Monday, 24 June 2019

Food and drink on Cardiff's Whitchurch Road

Last March, I started a new job. My old office was on Ocean Way where Subway and the pub across the road were the only lunch options, so imagine my excitement when I started working a stone's throw away from Cardiff's Whitchurch Road.

I've tried lots of the cafes and restaurants this busy road has to offer over the last 15 months, so I thought I'd post a summary of where I've been so far.

Got Beef

I've been to Got Beef three times over the last few months, and it might be my favourite restaurant on Whitchurch Road. There's a big variety of different burgers on the menu, ranging from the weird and wonderful to good old bacon cheeseburgers. Got Beef is very reasonably priced, particularly if you order from the lunch menu, and it's a great option for both lunch and dinner. You'll smell of burger fat for a few hours after you've left, but I promise it'll be well worth it.

Brass Beetle

Brass Beetle specialises in pizza and cocktails, and I've been there twice so far.  I've always had my car with me so haven't been able to sample their cocktails yet, but they also have a lovely selection of mocktails. The pizzas are cooked in a huge wood-fire oven at the back of the restaurant, and my pizza was really spectacular both times. Taking the size of the pizzas into account (they're massive), I think Brass Beetle is pretty reasonable. Again, it's a nice option for both lunch and dinner.

Crispy Duck

I tried Crispy Duck for the first time last week. I don't know of many pan-Asian restaurants in the Cardiff and Penarth area, so this one was an excellent find. I had lemon chicken and egg fried rice, and my friend ordered the sweet and sour chicken. We were the only people in the restaurant when we arrived at 6:30pm, but it was full by the time we left. I thought the prices were very reasonable, and I'll definitely be trying this restaurant again soon. It's worth noting that it's only open for lunch on Sundays, but it felt more like a nice dinner option to me in any case.

The Greek Spot

A big group of us went to The Greek Spot a few months ago for a colleague's leaving lunch. My food was ridiculously cheap, and there was loads of it! I'd say it felt more like a lunch spot than a dinner location, but that might just have been because there were so many of us. We were served very quickly and the staff members we met were really friendly and helpful. With such a varied menu, I'd definitely like to visit again at some point.

Cocorico Patisserie

I've been to Cocorico a few times for both food and drinks. The lunch I had there was absolutely delicious and it still pops into my head all the time. I've also had hot chocolate and macarons there a couple of times. I'm yet to sample their decadent cakes, so I need to make sure I tick that off my list before the year is out. Although the cakes are pretty expensive, I thought the lunch prices were very reasonable. Cocorico closes at 6pm, so it's one to add to your lunch list.

The Pot Bistrot

I haven't eaten at The Pot Bistrot yet, but I did pop in for a hot chocolate with a friend one evening. There was a lovely atmosphere in the restaurant and it felt quite upmarket. The Pot has sporadic opening hours during the week, so make sure you check when it's open ahead of your visit if you do decide to pop in one afternoon or evening.

I've also popped in to So Coffee Bar numerous times for a takeaway hot chocolate, and I fully plan to treat myself to a drink-in hot chocolate and a piece of cake at some point. My only complaint is that they're not open on a Monday which is when I need my hot chocolate fix the most! 

By this time next year, I'll hopefully have tried even more places on Whitchurch Road. Can you recommend anywhere else I should try? 

Monday, 10 June 2019

My birthday celebrations: the 2019 edition

As you'll have guessed from the title of this post, it was my birthday last week. My birthday was on a Tuesday which is arguably the worst day of the working week, so I booked the Monday and Tuesday off work so that I could celebrate for four days.


We made the most of Saturday's beautiful weather and took Jessie for a long walk to Penarth. Our local Coffee #1 branch has got a dog friendly area, so we stopped there for half an hour to have cheesecake and a hot chocolate (and water for Jessie, of course).

On Saturday evening, we went to Miller & Carter in Cardiff Bay for birthday meal number one. I hadn't had the opportunity to dress up for a while, and I took great pleasure in wearing a pretty new dress and highly uncomfortable shoes. 

Although my meal was nice, the service was terrible. They got every part of Neil's order wrong, even his very simple soft drink. It's sadly put us off going back to that particular restaurant for a while, but it'll make a good anecdote at least! 


On the Sunday, we had a lazy morning before doing some shopping and taking Jessie for a walk. I'd arranged to go to stay with my parents for a couple of days, so I packed a few things and headed west at around 4pm. I stopped off at Sarah's house first and was greeted with a little strawberry and white chocolate cake and candles. She'd also prepared fresh strawberries and a Highlights hot chocolate... she knows me so well.

After eating and talking with Sarah for an hour or so, I drove to my parents' house and caught up with them for a few hours before going to bed. I haven't seen them for a few months so it was lovely to catch up properly and to exchange some funny stories. 


On the Monday, I'd arranged a spa day in Machynys Pensinsula Golf Club and Premier Spa with Nicola. We got there early and went to the gym for half an hour, then we had our back, neck and shoulder massages before lunch. We went to the hydro spa after lunch and had the whole place to ourselves. We spent loads of time relaxing in the jacuzzi and also made use of the sauna, aromatherapy room, steam room and heated stone chairs. It was such a relaxing day and it definitely encouraged me to make time for spa days more often.

After I got home from the spa day, I went to the Harvester with my parents for birthday meal number two. The three of us ordered the classic burger and it was SO GOOD. You absolutely can't go wrong with the Harvester in our opinion, and the service was impeccable as always. I had a voucher for a free sundae, so we shared two of their giant monstrosities between the three of us. I'm glad we didn't have one each as I couldn't even manage half of mine!


On Tuesday, it was finally my birthday. I woke up and opened my cards and presents from my parents, then we went to Costa for a celebratory hot chocolate. The weather was absolutely hideous, but I didn't have any outdoor plans so I didn't particularly mind. 

After having some cake with my parents for lunch, I drove back to Penarth in torrential rain to spend the rest of my birthday with Neil and Jessie. I opened my presents from Neil and all my cards from family and friends, then we took Jessie for a walk as the weather had vastly improved. We then went to Tony's in Penarth town centre for birthday meal number three. It's one of our favourite restaurants, and the food and service was amazing as per usual. 

The presents! 

I know most of you probably clicked on this purely to see my birthday haul, so I had to include a little section on my gifts. I had lots of lovely presents, most of which are photographed below. 

The Minnie Mouse cupcakes were from Nicola and were a very tasty surprise. I had lots of bath and shower products and plenty of Disney themed gifts, along with an amazing phone case from clever Jessie which featured her own face. In addition to the gifts below, I also had a New Look gift card from my parents in law, a Lush gift box from my sister in law and an afternoon tea voucher from Sarah. As always, I'm really grateful to everyone for my gifts and I've already made use of quite a few of them!

After four days of celebrating with lots of my favourite people, it was very hard to get up to go to work on Wednesday. However, I felt as if I'd had a nice long break and it was the best birthday I've had since my 30th birthday three years ago. 

Now that my birthday is over for another year, I'm counting down to Christmas... 198 days to go!