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.


Abergavenny Food Festival 2010

Today I went to the Abergavenny Food Festival 2010, I have not been for a few years and things have changed a bit – it’s massive!

If you love queuing then you will love this festival, no honestly it was very busy and was a bit difficult to see the stalls (and take photos) but if you have more than a couple of hours then its a good day out, one tip if you need to buy a day band for Sunday, then pop near post office as the queues were shorter.

They run loads of workshops and demonstrations and they have lots of events around the festival such as poetry and food related conferences, but most people just go for the grub * drink – some great local companies and a lot of the familiar faces you see at the other food festivals around Wales.

Beer & cider knowitall ArfurD & mate of mine was “helping” (ie tasting lots of it) on the Gwatkin stall and kindly got me a half of the always good Norman cider, my only drink of the festival.

Otley brewery had a stall selling their bottles and I saw quite a lot of people walking around swigging from O8 bottles, they will know it tomorrow.

Next year I think I may give the Sunday ago with hope that its not as busy (yea right)


Hair, full frontal nudity, french beer & mud

Last Friday myself and mrsunclwilco went to that London for a short visit.

I had a meeting with a potential sponsor for Shed Week 2011, and they and their PR company treated us both to a great lunch in cote bistro in Soho – good food and a couple of bottles of Kasteel Cru, a French Lager I have not had before and it’s was a pleasant surprise and I have since found out you can get it in Asda.

Kasteel Cru

The food was good simple French style – Scallops with lardons and Steak & Frites with Crème brûlée to follow, yes predictable but its what I fancied!

Anyway they also put us up for the night in a hotel near convent garden and got us tickets for a show, Hair……

with the broadway cast – not sure if that matters but it was a jolly romp of sex,drugs and hair but not as much as I would have thought giving the title.

Another new experience was on our return to Wales, we went off for a SPA day (not SPAR) which I bought for MrsUW birthday swimming, sauna, spa you know the sort of thing. – I know Iam going all sheddiesexual – and I had a Mud steam combi thing, Rasul Mud experience

This traditional Arabian inspired cleansing ritual combines the health enhancing properties of heat, steam and mud for a totally relaxing and skin conditioning treatment in a magical and sensory private environment with twinkling lights and aromatic vapours, whilst jets of steam keep the air warm and moist. Finally, a gentle tropical rain shower washes the mud away.

We got it very cheap from the groupon/myCitydeal Cardiff page – a bargin 60% off.

A great time was had by all.


Paella – Prawn, chicken & chorizo – in a sandwich it can only be Tesco special edition

The warped minds over at tesco have come up with a follow up to their awful lasagne sandwich, with a quick jump across the med to Spain with their “Spanish Paella” sandwich.


It has Prawn, chicken & chorizo on sun dried tomatoe bread, and even has rice in the filling (for filling!), it’s not bad for a at the desk snack, but I dont feel like popping my feet into the Taff and opening a cold San Miguel.

They seem to have filled it with thin chorizo which is always welcome than their nasty chicken, but to be honest I wont be having it again, as its all wrong.

I wonder what their foodboffins will do next a Welsh Cawl sandwich, Moussaka or even Moules-frites (mmm belguim beer)

Beer Food

Cardiff Food & Drink festival 2010 – Cake you say

I managed to only get an hour down the Cardiff bay food & drink festival on the Saturday, but luckily went back with the mrs on the Sunday for the whole afternoon and got home in time for the Football.

cardiff bay food festival 2010

Some great food and drink to be had, we managed a glass of one of the new Neath brewery ales – Green Bullet which was a 6% IPA that was very drinkable on a hot day.

Otley were there in force again this year & I really enjoyed their new O7 Weissen style beer, was lucky to have half on the saturday, as it had sold out by the my return on the Sunday..

cardiff bay food festival 2010

The other beer I had from the Ponty brwer was the O5 which I have not had before, but seen it all over the shop and the O-garden went down well with my better half, hopefully they will have more of the Weissen at their Golden Ale festival this weekend.

I also had a taste of new brewers Untapped and their lovely Eclipse which I may get a few bottles in to add to my Dark collection.

Also had some tasters of the excellent Gwatkin Cider (and bought a bottle of Norman to take home) but not sure about their bar staff 😉 anyway ArfurD has a more in depth review of the beer and brewers that were in attendance.

of course the day was not just about Drinking (boo) but we had plenty of free samples of food and managed to spend a bomb on things such as a Wensleydale & cranberry Scotch Eggs

cardiff bay food festival 2010

Cockles from penclawdd and other seafood

cardiff bay food festival 2010

some great value Venison sausages and the best pastry on any pie I have had in a long time and two massive cakes.

cardiff bay food festival 2010

The atmosphere was great and of course this was helped by the brilliant weather, some great music (which I can’t remember what they were called)


Is it just Cardiff that have Omelettes in Baps?

There is a great little Cafe ,Bistro One in Cardiff City centre I have been visiting for more years than I care to think, and it’s near the stadium and by City Arms , they do these great rolls with Omelettes in.

Today I had a Chicken/Ham & onion one.

Omelette bap

Omelette bap

I have never had them outside of this cafe.. let me know

They are massive and mighty, the cafe is expanding next door, so expect more of the same..

They also go great pancakes… and fry ups if you are up for one on a Sunday morning.

View Larger Map

Blog Food

The Best British Pie goes to Wye Valley Pie from the Goat Major

I know I seem to be posting about the Goat Major a lot recently in fact more than actually going there for a pint!

anyway the Trumpet of Truth (South Wales Echo) reports that head chef Adam has won a pietastic award.

THE best pie in the country is to be found at a Cardiff pub, a competition run by British Pie Week has found.

Adam Pavey, head chef at the Goat Major on High Street in Cardiff, created the award-winning Wye Valley Pie, which was named the winner of the British Pie Week Challenge 2010.

His winning effort includes locally sourced chicken, leeks, asparagus and Tintern Abbey cheese.

Chef Adam, 22, said: “I was really taken aback that I’d won. We were in competition with about 60 other pubs nationwide.”

No brains ale in it? ReciPie here

British Pie Week starts next week more details here


Mmmm…. Marks & Spencer Pistachio and almond cookies

I may be on a diet but how could I resist a Marks & Spencer pistachio and almond cookie, it would be too rude.


Social networking websites do work and they taste good

This morning I had the dilemma, should I have a bacon Sandwich or a Bacon baguette.

Instead of making my own mind up like any right thinking person, I jumped onto facebook and ask people and surprisingly they repied.


I went for the bacon sandwich with black pudding (with red Sauce) as you can see


It was delivered by my colleagues straight to my desk, who kindly walked over to Servini’s in Cardiff’s lard quarter, it is payday so I thought what the heck, and it was mighty tasty.


Are you lazy do you like Malt Loaf?

Well I can answer Yes to both those questions.

But today was a revelation for me, I love a bit of malt loaf with butter on… and now those crazy grape based nutters over at Soreen (website does not look likes its been updated in a while) have produced the ultimate product for anyone who can also say yes they are bone idle and can’t be bothered to cut up their own loaf of malty goodness or event butter it themselves.


A snack sized packet with two slices of malt loaf with anchor butter on.. of course if you have seen this before ignore my excitement… I bought it as part of a boots meal deal, so a tasteless sandwich, a pretend to be healthy drink but something nice and sweet at the end for £2.99 bargain