Happy Friday! Time to meet Harry at Victoria Coach Station for our MegaBus journey to Cardiff. Tip – take snacks. What was supposed to be a 3.5 hour journey was 5 hours. And we still needed to catch a taxi to the place we were staying.
Breakfast – The Deck Coffee House
We stayed at a friend’s place (thanks Gareth) near Cardiff Bay. Not knowing our surroundings yet, we caught an uber to breakfast. The Deck Coffee House in Cardiff Bay is an absolute gem. It was full and we were lucky to get a table. The breakfast was delicious, hot and well priced (£5.95 each plus coffee). Our choice of the petite breakfast was not so petite – we were hungry! On our plates was 1 sausage, 1 piece of bacon, 1 egg, 1 hash brown, 1 serving of baked beans and 1 piece of toast.
A slightly longer than normal wait for coffee was noticed by one of the ladies who worked there. Soon our coffee arrived along with a note with the words ‘2 cupcakes on Debra’. Wow. Totally unexpected. It was hard to pick from the large selection but we were happy with our choice of vanilla and snickers cupcakes. So good. Thank you Debra!
We walked into the city centre and remembered it was game day. With 2 games on, different sports, both with a Wales team playing, there were lots of people milling about. We continued on past Cardiff Castle, through Bute Park and had a quick look at the Chapter Arts Centre before lunch.
Lunch – Crafty Devil Cellar
Crafty Devil Cellar looks like a craft beer shop from the outside. Make your way inside and you’ll find a large table set up for tastings and a beer garden out the back. We tried a few different beers including Lil Devil and Pacific Pale Ale. Most beers here are quite hoppy so if you’re into that, 95% of the menu is for you!
It was around 3pm by the time we got our appetite back. Conveniently at Crafty Devil Cellar there is a wood-fire stove in the beer garden and a friendly man from Dusty Knuckle Pizza permanently based there who will make you a pizza fast! We shared a vegetarian pizza with simply goats cheese, caramelised onion chutney and basil (£8). Perfect mix of flavours.
Afterwards we had a look inside a few charity stores nearby. We especially try to find something in a charity store related to animal welfare but on this occasion I found a cat t-shirt in the Cancer Research store that I couldn’t leave without. I think my family are starting to worry about me.
We eventually made it back to the centre of town and followed our ears until we saw them… the House Gospel Choir. They could brighten the mood of anyone! And if you didn’t feel like singing before, you will once you’re in the presence of these talented and happy singers! The performance was one of many around Cardiff as part of the Festival of Voice.
Dinner – Bar 44
Bar 44 was a tip from the Twitter world, as was Crafty Devil Cellar. And we were thankful. So thankful. Bar 44 is a tapas restaurant in Cardiff city centre. Again we were lucky to get in without a booking.
After a short wait at the bar, we were seated at our own table. It wasn’t long before our bottle of Chardonnay from Alicante arrived with the first of our order to snack on – Spanish corn and baby gherkins. These were tasty but our other choice of tapas – croquettes, duck, and chorizo and cod cheek with bravas sauce were to die for. Bill total? £47.80 including the wine. And we – were – full. For now!
Dessert – The Dead Canary
Well, that’s if you consider a cocktail of Polynesian Paw Paw and Idle Hands dessert.
Tip – book in. We got in without a booking but only for 1 hour.
Also, if you walk past the point on google maps where The Dead Canary is supposed to be, go back and look for the black building with no signs on it other than ‘ring the bell’ and a bird cage hanging above the door. It’s hidden!
What’s it like on the inside? Dark with a stylish atmosphere including jazz band playing in the background and an apothecary of very different and delicious cocktails for £8 each.
Late night snack – Dorothy’s
Another Twitter tip led us to Dorothy’s for chicken and chips. Dorothy’s is famous for its curry recipe of over 40 years. One serving of the chicken gravy and chips was the perfect portion for both of us (£4.80). Fresh shredded chicken smeared with gravy and thick and fluffy hot potato chips. Yum! Writing this blog is somewhat torture on the long bus ride back to London with no snacks! Refer back to paragraph and tip 1.
Breakfast – Pier 64
I enjoyed my usual eggs benedict choice (£5.50) and watched Harry with food envy as he enjoyed avocado and tomato on toast with a side of bacon. Thankfully we always share. It’s so much cheaper here than London!
It was time to walk off breakfast (and all the other food we’ve eaten this weekend) so we walked up and over several hills until we made it to Alexandra Park. Penarth was once known as the garden by the sea and we wondered if this park full of garden sculptures,was the reason why.
On the other side of the park is a pier. Which means ice cream. And an Olde Sweet Shoppe. I was almost fooled by the 3p Curly Wurly sign, obviously from the good old days.
Lunch – Waterloo Tea, Wyndham Arcade
I think it’s time for a salad. Waterloo Tea in Wyndham Arcade in the city centre has a very filling and tasty Asian chicken salad with plenty of greens, peanuts and a dressing that tastes so good it can’t be 100% healthy (£8). It is one of the few salads I’ve genuinely enjoyed in my whole existence! Oh, and the tea is delicious too!