Confused cat

A thought came to mind some time ago: ‘If you try to be good at everything, you will never be great at anything’. It came as I was sitting in the Seasons cafe/restaurant/bar/delivery joint in the Castle Arcade facing across to Cardiff Castle.

Strolling the arcades is always nothing less than a delight, and you will not be short of places to partake in a cats favourite pastime… okay, maybe eating comes a distant second to sleeping. I had often passed Seasons without really knowing what it was meant to be. But the sight of a full Welsh breakfast as I looked through the window on a particular lunchtime was a major draw.

So, what is so Welsh about it? The local references on the specials board try to give the game away…

Welsh specials board

The addition of the braised leeks helped…

Full Welsh Breakfast

But, perhaps it was the strange accoutrement that really gave the game away…

Strange teapot

The application of sheep to just about everything is probably meant to be a draw to any full-blooded Welsh cat. So, I guess, is the juxtaposition of breakfast with beers, wines and cocktails!?

Inside

So that is where the confusion really set in… is this place supposed to be a cafe, a bar, or what? We all know we can experience all four seasons in one day here in the UK, so why not experience all parts of the culinary/alcoholic day in one go?

Until we speak again, I recently realised that maybe I was not the only confused one… as, unlike this present winter, the Seasons has in fact gone!

Seasons gone!

Nuovo Wyndham

Take a chance, something new is in the wind… Wyndham Arcade that is. Well, you could try this, but I wouldn’t ‘literally’ advise it…

Hair by Cats [2]

No, there is definitely a something old something new vibe going on, as Servini’s has had a revamp, and is ready to tempt me occasionally away from some of Cardiff’s fabulous coffee shops (Coffee#1 & Coffee Barker particularly coming to mind).

Servini's [1]

Servini's [2]

 

The perennial high quality all-day-breakfast with tea or coffee is still there for the die-hards amongst you. But gone is the salad counter, and old-style formica tables with chairs rooted to floor and table to prevent the Wyndham set of old resorting to convenient projectiles if the spoon doesn’t stand up in the tea! Now it is ‘anyone for cushions at ten paces’?

 

 

Servini's [3]

 

I jest, as this has always been a higher class of caff, but now seems to be branching out to slightly wider tastes… you can even indulge in steak with a choice of vino or birra, should the fancy take you.

Servini's [5]

It’s a little bit early for me, so I will stay with the tea, now accompanied by milk in a cute bottle (remind anyone of school?). And, as tempting as the famous old all-day-breakfast was, I couldn’t turn down the chance of a corned beef hash with a difference, and a fried egg to top it off…

Servini's [6]

The open kitchen has been retained… always a sign of confidence in the cooking. And the new staff have clearly been recruited through a customer care symposium, largely unattended by their predecessors.

Servini's [4]

So, until we speak again, if you happen to be drifting by the lower end of St Mary Street, and feel that need for some good quality refreshment, there are now plenty of options in the vicinity, but the all new Servini’s gets a recommendation from this satisfied cat.

They do things very strange…

Juno was always very clear… “The beach is a place for dogs, don’t bother me with all of that sand and sea stuff.” And I have to agree, I’ve seen plenty of dogs being walked on or near beaches (don’t forget those pooper scoopers dog owners!), but a cat on a lead flouncing across the dunes is something that belongs only in the strange recesses of the imagination.

On a recent visit to the infamous Barry Island in South Wales (for anyone who has seen the UK TV programme Gavin & Stacey) I was reminded of a lyric by one of my favourite bands of all time… Steely Dan“Over there in Barrytown they do things very strange”. So, maybe a cat on a lead, blah-blah-blah…

Following on from the unseasonal wintery start to this June a couple of days ago, it was good to experience Barry Island’s ability to create a mysterious draw of that sea and sand. It has the ability to entice all living creatures (except feline’s it would appear):

Barry [8]

But the sea here is not for the faint-hearted; my memory of childhood visits was of a hike to get to it, and that still seems to be the case. Juno would certainly not have been the slightest bit inquisitive about something so wet that was also a distance away. It seems that people only travel to it in packs these days!

Barry [4]

However, for students of classical architecture, you might think that Barry Island has the doric column vibe going, in order to stimulate those with an interest in culture:

Barry [1]

But close up… you begin to see the cultural vibe is more of the ‘they do things very strange’ (or even ‘Gavin & Stacey’, who are serially referenced in this arcade):

Barry [6]

It is safe to say that many things at Barry Island have not changed since those long forgotten days of my childhood. A fading but familiar sign might have been the subject to prick up Juno’s ears, something to do with food. John’s is still going:

John's cafe [1]

Though a few spare penny’s wereJohn's cafe [2] lavished on the entrance…

… not too many are required for daily specials:

John's cafe [4]

 

 

 

 

 

 

But for a true stroll down the seaside memory lane, and to prove to the Juno’s of the world that in Barry ‘they [just might] do things very strange’, just gaze at the internal decor:

John's cafe [3]

So until we speak again, enjoy your memory lanes, and feel free to go ahead and do something very strange! Why not let me know about it with a comment on this blog post?

Chips with that?

What do you get for 50 years of experience? ‘Charged more’ is the quick conclusion that some short-sighted cats might rapidly reply. However, in a world where you generally get what you pay for, good quality will always take some beating. So there I was, drifting off to sleep in the business section of Cardiff Central Library, having failed to find my chosen text… ‘Business strategies for cats wishing to liquidate their servants‘. There could be many reasons for the unintended cat nap, but the rumbling stomach was giving me a clue. Gazing down on the entrance to the Wyndham Arcade I found myself plotting a journey to the centre of breakfast…

Wyndham Arcade Hayes entrance

… and even though the early afternoon alfresco diners were clearly absent I was drawn to a vision of what the arcade had to offer. Memory quickly came to the rescue, because many places claim to be able to make a good breakfast, but when it comes to specialising in the All Day Breakfast even us cool cats take our hats off to 50 years of family run experience and a long list of great reviews, even with veggie all day breakfasts (whatever that is!). Servini’s is the place to be…

Servini's [3]

The options available are all mouth-watering, but this was a cat in search of breakfast at 2.30 in the afternoon! The fresh ingredients are also freshly cooked to order, and presented as a tempting feast…

Servini's [4]

Who needs chips with everything?

Servini's [2]

 

 

Having said that even the chips here look fabulous.

 

Vantage point

 

Now it’s just back to that all-important task of plotting business strategies against my resident ‘entrepreneurial dabbler‘, or just another bout of gazing out of the window with designs on that sea-gull perched over the arcade… I wonder what Servini’s could do with that?

Until we speak again this is a sated Juno wishing you the best of breakfasts, all day.