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
G and I each had a cheeky day off work last Friday, as it was our wedding anniversary (more on that later!). We decided to start the day off with a leisurely brunch at the Early Bird in Cathays.
Does anyone else love breakfast as much as me? It’s the best meal of the day. Eggs, toast, coffee, pastries……sometimes alcohol….what’s not to like?!
I’d seen a few people tweeting about the Early Bird, a new bakery/cafe in the heart of studentville on Woodville Road, so that’s where we headed.
The cafe itself is rustic; exposed brick and woodwork, an open kitchen, mismatched crockery and very cool staff mean it’s a hipsters paradise. G and I were definitely the oldest – and least cool – people there.
We both went for the Hulk Smash (what a name!); toasted sourdough topped with smashed avocado, a perfect poached egg and lashings of chipotle sauce. (Loads of sauce. Seriously, don’t order this if you’re not into spicy food. Luckily, I like it).
The breakfast was accompanied by a very strong black Americano, just how I like it.
As we left we couldn’t resist the amazing-looking pastries, so took a cinnamon swirl and a brownie to go.
The picture below was after a trip down the M4 and does not do justice to the swirl, which was rather squashed by the time I ate it. But it still tasted absolutely lush. Yum yum yum.
We paid in full for our food and drinks at The Early Bird and the cafe was not aware I’d be blogging about them.
My lovely friends Kath and Nikki and I are always up for trying new places to eat in Cardiff. We’d seen a few other bloggers posting about Hellenic and it looked yummy, so we decided it would be our next catch-up destination.
We booked a table, even though we weren’t sure we would need to, being a cold Thursday night on Crwys Road, but it was a good job we did – the place was packed! They were actually turning people away.
The restaurant is extremely casual, it’s a no-frills place and other diners ranged from couples, families with young children and groups of friends. It had a really nice neighbourhood vibe. The glass front of the restaurant opens right onto the street though, so it was a little chilly. Serves me right for wearing a short-sleeved top on a chilly February evening.
We started off with a couple of dishes to share. The mixed dips with pitta bread ‘Tzatzikohoumotyrokafteri’ (£6.50) was my favourite dish of the night, a solid tzatziki and delicious authentic hummus was joined by kafteri – a dip of feta and peppers. I’d never tried kafteri before and it was really good, I’m definitely going to try recreating this at home. We had to ask for extra pitta bread to mop it all up.
We also shared some Kolokithia – fried courgettes served with more tzatziki (£4.30).
On to mains and I went for The Cypriot salad (£7.00). Spinach, grilled peppers and tomatoes, grilled halloumi with sesame seeds and a honey dressing. Delicious. Kath and Nikki both went for the pitta wraps, which they said were yummy, but possibly a bit of a bread overload, considering the extra pittas we’d eaten with our starter. In hindsight, we should’ve just gone for a load of sharing plates and created our own mezze. Next time…..
I’m also keen to head back with the kids. I know five-year-old J would love the pitta wraps stuffed with meat and chips!
We paid in full for our meals plus tip at the Hellenic Eatery and the restaurant wasn’t aware I’d be blogging about them.
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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I realise I am extremely late to the party on this one! Brød, the Danish bakery, opened in Pontcanna/Canton a year ago and people were queuing out the door to try their wares. We talked about going but for one reason or another never went.
Depending on the route I take to work, I often pass Brød and on Friday thought I’d pop in to buy some pastries for the office.
I was amazed at how big the place is inside, there’s room for a good few tables, they do breakfast and lunch as well as the array of baked goods on offer.
I was offered a selection box of five pastries for £10, I could either pick the ones I wanted or they would give me a mixture, so I opted to let the lady choose for me. I thought £10 seemed a bit steep for five pastries but these were not your bog-standard croissants!
I have no idea what they were called but most of the pastries seemed to be a take on Kanel Snegl (cinnamon bun) The one I went for was a huge cinnamon swirl with custard in the middle and drizzled with chocolate. It was the nicest pastry I’ve eaten in Cardiff.
My colleagues raved about them too, the box was empty by 9.30am!
I’m already planning a trip back for lunch. Yum.
I paid in full for my box of pastries from Brød, and the bakery was not aware that I’d be blogging about them.
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…..