Eleven talented Cardiff artists showing in one space for three weeks in the heart of town.
Mostly painters, the work is colourful and bold, and ranges from familiar urban landscapes seen anew by artist Sebastian Aplin, a newcomer to Cardiff, abstract pieces by Aidan Myers, surrealist portraits by rising star Arron Kuiper using original techniques, to beautiful paintings imagined Welsh landscapes by Glenn Carney and exquisite still lifes by Lynne Cartlidge.
Also introducing the extraordinary Jacqueline Jones paintings and illustrations by Ian Cooke and printwork by Bill Chambers. Jon Pountney, founder of Cardiff’s fotofringe festival has 2 photographic pieces in the show, reflecting Cardiff in the heat.
Every biker loves summer riding – the sense of freedom as you roar along, your two wheels glued to the surface of the road.
Sadly, summer doesn’t last forever. It won’t be long until you need to retrieve your thick textile trousers from the back of the wardrobe, and watch out for slippery leaves on damp autumnal roads.
GetGeared want to ease the transition from this season to the next – so they are giving away £500 in gift vouchers to one lucky website visitor. That’s enough to buy the latest Alpinestars jacket and trousers with matching gloves, a top helmet from Shoei or Arai, or the parts you need to service your motorbike ahead of the worst of the British weather!
To be in with a chance of winning, go to http://www.getgeared.co.uk/win-getgeared-vouchers
First Cardiff Pointe homes to be unveiled
Potential buyers will next week (July 4) be able to get their first look at the new homes being built as part of a £200m development on the edge of Cardiff Bay.
At a launch event at St David’s Hotel & Spa on July 4, the first properties to be released at Cardiff Pointe will be unveiled.
The development next to Cardiff Bay Yacht Club will create a new residential quarter and next week’s launch will see the first of 100 homes to be built on the site made available to buyers.
These will include one, two and three-bedroom apartments and four and five-bedroom family homes, all designed and built by developer Figurehead Homes.
Cardiff estate agents Allen & Harris has been appointed by Figurehead as sole agent for the new homes, and has already had interest in the properties from a number of potential buyers.
“This fantastic development overlooking Cardiff Bay is set to become a major landmark in the city,” says Andrew Symonds, Land & New Homes Partner at Allen & Harris.
“Early interest suggests that it is going to be tremendously popular so we are advising anyone interested in buying one of the new homes to get in touch with us as soon as possible to be among the first receive more details.”
As well as views over Cardiff Bay, Penarth Marina, the Bristol Channel and Somerset, Cardiff Pointe will provide easy access to the city centre and nearby road and rail links.
Facilities on offer will include convenience shopping, bars, restaurants and coffee shops, and the existing and proposed facilities at the Cardiff International Sports Village.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the properties available at Cardiff Pointe should call 0845 340 3927 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
More about the development can be found at www.cardiffpointe.co.uk
[Ed. do we need any more homes in Cardiff Bay?]
Riverside Market’s (and other venues) infamous crepes have found a permanent home:
Finally! We have a home!
LA CREPERIE DE SOPHIE – THE UK’S N°1 SPECIALIST CREPE MAKER OPENS ITS FIRST SHOP IN CARDIFF CENTRE
Cardiff’s first authentic French Crêpe shop – La Creperie de Sophie – is due to open in Cardiff’s High Street Arcade (#16) on the 28th of June 2012.
The growing craze for French crêpes throughout Wales and the UK, along with the excellent feedback and continuously rising demands from customers over the past 4 years finally convinced Loïc and his team to open their first “La Crêperie de Sophie” shop in Cardiff.
The “Creperie” will offer a wide range of traditional crêpes and galettes (all freshly baked to order) on a fixed menu, as well as an Olympic Menu this summer with up to ten different special recipes featured throughout the Olympic games period. Prices will range from £3 to £6 on average, with lunch-time menus available each day. LCDS will also serve numerous hot and cold drinks, ice creams and French “Pâtisseries”.
La Crêperie de Sophie’s amazing journey began in 2008 in Llantwit Major nestled in the southern corner of East Wales. Loïc Moinon, a Frenchman born and raised in Brittany – the crêpe capital of the world – decided to fulfil his desire to share his culture and passion for food with British people, whilst making the most of this opportunity to communicate his unconditional love for his wife, Sophie.
Since then, Loïc and his team of Artisans Crêpiers have attended local & farmers’ markets, weddings, private parties and public and corporate events galore, enabling people to enjoy their “oh so delicious” sweet crêpes and savoury galettes, all made using only the best ingredients.
This tiny cafe-style eaterie in Canton proudly boasts its menu emblazoned on its front window. It’s cheap – and has been on the list of places for me to try for some while.
A fearsome appetite was the only excuse to wander in with my partner; no booking necessary.
Imagine a British-style greasy spoon cafe. Don’t get me wrong, I love a greasy spoon. But cuisine from other countries has a special quality. It’s the lure of the exotic, even in a cheap place. Falafel Wales is halal and concentrates on Middle Eastern food, with a Lebanese bent.
There were a lot of really nice-sounding salads and things as starters, but my dining partner and I plumped for mains straight away; for me, a chicken Shawarma with chips, mixed pickles, salad and a flatbread (£5.95). It was mountainous. And tasty. The chips were fries, as is the way with most middle-eastern places I’ve been to. The mound of chicken pieces atop the flatbread was full of flavour, with lots of brown meat. For the price of a Burger King Whopper meal I got an eminently satisfying plate.
