Highlights from last week

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.

What we’ve been up to this week….

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. 

My Waterloo Tea explorer card. Bring on the free cake!

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?!

Welsh rarebit macaroni cheese at The Pickled Radish, Llandaff

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. 

Great view from our table at The Dock, Cardiff Bay

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. 
 

A mediocre salad at The Dock
 

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. 

Cardiff 5k start line in Whitchurch village

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. 

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What we did during the Easter holiday….part two

Gosh, Easter seems ages ago doesn’t it? We’ve been mega-busy. 

The second week of Easter was a big one in our family though – J turned five! 

  

This amazing Millennium Falcon cake was made by my talented husband! J loved it. 

As he was still recovering from his tonsillectomy, J couldn’t have a party so it was his choice of what we did that day. We told him he could choose anything he wanted (within reason!) Luckily he made a sensible choice of a game of indoor golf at St David’s shopping centre in town, followed by a burger. 

We’ve been to the Treetop golf before and it’s really fun. It costs £7 for adults, £6 for children and £3.75 for under fives. If you get there before midday you get an extra game for free. It’s best to get there early anyway as it does get busy later and you end up having to wait for your turn around the course. Let’s not kid ourselves, we were both pretty rubbish at it, but J loved it, which was the main thing. 

  For lunch we went to Locke and Remedy, after checking that they had burgers on the kids menu of course. They were fab with J and really made a fuss of the fact it was his birthday, even bringing him a free brownie and ice cream. 

The adults meals were good too – we both went for the pizza which was so thin and crispy, just how I like it. G would’ve preferred a deeper base though. I opted for half pizza and half salad which was perfect for lunchtime and meant I had plenty of room for cake later! 

  
The rest of the week was spent in London. We had loads of fun doing really touristy things like Madame Tussaud’s and Buckingham Palace. My favourite thing was visiting the Sky Garden, a free venue on the 35th floor overlooking the Shard and the entire London skyline. I would really recommend a visit. Book a slot so you don’t have to queue. 

   
   
We walked for miles around London with baby F in the sling and we were all exhausted afterwards. All in all it was a fab Easter break. 

Read what we did during the first week of the holiday here

What we’ve been up to this week…..

Baby F has hit a few milestones this week, she turned five months and had her first taste of solid food. I love this stage.   

I’ve been marking her milestones by taking pictures with these cute cards from Little Maldod. The results make a great record for the future and are very Instagram-able. Little Maldod is a website run by a Mum from Cardiff, do check it out if you’re looking for baby gifts, there are some gorgeous things on there. 

  
As usual, I’ve spent most of the week in various coffee shops, I’m making the most of baby still being happy to sit or sleep in her pram. I had a stunning chickpea and chorizo soup at The Orchard (above) and a delicious courgette and mint soup at Wyndham Tea. (Soup is healthy and means there’s also room for cake, OK?) 


Bought this lush coffee from Wally’s deli. Baby F and four-year-old J seem to think 5-6am is the perfect time to wake up at the moment. A good black coffee is the only thing that makes this semi-acceptable.

  
Made the most of the nice weather and went for another brisk walk / jog with the pram along the Taff Trail this week. The Cardiff half in October is definitely in my sights now.

  
On Friday night I went out. Out, out! I wore heels and lipstick and everything. The girls and I started with a few proseccos in Bill’s (I also ate a stunning beef burger and sweet potato fries) then we went on to Be At One on St Mary’s Street for cocktails. The espresso martini was stunning. I was home by 12.30. My clubbing days are definitely behind me. But it was so good to go out! 

   
 On Saturday we blew the cobwebs away with a walk along the beach at Barry Island. J had a go at the climbing wall and we stopped for a coffee and cake at Bay 5, a really lovely cafe overlooking the beach. It’s reasonably priced too, considering the location and view. Two coffees and three cakes was less than £15. 

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Carry on Screaming at Chapter

Looking after a newborn baby can be exhausting. Life revolves around feeding, burping and nappy changes. Oh, and those gorgeous newborn cuddles with them asleep on your chest…..? The best thing ever.

But you basically have no time for yourself.   I mean, showering is a luxury. Which is why I love the idea of the Carry on Screaming cinema showings at Chapter arts centre in Canton, Cardiff. 

The screenings take place every Friday at 11am and allow parents and carers to take a baby (age up to a year) in to the film with them. It costs just £4.50 per adult (you don’t pay for the baby, this is for you, not them!)

I love going to the cinema, but it’s not really an option when you’re feeding a newborn, what with the three hourly feeds at all time of day (and night!) So I took the opportunity to go and see the latest Bond film at Carry on Screaming a few weeks ago. 

Image taken from chapter.org

The screenings are subtitled, so if the babies are crying, you don’t miss anything.  Luckily for me, my little one slept through the entire thing in her sling, but the subtitles definitely helped when other babies were more ‘vocal’.

The rules are that you need a baby under the age of one with you to see the film. Also attending the screening was a mix of mums on their own, couples with a baby and a few mums, grandparents and baby, but it was quiet with plenty of seats free. 

It was a great way to do something for yourself, in amongst all that caring for a little person. 

