Loads of fun snowdog-hunting (get the app here) / gorgeous food from Masterchef contestant Imran Nathoo at Lost Lands outdoor cinema, (check his upcoming events here) / getting sweaty at hotpod’s new studio in Canton / addicted to Milgi Market’s salad bowls – find them inside Cardiff Market / sad to see trees down everywhere along the Taff Trail in the wind / ran our first ever family race at the Cardiff Half Marathon festival of running
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
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Shortly before the summer holidays, six-year-old J had an inset day off from school, so we were looking for something to do. One-year-old F was going to be in nursery all day, which meant swimming was a good idea (there’s no way I can manage two non-swimmers on my own!) I’d recently seen Cardiff Mummy’s review of the newly-renovated Lido in Pontypridd, so one week beforehand I went online and booked our places.
At that point I had no idea what the weather would be like. However, the pool is free for children and only £1 for adults. Such a bloomin’ bargain! At that price it was no great loss if we needed to ditch the idea. Luckily as the day arrived it was dry, if a little overcast.
The Lido is situated in YnysAngharad Park, in Pontypridd town centre. It’s just off the A470 and there are loads of reasonably priced car parks in the area.
We parked at Gas Road, which was £2.50 for 4 hours. I heard someone moaning that it was really expensive. They’ve obviously never parked at the NCP on Westgate Street!
We wandered through town to get to the Lido and had fun checking out some of the history beforehand.
The Lido has recently been restored thanks to a £6.3million investment from the local council and charitable funds.
The history of the building is reflected in the upgrade, with restoration of the 1920s turnstiles and wind-up machines outside which feature locals talking about their memories of the outdoor pools.
The Lido has three heated swimming pools, but as it was mid-week only two were open on the day we went; a lane pool (with space for non-serious swimmers) and the toddler splash pool.
We changed in one of the outdoor wooden cubicles, which was a novelty in itself, and stored our belongings in a locker; there are plenty available. There are also loads of sunloungers for you to leave your stuff if you want and we left our towels here for quick post-swim warm ups.
The pools were heated which meant we stayed in for ages and when our session was up we changed in the indoor facilities to keep warm.
When we left the Lido J spent some time at Lido Play, the fab outdoor adventure play area, while I set up our picnic nearby. All in all it was a great, and very cheap, day out!
It’s worth checking the Lido website for opening times and activities, as these change at weekends and in school holidays. And definitely book in advance if you can, although there are tickets kept aside for sale on the day.
We paid in full for our entry to The Lido and the staff at venue were not aware I’d be blogging about it.
Top row (L-R) Picnic weather at Llandaff Cathedral / Shakespeare at Cardiff Castle / Sweaty Selfie at Tramshred
Middle (L-R) All the tapas at Curado Bar / Coldplay at the Millennium Stadium / Spa day at St David’s Hotel
Bottom (L-R) Veggie burger at the Smokehouse, Pontcanna / Lunch at the Hardwick, Abergavenny / Cheese and wine at Veeno, Cardiff Bay
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I used to love clubbing. During the late 90s my Saturday nights would involve house music, Hooch and big-box-little-boxing to Josh Wink.
Nowadays my Saturdays usually involve House of Cards, a glass of wine and trying to get my kids to stay in bed.
I wouldn’t go back to my clubbing days, but sometimes I do miss really letting loose on the dancefloor.
So when I saw the new Tramshred workouts at the Tramshed (see what they did there?!) in Grangetown, it looked right up my street.
Tramshred is a series of dance themed exercise classes, with a live DJ, followed by …….wait for it……..a prosecco brunch! Genius
My friend Nat and I arrived just before 11am on the Sunday wearing our best work-out gear. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for a gym session or a party! About 40 people were there, mainly women, in fact there were only two men taking part. Not sure why, but possibly the disparaging assumption that it was ‘just’ an aerobics class.
The session was actually quite challenging. Steve, the instructor, used boxercise-style high-impact exercises to encourage weight loss, muscle toning and cardio vascular endurance. Not a ‘grapevine’ in sight!
The live DJ pumped out amazing tunes while we punched, kicked and jumped (last week was drum & bass week. They also do dance and house week and 90s R&B which is next on my list). By far my favourite parts were when Steve encouraged us to ‘free-style’. It was hilarious bouncing around and raving in a nightclub on a Sunday morning. I loved it.
When we cooled down it was time to reward ourselves with a glass of prosecco in the Waiting Room, the bar at the Tramshed.
The bar also serves a brunch menu, so we ordered a couple of avo toasts (£5) and some coffees and spent a good couple of hours catching up. A lovely way to spend a Sunday. Although my legs were aching for days!
The next three Tramshred Class and a Glass sessions take place on 30 July, 6 August and 13 August.
Tickets are priced at £12.50 or £7.50 without the glass of fizz (but why wouldn’t you?) www.classandaglass.co.uk/tickets
Tramshed Cardiff, Clare Rd, Cardiff CF11 6QP.
I was given two free class and a glass tickets for Tramshed. I paid in full for my breakfast and coffee. This is an honest review. My legs are honestly still aching!
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.
Lots of food and not much else last month……
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
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