Aberrant sophistry

Cardiff City 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1

City v Wolves [1]


Until we speak again it is important Chillout catto remember that Bill Shankly once claimed football was more important than matters of life and death, but Juno’s view on football hyperbole was to respect it primarily for its sedative qualities… what can’t be said about football under 10 words wasn’t worth listening to!!!

A glimpse of future past

In the words of Juno, the ‘resident smart arse’ is trying to be too clever with the language again… “Say what you mean and mean what you say, but make sure the culinary treats are directed to a deserving cat.” IMAG1550

With a friend in town the opportunity opens up for a visit to a relatively new city centre eatery. The buzz of excitement of a swanky meal is matched by the buzz of pedestrian traffic through town. But as the destination opens up the memory meanders back to another century, or as Juno used to say “my personal ‘old git’ is busy reminiscing again”. It might look to the newcomer like a fortified bank vault, and to the younger locals it is Habitat. However, to the wise elders of Cardiff this is ‘the leckie’, the old electricity board building from when South Wales Electricity Board (SWEB) shone a ray of light into the grim darkness otherwise known as the 1970’s…


In 2014 it reopened on The Hayes as a branch of theIMAG1552 Miller & Carter’s Steakhouse with big promises for the connoisseur of the cow! ‘For the love of steak’ is their strap-line, with claims to already be one of Cardiff’s best steakhouses, and this cat is arriving with expectations to match.

The decor is an inviting mix of the old and new, giving the place a soupçon of gravitas, but will the food match?

Miller and Carter [2]

Who needs a proper starter when you can share succulent olives with artisan bread, all served up on a piece of Welsh slate? And the wine was tasty too…

Miller and Carter [3]

‘Curiosity killed the cat’, or so one of Juno’s least favourite sayings goes… but the less well known rejoinder ‘satisfaction brought it back’ would surely fulfil the mounting expectations of a vegetarian’s worst nightmare! With a great drum roll the main attraction takes centre stage…

Miller and Carter [4]

… and as for the verdict, it can best be described as not disappointing, but possibly mildly underwhelming. The texture and appearance of the fillet steak was just how I would assume GM beef would come served… an Electric Daisy Edible Plastics production; but it tasted ok. As for the chips, what’s with the attempted competition with McDonalds? Who wants ‘fries with that’ when your meal needs a proper top quality crispy & fluffy combo!

Juno faceUntil we speak again this cat recommends that you keep Miller & Carter’s in mind as a good option if you are focused on price, as for a good fillet steak you are paying nearly a tenner less here than some of the local places that have a better claim to be one of Cardiff’s best steakhouses.

Locally sourced what?

On my travels recently I met up with my daughter in the city of Juno’s birth, London. Where to eat? So many choices (if you can afford most of them). Avoiding the bog-standard see-them-everywhere chains isn’t a difficult decision to make; but then you are faced with the culinary equivalent of the dreaded ‘estate agent speak’, where language seems to be the vehicle for promoting more of a smoke-and-mirrors confusion than aiding your powers of decision-making. It’s a competitive world, this restaurant business, and nowhere moreso than in the centre of one of the world’s leading cities.

Modern European does what it says on the tin. Fusion conjures up visions of either some kind of scientific experiment or an industrial procedure, either of which should cause alarm if you are purely focused on eating. Brasserie keeps the industrial metal vibe going. Bistro is something now applied to so many different places that its origin as a small cheap Parisian eatery has long since been lost. You can choose by country of origin, as London seems to have more types of cuisine than there are countries on the planet these days; but then you find yourself meeting up at a railway terminus without a Masters Degree in local culinary geography, so walk the streets and take pot luck is the most likely order of the day. Then there is the question of whether you are looking at a stand alone restaurant or is it part of the expensive boutique hotel next door (and does that matter anyway)?

You can always decide on the criterion of available budget; but some external menus are either written in small font size with dim lighting, or the pricing doesn’t easily correlate to each item, and the hidden extras just might surpass the cost of the main meal.

