Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Cardiff


You know a city is good when it tells you that people who drink beer have brains! Cardiff, its a city where I can't make heads or tails of it. It has a roughness to it as well as an elegance too. The only thing I would advise is to visit this city, form your own view and make your own mind up.


 
I dont usually visit Cath Kidson's shop but had a quick browse and although I'm in two minds about the Cath Kidson brand and the products itself, I do love the store's set-up and presentation that I've seen and heard many other bloggers and fans rave about. Kidson offers beautiful products but I'm still working out where I stand, sometimes a print/colourway/product is rather twee and so isnt me and other times, they get the overall sensation of it all bang on...I'm not really a pastel coloured, whimsy, girly girl but it is growing on me but I don't think I will ever be a huge fan like many peope out there. Why buy vintage/retro style goods when you could go out and hunt for the originals?

Kidson is to fashion/homewear like Beatles is to music for me, I appreciate the contributions they make to their retrospective industries but it's not for me at this time in life but in the future who knows? I could be living in a Kidson cladded house rocking out to 'Hey Jude' from the morning to the evening! *shudders*


If you are in Cardiff, make sure you take a visit to the Lego store, It certainly will bring out the big kid in yourself and I will admit to being a closet lego fanatic. I've talked myself out of buying Lego over the years thinking it was stupid but I love it all the same! I'm now thinking "to hell with it!" and getting a few pieces to play with and then put aside for the next generation of children in our family, I use to play with my mum's Lego set as a child at my grandparents, holding pieces she held herself as a child and to be honest, Lego ages so well doesn't it?

 The lego avengers jet very nerly had me breaking out my wallet!
 I actually squealed when I saw this tiny Deadpool...isn't he so cute?! Deadpool is anything but cute but there's something I love about this guy! If I ever play Marvel Vs Capcom, Deadpool is always on my Team (as well as Dante!) I was so annoyed I cant buy these little guys seperate, you have to buy them as part of a kit and the avengers kit alone is nearly £70!

Thor's face says it all does it not?!
I was seriously lusting over the Batman kits to, especially the batman/catwoman kit....I lurve and heart the catwoman! That lady gone stole my heart really! But again, paying the huge prices for the kits...well, you might as well really buy a nice bust or statue for the same price!


My family patiently waited outside for me whilst I walked around this shop in some awed, zombiefied state! sweets from every inch of the globe pretty much were here on shelves and shelves! I couldnt buy anything as really...where do I start?! I love sweets and I couldn't pick! Also of late, I don't really want sweets as much or sugary foods. You put Haribo in front of me these days and it wont be touched...its really strange for me to be honest!

We decided to go to Jamie's Italian, one of e few resturants throughout the UK that is apart of Jamie Oliver's franchise. This guy, I love him. He just clicks for me. I watch other chefs and their shows andread their books and I'm like "wtf?", it doesnt make sense how they are presenting the information and there sometimes isn't any depth or heart in a dish or ingrediant. Oliver does, he really talks you through it and tells you not to be scared. I've never really gone wrong with his recipes and his 30 minute dinner book saved many a social gathering at mine! Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnly -Whittingstall are the two I just rate. I also love Heston and Nigella as well but for different reasons.


The resturant had different chefs working in different stations around you. In the resturant windows was a man making pasta, in the middle of the place on one side was the bar and it backs onto the a small service station where they do salads, carve the ham and sausages that are hanging about and basic dishes where no cooking is needed.
At the back was the open view of the kitchen where you could watch the chefs prep and cook their food. It was noisy and I be honest the tables were tightly packed in and it was claustophobic at times but the food and the atmosphere made up for it.

The menu was exciting to read and presented a lot of unusual dishes and flavours and I for one didnt know where to start!

We ordered a bread basket whilst waiting for the mains to arrive and as you can see, there was a nice variety of bready flavours, textures and it came with a dip of olive oil and balsamic vinegar that was poured at the table. Heaven! I love bread but rarely indulge in it as after all it isn't the greatest of indulgences to have! something so simple tastes so good!


Seaside Risotto with Clams, mussels, prawns, cockles, gurnard, chilli & white wine here on the left.
On the right is Wild Rabbit Taliolini with Slow-cooked ragรน with garlic & herbs, mascarpone & Amalfi lemon


 Braised British shin of beef Cooked overnight with sweet, sticky onions & balsamic vinegar, served with oozy Parmesan polenta

And I ordered the above which was the Black Angel Spagetti, Squid ink pasta, British scallops, garlic, chilli, anchovies, wine, parsley & capers. It was nice and I loved how it was in a broth. I do think it was a little salty and think that perhaps another flavour could have been introduced to balance this out like maybe a corriander or something with a little honey like sweetness to stop the salt biting in the back of your throat. I really enojyed it and ordered a small main version as on the menu you can have small or regular which is great if you're hungry but cannot manage a whole plate of pasta. I wanted to eat seafood but being allergic to it meant I could only have a small amount safely, but the overall dish was nice and I was in food heaven for the rest of the day!
I think the prices are very reasonable too compared to other designer chef's resturants i've been too.

Have a look yourself!
http://www.jamieoliver.com/italian/food-menu

I really enjoyed my day in Cardiff and will have to do a seperate posting about the fabric hoard I came home with! It was a nice break with nice weather and great family company. It helped keep me in good spirits apart from a few moments where I felt low and reflective on recent hurtful events and general depression (which I touched on in the blog post previous to this.) I really hope Jamie Oliver one day opens a resturant here in Plymouth where it can stand along with River Cottage canteen and Gary Rhodes forthcoming opening.

oh well!

Much Birdie love.
xxx

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