What I Did: Paddling Pools and *Bistrot Pierre

High five for Friday!  Hope you’ve had a lovely week, whatever you’ve been up to.  Hands up who’s excited about tomorrow’s royal wedding?  Up, down, up, down?  I wasn’t bothered at all, but I got really into Suits early this year and now I’m kind of… interested.  “Interested” is probably the most excitement you’ll get out of me on this one, but the more I read about Meghan Markle, the more I really like her (…I’ve been trying so hard to separate her from Rachel Zane).  Have you seen the video of her speaking out against sexist advertising when she was just 11?  She also used to blog (aside from “The Tig“, she’s also rumoured to be behind “The Working Actress”) and side-hustled as a calligraphist, and – let’s get trivial, shall we? – she and I share the same first name… which we don’t go by.  It’s Rachel, in case you’re wondering. 😉

Anyway, I want to see the dress so I’ll be tuning in for a bit at least.  So, other than stalking the soon to be Duchess of Sussex, what have I been up to?

Earlier in the week I popped to Home Bargains for a few cupboard essentials and came away with a £2 paddling pool instead (*eyeroll* it’s always the way, right?).  The weather’s been so lovely that we’ve been out in the garden whenever we’ve had the chance, but – bless him – Bungle struggles a bit in the heat, y’know, due to the fact that he’s off the scale on the fluff-o-meter.  So I thought it’d be fun for him to have somewhere to cool off.  🙂  I kind of underestimated how bloody big he’s gotten though, I should have gotten a bigger one!



French restaurant chain, Bistrot Pierre, sent me an invite a few weeks ago to sample their new summer menu – so I met up with Sunny after work one evening and we hustled over to The Brewery Quarter (just off Caroline Street), excited to fill our empty stomachs with some lovely French Food and mon dieu, did we fill them alright. 🙂

For starter, I had Calamari with a lovely garlic aioli dip, while Sunny opted for deep-fried brie – which I kind of wish I’d ordered – not because the calamari wasn’t delicious, but because why would anyone pass up the opportunity for deep fried brie!?  It was stunning, especially coupled with the spiced pear chutney.  Yum!


I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to order an Orangina.  Sunny rolled his eyes and called it “Cheap French Tango” which honestly made me want to throw my wedding ring at him.  I used to drink gallons of the stuff when I went on holidays to France as a kid – and to this day I can’t see a bottle without having a lame Proustian Moment of some of my favourite summers. 🙂

For main I had the Burger Maison which was huge and delicious and came with a bucket of pomme frites (très bonne), whilst Sunny was very happy with his choice of the Médaillons de porc which came with plenty of vegetables on the side (…although he couldn’t help sneaking a few of my chips, grrr).




For afters Sunny bagged a winner again with the Gâteau au miel – a traditional Burgundian Honey cake – which, although it doesn’t look much on the plate, Sunny said was the best dessert he’d ever had and practically demanded that I learn how to make it.   I went for the classic Crème brûlée – I mean you’ve gotta, right? 😉

Huge thanks to Bistrot Pierre for the invite, we had a fantastique time and the food was absolutely banging.  I’d totally recommend if you’ve got a craving for some French fare – it made me desperately want to whizz down to Portsmouth and hop on a ferry to France 🙂  I’ve definitely got my eye on trying one of their gastronomy nights!  You can book a table at one of their many restaurants across the UK here.  I also have a code (LBP8X87H) which entitles each member of your booking group to a free drink with their meal (You can read the Terms and Conditions here). Nice!

Have a lovely weekend guys! 🙂

What I Did: Hotel Indigo Launch Party

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Last night I was invited along to the launch party (as well as a little snoop around the rooms) of Hotel Indigo; a brand new boutique hotel that’s opened up right in the heart of city centre, just off Queen Street.  Not only was it fab night with live music and fancy grub (courtesy of the rooftop Marco Pierre White Steakhouse), but the hotel itself is stunning (it’s a blogger’s dream!), with little nods to Welsh culture, language and history are dotted throughout the reception area and the rooms.  Such a cool place to stay if you’re up for a weekend away in the Welsh Capital! 🙂

“The minute you walked in the joint… ba-damp!”

If you’re on Queen Street, it’s definitely worth taking a turn down old Dominions Arcade to see the new murals and pop into the cosy reception area of Hotel Indigo for a cup of coffee.  The walls are covered with Welsh iconography; from framed pictures of corgis, poetry by Dylan Thomas, daffodils, sheep… you name it, it’s up there (…except for a Love Spoon!  Get on that pronto tonto, Hotel Indigo! 😉 ).  There’s also a few hints at Wales’ past, with the caged canary and lit mining helmets behind the front desk a little tribute to King Coal.






I absolutely loved these quirky plates with Max Ernst-esque engravings and old Welsh sayings.  My Welsh is a little rusty guys, but I think this one means, “Every bird loves the sound of its own voice.”






