Innovative pie fillings

There was a time when I suspected that Juno used to spend time plotting her escape…

Plotting an escape

But, with a Science Plan diet, that she experienced as being no more than a bowl of crunchy rocks…

Science plan      … I came to realise, that all she surveyed, was indeed an imaginative fantasy of pie fillings that could have been!

Juno was a lady of fine taste, so I have no doubt that fast food would be out of the question…

Squirrell [2]

Then again, anything that looked too oily was best left out of the pan, and would be safe and slick in the local canal (or dock feeder, as I am occasionally reminded by local aquatic aficionados)…

Bird in canal

Some of the potential fillings might be a little on the tough side. It might be a little difficult to have a stomping meal, if the meal is doing the stomping…

Seagull on binstore

While other ingredients just might require a larger oven…

Heron @ Atlantic Wharf

But, just once in a while, a game of hide and seek will provide an entertaining appetizer to the main feast. This morsel thought it was carefully camouflaged from the prying eyes of predators…

Can't see me

Until it decided on the old head above the parapet technique…Now you can

Maybe some of the best meals were the ones that just got away!

Now I'm off

Until we speak again, don’t forget to spit out the beaks… the crunching puts off your fellow diners!

Pigs ear of a meal

Juno and Bella both demonstrated a special fondness for a pig. Particularly one that came in morsels! As for a pigs ear, that was more likely a description they would attribute to me, or anything I attempted to do. But they sure would be salivating if they had an opportunity to share a recent experience of The Potted Pig

2. Outside sign

Following the financial crash a few years ago, there are many things that people can think of using an old bank vault for… not the least being a dungeon for locking away greedy bankers! Here in Cardiff we have more creative ideas, like a space where local people (and even a few visitors) can sample a range of pig-based fayre, with a drop of the falling down juice on the side…

3. Bar4. Bank vault

You might even be lucky enough to be placed where the eponymous pig can shun you, in favour of a little rest…

5. The Potted Pig

As for the food, I am pleased to say that this restaurant comes with that special characteristic of a small but perfectly formed menu. No unnecessary elaboration here, this is a place for serious quality at reasonable prices. Though the pursuit of pig clearly features as the centrepiece of our gastronomic quest, your choice of animal will be far from limited. However, I could not resist a starter that offers crispy pigs ears, particularly when it came with succulent black pudding, the smokiest of bacon, topped off with a delightfully poached egg. The pigs ears were pork scratchings of the highest order. My compardre chose a belly pork starter (but that was to be my main course)…

 

6. Starters

This was a breakfast like I had never tasted (particularly at 8.30pm). So now, after a delicate tasting of Rioja, it was onward, dinner beckoned. With ducks, lambs, fish, and even a vegetarian dish on offer, my friend succumbed to the sound of a quack, while I could not avoid the continuation of the snort. Slow cooked free range pork belly had to be the order of the day; even if it did come with something requiring the gastronome’s dictionary… choucroute. Me neither! It turned out to be something akin to sauerkraut, and perfectly adorned the sacrificial pig. They even do great chips here!

9. Both mains

All I can say is, that next time you find yourself on St Mary Street in Cardiff, with that knot of hunger and a desire to assuage the temptation of more vegetables, get your timing right. This is a place that has limited opening hours, and you may need to book, but it is worth it.

Sleeping catAs for Bella, had she been on this particular escaped, it would surely have ended in a cat-like impression of the potted pig itself.

Until we speak again, may your pigs ears be crispy.

Newcastle: City of Bridges

Cardiff doesn’t do spectacular bridges, perhaps the most interesting stroll over water is at the Cardiff Bay barrage

Barrage [4]

Rear viewBut, as a cat of broader vision, I was led to believe that if you want to see some interesting footage of river crossings you could do worse than pay a visit to Newcastle.

As a cool cat, I neither have interest in this watery stuff or in travelling for hours in enclosed cans at speed. After all, this bum was designed more for climbing on horses than trains! “Excuse me, what is that camera doing there?”

So I despatched my unqualified civil engineer on an example of one of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s moving things, in order to take a look at examples of his non-moving things. The initial view from the moving thing seems to be of a whole group of non-moving things…

View from train

But, what has a visit to this old industrial city got to offer for the discerning bridge spotter? The train station looks like it is in need of an upgrade! Can’t see what all the fuss was about regarding the success of putting the East Coast Mainline back into public ownership…

Wall mural

However, it doesn’t take much shoe leather before you find a cathedral, parish church and a range of old sandstone buildings to get yourself into architectural historian mode on your personal dial…

St Nicholas Cathedral [2]

Church near station

Sandstone buildings

So, where are these mythical bridges hinted at from the train view? It doesn’t take much detective work around here; just as well, as I didn’t exactly send a full Sherlock on the mission! It seems this is the kind of place where buildings and bridges are competing for space…

Buildings and Bridges [2]

Buildings and Bridges [3]

With a feline sixth sense of telepathy I let my tepid intrepid know that maybe locating the river will provide a guide to where the bridges might be. Somehow against all limits of logic they stumble in the direction of trickling water, and lo and behold, whether you happen to be on foot, on a train, or in self-drive mode, a crossing is available for you.

