What I did Last Weekend: The First Day of Autumn

Last Friday was the Autumn Equinox, officially the first day of Autumn – which is exactly what I told the bloke in the lift on the ride up from the car park in John Lewis when he mentioned how lovely the weather was (I totally looked like I knew my stuff, but the truth is I was as oblivious as he was until I saw people tweeting about it over breakfast).  It really was nice out – and having been stuck inside all week feeling a bit ill, I’d decided earlier that morning to get out, enjoy it and feel a bit more like myself again. 🙂

Every day (…and not just the lovely sunny days) starts off with a walk in the field with Bungle.   We’ve had some off-lead trust issues until recently, when he snapped his fifth lead in as many months.  He’s getting too strong for me to walk him!  What used to be a tug-of-war around the field every morning has become so much nicer now that I can trust him to come back!


I left Bungle snoozing in the kitchen and drove into Cardiff, which was looking stunning in the sunshine.  At the moment there are lots of big painted dogs – “Snow Dogs” – guarding various spots across the city.  Each one is different and you can download a trail map to find them all and raise money for  Tŷ Hafan in the process!  I found this very Autumny one outside the library on The Hayes.  It’s such a lovely idea and reminds me of something similar I saw in Berlin, but with bears instead.

(Look Missy, I found a Mustard jumper for £8.99!)

Popped into my fave, H&M, to visit the clothes.  I love Autumnal Fashion, and came away with a couple of jumpers to replace some shrunken, moth-eaten ones hanging around at the back of my cupboard.


Headed to Barker Tea House in the arcade for a pit stop.  I can’t rave about Barker enough, everything about it is cosy – from the candles, blankets and wing back chairs, to the food and drink.  I snuggled up with a book, a brownie and a coconut hot chocolate with cream, marshmallows and a flake (although the flake had drowned by the time I sat down…).


Sang along to Paramore’s new album all the way home to see this guy (…and the present he’d left for me on the kitchen floor…).


Had a lazy afternoon catching up with some housework (and Youtube…) until Sunny came home, then I cooked up a red pepper risotto for us for dinner.  It’s not Sunny’s favourite, it has to be said, but I love eating risotto this time of year – it’s warm and gloopy and satisfying.


What did you get up to last weekend?  ♡

Feline Good

Last Thursday this dog-lady took her favourite cat-lady to Feline Good, Cardiff’s first and only Cat Cafe. I’ve been stalking their Twitter ever since I caught wind of their crowdfund campaign, and when I heard that they’d finally opened their doors over the summer I knew I had to book in a visit for me and my feline-inclined friend, Missy. And the timing turned out to be purrrrrrfect as they’ve just welcomed in two cute kittens.


Tucked away on the edge of Gabalfa Flyover, Feline Good is first and foremost a home to several rescue cats who would have otherwise found themselves homeless had it not been for owner and Cat Mama Hollie Bowler-Brown, and the cats are clearly very comfortable in their cosy cafe (and the £5 surcharge per person ensures that they are well cared for). That much was obvious right from the start when Winston – resident troublesome Tabbycat – happily came to greet us at the door.  Had it not been for the lack of thumbs he would probably have opened the door too, but that job fell to one of the kitty buddies who let us in, showed us to our table, gave us a menu each, and went through the house rules that ensure the wellbeing of the cats and customers.

Half past ten seemed an ideal time to arrive, as all the cats were wide awake and lively – springing from tables, playing with their toys and chasing each other around the room. For perhaps the first time ever I struggled to give a cake menu my full attention because I couldn’t take my eyes off the cats, and everyone else seemed to be doing the same because I’ve never been to such a silent cafe 🙂 I ordered tea and a brownie and ate it very slowly whilst watching the kittens scramble at my feet for one of their toys.






Now that the days are getting colder and darker, I can imagine Feline Good is going to be the perfect place to go to warm up and cheer up during the gloomy Welsh winter. I mean, what’s better than chocolate, tea and a cwtch with a cat, right? Just don’t tell Bungle I said that, okay? 😉

Feline Good
Meridian Court,
North Road,
Cardiff,
CF14 3BE

What I did last weekend: Our Anniversary

On Saturday, Sunny and I celebrated 4 years of being hitched!  I feel like I should say that it’s gone quickly, but so much has happened in those four years that it feels like it might as well have been a century.  Anyway, we’re usually quite low-key when it comes to romance, but we did end up doing a few things to celebrate. ♡

We started the day off with a lazy breakfast with cards, and one of my favourite quick and easy weekend breakfasts is egg in the hole with streaky, crispy bacon.  🙂  Then ended up taking Bungle to the beach for the morning since the weather was so nice.  It’s been the soggiest August since I can remember, and yet summer officially stopped by for the bank holiday weekend.  I can’t decide whether I’m happy about the sudden warm weather, or irritated by it (you had your chance summer and you blew it!) – but it least it gave me the chance to take my new Zara top out for a spin when we went out to dinner in the evening.

