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!

P1030583 P1030585 P1030587 P1030588

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.

P1030589 P1030593 P1030594 P1030595 P1030597 P1030598 P1030600 P1030602 P1030603 P1030604

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!


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

P1030613 P1030615 P1030616 P1030617

Delicious and demolished!

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

P1030623 P1030624

P1030625 P1030626 P1030628 P1030631 P1030634 P1030636 P1030638

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…

P1030633 P1030641

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….

P1030648 P1030649 P1030651

And creme brulee for meeee!

P1030650 P1030654 P1030659

All rounded off with a round of Lemoncello. Dreamy.

P1030663 P1030662

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


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..

P1030545 P1030548 P1030550 P1030554 P1030560 P1030561 P1030565 P1030567 P1030570 P1030573 P1030576 P1030582

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.

P1030497 P1030499 P1030502

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

P1030504 P1030506

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

P1030503 P1030532

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.

P1030533 P1030508 P1030511 P1030512 P1030514 P1030516 P1030518 P1030517

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.

P1030520 P1030521 P1030523 P1030527 P1030528 P1030531 P1030536

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?…

P1030537 P1030538 P1030540

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…




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….





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.


And up we trekked!

Always a good time for a selfie..



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


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




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.

P1030231  P1030234 P1030237

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!












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.




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!







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).


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.



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


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


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



All tasty dishes that filled the bellies! 

The best course however was definitely pudding…

Gooey chocolate cake with an orange marmalade sauce.



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



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.






How cute?!


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.


The moody view across the river outside the market…


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!



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!…





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.




The next bar was a quick beer stop…


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.






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.

Budapest Part 1

Unlike my last trip (and blog post) to Istanbul, my trip to Budapest with my sister was on a budget. We flew with RyanAir, booked a hostel and budgeted our whole trip, something I actually enjoy doing. We’d heard Budapest was cheap, but just how cheap we weren’t quite prepared for.

We arrived at 3am (not ideal) to our ‘hostel‘ which turned out to be a whole self catered apartment! (pretty ideal). We stayed on the Pest side of the city just off Andrássy út close to all the sights.

We woke up the next morning to a bright and beautiful interior balcony.


Our first morning in Pest was a drizzly, so we bimbled  around, finding breakfast in quiet but large nearby market, and eventually sitting down to some traditional Hungarian comfort food and shelter from the rain.


Sweet paprika stew and meat and bread dumplings for a couple of quid! Tasted great but tasted even better knowing the price.

After lunch we headed down to the river, the clouds parted and we had a wonderful view over to the Buda side of the city.


And of the (strangely very new) parliament building on our Pest side.


We walked along the river a came across this thought provoking Jewish memorial.


Next on the agenda was ice cream!

We found this place near our apartment on Andrássy út where you could chose your ingredients and then they would make your ice cream in front of you on cold plates, very cool. I went for banana and peanut butter mmmmm *drools*. Unfortunately I  didn’t take a photo as I was too busy eating. This is them making it though on the cold plate…


That evening we headed out for some drinks at the well known Szimpla Kert, an edgy looking venue made of of disused building surrounding an outdoor garden area. There are multiple bars for different types of drink and loads of interesting stair cases and rooms. One of the coolest bars I have ever been to – would highly recommend!






A few beers and cocktails later our awesome first day in Budapest came to an end.

The next day we woke up to glorious sunshine and headed to the market we’d been to the previous day for breakfast. Lots of fruit and pastries were purchased and eaten.



After filling our tummies we hopped (literally…see below) back down Andrassy Ut past the Opera House into town to do more exploring!



We decided to cross the Chain Bridge to see what the historic Buda side of the city had to offer…..





…and started to climb up to the Royal Palace and National Gallery.


When we reached the top we were greeted by the hilarious display of the Hungarian changing of the guard. No offence to any Hungarians but it was more like a dance routine than anything else! 


There were more great views from the top.




Me loving life.


The National Gallery…


And the castle…




And more glorious views over the river looking to Pest.



After mooching around on the hill and taking in the beautiful buildings and view, we headed back to Pest to experience one of the things Budapest is most famous for; it’s thermal baths. We went to the largest of the baths ‎Széchenyi at the top of Pest, I cannot recommend it enough. We spent four hours mulling in the warm waters and feeling on top of the world.




Even though from these pictures it looks busy, it wasn’t really and it was easy to find your own space and drift into a dreamy mermaid state – blissful. 

After all that ‘swimming’ (ahem), we were starving, so headed back to Szimpla Kert to find an amazing looking burger van which we’d spotted the day before.


Oh daymn these burgers were goooood.


Mine had cheese, beer cooked onions, pickles and salad in it. Perfection. 

And the fries…….were just unreal.



Above it my sister’s burger with coleslaw, cheese, the same onions and god knows what else tasty stuff. The van prided itself on using it’s own locally made beer in the burger recipes.




And that, naturally, was a very full end to our second day in Budapest and Part 1 of this blog post.

Pretty great looking city so far right?!

Thanks for reading.

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.


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


Not bad eh?

Me ready for the day ahead..

N & G 2014 Istanbul 002

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







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.




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…


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


 N & G 2014 Istanbul 045


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).


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.




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



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.


And then (yes there’s more)….


The most tender barbecued octopus.


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.


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


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 


All gone.



Tipsily we walked back stuffed to the guest house!

The next morning we looked inside the beautiful Hagia Sophia.




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!

Istanbul Day 1

So I am back on the blogging scene after graduating and ready to start showing y’all my travels! The next few posts will show my travels in the last month. After that I’m hoping to do more ‘live’ as they happen posts of my travelling.


I set off for a 2 day trip to Istanbul last month with my sister and aunties. I had never been to Turkey and was super excited to experience the culture, sights and food.

We arrived at night and woke up the next day to glorious sunshine and a wonderful buffet breakfast (pictures in the next post…..I’m talking fresh fruit, cakes, fruit….the good stuff) in the guest house we were staying. We were staying near Hagia Sophia and all the big sights so set off on our first morning for a day of exploring.

The Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.






We then had a wonder round the huge and wonderfully interesting Archaeological Museum.



P1020578 P1020583


After all that walking we felt we deserved a well earned lunch (nothing great to talk about here unfortunately) and first cup of Turkish tea (which was wonderful).


We spent the afternoon bimbling more and picking up an appetite for dinner. We stumbled across a little place (can’t remember or find the name of it online anywhere!!) where you could chose your fish from a refrigerated platter, then take a seat with a glass of wine and wait for it to be cooked on the barbecue out back. We went for the sea bream and when it arrived oh mann…BBQ goodness…





Demolished! And all washed down with lots of wine and a spot of Raki…


A wonderful first day in Istanbul! Day 2 post to follow soon.