I spent the end of my first month in Cardiff in the best way possible – a day of great lectures with fabulous course mates, followed by plans to meet up in the evening for Sophie’s Birthday at the Pen and Wig. I went home then to cook some yummy food, enjoying the relaxation cooking brings, and cleared my room (not the best part of the day I will admit!). Switching on my computer to talk to my father and sisters, and then to spend a couple of hours with Emanuel, I could feel back at home in an instant.
Back from the great night out, I sat waiting for my mum to arrive in Cardiff for the first time. I knew that this would be followed the next week by Emanuel. What more could I want?
Both weekends were different and equally fantastic. I bought raisin and coconut bread for my Mum and went to Waterloo tea gardens for afternoon tea. This place is definitely recommended by my mum, my auntie (who joined from Surrey) and I. We were treated like princesses and the scones were by far the best I’ve tasted.
On Sunday we went to Cardiff Bay (I did this the following week with Emanuel). Once again, food is always sought after and Fabulous Welsh Cakes are true to their name. So much so, that Emanuel had to buy another packet of welsh cakes to take to my mum as my sisters had gobbled them up! Compared to the ones Emanuel and I ate at Cardiff Market they were scales of goodness above! With Emanuel we ate dinner at Cardiff Bay in a steakhouse called Miller and Carter. The steak was divine and was served with a delicious homemade onion loaf and a lettuce wedge (very fresh!) with a dressing of our choice. Considering the size of the rib-eye and the condiments that came with it, not forgetting the wine, we figured that for the same thing in Malta we would have paid at least twenty pounds more! That makes the wine taste sweeter when you’re a student 😉
I spent Monday morning with my Mum shopping in the massive St. David Mall. As you can imagine we were exhausted by the end of it! I then treated her to some lovely pizza from the Pizza Express chain restaurants! My Mum was impressed and that is saying something considering that her homemade pizzas are the best!
I was so happy to see both my mum and Emanuel, and missed my sisters and my dad – they would have loved it. It is nice to know that they have a bearing now on where I am staying and they can gauge how happy I am in this beautiful city. Emanuel also got the chance to meet some of my roommates and my friends which is even better, since now he knows them beyond Facebook!
the various cheeses on display! home made chocolate brownies at the fair!
home made fudge! an amazing dragon made out of bread!
I have been meaning to write about the town and the beautiful things you can find in Cardiff. I will attempt to be more touristy with my Mum and Emanuel when they come over for a visit.
However, a couple of Sundays ago, I spent a fantastic morning with Michelle and Haae at the Cardiff country fair. The background for the fair was spectacular since it was taking place in Cardiff Castle. The history of this castle is unbelievable, even more so when it is now surrounded by shopping malls, pedestrian streets and various other modern attachments! The first I heard of the Castle’s vast history is when I visited The Cardiff Story. It is a cute interactive museum mainly targeting children (which means I enjoyed it tremendously)
The Castle is 2000 years old having been built (twice) by the Romans. Some roman foundations still remain. It was initially more of a fort and had 10 inch thick walls! It served as a fort until the Romans left in 5th century. It was then an important naval base. In 1091 the Norman lord of Gloucester built his Norman castle here. It is a combined work of different eras with some people noting that it is too modern to be counted as a castle.
The roman masonry was not found until the dreaming of a certain Lord Bute (hence Bute Town / Bute Terrace/ Bute Park) in the late 1800s. Now the roman walls are visible as you enter the castle. The beautiful thing about the castle is the Clock Tower. It clashes with the rest of the building since it is pretty much Victorian but I like this! More on the castle when I get access to the Key and actually go around!
The country fair was only taking place in the large lawn of the castle but this is a huge green space. The Welsh band was playing and the sun was shining and all sorts of people were sprawling on the grass making the most of it! The tents contained various interesting things – especially hand-made scarves made with unusual types of fabric! Most of the fair was dedicated to food and a bought a pot of orange thyme from Herbal Haven. It is still alive – which is very positive! I also bought raisin and coconut bread which is half-baked therefore can be frozen and baked when wanted/needed. Another buy was two pies: one pork and apple and the other beef and stilton. They are a great size and work for when I do not feel like cooking!
I was very tempted (what an understatement!) to buy the cheeses. What a selection of cheeses! I tasted all kinds of variety of cheeses. My favourite was the smoked cheddar and the one with cranberries. Yummy stuff. I didn’t buy though since I know that I would have to finish a 200g cheese all by myself, which is not conducive to my health at all!