Coffee Coffee Coffee Blah Blah Blah

I drink lots of coffee I have an espresso machine I grind beans (from a blend I have mixed myself)

I take photos of my coffee, the beans and the froth

YES I’m a coffee bore – but I love the taste and love the hit – so I’m not all sheds (some beer – coffee porters FTW).

I buy my beans from 3 different places

1) PactCoffee

2) Coffee Direct via Amazon

3) Aldi/Lidl/ Supermarket bulk offers(when available)

I tend to us an espresso machine but also use the hipsters coffee machine of choice the Aeropress

I’m also trying out some Nespresso Carte Noire capsules that I have been sent but in the meantime some nice glasses

but I’m looking to get a V60 as well –

The V60 has similarities to other brewing methods, but differences in design make it a unique method all its own. Constructed with raised, spiraled ribs and a wide aperture that allows coffee to pass evenly through the paper filter, the V60 brews quickly and makes a nuanced, balanced cup.

so if you buy any coffee from pact and I could win one:)

Introduce three coffee-loving friends to Pact and we’ll post you a V60 Starter Kit, giving you a whole new way to brew.
Your personal invitation code is:


Anyone with access to this code will be able to claim their first bag of Pact Coffee for £1.

as I said I’m not a cofee geek just a bore


Bacon, Yes , Caramel Yes – best bar snacks in Cardiff ever

First it was the amazing hop infused crisps, now Paul from the Urban Tap house has outdone himself with his candied bacon strips.

This is not a review just a celebration of what is good with the world “Streaky bacon encased in caramel”- they glistened in the afternoon light – saying eat me eat me – we know how good salted caramel is so these taste amazing – one ok, two is too much but what a bar snack (£1 a strip is not cheap but worth it’s weight in Caramel) and an amazing Amuse-bouche to what this man can do with a fryer – I’am told his deep fried gherkins are a thing of beauty as well.

Candied bacon strips

Candied bacon strips

Candied bacon strips


Celebrate 50 years of Doctor Who by baking a Dalek or a cyberman

Everyone is jumping on the Doctor Who bandwagon – but lakeland have out done themselves

The TARDIS stuff is brilliant – but the DALEK CAKE STAND is a thing of beauty


A magnificent centrepiece for presenting your Doctor Who cupcakes, this 3-tier stand is made from sturdy card so can, with care, be regenerated for future use.


Purple Poppadom Cardiff they say Nouvelle Indian Cuisine I say best curry I have had

I have not blogged about food (or much else on this blog) for a long time – but a meal enjoyed at the Purple Poppadom last night gave me the opportunity to post, just so I can relive the most amazing Indian food I have ever had – yes Iam slow on the uptake and have never been the Chef Anand George previous establishment Mint & Mustard either – but his so named “Nouvelle Indian Cuisine” – was stunning – every dish had a great range of flavours not over spiced – and every ingredient worked so well together. – so this is what I had

Starter: The Streets of Mumbai
Aloo Tikki – potato cake served on a bed of spiced chickpeas | Bombay Chat – pop-in-the mouth semolina pastry snack filled with yoghurt and homemade chutney, topped with gram flour vermicelli | Tangy puffed rice salad with tamarind chutney

everyone I have spoken to said that the Bombay Chat is amazing – it was very good – but alas I made the mistake of taking a bite and not eating it whole – so had a beard covered in yogurt (not for the first time;)) – personally I thought the Tangy puffed rice – was the best of the three – just a great texture.

Main: Nawabi Chicken
A dish from the Moghul emperors, chicken supreme marinated with creamy cheese, a touch of cardamom and mace finished in the tandoor. Accompanied by a boneless bhuna chicken thigh served with makhani sauce and mint sorbet

Iam a big fan of curry but thought I would go for something less sloppy – I love cardamom and the chicken had a delicate flavour of it but not overpowering – the bhuna chicken thigh was very good as well – sometimes you forget that the lesser cuts sometimes can be best – the thing that surprised me was the salad (yes I eat a salad) – it just worked so well with the other flavours and the texture helped with the softness of the chicken – then that was followed hit of something hot in the mint sorbet was a great end to the main.

