Catch yourself on

Slow, slow, quick, quick…

For a city cat from Cardiff, a visit to the west of Ireland can provide a soporific change of gear. Not least because you have to catch yourself on to a naturally slower local pace of life.

Looking for a quiet indulgence in the national libation? We may not be ready just yet…

And there is a stark reminder that corners here were made for waiting on; even if they are not exactly on the corner! It is what it is, and you just have to catch yourself on

And, just because we are about 25 miles from the west coast doesn’t mean we can’t have a harbour, does it?

If it appears to you that we are ‘a few boats short of a regatta’, well, just catch yourself on

There again, the so-called Marina Point does provide home to further aquatic references, in the form of the Shearwater Hotel

This just maybe the place where the traditional lotion can be found. But, catch yourself on, it will only be served to you after an appropriate settling wait… as the local pace of life is more about quality than speed.

Further indulgence in the life of a snail brings its own rewards, as this is most certainly a cosy home where bovine and porcine companions can be found deliciously co-habiting in a bun…

Those who like their steaks of the lean variety, catch yourself on, and find a healthier part of the world. The juicy offerings here come with a protective layer of fat. But if that is not enough, try a basket of triple cooked chunky chips and a base of caramelised onions. Button mushrooms intrude on the base to showcase what healthy eating could be… if you were somewhere else, that is!

Until we speak again, check out county Galway in the west of Ireland, and Ballinasloe particularly, if you want to catch yourself on to a lifestyle of the slow.


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!

Hooves and Trotters

[Some of the following images have been copied from ‘images of…’ on the internet, and are included with thanks to those who originally placed them].

To all my vegetarian eaters I say “get a proper diet, leave the poor weak vegetarians alone, other than giving others a fright with their pale and drawn complexions they didn’t do anything to you.” Personally, I and my species just don’t get it; I wasn’t born with these teeth just to go bringing down broccoli or cornering cabbages for the kill.

When I am contemplating what I fancy eating there is nothing I like more than to see the menu written all over my prey. What better way is there of supporting the great 21st century ethos of consumer choice and providing information through clear product labelling!

But I was even more delighted to see that my culinary psychopathic teachings were put into action just the other day, when my resident ‘flesh chomper‘ was joined by an ‘ex-pat carnivore‘ from the Philippines, as they scoured the local prairies for something to fill the time and space between beers. I strongly advised them to only eat things that recently carried a name… like Gertrude and Daisy, or Pinky and Perky. After all, you don’t know what kind of situation you’ve landed yourself in if the host is talking about ‘Florence the fennel’ or ‘Angelica the artichoke’.

First stop was The Wharf, where Cardiff’s version of Little Venice meets the toxic algae of the Bute East Dock:

Swans at lunch

Lily pads






A fine pint of the Brains SA was accompanied by freshly served portions of pig… succulent pork chops or the delicate arrangement of bangers and mash with onion gravy.

The Wharf

A pint in the City ArmsFurther pints of Brains SA and Oakham Citra in the City Arms made for a pleasurable interruption to the eating:

It seems that whenever these characters get together the film Groundhog Day gets a re-enactment… just as day follows night, so beer and eating follow, well, beer and eating! It’s another day, but enough of the samples from the sty, it was time for a few hooves to make the ultimate sacrifice; and where better for a beer interruption than a place called The Grazing Shed, where a multi-storey car park meets a multi-storey building site:

The Grazing Shed [5]


Cardiff’s tribute to a US classic meets locally sourced ingredients to produce Super Tidy BurgersThis is the part of Cardiff where John Wayne meets Spicy Pedro


The Grazing Shed [4]

Grazing Shed [1]

A great new idea in fast food arrives in Cardiff. This is no ordinary run-of-the-mill burger, these are the Ronseal of the burger world… ‘super tidy burgers‘ that do what they say on the cows backside. Even veggie varieties are available for those with enough energy to walk from the car (though you might want to ask the nice staff if they do a roadside delivery to conserve the stress on vital organs).

Grazing Shed [2]


This place is building its reputation on an all ingredients are locally sourced theme. One claim is that butchers supply their meat from Carmarthen… it certainly tasted fresh, and though we weren’t left spitting out hooves, you do get the impression that Daisy might just be out back succumbing to a vigorous crash diet!

So, for all of you poorer gastronomes, and those of you needing a respite between fillet steaks, I will continue to tutor my ‘resident food taster‘ in the delights of a varied budget. Until we eat again I intend to be Juno.