*Creams

A couple of weeks ago I was walking down St Mary’s Street for the first time in a long time – actually looking around instead of at my feet for a change! – and I couldn’t believe how many ice cream places have popped up.  Back in the day, my mates and I only had the unlimited ice cream bowl from Pizza Hut to tickle our taste-buds if we fancied something cool and sweet to finish our weekly trips into town.  Oh, how times have changed!  How come places like Creams didn’t exist back then?!  Can you imagine if they had?

So you can imagine how excited this lady was when Creams got in touch and asked if I fancied coming along to get the scoop on their new summer menu (…see what I did there 😉 ).

As well as their usual mix of sundaes, crepes and waffles is their new Bubble Waffle range – which is basically a sundae wrapped in a hot waffle.  Sunny – who didn’t need much convincing to come along and join me for a cheeky ice cream lunch – couldn’t believe the size of it when it landed on our table, but easily managed to polish it off.  Due to their shape and texture, Bubbles Waffles are much less filling than their traditional counterparts, but just as good!



I went for their After Eight Sundae (I’m a huge fan of mint chocolate chip ice cream) and loved every bite.




Have you ever been to Creams?  What’s your favourite ice cream flavour? 🙂

Cupcakes at The Deck

My sister in-law passed her PhD and turned 25 last weekend (…she’s a total wonderkid, what can I say?).  So to celebrate both she came to stay for the weekend and I took her to The Deck in Cardiff Bay to scoff cupcakes and drink tea.  I’d heard great things about their cupcakes, but nothing prepared me for the glass case of gluttony we were faced with when we arrived (As soon as I saw a cupcake towering with buttercream and crowned with a pink French Fancy I knew we were onto a winner). While we queued up and struggled to choose one each, the lady in front of us was busy filling a box full of them to take away 🙂




 

*More than just Burger & Lobster


Last time I set foot in Burger & Lobster it wasn’t actually Burger & Lobster at all, it was the top floor of Habitat. I’d go in there on a Saturday and plan all the cool things I was going to buy when I finally got a place of my own. Fast forward around fifteen years and now that I actually own a house Habitat is no more (except for a sad little shelf in Homebase, in case anyone’s wondering…). Typical. But then given the choice between furniture and food, I’d probably pick the latter so… yeah.

Last night I was invited along to Burger and Lobster to have a taste of their brand new menu (lucky girl) – branching out to “more than just Burger and Lobster”- a sort of Burger and Lobster 2.0 if you like.  Having not experienced Burger and Lobster 1.0, I was very excited.  So, I grabbed Sunny, my partner in crime in all things, but especially when it comes to food and we journeyed to The Hayes with rumbling stomachs.

The new menu offers a fresh twist on all the old favourites; with new burger and brioche roll combos (the Seven Samurai roll – an oriental twist on the original with perhaps the coolest name on the menu looked incredible when it was brought to the table next to ours!), and a handful of new sides.  (…Only now I’ve noticed the Lobster Mac and Cheese.  How did I miss that last night?  Yum.)

Our waiter Moy was brilliant, as was everyone else (The whole Burger & Lobster team are the dictionary definition of cool), and while we waited for our food we chair jiggled to the tunes from the speaker above and watched the barman at work.
Sunny went for the Lamb Burger – which was seriously good.  You know me, I’m one of those obscene Welsh girls who’s a bit meh when it comes to lamb – but I actually really enjoyed it 🙂

I went for a chick – half grilled, half steamed. When it arrived it came with that lovely seafood smell – not overwhelmingly fishy, it was like the smell of the seaside or like being at the beach.  Steamed was better than grilled – but both sides were lovely, especially with the garlic butter sauce.
I grabbed my tools, put on my very fetching bib and got stuck in.  There’s no ladylike way of scoffing lobster.  By the end it was all over my fingers and in my hair and had replaced my lipstick, but in my book when it comes to food (as yet unpublished…) that’s a very good sign.




For afters (sorry Mum – pudding), I went for the chocolate brownie and icecream…
…Sunny, in a moment of pure genius, went for the passion fruit creme brulee which was absolutely stunning.
Thanks for having us B & L – we will be back!

Hang Fire Southern Kitchen

So, it turns out relocating from London to Cardiff is tough. Last Saturday we finally began the monstrous task of moving all our boxes of crap stuff (all 62 of them…) from the storage locker – where they’ve sat untouched for the past four months – to our new house. We carted four trolley-loads down from the top floor, had an IKEA-style argument in the carpark as to how to fit it all into our car, drove it all the way across Cardiff only to unpack it all and find out that a box of broken appliances had somehow managed to migrate with us down the M4 when they should have gone in the bin back in London. Pfft.