Where is my trusted feline advisor when I need her? This is the moment where Juno would undoubtedly be referring to me as ‘indecision central’ or ‘the resident knowledge gap’. Previous experience of the area of Bloomsbury does nothing on the night to speed the decision, but at least my young companion is no car driver so the long lost art of walking is not beyond her ability. At last, we walk through the Dickensian Woburn Walk


… and stumble across an advert for Italian-British fusion at the simply named Number Twelve. It was not clear until you search for the rest room that this is part of the Ambassadors Hotel, so be prepared for a degree of elegance in decor, layout and quality of the food. This is definitely not your basic and simple bistro, and despite being tucked away in an isolated corner the service was welcoming. The window table was next to frosted glass with seating backing up to the window, so it is not going to be a place where the passers-by get to decide on whether they try it out based on gawping at what you are eating! The fillet steak and grilled salmon main courses were very well prepared, and despite having six chips on your plate it has to be said they were large and perfectly cooked. As for the side of chilli spinach, what a delight…

Number Twelve Bloomsbury

Not a cheap eating option, but if you are in the mood to savour some quality this is definitely a place worth checking out. However, I am left baffled by the menu and advertising claims to locally sourced ingredients… as Juno would have most definitely reminded me, the only locally sourced ingredients in London are concrete, tarmac, glass and exhaust fumes. Whether you are in for the surf or the turf options, until we speak again don’t let your eating be put off by culinary estate agent speak!

#Twitter-Free Zone

Cardiff City (Bluebirds) 0 Brighton & Hove Albion (Seagulls) 0

Who brought the budgie seed?

Who brought the budgie seed?



5-dead-gull-victim-of-fate-or-of-the-biologistasUntil we speak again it is important to remember that Bill Shankly once claimed football was more important than matters of life and death, but Juno’s view on football hyperbole was to respect it primarily for its sedative qualities… what can’t be said about football under 10 words wasn’t worth listening to!!!

And these ornithological moments were best witnessed from Juno’s more usual position of slumber…Chillout cat

[Thanks are due to http://www.123f.com and http://www.yachtmollymawk.com for providing the images that sadly summed up this match].

Defining disaster







Its the predilection for sniffing each others arses that reminded Juno that rugby was more a sport of dogs than the superior refinement of the cat. Yet setting aside the strange sexual proclivities of the public school playing fields of England, dressed up as men playing sport, it occasionally provides moments of ‘event’ proportions… and the Wales v England fixture is up there amongst the world’s great rivalries.

IMAG1515The stage is Cardiff, lauded by the locals and many fans around the world as a historic rugby fortress.

It is an hour before the kick-off, and no place for any weary shepherd and virgin combinations, as room in the inn has become impossible to find…







But the Millennium Stadium is poised ready to greet warriors of both tribes as they converge on the battlefield…


The tension gets ramped up even further as the full-strength gladiators of Wales enter the arena preparing to slay the under-strength superior numbers of England…




10 minutes into the match, and everything is going to the home fans favoured script as Wales take a comfortable 10-0 lead. All Welsh minds are reflecting on the demolition of their opponents in this very stadium a mere two years ago. However, England’s patchwork quilt of a team manage to fashion a try of their own to stem the red tide. A few other points from respective boots and half-time arrives with an unexpected but still seemingly comfortable 16-8 lead for the hosts.


Half-time team talks that transform a performance are legendary, but few and far between. But this must surely have been an occasion when the words said in the England dressing room should be bottled and sold for a fortune. My mind drifts back to a poster featuring one of the present day commentators, England’s own Brian Moore, which basically posed the threatening message ‘It’s not the winning or losing, it’s the TAKING APART!’ Well, Juno would have undoubtedly taunted me during the second half of this match, as the country of her birth, England, set out as a team possessed. With only a few minutes on the clock their persistent pressure and a moment of magic brings about a converted try. 16-15 to Wales, followed shortly after by further disarray in the battered home defence leading to an 18-16 lead for England. With little of any threat from the home team, the visitors add another penalty for a final score of Wales 16 England 21. The home nation are stunned, and the underdogs instantly show what this score means to them…


It’s the start of the Rugby World Cup year, when these two teams will meet in England in the group stages of the competition. When a full strength Wales lose at home to an understrength England in such a shock one-sided end to a game, don’t believe me or any of my fellow countrymen when we say this has no bearing on the forthcoming World Cup. Half cat half doorLike all good cats we like to shrug off such an experience as a disappointment, when in reality it is better described as a calamitous disaster.

Until we speak again, watch this space… while memories of Juno’s favourite rugby pose neatly sums up the performance of the Welsh team.

[With thanks to shutterstock.com, erfeidine.blogspot.com and tweetsport.co.uk for original posts of the images borrowed to illustrate this tragic tale].