Top – Zara, Skirt – H&M (old, similar here), Bag – TK Maxx (similar here), Earrings – H&M (out of stock 😦), Shoes – ASOS (old, similar here)

We went to the Custom House for dinner which, in case you’ve never been or heard of it, is literally right on the edge of Cardiff Bay’s barrage.  It’s one of those market-style restaurants where you go up to a kind of butcher’s counter and pick your meat – which is always top quality.  Sunny went for some venison and I went for some posh fish (sea bass) and chips.  Would definitely recommend if you love seafood, and/or are a rampant carnivore 😉

After dinner we went for a quick walk over the barrage and watched the sun set over the Bay, which was lovely… until Sunny got bitten/stung by something lurking near the water.

On the way back Sunny drove me to two McDonald’s drive-ins to track down a strawberry milkshake for afters… and then we got up at 4am to the sound of Bungle barking at the mess he’d made in his bed (doggy diarrhea – great!).  Not the stuff of storybook romances, but definitely of lasting love.  ♡

How was your weekend? 

*Through the Keyhole: The Panache

Who else loves snooping around show homes?  When I was a kid my parents used to drag me and my brother around Cardiff on a Saturday to sniff out new developments.  At the time I didn’t get it; I spent most of my childhood convinced that we were about to up sticks and move at any second.  Now, I get it though.  In those days before Pinterest came along, that was how you got a little “home inspo”.  Well… that and the many, many back editions of House Beautiful stacked under the coffee table (Mum, you need to recognise that you have a problem…).

Anyway, these days I LOVE snooping around show homes, and whaddya know?  A couple of years ago Sunny and I actually ended up buying a new build ourselves when we moved back to Wales.  It’s funny because we’d always ruled them out as being bland and boxy, but there are some out there that break the mould and punch above the rest with something a little special.

Last week I was invited along to have a look at The Panache, Crest Nicholson’s newest addition to their colourful and quirky Penarth Heights development.  I’ve been watching the development grow ever since they knocked down the old Billybanks (a ramshackle, concrete council estate that boasted the best views in Wales), so I was excited to go along and have a good old snoop. 🙂


Built over three floors – from the garden, garage, open plan kitchen, lounge and dining room on the ground floor, to the huge roof terrace at the very top – The Panache has a kind of art deco feel to it, with its white, curved walls, metallics and picture windows that all look out onto Cardiff and the Bay.  A very different look and feel to other new builds.  With the views and the decor, it reminded me a little bit of Tracey Island (although, I don’t think Thunderbird 2 would fit on the driveway!).


The Master Suite on the first floor had all his and hers fittings, including a dressing area with a wardrobe each (happy couples all have separate things – I’d love to have a separate sink and wardrobe to Sunny).  Also, this cute little glasses rest – which I’m definitely going to have to track down for myself since I’m always forgetting where I put mine! 🙂



The best part though was the view, which really is the best in Cardiff.  From the roof terrace you can see the whole city, the Bay, and the Bristol Channel. And on a very clear day you can usually give Castle Coch a little wave and see up to Valleys beyond it.  Thankfully, last Thursday summer decided to put in a rare appearance so we could really enjoy the roof terrace, the views and the drinks – which had all been created with The Panache and its views in mind.



It’s definitely worth popping over to Penarth Heights for a look – especially if you’re into interiors or thinking about moving.  Couple it in with a walk over the barrage to Cardiff Bay if you’re feeling fit! 😉

Have a great week everyone!

*Bill’s Summer of Music

I can’t remember the last time Sunny and I had a date night.  We’ll be celebrating our fourth (wait…is that right?) wedding anniversary at the end of August (…is it the 26th or 27th…?) and we’ve never really done the whole date thing, even BC (Before Canine!).

Anyway, a few weeks ago Bill’s got in touch and asked if I’d like to come along and sample their new summer menu.  They also said I could bring along a guest – so, I said, “Yes please!” and brought along Sunny for a little pre-wedding anniversary date night 🙂


Throughout June, July and August, Bill’s has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love with live music events in its restaurants up and down the country, and on the 27th of July it arrived at their Cardiff Bay Restaurant – which not only meant a lovely meal for us but also an evening of live music.  They had Malaika (above), who sang some of her jazz and blues songs, as well as some covers, as well as Millie Jane Franks, who sung a beautiful cover of Fix You by Coldplay.


I’d never been to Bill’s before – but have no idea why, because the food was absolutely lush from the first course (these breaded halloumi sticks and pork dumplings) right through to dessert (by which time I completely stuffed and had to waddle back to the car – and we’d parked all the way up by the Norweigan Church too, pfft!).






Thanks to Bill’s for such a lovely night of food and music! ♡