Cake & Tea, Pizza & Pasta in Cardiff

Lots more food porn here….

If you haven’t read my first blog post of me showcasing Cardiff to my family check it out here! 

Another day of taking my aunties and sister to my favourite food spots in Cardiff promised to be another tasty one.

After a leisurely breakfast and stroll through the city centre, shopping and such, we wandered down the ornate arcades for a spot of afternoon tea and cake. Baker Tea house is my favourite in Cardiff. The interior decoration is beautiful and the range of teas and hot chocolates are to die for. On this occasion we sat outside in the arcade itself and enjoyed hot tea from the cast iron pots, milkshakes and smoothies from glass jars, and a slice of cake…..yummy!

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I enjoyed a coconut milkshake and a pot of fruit chai tea. My sister went for a mixed berry smoothie, and we shared banana and white chocolate cake! Truly indulgent.

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We spent the afternoon exploring more of Cardiff city centre, then returned home for a little rest before more food!

I booked at table at Cafe Citta for dinner – an amazing Italian restaurant I have been to once before. It’s just off St Mary’s street and is highly rated amongst locals as being an amazing Italian and one of the best places to eat in Cardiff. They serve beautiful pasta dishes, hand spun pizzas cooked in a wood burning oven, and wonderful daily specials – all cooked in a kitchen no bigger than my bedroom.

As usual we arrived to a bustling small restaurant oozing the heavenly smell of garlic.

Naturally we ordered a bottle of prosecco to start proceedings!

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For starters we shared brusheccta, olives, and (my favourite) polenta smothered in Dolce Latte cheese *drools*.

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Delicious and demolished!

As we waited for our mains to arrive, I watched (and tried to snap) the chef spinning pizzas to the ceiling…

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I had to go for pizza, and ordered one loaded with goats cheese, mozzarella, Italian meat and pepper. My sister ordered the seafood linguine which I have had before. Al dente pasta nestling sweet soft seafood…

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Stuffed to the brim we went on to order pudding.

Cheese cake with some sort of fruit compote on top (wine=vague memory loss) and tiramisu for them….

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And creme brulee for meeee!

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All rounded off with a round of Lemoncello. Dreamy.

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And with that last meal it was time to say goodbye to my sister and aunties. It had been a great weekend with great company! I’m so glad I managed to show them all my favourite spots in Cardiff – places that I would highly recommend to you all too!

Thanks for reading!

Stay tuned for more posts – I upload every Monday and Friday.

Nicole x

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Veggy Feastings in Cardiff

Last weekend my sister and aunties came to visit me in my current home and favourite place; Cardiff.

My sister visits me quite a lot, however my aunties have never been here and I was keen to show them my adopted home city and all it had to offer – mainly my favourite food spots!

On our first day, we spent the afternoon wandering the quiet halls of the National Museum of Art gazing at Monet, Derain & Turner to name but a few..

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All that gallery gazing meant we had worked up an appetite, and the first restaurant I decided to take us to was my favourite vegetarian spot in Cardiff – Milgi.

They do glorious vegetarian food using local organic ingredients, serve organic wine, and do killer cocktails.

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Me and my aunty (excuse newly threaded and red eyebrows)…

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The cocktail menu – I decided to go for a delicious sounding Watermelon Collins.

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Choosing food here is a struggle because everything sounds so good!

For starter we all shared nachos with bean chilli, veggies, sour cream, jalapeños and salsa, and Mexican quesadillas with mango salsa. All spicey heaven.

Oh and mixed berry bellinis and more cocktails of course.

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And onto the main courses.

Tortilla stack with crispy tortillas, refried beans, spiced potatoes, melted cheese, mango salsa, toasted quiona and seedy green salad &

Chickpea and sesame burger with tomato, gem lettuce, whipped feta, pickled red onion, alfala sprouts, wedges and slaw.

Courgette and potato curry with pickled onion, rice, aubergine and tomato pakora and cucumber raita.

All absolutely delicioussss.

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Even though we were stuffed we couldn’t resist trying the puddings too!

I went for (the biggest portion) of Cinnamon Doughnuts with spiced chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream and my sister went for Lemon and Almond trifle with sherry raspberries, custard and cream.

