Our voyage to South Wales – day three – Cardiff Market

by | Aug 8, 2023 | Latest Post | 0 comments

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Breakfast or no breakfast?

Is there a best time to have breakfast in the hotel.  If it is advertised 7 am to ten am you will probably get a lot of late risers arriving at 9:45 hoping for service. You would also get a burst of early risers at 7am wanting to make their way somewhere else.  I recommend best time as 10 minutes before the hour,  7.50 or 8.20.  If you are arrive too late some of the best food will be gone and it is not necessarily replenished.  I find scrambled eggs can get dry very quickly. Why do they always supply the worst quality bread to put in the toaster.  If I remember rightly on a previous visit we set fire to the toaster by putting through a croissant. That was fun and raised a cheer.

Yesterday morning I composed a good ‘collage’ of porridge, yogurt, fresh fruit, Wheatabix plus  two coffees.   We pay £9.50 of privilege of having  a full buffet breakfast.  If I went out and got a coffee and  croissant  it would probably cost me a fiver so might as well pay and get on with it.

However, this morning we were lying in bed and we asked ourselves if we really did want a  breakfast.  We decided not to as we were not that hungry  so decided to remain in bed and lounge around.  That is why I do not do advance ordering because you never know.  You cannot get a refund if you are paid and then do not turn up for whatever reason. We contented ourselves with a cup of tea made with one of those little kettles that takes an age to boil, and the horrible ‘milk’ in the little plastic container that you have to fiddle with for ever to open without spilling the contents.

Off to Cardiff Market

Yesterday we did not have what I would call a birthday meal  so we decided to go to the center of Cardiff and find a place that specialized in fish which is the favorite of Francoise.   First of all we went to the market. This is a very famous and longstanding market where all sorts of quirky and minority outlets can be found. I guess that the council do not charge people huge amounts of rent and rates to enable a continuation of old food customs.

It is very thoughtful of the designers of the market to have some free space for eating whether it is your own food or food bought on the premises. There are no warning notices. It is a very relaxed place where for all I know people just come in for the warmth during the winter. The picture is from the balcony upstairs

This is one of the largest collection of vinyl LPS that I’ve seen in many a long time. They are in many instances rare items and were selling for around the £30 mark and had I lingered I would have found more expensive exampales.

This is one of the largest collection of vinyl LPS that I’ve seen in many a long time. They are in many instances rare items and were selling for around the £30 mark and had I lingered I would have found more expensive exampales.

We then went to have a pre-lunch drink.  Wetherspoons is reliable as you know what you are going to pay and that you will get good quality. WE like Pino Gringo wine.  After we had finished I heard people talking French and I turned around to see a husband and wife with their three children talking animatedly.

I was very  attracted to them and suggested that Francoise  go and have a chat to the mother and see where they were from. After initial hesitation she did so and had a lovely talk. It’s turns out they were taking three weeks to go around Europe on a camper van where they will slept obviously they were off to Ireland via the ferry  from Fishguard and then to Scotland.

A delayed birthday meal

With then went to have lunch at a previously chosen Portuguese restaurant called Ty Madeira. It was at 32 Saint Mary Street which is the main strolling and shopping Street in Cardiff and leads up to the castle at the end. It was recommended on TripAdvisor. On this social Media platform I ignore the very bad reviews and the gushing reviews but if more than 80% of the reviews are five star or four star I will go for it.

The waiters were Spanish and served us if efficiently but as if to a mass market. The food was served quickly that was pretty standard though I have to say the fish was fresh. We had grilled sardines for starters and the birthday girl had some swordfish come out which she has not had for years,. Swordfish is very substantial and is like a meal in itself so the plate did not come with anything other than the fish itself. She would have appreciated a salad with it. However the fish was excellent and cooked to perfection.

I had a Portuguese chicken cooked in wine. The bill without wine came to about 40 pounds which for a fish meal it’s pretty good. Extra-like wine and coffee would have put the price up substantially. I was told that 500 people had booked for the weekend. You don’t get that number of Advanced bookings without a good reputation so I will let the reputation speak for itself.

We then had a walk in the nearby Cathay Park, after sampling a Portuguese tart (small but tasty) and a coffee. Special offer £4.10 We sat in the street overlooking the castle. After about an hour walking we decided that we were tired and took the boat from the park right round to Cardiff Bay. Theoretically we could have walked home but we seemed to gravitate towards the ferry. The cost was Seven Pounds per person.

A surprise invader in the park.  Cardiff must have spend millions on art of all kinds. It was in my opinion worth it.

We then decided that we were a bit tired and so back to the hotel. I decided to go for an evening walk, took the wrong direction and ended up in the city centre again. I visited Cardiff Central train station which was a little bit bleak at this time of evening. All the barrier gates had been left open and on the departure boards I noticed there was a local train to Manchester Piccadilly that took the best part of three hours. There were many trains going up valleys that I had never heard of.

Thus ended the dynamic part of our trip. I returned and did a little bit of reading, watching TV etc. Although it seemed to be Freeview the number of channels on hotel controlled TV is very limited and I think it works on some sort of satellite system. I say that because if you change channels it takes a few moments to find the new channel. Classical Freeview is much better. I guess the establishment pays a large fee to show and use TV

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