Desserts: Deux Crème Brûlée
Side-by-side presentation of green tea and a rose petal Crème Brûlée

Friends who have been visited have told me I need to go for the Chocomosa Anand – but I have a quest to try every interpretation of Crème Brûlée on the planet and I was not disappointed – the rose petal one was the best I have tasted in a long long time – unfortunately it overwhelmed the green tea one – next time I may try that one first.

Anyway for anyone in Cardiff who has not visit the Purple Poppadom (there can’t be many people now) then I would go now – I will be going again very soon.

The full menu is here


It must be my age – I’am getting excited about a new tea shop opening in Cardiff

I’am a big fan of cake – but don’t eat it as much as I would like – but that may change when a new tea shop opens in an historic building in Cardiff some time in March.

photo from bara-koukoug

David is opening a tea shop in the West Lodge by the animal walls in Bute park in Cardiff – I may have to divert my walk to work – so instead of 2 mins from Cardiff Central – a 15 min walk up the stadium walkway may have to do 🙂


So all the waiting is over and the hardest part of starting my Tea Rooms business so far is concluded. I am proud, delighted, elated, humbled and jubilant as I tell you that I have been successful in my tender for the operation of a Tea Rooms as part of the West Lodge redevelopment within Bute Park in Cardiff City Centre.

They will have some competiion as the coffee shop in Bute park is not bad (in the summer) – but at least two coffee shops by the castle have closed recently but we wish him well and look forward to his cakes.

you can follow him on twitter for the latest updates.


Wally’s Kaffeehaus at Wally’s Delicatessen, Cardiff

Mrsuw treated me to lunch today at the newly opened Wally’s Kaffeehaus upstairs in the famous Wallys Delicatessen in Royal Arcade in Cardiff.

I was expecting wooden cladding and  grandeur with chandeliers as it’ was touted as a Viennese Coffee House.

But it was modern and light which was a bit disappointing as the mrs had talked about coffee houses in Austria (as her mother is Austrian) and I was expecting the works with Kaffee und Kuchen.

But never-mind what it looks like.. it was lunch we went for and the open sandwiches were very impressive – I thought a bit pricey.

Wally's Kaffeehaus

but when it arrived they were massive & they were very filling and I left stuffed but happy.

I went for the Tyrol (the sandwichs are named after Austrian Towns/Areas) As the family who own Wally’s – came to the UK from Austria just before the Second World War.

– Roast Chicken Breast and Chorizo with Shaved Manchego Cheese and peppers – it was served on sourdough bread and with a brilliant potato salad with crushed pistachios which added so much .

Wally's Kaffeehaus

to be honest it tasted fantastic – with black olives and rocket with a garlic mayonaaise – highly recommended and a filling lunch.

MrsUW had the Baden – which had pears and German dark smoked ham on seeded bread – she did not share, but said it tasted very good.

Wally's Kaffeehaus

I was expecting more cakes (which we did not partake)but they are open for breakfast, so if you are in arcades pay it a visit.

Wally's Kaffeehaus


Stow-on-the-Wold – not sure what a wold is – but great food at Grapevine Hotel

Myself and mrsuw had a short break (thanks Groupon) at the quaint English town of Stow-on-the-Wold near Cheltenham, we just left before the onslaught of Irish race goers descended on the town for the Cheltenham gold cup this week.

anyway its only 2 hours (going up via the Welsh borders) away and it’s is a different wold (sorry world).

The Cotswold stone buildings are lovely and the way that the architecture has been kept modest is a great example of , if the ultimate chocolate box was asking for pictures then I am sure a scene from Stow-on-the-Wold or the ultimate village Cotswold Broadway would make it every time.

We stayed at Grapevine Hotel – an 17th Century hotel that has had a boutique type makeover with 22 individually styled bedrooms- it was very nice – if you like coordinate wallpaper and comfy chairs (which MrsUW does) – the staff where very friendly but be warned the car park is tiny at the back.

We only stayed for one night, and had an evening meal & bed & breakfast for a very good price.

