Top row (L-R); The best margaritas in Cardiff* at Wahaca / mouthwatering halloumi ‘fries’** at the Brass Beetle on Whitchurch Road / Stunning autumnal runs along the Taff
Middle row; We travelled around Cardiff and the Vale hunting down the 43 snowdogs and during November we ticked the last few off our list! This was our final one – Chocolate Sundae at Penarth Pier. If you didn’t manage to catch all of the snowdogs, they’re on display in the Capitol Centre from this weekend (8-10 December). Details here.
Bottom row; Getting our hygge on with a delicious brunch at Brød bakery. Their coffee is AMAZING.
Phew it’s been a busy month! And not with blog-related stuff; I’ve been busy with work; travelled to London and Mid Wales a couple of times during October, and family stuff has been hectic too, our youngest turned two this month and our eldest had half term, with all the juggling and planning that goes into that.
Needless to say the blog has suffered a little, but here’s a brief round up of what I’ve enjoyed and would’ve blogged about, if I’d have had a bit more time!
If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that my eldest is well into collecting the snowdogs around Cardiff. We’ve been using the app and are currently at 54! Top left is Mccoo – captured on a grey day at Roath Park lake. Bottom right is Anthem. It took us a while to find him as he’s been moved away from the stadium in preparation for the autumn rugby games. But we spotted him at his new home further along Wood Street.
As I said, our youngest turned two this month. She’s really into the Gruffalo books at the moment so we spent the day before her birthday at Mountain View Ranch, doing the Gruffalo Trail, toasting marshmallows, finding fairies in the forest and getting muddy on roly poly hill. I love it at Mountain View Ranch, it’s so well done and there’s something new to see each time we visit.
I was invited for an early peek at John Lewis’ Christmas department and picked up this cute cactus for our tree (it won’t be going up until December, but no harm in getting into the spirit!). The cactus is from their Peruvian-inspired range; think colourful string lights, poms poms and even a Santa riding a Llama!
I had a fun night with old school friends, seeing Cabaret at the New Theatre (which was great, Will Young in particular was fantastic) before heading over to Penny Royal for Prosecco and cocktails. We couldn’t find Penny Royal at first, we even asked in Barker two doors down who had no clue! But we soon spotted the gold embossed black door and were shown in by the friendly door staff. The bar staff were great too, so knowledgeable. These are ‘real’ cocktails, made with passion. There are no pre-mixes here! The menu is laid out apothecary style, so you choose your drink depending on how you feel (there were ‘relaxers’, ‘revitalisers’ and ‘aphrodisiacs’ among others – oooh er!) It was a lovely place to have a good chat too, no pumping music here (yes, I’m old). If you’re a fan of the Dead Canary, this will be right up your street.
Middle right is a shot from a very windy Barry Island Parkrun during Storm Brian. The lashing wind and sea spray hitting my face definitely blew the cobwebs away that Saturday! You can read more of my Parkrun posts here and here.
We were meant to be away for a few days over half term but an issue with our car put paid to that (let’s just say spending 4 hours on a lay-by off the M4 and being towed home isn’t my idea of a good Friday night) so we’ve been having a ‘staycation’ instead. Luckily the weather has been gorgeous, perfect for walks (and snowdog spotting!) over the Cardiff Bay Barrage and along the Taff Trail. We also tried Coffi Co’s new location in Mermaid Quay; on the site of the old Bosporus Turkish restaurant. The location and drinks were stunning. Mine was a coconut milk chai latte. Delicious.
The Christmas bauble was gifted to me at a John Lewis blogger event. Everything else was paid for from my own pocket. This is an honest review of my month in and around Cardiff.
For more pictures, recommendations and inane ramblings about Cardiff, follow me on Instagram.
Watching the sheep racing at Green Meadow Farm in Cwmbran / Afternoon tea at Pettigrew Tearooms / Getting a lunchtime delivery from Uber Eats / Yoga and hiking up The Garth with Little Yoga Hut / drinks and lessons in brewing at Tiny Rebel / beautiful bank holiday weather in Cardiff
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