Millenium Bridge [2]

Bridges on Tyne [4]

Bridges on Tyne [2]

 

Bridges on Tyne [3]

If I’m not mistaken it looks like that Sydney Harbour Bridge has been shrunk and moved across the world. Until we speak again this Bella is going to rest up after all of this tiring travelogue.

Olympic Mission Impossible

For Juno and Bella this would certainly have represented dreams of ‘fast food’; much too fast for either cat, who took a simple view of olympic feats… usually taking the form of lengthy snoozes on a sun-soaked window cill. But, for other members of the animal kingdom, the olympics are drawing close, so practice is essential.

[Note to UK readers… a particular Mission Impossible soundtrack ad may help you to seriously appreciate the following event… though hopefully not the urine of the gnat product!].

Right, on your marks, get set…

Squirrell [1]

Go…

Squirrell [2]

C’mon Usain Bolt, keep up!

Squirrell [3]

Hey, where is my medal?

Squirrell [4]

WHO ARE YOU LOOKING AT?

Squirrell [5]

Seagull on binstore

I knew there was a reason why I run so fast…

 

 

Until we speak again, keep practicing!

 

The Good Burghers of Cardiff

Here I am just getting ready for the most important function of my waking hours… it’s time to eat!

Ready to eat

But then comes the big decision… what to eat today? If you’re in the centre of Cardiff and facing a similar dilemma, no worries, as I occasionally send my ‘Culinary Novice’ out to collect some useful intel. Though when I suggested they get out there quick, to find me good cuisine, I wasn’t indicating they come back with information on fast food!

Grazing Shed [1]

Having already established themselves in a quieter corner of the city centre, it seems that  of The Grazing Shed’s brand of Super Tidy Burgers are doing well enough to take up an additional position in the busy south end of St Mary’s Street. But did the good Burghers of Cardiff realise that they were giving permission for a ‘shed recycling business’ when they agreed to the advancement of high quality burgers in their midst?

Grazing Shed [7]

I’m reliably told (if reliable is something I can apply to my ‘in-house infarct’) that this place is all about locally sourced, i.e. Welsh, products and produce. I’ve always been the type of cat who likes my cow to be within visiting distance, and preferably with an individual name!

Grazing Shed [6]Water [1]

“But let’s see the produce!” you impatient burger jockeys are saying. My ‘resident imbiber’ decided that a can of beer was the first priority; but then how can a self-respecting water slurper like myself impose any discipline on the easily tempted, particularly when they are out of my sight?

The Waen Brewery have cleverly tempted my resident ‘willpower deficit’ with an advertising slogan of ‘Hellish Good Beer’!

Grazing Shed [3]

 

Once the initial thirst is quenched it’s time to see what Ermentrude and Daisy have to offer for satisfying both taste and hunger. My ‘culinary chancer’ goes for a Spicy Uncle Pedro, and I demand a quick pictorial explanation to assuage my worst fears of what might have been going on out the back of the dining area! Meanwhile ‘gastronome junior’ apparently went for a more conservative bite of chicken in a bun.

Grazing Shed [4]

The reviews are both very complimentary of burgers and the associated accoutrement. Meanwhile the good Burghers of Cardiff can satisfy themselves that they are contributing to demand for the paper and the food basket industries, wherever they happen to be dominating the Welsh economy.

Until we speak again this Bella hopes that all of your burgers are chain-free!

[Football explained, or not!] S is for…

SISYPHEAN… as the locals adopt a STOIC attitude to their team’s SOMNAMBULANT SHIFTING between 7th and 10th positions in the league, but never quite SURGING into the all-important Top SIX.

With all one's strength

SERENDIPITOUS… as fans SALIVATE over the SHOCK of back-to-back SEISMIC home wins.

City v Preston [1]

 

City v Preston [2]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCINTILLA… as SUBTLETY SUCCUMBS to SPECULATION (yet again!) of what might be over the remaining 12 games.

yes-238381_1280

For me, the SEQUESTERED SHIBBOLETH only SERVES  to SATIRISE SOUPCON of SOPHISTRY! 

Contemplating from my chairUntil we speak again this Bella will largely SASHAY in SUBLIME SERENITY as I offer you nothing less than SANCTIMONIOUS SALUTATIONS. For the record it was Cardiff City 2 Preston North End 1, with the locals having played 34, won 13, drawn 13, and lost 8, which puts them currently 7th in the league (temporarily at least).