before and I’m sure there’s a ‘right’ way of doing so, but we just went for it!
We also had a side of Crazy Blooming Onion (£4), a kind of take on onion rings. The way it was cooked meant the outside of it was lovely, but the inside was almost raw onion. If definitely cut through the sweetness of my meal though.
I was too full for dessert, but G ordered the chocolate brownie sundae (£3), which we only realised was a kids dessert when the bill arrived (!) He said it was really nice with large chunks of gooey chocolate brownies – the perfect size after our mains.
Overall I enjoyed Burger & Lobster. The restaurant had a lively atmosphere and the DJ and cocktail menu make it a good place to start a night out or celebrate a birthday.
We were invited to try the food at Burger & Lobster for free, in exchange for an honest review. We paid in full for our drinks.
This week didn’t start off too well, I was struck down with the horrible 24hour sickness bug going around. Luckily the little ones didn’t catch it, but it meant all plans for the start of the week went out the window.
When I was fully recovered Baby F and I ventured over to Penarth for lunch with my Mum in Washington Tea. It’s important to build your strength up with cake after being ill, isn’t it? I’ve now filled my Waterloo Tea explorers card so there’s a free slice of cake with my name on it next time. Who says maternity leave isn’t productive?!
We went for lunch at the new Pickled Radish in Llandaff on Friday. I’m still dreaming about the Welsh rarebit macaroni cheese with Pembrokeshire ham and a brioche crumb. Delicious. The decor and service were great too. Looking forward to going back for an evening meal next week.
Friday night we had a babysitter so went for a quick bite to eat at The Dock in Cardiff Bay, the old Terra Nova pub. The refurb looks great, it’s light and airy and makes the most of the fantastic views of the bay.
We both ordered the superfood salad, which was pretty disappointing, I wouldn’t order that again. There are so many other lovely places to eat in the Bay. I’d go back to The Dock for drinks though, especially on a warm summer evening. Then we went over to the Odeon to watch the new Captain America film in the IMAX, it was awesome!
On Saturday my usual hot yoga class wasn’t on so I went across town to Yoga Fever. Mark’s classes are always really strong and I felt great afterwards.
Yesterday I did the Race for Victory Cardiff 5k run in Whitchurch, along with 799 other people. I was quite nervous about it! Even though I’ve been jogging with the buggy, this was the last time I actually ran 5k. I really enjoyed it though and completed it in 35 minutes, which I was pretty happy with. The race was brilliantly organised and it was great to run around my old stomping ground of Whitchurch. It also meant that there were loads of familiar faces cheering me on along the route. In fact the crowd and atmosphere was awesome, despite the rain!
My only criticism is that we didn’t get a medal. I wanted a medal selfie! But the T-shirts are pretty nice, so that’s a great momento.
Hope you’re having a relaxing bank holiday. Keeping everything crossed that the weather warms up a bit this week as the forecast is promising.