As a side note, when our eldest was old enough to go the cinema himself, to see a children’s film, Chapter was the first cinema we visited. You can read more about taking toddlers to the cinema here

chapter.org/carryonscreaming 

I paid in full for my trip to see Spectre at Carry on Screaming and Chapter did not know I’d be blogging about them. 

Great Scott! Outdoor cinema at Cardiff Castle

If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll probably know that I’m a huge fan of outdoor cinema. There’s something magical about watching one of your favourite movies as the sun sets, surrounded by other people who also love the film – and laugh, cheer and cry in the right places.

  

Back to the Future is one of my all-time top films. My first crush was Michael J Fox (that opening scene when he blows the guitar speaker, while wearing reflective aviator shades?! Lush) and during the 80s my sisters and I probably wore out our taped-off-the-TV version, watching it at least once a month – in an ongoing rotation with Grease, The Goonies and Annie. 

When I heard that Luna Cinema would be showing Back the the Future at Cardiff Castle I was so excited to go. The date also coincided with my Mother-in-Law’s birthday, so as long as the weather was on our side, we knew we were in for a fun family night out. 

I’ve been to other outdoor evening events at Cardiff Castle so I also knew the setting would be really special; watching the sun set behind The Keep while the city buzzes outside the castle walls is lovely. 

  We weren’t disappointed. The huge screen and sound system was great so there was no problem seeing the film, despite the hundreds of people there. Food was on offer from some of Cardiff’s favourite street food vendors, including Dusty Knuckle pizza, but we took our own picnic, as well camping chairs and blankets. We were lucky with the weather though, and the fact that the castle grounds are fairly sheltered meant we didn’t even need the blankets.

  I saw some criticism on social media about the cost of the event – £12 a ticket to see a film that is regularly repeated on TV – but this event is as much about the atmosphere as it is the film and I think it was worth the money.

  

Luna cinema won’t be back at Cardiff Castle until next summer, but it’s worth keeping an eye on their website for next year. Cardiff Castle is also planning more cinema events in the near future, for Halloween. There’s more information on their website. 

We paid in full for our tickets to see Back to the Future and neither Luna Cinema or Cardiff Castle knew I’d be blogging about them. 

Summer 2015

I’m finding it hard to believe that this summer is pretty much over. But the nights are definitely drawing in, there’s an Autumnal feel in the air, the little man starts school this week and I haven’t blogged about any of the things we did this summer. So here’s a quick round up of what I’ve been up to.   Cefn Mably Farm

We had a lovely day here at the start of the summer, visiting all the farm animals (the four-year-old was brave enough to hold and pet a guinea pig for the first time), having a picnic and being pushed around in this mini tractor. I spent most of the day washing my hands (pregnancy paranoia that I’d catch something from the animals!) but we had a great time, as always. 

www.cefnmablyfarmpark.com

 Dinner at Porro, Llandaff

I tried the new Welsh/Italian restaurant Porro in Llandaff this summer. The restaurant is run by the same people at The Potted Pig in town, which I love. Here’s my linguine vongole, with fresh Gower cockles. It was delicious. The place is lovely, but I did find it a little pricey for a neighbourhood restaurant.   

www.porrocardiff.com

The Gruffalo Trail at Mountain View ranch, Caerphilly 

Until I read this post from Cardiff Mummy, I had no idea of the amazing activities on offer at Caerphilly Mountain View Ranch. Embarrassingly I thought it was part of the snack bar at the top of the mountain! We had a lovely day doing the Gruffalo trail, looking for fairies in the fairy wood, picnicking at the Indian village and playing at the adventure playground. Can’t wait to go back again soon.

www.mountainviewranch.co.uk

  Cardiff Museum

Rainy summer days are the perfect opportunity to visit Cardiff Museum. The little man was all excited about seeing the dinosaurs, but when it came down to it he was too scared to go in and look at them! He’s been before so knew it would be dark and noisy. Still, we had plenty of fun looking at all the other exhibits, and doing some posing of course!

www.museumwales.ac.uk/cardiff/

 

Outdoor cinema at Motley Movies

We loved seeing The Goonies at Motley Movies last year and were even more excited about seeing one of our all time favourite films, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off this year. The food wasn’t as good as last time, which was disappointing (last time we were very spoiled by HangFire BBQ) but the weather stayed dry and we had an awesome night. We’re planning to go and see Back to the Future at the outdoor cinema in the castle next month, so fingers crossed for the weather!

http://motleymovies.fatsoma.com 

  

  

  

 

  A week in West Wales

We had a week in St David’s at the end of August where we visited Folly Farm (this place was amazing, we saw lions, giraffes, meerkats, zebras and loads more – can’t believe I’d never been before), spent a sunny day on Whitesands beach, mooched around St David’s (including eating ice cream at Giannis – amazing), visited the Dinosaur Park in Tenby, which at the same cost as Folly Farm we found a little overpriced, but the four-year-old has raved about ever since! We also visited a little village called Porthgain which has some stunning walks, a working harbour and a gorgeous pub called The Sloop Inn, where we ate fresh fish pie and awesome fish and chips. Yum. 

It’s been a great summer, hope yours was too!