You’re drooling at just the description right?…

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Another fabulous meal in Milgi.

And I won’t embarrass myself by putting up the clubbing photos taken after this meal………

Stayed tuned for part 2 of my Cardiff weekend on Friday! Thanks for reading!

(Oh and if anyone has any foody recommendations in Cardiff please comment 🙂 )

Budapest Part 3

Check out part 1 and part 2 of my trip if you haven’t already!

Our last day in Budapest was a beautiful, sunny one which made leaving even harder.

We headed to our usual market and enjoyed a serenaded breakfast in the park…

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We decided to spend our morning venturing over to the Buda side of the city and hike up to Gellert – a woodland green park on a big hill with a huge statue at the top, which would no doubt be good for some final snaps.

We crossed a very windy bridge in the south of the city at the start of our exploration….

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And looked up to where we would be walking!

A Jurassic looking waterfall at the bottom gave us a nice cool spray before the long hike up to Gellert.

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And up we trekked!

Always a good time for a selfie..

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The statue at the top reflected our mood of reaching the top..victoryy.

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As we’d expected the views were incredible of the city and the bridge we had just crossed.

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Me and my new found favourite city.

After a potter at the top and looking at the city from all angles, we trotted back down again under the cool shade of the trees.

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We headed back to the city centre to chill in the water pool in Erzsebet Square and look up at the Budapest Eye – a super expensive temporary attraction we avoided.

We sat here for ages paddling in the water and catching the suns rays……before heading to a beer festival conveniently only a few steps away!

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We had chocolate beer which was uhmazinggg. Cold, creamy and rich. Nothing beats a good European beer festival in the summer!

And before we knew it it was time for our last meal before heading back home. We found a great, cheap Italian place in the shadows of the Opera House (surprisingly) on Hajos Utca which served mammoth pizzas and pasta dishes – just what we needed before heading to the airport.

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Simply deliciously carb heaven.

After that went to the most amazing ice cream parlour that we’d heard was the best in Budapest, and it sure lived up to our expectations. It’s called Fragola and you must go if you visit Pest! I was too busy eating and gawping at the flavours to remember to take photos.

So that marks the end of my trio of Hungarian blog posts. I can easily say Budapest is the best European city I have been to so far! Great sights, food, bars, people, weather and prices. I cannot recommend it enough to any city lover of any age.

Stayed tuned and follow for more posts coming your way soon – I upload every Monday and Friday! Thanks for reading!

Budapest Part 2

If you haven’t already read my part 1 blog post read it here!

Our 3rd day in the glorious city of Budapest was upon us and we started the day off with our usual market breakfast of fruit, pastries and cakes. We set off to the river side and parliament building for more bimblings in the muggy heat. The sun refused to come out to play on this day!

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Before we knew it it was time to eat again, and we headed to a modern looking restaurant with a huge garden we’d spotted the day before called Bordo Bisztro. We had three courses and a cocktail each for less than £5 each (still can’t get over the value you can get in Hungary).

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To start I had cold cucumber and mint soup which was creamy, garlicky and delicious. My sister had warming Goulash soup. All washed down with a Mojito and Bloody Mary.

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The best Bloody Mary I have ever had –  heavy on the Tabasco, vinegar and vodka.

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For main I went for griddled herbed chicken, veggies and rice.

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And my sister opted for pork skewers on sweet potato cake.

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All tasty dishes that filled the bellies! 

The best course however was definitely pudding…

Gooey chocolate cake with an orange marmalade sauce.

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With bellies full and our pockets not much lighter for it we headed to the Central Market to gawp at more food!

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The market had the most amazing array of meats, cheese, spices (namely Hungarian paprika and saffron), pickles, fruit, pastries and other non-food goods that we obviously had no interest in.

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How cute?!

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The top floor of the market had an array of traditional Hungarian eateries and cafes selling stews, hunks of cooked meat, potato dishes, and other typical Hungarian fair! Looked great but slightly pricey for Budapest.

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The moody view across the river outside the market…

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On our walk back to our apartment we came across the most wonderful ice cream place. Hungary is apparently famous for exporting lavender, and this little ice cream parlour used lavender and other herbs and spices in it’s ice cream to create taste sensations!