My partner went for the chicken sheesh tawooq – cubes of chicken, marinated with herbal olive oil and lemon juice, cooked on skewers and served on a flatbread, with salad and rice (£4.95). The chicken was great, again with lots of flavour from the marinade. And another big portion.
Puddings were five baklava pieces, all gooey and sweet. Hard to go wrong with a £2.50 pudding. For me, I had an oum ali (£3) – described as a traditional Egyptian dessert of pastry, milk, fresh cream, sugar and nuts, served hot. I had to ask for it to be reheated, but it was pretty fine. <imIt had something of a school pudding about it, which was no bad thing. By this point I was so full I had to leave a quarter of it. The lovely manageress/chef offered to pack it up for me to take home, but I declined. She also was happy to explain to me the Turkish coffees (£1.50, just 25p more than the advertised ‘Nescafe’!). They arrived in small, delicate mugs, all thick, stewed and sweet. They had an odd, minty, burned taste that wasn’t unpleasant, just… odd. Turns out, as explained to me, that the very finely ground coffee is infused with cardomom. I’m not sure I’d go for another one, but certainly it was interesting to try.
In total, a sub-£20 bill for all that, plus a couple of cans of coke. Falafel Wales is an absolute bargain if you place tasty, voluminous, interesting food above decor. A big thumbs-up from the gourmand in me, if not the gourmet.
Words by James McLaren
Taking the place of the Cardiff Arts Institute (fairly decent hipster venue), comes this Brains-owned city centre pub/restaurant. Sited on Park Place, within easy reach of academics, theatre types and governmental staff, it seems to cater for a fairly affluent lunch and evening meal market, but with prices designed to work on a budget.
The current fashion for food to be served on pieces of tree gave us a great spread of soft baton bread, salad, oils and olives (mixed, plump, juicy and garlic-y) atop an aesthetically-pleasing plank.
More traditionally-served were our mains: I went for a sirloin, topped with crumbled stilton and apricot chutney (£12.95). I often choose steak to test the basic skills of the chef; the request is always that it comes rare. A minor complaint is that mine came medium-rare at best, slightly more toward medium in places. It still retained a light pinkness at the very middle, but I like mine to have the pliant, red-pink softness and depth of flavour that a truly rare steak can give. That said, the taste was still good, and the (slightly 1970s?) combination with the apricot and cheese worked well. I asked about the cheese: it resembled a slice of cheddar in its colour and melting behaviour, but our extremely helpful and friendly waiter was able to confirm with the chef that this was a harder style of stilton without the prevalent blue of the more traditional forms. Indeed I think had it been runny with the acidic tanginess of a traditional blue stilton, it may not have worked so well. The flavours balanced extremely well – and the mound of French fries and salad were perfectly decent (the salad was fresh as a daisy, crisp and tangy).
My partner went for three dishes from the tapas selection: lamb koftas with mint yoghurt, hot coated chicken wings and a flame-roasted artichoke hearts. All three dishes were greeted with pleasure, especially the artichoke hearts. I tried the koftas – they seemed well-seasoned with a lovely cumin flavour to the sweet meat. I can’t vouch for how much of the tapas is prepared in-house, but at £7.50 for three hearty dishes, who’s complaining.
We went for a single sample of all three red wines Bacchus have by the 175ml glass. The Fraser’s Bay Pinotage (£3.75) was perfectly drinkable, without the sometimes offputting banana odours of some pinotages. The Concho Y Tora Chilean merlot (£3.75) was as you’d expect – a mass-produced merlot that offends no-one in its quaffable roundedness – and the McGuigan Private Bin Shiraz (£4.00) was a bit disappointing.
Having had some spectacular shirazes by the glass recently, it’s annoying to find one on a wine list that’s so insipid. Advertised on the list as having “Dark cherry and plum characters, finishing with attractive tannins” it was peculiarly flavourless, with an aroma of rubber on the nose.
On a more general point, given that Bacchus – named after the Roman god of wine and good living – is run by Brains, I assume their drinks are centrally-bought. But these days parcels of really good wines are available to wine buyers, even purchasing down to a price. I would encourage firms like Brains to raise their game when buying in their wine; consumers deserve to be treated well, even at the sub-£5.00 price bracket. Concha Y Toro is a wine for corner shops; let’s have some imagination. Wouldn’t it be nice to see the very best Welsh wines on the Brains lists too?
Minor quibbles with the drinks aside, we moved on to puddings. A dairy-free summer fruit crumble was dispensed with in short order by my partner. Nice moist fruit filling and a tasty crumble mix – a good job. My pecan and caramel cheesecake with vanilla ice cream was delicious, a seriously rich and flavoursome confection. If I was being picky, the ice cream hadn’t been kept at a constant temperature, so there were a few flakes of ice in there.
This was a very enjoyable evening in a decent new venue. The decor has moved away from the colour-clash artiness of the CAI towards a sober, classy kind of thing. It’s finding its feet as a working, living venue, so a Christian band was getting its God on upstairs, and as we came to the end of our meal a zumba class was setting up below our seating area, on the polished floor.
I can’t praise the staff enough; enthusiastic and helpful, the fact that they had tasted every single dish on the menu, and understood them, shows a level of care that is to be applauded in a chain. Just under £50 was the bill, without service, and I think that was perfectly fair.