*A Festive Afternoon Tea and Ice Skating

It feels like that festive feeling’s been cranked up a notch, now that it’s finally December.  I’ve already heard The Pogues about ten times (…not through choice!  I’m not a fan!), the advent calendars are out and…  and why the hell am I starting every single blog post at the moment like a bloody Christmas newsletter?!  There’s something in the water, or maybe it’s the fact that I’m full of Christmas cheer (read: food and booze) after spending a very festive afternoon up at The Celtic Manor over the weekend.

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I had absolutely no idea that The Celtic Manor were opening up a little rink in their rooftop garden this Christmas until an email popped into my inbox a couple of weeks ago inviting me up for a festive afternoon of ice skating and scoffing.  I mean, the last time I went ice skating was around ten years ago and I ended that session flat on my back with my legs in the air (…easy now), but I conveniently forgot all about that small fact right up until I stepped (/slid) out onto the ice.  Luckily, the rink isn’t too big and it isn’t too busy either – much quieter and cosier than the one at Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland – so there was no worrying about clawing my way around the outside while I found my feet or fears of getting clipped by a cocky Torvil and Dean wannabe (I’m not jealous at all).  It’s also covered, so come rain or shine (or snow?) you can skate until you slip.  There’s also a bar serving drinks and food (the Currywurst with sauerkraut was really good) if you’d rather watch the slip-sliding rather than partake in it yourself… 😉

As for me, I didn’t end up flat on my back like last time, but I was very wobbly!  If I wasn’t holding onto the barrier then I was crashing into it! 🙂







Après Skate, Sunny and I headed to The Mulberry Bar just off the lobby for a very special Christmas Treat.  On weekends running up to Christmas, The Mulberry Bar is serving a Festive Afternoon Tea for groups of up to eight.  I’d never had a normal afternoon tea let alone a festive one, so I had absolutely no idea what to expect – soggy cucumber finger sandwiches and teeny weeny cakes, maybe?  I definitely wasn’t expecting to come away feeling like I’d just scoffed a three course meal, but the funny thing was, I pretty much had!  After three courses of beautiful finger food (from smoked salmon éclairs and truffled hen’s egg brioche rolls, to fig and armagnac tartlets), including hot tea (Danish Pastry flavoured, of course…), a festive cocktail and mince pies to finish off, I was stuffed (…There was totally room there for a Turkey/Stuffing joke, but I’m going to spare you this time!)… Sunny pretty much had to carry me out.  And not a soggy cucumber sandwich in sight!



Thanks so much to the lovely lot at The Celtic Manor for inviting me – it was such a lovely treat!  🙂

*Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea

It’s tough when you live hundreds of miles away from your Mum.  Back when I lived in London I’d rarely get to see my Mum at all let alone on Mother’s Day, unless one of us decided to brave either the trains or the cruel mistress that be the M25 – and if not, then a stuttery facetime call would just have to do.  Nowadays I’m lucky enough to have my Mum less than twenty minutes down the road, and this year – since we have an actual bed in our spare room – Sunny’s Mum could come spend Mother’s Day with us too!  To celebrate our lovely mothers, we all crammed into the kitchen for tea, puppy cuddles and plenty of cake 🙂

Are you sick of the puppy pictures yet?  Duh, of course you’re not – just look at his cute face! 😉

I made chocolate brownies and this massive four layer ombre cake with a raspberry drizzle – which I frosted in my pyjamas at 6am when Bungle woke me up (Which was actually 5am until I realised that the bloody clocks had gone forward.  Will I ever get my Sunday lie-in again???).


I was also kindly sent a few of these Lurvill’s Delight drinks to try – a long lost Welsh soda that’s been recently resurrected and is back on the shelves in and around Cardiff.  It was originally created back in 1896 in the Rhondda valley by a couple of brothers who used the profits they made from the drink to pay for 150 coal miners and their families to sail across the pond and start a new life in America.  But in 1910 there was a dock leaf shortage, and since it was one of the drink’s main ingredients, production sadly came to sudden halt.  If you’re a fan of summery, botanical drinks like elderflower then you’ll love it – it’s not too fizzy, not too sweet (the  main ingredients are rhubarb, dock leaf and juniper berry) and I can imagine plonking a pitcher of the stuff on the barbecue dinner table with some chopped apples floating around in it 🙂



How did you spend Mother’s Day this year? 🙂