Dinner in the Conservatory Restaurant I had

Pressé of local game, red onion marmalade – this was lovely but it was served with some Brioche, come crackers or homebacked bread would have been better

Roast rump of lighthorne lamb, gratin potato & Ratatouille
– a wonderful gravy (Jus if you will) – succulent lamb from over the border in Warwickshire.

Assiette of desserts: poached pear, vanilla cheesecake and a white chocolate pannacotta – slightly disappointing the vanilla had sank to the bottom of the pannacotta and the cheescake was a bit dry 🙁

MrsUW had

tian of salmon and crab

pheasant breast with savoy cabbage

a lemon and rhubarb tart with raspberry sorbet – she said the pastry was lovely.

but overall it looked and tasted great and was worth every penny.

Breakfast the next day – was traditional English – but with lovely Gloucester old spot sausages and bacon and the best black pudding I have had in years… we bought some old spot sausages & bacon to take home from the brilliant local butchers Lambournes – it was very tempting not to buy their great pies.. as well – there were some great small shops in the town – the chocolate shop is worth a visit, also it’s home of Scotts of Stow as well – they sell everything you thought you would never need.

onions goggles or pork crackling knife anyone

scottsofstow onions goggles
scottsofstow pork crackling knife

Some great little pubs in Stow – The Queens Head – a traditional boozer with dogs in serving a local pint donnington Brewery BB

Stow-on-the-Wold pubs

and the White Hart a gastro type put but with decent Arkells beer – but empty on a sunday early eve.

Stow-on-the-Wold pubs

anyway there were a few more pubs we did not make it to in the town, but we will be visiting the area again soon – as its a beautiful part of the country.


Snack based island & Cardiff institution – The Hayes Island Snack Bar is it closed?


Food writer Stephen Nottingham thankfully reports that it’s just temporary – great news for Cardiff & snack fans.

A spokesman from First Cafes, who own the snackbar, reassurred me this afternoon that The Hayes Island Snack Bar was merely being refurbished.

Hopefully Stephen will tweet the first roll served on reopening.

Recently featured in Cardiff’s top ten lunch spots at the guardian

I was walking past it today – and shock horror the shutters where up and replaced with a posh burger fan.


The famous tables locked up .



Some great Star Wars Foodie related things – Princess Leia Apron for starters

Thinkgeek has some great Star Wars related items for the sci-fi foodie in your life – to be honest I think I can see myself in the Leia apron 🙂

* Kitchen & BBQ apron that instantly turns you into Slave Leia
* Great way to make cooking dinner or making burgers more sexy
* Alternative: Great way to let your significant other know they are Jabba
* One size fits all, 29″ long
* 100% polyester, machine washable

The death star cookie jar is another great product – no if only I can get moon sized cookies nom


A nice sit down, cup of tea and massive Gammon bap in Barkers Castle Arcade Cardiff

As anyone who knows me would realise that I am not a follower of fashion so would not normally go into the many hipster boutiques scattered around the Victorian arcades of Cardiff, but I made the exception to go to this one, well, the cafe anyway, It’s an add-on to the trendy shop on the corner of Castle Arcade, Barkers.

The food was not cheap , but once I got my smoked ham and brie (I know sorry) toasty I evaluated the price – it was well worth it.

It has the thickness slice of Welsh ham that I have not see since my nan used to try and feed me up when I was a boy.

barker's cafe Massive Ham

It tasted great… and I even had to share some with mrsuw.

They had a great selection of I assume home-made cakes and lots of posh teas (from those teapigs lot) and the obligatory shiny coffee machine – in fact everything was shiny from the bespoke designer chairs to the lamps on the tables there was ironic indie covers of rubbish pop songs in the background, maybe they need to get some Richard Cheese on as well.

barker's cafe Cakes

The cafe looked great design wise (sorry for the photos there was a lot of chrome) – a bit fancy for me – but will be popular with trendies and ladies that lunch, if only they can find it as there are no signs on top of St Mary Street or by the arcade to say their is a new cafe open..

barker's cafe

barker's cafe

If you are of the Fashionista type and are too stuck up for the costa’s, starbucks etc that are littering every high street round the country, then bring your man bags here, but watch out a for bearded tramp like bloke in the corner snacking on a doorstop of ham it maybe me.