Finally! The day of the Big Move arrived (incidentally, this was also the day I realised our windscreen is ridiculously dirty. But anyhoo). The Returning Cardiffian (RC) and I left London on a frosty, sparkling white morning, our bare essentials piled into Po, our Ford Focus, and set off for the WEST under a clear blue sky.
It was definitely a bittersweet feeling, farewelling a place we have both loved so much and that has changed our lives, but tempered with excitement for the future. What new opportunities and adventures will Cardiff bring? (I am holding out for the opportunity of the Reduced Commute but we will see how that goes).
The drive itself is, understandably, rather uneventful. I will therefore leave it to Gavin and Smithy to liven up the rather expensive Severn Bridge toll (£6.60!!) – with thanks to BBC Three of course:
Fast-forwarding through the boring stuff (picking up keys, moving boxes, unpacking yada yada yada) the most important things were then (1) find food and (2) explore. Both of which were easily achieved in the same space – Central Cardiff.
Delicious eats – Pieminister
Okay so yes I have eaten Pieminister pies before. However – I have never eaten in a Pieminister restaurant before, so that has to count for something! A steaming hot Pieminister pie, on a plate (rather than a cardboard box), oh the luxury. And on a cold, grey winter’s day, pie was exactly what was needed.
RC went for the Feast of Stephen, the Christmas special which comes not only with a Christmas pie+mash+gravy, but also red cabbage (deliciously scented with star anise and other spices), a ‘chrimbo stick’ comprising sprouts, pigs in blankets and stuffing, and a mince pie ice cream pie for dessert. That’s right – a mince pie ice cream pie. Think about that for a minute.
I opted for a Christmas pie also (Mistle Moo, beef and Stilton with Christmassy bits) but with a more modest number of trimmings – an onion ring stick, and a side of wintery red cabbage:
We left Pieminster warm and satisfied, with full tummies, and will definitely be back – pie is just one of those properly comforting foods that are needed every now and again.
We were now already in the central Cardiff shopping district, on St Mary Street, which is choc-a-block full of bars, clubs, takeaways (Wok to Walk and Wok in a Box right next to each other) and I can see many a Cardiff University student evening spent right there. Today though it was busy with post-Christmas-sales bargain hunters hitting up the shops in the area.
We took a wander up St Mary Street which brings you out right at Cardiff Castle – still haven’t been inside! The festive reindeer were still lit up and a little further down the street the Christmas market was starting to be dismantled, which was a little sad – that period between Christmas and New Year where things start to be taken down and packed up for next time. Plenty of buzz coming out of the shops though, there were people everywhere as we meandered down The Hayes past St David’s shopping centre and heading back through the Wyndham Arcade, which definitely looks like it will feature on this blog in the not too distant future. A lot of new places to explore – can’t wait!
Until next time, Cardiffians…!