But. Luckily, I had an inkling that this was all going to be a massive ball ache three weeks ago and deciding that we’d need a perk up to get us through I booked us a table at the already legendary Hang Fire Southern Kitchen in Barry for lunch. 🙂 

BEST. DECISION. EVER.

All that unboxing built up a pretty tidy appetite, so when this beautiful, beast of a burger landed in front of me taking the perfect picture of it in all its glory was the last thing on the menu. I snapped, then I scoffed without a second thought. The smoky, meaty juice ran down my hand (the smell lingered on my fingertips for the rest of the afternoon and actually, that wasn’t a bad thing AT ALL) and “stay all day” lipstick should come with a caviat that suggests it doesn’t apply to lip-licking, barbecue sauce smirking burger and ribs-based adventures.


We happily chowed down to the sound of Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton tucked away in a booth surrounded by the bare bricks of the pump house, pictures of American adventures and beneath string fiesta lights…

This Barbecue Sauce. Oh my. I’ve reserved a spot for it inside my new kitchen cupboards – but until then we’ll just have to head back to Hangfire to get our meat and Cue-fix. 🙂

Base + Barley (and shopping…)

I ♡ Cardiff shopping.  I loved it back when Queen Street was where things were happening (and when the Capitol wasn’t a wasteland of empty shops and shutters – can’t someone do something about that?  It’s looking so sad!) and I love it even more nowadays.  Sure there are all the High Street names you’d expect to see – but it’s the huge variety of independent shops and the gorgeous Victorian Arcades that really set my heart purse a-flutter… *ahem*

Before my reusable bags could be filled with shopping swag though, I met up with Sunny for lunch and we tried out Base + Barley which recently opened up at the bottom end of Queen Street (a couple of doors down from Office – *ahem* more on that later…) – home of glorious sourdough pizzas which I’ve been craving like crazy since leaving London and my BAE Franco Manca.
We were not disappointed.  Their lunch menu is seriously good, and reasonable too – a great spot for a shopping pit-stop.  We both ordered one of their sourdough pizzas; I went for No.3 – Prosciutto Ham and Portobello Mushrooms, while my lovely, bearded lunch date went for No.6 – fiery ‘nduja sausage paste, salami + roquito peppers.  Both were the perfect size for lunch and even came with a cute lil’ salad bowl.  We polished off the whole thing and left with the sort of sloppy, satisfied smirk you only get after scoffing really good pizza.

Also on the lunch menu were sourdough sandwiches, which caught our eye when they were delivered to a couple sitting opposite us.  They were thick, door-stopper style sandwiches with plenty of filling.  But there’s more than just sandwiches and pizzas; they also do handmade gourmet burgers and have a great drinks menu full of cocktails and craft beer.

Stomach filled, I went for a wander through the Arcades… If the numerous Victorian Arcades dotted around the Hayes and St Mary’s Street aren’t part of your usual shopping strategy, then you’re missing out!  Just look at Coffee Barker looking all beautiful and spring-like 🙂
I dropped in on Miss Patisserie to pick up a little something to enjoy later, once my feet and legs were limp from wandering…


Yr Hen Lyfrgell (the old library) has had a bit of work done and reopened a couple of weeks ago.  It’s so lovely inside now – and there’s plenty to do and see.  Operating as a Cultural Centre you can learn about the history of Cardiff and take lessons in Welsh (ardderchog!), there’s even a Cafe upstairs, I’m told… but, you know me, I got snared by the shop on the ground floor didn’t I?  Shelves full of Welsh-made products, from Welsh language cards, to paintings, to love spoons and kitchenware 🙂 In a separate room there’s even quirky women’s boutique, LAN LLOFFT.

Managed to track down a copy of this month’s CDF; my snap of Penarth Pier made the #CDFviews page!
I only bought three things; a love spoon for an English family friend who loved the ones we gave out at our wedding and was curious to learn more, a calming bath bomb from Miss P and a new pair of flats that were on sale in Office.  I have size 7 feet, finding shoes in my size on sale is the shopping alternative to finding Bigfoot (…which I get called by Sunny anyway, pfft!).

Where are your favourite places to shop in Cardiff?