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On my cone I had dark chilli and chocolate ice cream, which was utterly rich, spicy and delicious, and vanilla and lavender which cooled down the chilli heat and was floral and wonderful.

I got a bit excited by my new found flavour combination!…

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And with that all gone, we headed back to the room to chill before going out for drinks later that evening.

We decided to go back to the Jewish Quarter area of Pest where we had been before. The first bar we stopped at played jazz music and had cute hats on the ceiling as lampshades.

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The next bar was a quick beer stop…

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And before we knew it we were back in Szimpla Kert from the previous night! We sat up stairs this time in one of the old gutted graffiti’d buildings.

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After many a drink, we walked home and may or may not have had a kebab on the way…… guilty.

Another great day in Budapest even with out the sunshine!

Thanks for reading! The final post of my trip will be up on Monday.

Istanbul Day 2

This is a big ol’ post so be prepared.

Our first day in Istanbul had been great and we woke up the next day keen for more exploration! 

Another wonderful buffet breakfast was laid on at our guest house, with a great view to match.

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Note I had another plate of fruit, 3 freshly made pancakes with honey, a plate of home made pastries and cake (hand made by the cooks in the guest house every afternoon!) So good. Too busy eating to take photos of it all oops.

And our little breakfast view over the Bosphorus…P1020660

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Not bad eh?

Me ready for the day ahead..

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Our first stop that day was the cool, damp depths of the the Underground Bascilica Cistern, once an underground storage for water.

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Very interesting and a lovely cool escape from the suns heat.

We then head off the the famous Grand Bazaar for a bit of shopping and bartering.

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My new hand gear. I tried bartering but failed miserably so left it to the pro – my aunty.

The bazaar sold all sorts of treats, although I wouldn’t particularly recommend going there as a young female without a male…

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Naturally we had to stop for a few snacks. These carts were dotted all around the city.

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And of course a kebab! Kebab houses are everywhere too. These ones from a place just outside the bazaar were very good – doner meat, salad and yoghurt.

We thought we’d better experience some hubbly bubbly pipe too (a healthy day as you can tell).

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After a busy day, we went back to the guest house terrace for the rest of the afternoon to relax before what was about to be the best dining experience I have had to date.

We had booked a table at Giriliti Restoran on Keresteci Hakki Sokak (I don’t know how you say that either) and after a little trouble finding it walked into a lovely hidden garden with a wood burning oven fire with a man cooking bread and pastry. P1020787

Firstly the service as soon as we sat down was amazing, so friendly but not intruding.

The only menu Giriliti offers is a type of mezze, and boy were we in for a treat.

First course some sort of fish based ‘pilaf’, think it was more like orzo pasta though. Delish.

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Next up were 15 plates of yummyness; sea food, salads, hummus, pickles etc.

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All soooo good. I got a bit too full here not knowing how much more food was to come, oops.

Next up we had a pastry (made by the guy manning the wood fired oven outside) filled with Turkish cheese, spinach and topped off with seeds.

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And then (yes there’s more)….

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The most tender barbecued octopus.

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A ring of lightly battered squid with a scoop of something delicious but I have no idea what, very moreish.

Next we had a choice of fish, I opted for sardines in vine leaves. Delicious but I forgot how I don’t like vine leaves, rooky error.

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Finally (stuffed) we rounded things off with freshly fried mini doughnuts and ice cream made in a fryer outside near the wood burning oven.

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The best dinner I’ve ever eaten hands down. And as far as I’m aware, it didn’t break the bank either.

We also sampled some honey, florally liquor 

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All gone.

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Tipsily we walked back stuffed to the guest house!

The next morning we looked inside the beautiful Hagia Sophia.

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Then reluctantly hopped on a flight back to the UK.

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Istanbul! It’s a beautiful city with a lot to offer and some great food if you look in the right places. I also forgot to mention we spent the first afternoon in Turkish baths, a MUST if you visit Istanbul!! I’m not sure if it is somewhere I would visit as a back-packer or with friends, but for this kind of trip it was a perfect location. If I go again I would love to go on a boat ride on the Bosphorus, and visit the Asian side of the city.

Stay tuned for a string of posts on my trip to Budapest!