The launch party moved up into Marco Pierre White’s Rooftop Bar and Steak Restaurant – including a terrace with views right across the city. 🙂


Couldn’t resist jumping into the photo booth with some fellow Welsh Bloggers: Leanne (The Globetrotter GP), Laura (Side Street Style), and Kacie (The Rare Welsh Bit). 🙂

Such a great night!  If you ever fancy coming to Cardiff for the weekend, then definitely check out Hotel Indigo for a taster session in Welsh Culture 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone! x

November Favourites

November is easily my favourite month of the year (everyone’s got a soft spot for their birthday month!) and easily the busiest, and this November didn’t disappoint on either end!  I got stuck in to my fifth NaNoWriMo, celebrated four birthdays, and had a very blogging month.  I had an absolute blast from beginning to end, and it’s got me all excited for Christmas and the New Year! 🙂

Cardiff

There was so much going on in Cardiff during November!  Winter Wonderland opened up on the 9th of November and I was lucky enough to get invited along to their sneaky peek press night which involved freaking out at the top of the massive Ferris Wheel, scoffing German hot dogs and swigging hot chocolate.

The following week Canadian Coffee and Doughnut chain Tim Horton’s opened up on Queen Street and you know me, along with Cinnamon Buns and Bacon, Doughnuts make up a large part of diet – so I was super excited to see what all the fuss was about.  I can confirm that Tim Bits will be keeping me fuelled through Christmas, as well as all their other goodies. 🙂



Fashion

I’ve been so busy this month that I almost managed #NoSpendNovember!  But, it was my birthday half way through the month and I maybe hinted a little bit too hard about the Oliver Bonas Dream Blouse, because not only did Sunny buy it for me, but so did my Mum and Dad!  I love it!


Christmas Outfit sorted!  Last week I was lucky enough to be invited along to Coast’s Christmas Blogger event in Cardiff and had a lovely evening trying on lots and lots of Bond Girl Ballgowns.  I was also lucky enough to win one of their gorgeous dresses!  It was a total pinch me moment – and just in time for my birthday too!  I chose their Candice Lace Dress, which has a lovely hi-lo hem and has a definite Self Portrait vibe to it.

*Also, if you’re still looking for something to wear for the party season, you can get 20% off at Coast if you quote “The Cardiff Cwtch” at the checkout (Cardiff only!).

Food

Milgi’s breakfast has to take the top food spot this month.  They serve breakfast every Saturday and Sunday from 9am to midday I’ll definitely be going back for their Lavabread-fried Potatos.  Yum!


Also, if you haven’t checked it out already, I wrote a post full of Hot Choc-tails.  I made myself a Irish one the other night with a bit of Merlin (if you’ve never tried Wales’ answer to Baileys from the Penderyn Distillery then you need to – it’s a stunner!).  I might have gone a bit overboard though and added too much – I was a bit sloshed by the time Blue Planet came on.

TV

Peak Blinders is back!  And every time Red Right Hand by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds comes up on my Spotify, I get excited for Wednesday nights.  If you’ve never watched before it’s into its fourth season now and follows the Peaky Blinders, a real Birmingham gang from the 1920s.  If you’re a fan of Boardwalk Empire and other such gangster historical drama then it’ll be right up your street.

How can I not mention Blue Planet?  Every episode has been amazing, and I genuinely got all soppy when the whales and dolphins had a little reunion.  Also, the Portugese Man of War terrified me, and more so when someone posted a picture online of one that had washed up on Barry Island Beach (and others across The Vale)!?  So if you take your dog walking on the beach in South Wales, keep an eye out!

Online

I started re-watching Reign this month (…I love it, it’s my thing, let it go), and was busy adding songs from the series to my Spotify when I cam across Vitamin String Quartet.  They’re a string quartet that basically create covers of pop songs and their backlist has completely taken over my Spotify.  I love their cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” and Lorde’s “Royals”.  So worth checking out!

How was your November?  What have you been enjoying this month?  🙂

What I did Last Weekend: My Birthday, Cosmeston, Milgi

Last Friday was my 32nd birthday (as you know if you caught last Friday’s post), and was one of those lovely crisp Autumn days (exactly the same as the day I was born according to my Mum and Dad when they regaled everyone with my birth story over dinner at the pub… thanks guys!), and started off – as most days do these days – with taking Bungle for a walk.  But instead of doing the usual stomp around the block, we hopped into the car and drove to Cosmeston, which was absolutely stunning in the morning Autumn sunshine.  🙂






It was a quiet one, but lovely all the same.  I opened presents, blew out candles and got stuck into a massive cinnamon bun, and then went to the pub for dinner with my family.


On Saturday I was invited down to Milgi on City Road to try out their breakfast menu.  As a restaurant that promotes themselves as being dedicated to “everyday plant-based eating”, this cheeky McDonalds, sticky cinnamon bun-scoffing gal wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  But I’d heard really good things, was excited to give it a try and you know what?  I loved every single bite and was stuffed by the time we left!

I had to try the Lavabread-fried Potatoes, complete with polenta toast, a fried egg and homemade ketchup.  It was absolutely massive, and even Sunny was surprised when I demolished the lot.  I also really enjoyed my cheeky Toffee Apple Collins and honestly was a little bit buzzed in the car on the way home (…which made getting stuck in match day traffic through Cardiff a bit more bearable!).


Sunny went for their Indian Breakfast which came with two massive Parantha and a hefty portion of Dal.  I couldn’t resist sneaking a bit of his Parantha – you guys know I cook a batch myself when the in-laws come to stay.  He went for their Autumn Garden Smoothie, with pear, banana, oats, cinnamon, vanilla and oat milk and I think even he was surprised how much he loved it.

If you’re looking for somewhere new for breakfast definitely give Milgi a try; I’m pretty sure a Saturday morning breakfast there could cure any hangover – not only are the portions massive, but the food’s tasty and pretty easy on the eyes too.  They serve breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am until midday.  😉

Happy weekend everyone!  x

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