I have had a completely fabulous, eminently exciting and all-round amazing long weekend. I have travelled to two cities, seen several sights, heard marvellous music and had a thoroughly indulgent time. Here follows a hop, skip and a jump account:
Little Green Cars
It all came about because a brilliant new band, that I have mentioned on here before, were playing in Bristol on Thursday. So I bought two tickets and called up my good friend to see if she fancied having a Clare sleep on her sofa and accompany her to some live music. Luckily she said yes. The gig was so good, the Little Green Cars did not miss a single note or harmony and the venue was so small and intimate you felt like you really got to hear them play.
Jamie's Italian Kitchen
The next day we went to a lunchtime recital by the Bristol University Horn Stars - a very talented jazz and swing band. We then went on and had lunch at Jamie's Italian: the food was absolutely gorgeous! I went for the Cannelloni three ways, it was (I use this word without reservation) splendiferous. And quite frankly, the lemon meringue pie with pistachio brittle was just as exquisite.
After a long and leisurely lunch it was just about time to head to the pub to meet up with some people who had been at work all day! There is one thing in particular worth sharing about that experience, and that is the Flying Dog Galaxy. It was a guest beer I decided to have a try of that came in at a whopping 10%! It was not pleasant: initially it tasted like concentrated like peach squash, but then left you with a bitter aftertaste that made you feel as though you'd just licked a penny. Still, it was an experience!
Well, since I had gone all the way to Bristol, it seemed silly not to grab the train over to Cardiff to see another of my very best and geographically dispersed friends. We spent Saturday afternoon wondering around the arcades of Cardiff city centre. They are like a labyrinth of the lovely, unusual and extremely tempting. Just look at the absolutely gorgeous new boots that I accidentally bought!! I am desperately in love with them. Fact.
We had lunch at La Creperie de Sophie, where I nearly keeled over from the amount of Calvados on the Orchard Gold special! (Worth it though!) And I also bought a new teeny weeny notebook. I know that as a writer I should keep a notebook with me at all times, and I adore notebooks, but the ones I currently own are of a non-inconsiderable weight. So, thanks to Cardiff's arcades, I now have a properly little Gorjuss notebook that will slip in my pocket, handbag or I suppose even down the side of my boots if the need arises!
Time for cocktails
The guest beers of Friday had been fun, but Saturday in Cardiff called for cocktails and Dim Sum at BA Orient in Cardiff Bay. We put on our finest, and started with a fruity punch. I followed the above with a Golden Geisha - my favourite of the night - that contained Bombay Sapphire Gin, peach liqueur, golden syrup and raspberry. Yes.
We consumed food too, the chicken satay was the best I have ever encountered but the honey bbq pork buns were not so hot. They were like a tough marshmallow, that looked like a giant piece of popcorn, with sweet meat in it. I warn you now, stick with the satay. Finally, I rounded things off with a Flaming Zombie: if you have never had one you should. This is the second place I have found that serves them: five different rums, laced with Absinthe and tasting of fruit juice. Yummy, and it really is flaming.....
Sunday slow down
Since I had been having a ridiculous romp of a weekend, Sunday morning seemed like the right time for a slow stroll around Cardiff Bay. (It was also the perfect warm up for a coffee and some fruit toast I thought).
A final treat...
All of that excitement and budget-blowing fantasticalness, and waiting for me when I got back home was yet another special treat: my very first delivery from Bean and Ground. At pretty much the same price as supermarket coffee, I decided a couple of weeks ago that the £7/month was completely worth it for new, quality coffee every month. So now, I am looking forward to my Monday morning too!