Monday, 25 August 2014

Things Nina Did - Waterloo Gardens Fete

Last weekend whilst we still had some sunshine, WGP and myself headed off to the Waterloo Gardens Fete.  I moved house in June and for the foreseeable future Cardiff is going to be my home.  I've lived in a different house ever since I came to university in 2009 so it's an amazing feeling knowing I'm settled and that I can just start living my life.  For me it's important to support the community and area I live in.  Cardiff has some absolutely gorgeous areas and Penylan is really one of my favourites.  

The Waterloo Gardens Fete has been going for quite a few years now but I somehow missed it last year.  It's all organised locally, from the people who paint the signs to the live music and food stalls.  It's amazing seeing people with all sorts of different skills coming together.

Waterloo Gardens is a lovely park which I had never actually been to, despite being a lover of the tea house located right next to it.  It was very busy when we went, full of kids and dogs which was fun to see and play 'spot your future dog'.

WGP and I had a walk around and checked out all the stalls.  There really was everything you could think of.  The local beauty and hairdressers salon had a stall offering massages and mini manicures, there was a jumble sale and Got Beef were also there.  I've heard good things about their burgers but the queue was massive and I had my eye on Portuguese pastries the whole time.  From the very start we knew we had to go to Nata & Co, I've mentioned this amazing place before.  It's a fantastic Portuguese bakery in Splott and they do the best pastries with custard.  Basically two things I love in life.  I spent and ate more than I should but life is really too short to worry about things like that right?  It was 4 mini pastries for £1.50 so who was I to resist?

We also couldn't resist the Pimms stall.  All in all a very British affair.  Why I was dressed like a Parisian I don't know.  

I'm still in the throes of my dissertation. I am so desperate to finish it you have no idea.  My life revolves around going to work, coming home to do my dissertation and sleep.  Repeat. The highlight of my week has been taking my knitwear out of its summer storage.  I need my life back.  Keep me in your thoughts!

More soon

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Sunday, 17 August 2014

The New Classic

Top: Jack Wills (charity shop).  
Jeans: Topshop (Jamie).  
Hat and scarf: France.  
Shoes: Vitti Love.  
Necklace: Primark.  
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban.  

I was going to do a separate post on why I've been so absent on my blog but really there isn't much to it.  I'm working 3 and a half days at my 'grown up job' and working on my dissertation.  I'm also trying to have some sort of life but work and my dissertation are just taking up all my energy.  Can't wait to be done with it so I can just start to focus on myself and do things I love to do.  I've booked tickets to see Carmen (the opera) in September and an appointment with the hairdresser so there is that to look forward to.

Anyway, today I went to the local fete with my pal WGP.  As I'm in office wear most of the time now (or my pjs) on the weekends I like to just dress for comfort.  Today I ended up looking more Parisian/European than I intended to.  Sometime you just can't beat a classic stripped t-shirt and jeans.  Less is more.  My style recently has become a lot more simplistic, and I want to start buying more quality than quantity.  

These fabulous loafers come into that.  They're from a local shop but they specialise in selling Italian and Spanish shoes.  These loafers are actually a European size 35 (UK 2.5) which is my actual shoe size.  It's such a treat to me to find shoes that fit me without the help of insoles.  If you don't think these are fabulous then I don't think we can be friends. Sorry.

As I said, things are going to be a bit quiet around here for the next month or so. Sometimes things like blogging just need to be put to one side.  After all this is just a bit of the internet, it's not the end of the world if things are quiet around here.  I'm still fairly active on twitter and Instagram so catch me on there.

Speak soon

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Friday, 1 August 2014

Nina Eats (and drinks) - Waterloo Gardens Teahouse

To my great shame I did not know about Waterloo Gardens Teahouse until recently, it's been around for a while but because it's off my usual path I never came across this place. I'm always looking for new places to discover and call my new favourite.  A recent trip with WGP has made this my firm favourite.  Waterloo Tea Gardens is a refreshing change from the usual tea establishments.  Whilst I do love a bit of shabby chic and an exposed wall every now and then, this new interior trend has become a little predictable.

Waterloo Gardens is located, rather unsurprisingly, just a stones throw from Waterloo Gardens park, a beautiful and tranquil place which seems to be favourite for dog walkers. WGP and myself arrived before lunch and didn't leave until after three.  We started our marathon with some delicious welsh rarebit which I am obsessed with ever since WGP introduced me to it when we went to the Potted Pig a few weeks ago. Our plates were pretty much liked clean and the little salad that came with it was delicious and very thoughtful.  I hate nothing more than tasteless plain salad leaves tossed onto the plate as an after thought.  Not the case here.

It was too hot to drink tea so the lovely staff kindly whipped us up some ice coffee even though it wasn't on their menu.  It's something I've been really craving as of late and it was very refreshing.  We rounded off our rarebit with some cake.  White chocolate and raspberry for me and upside-down peach cake for WGP.  Both put in the middle and we dug in.  Lots of the cakes here are gluten free which is great as not many places offer tasty gluten free options.  You can also place an order with the staff, pick your cake up and take them away.  We saw lots of people come in to do this which really makes me happy for this local business.

As I said I love that this place is calm, slightly minimalistic and chic.  I don't understand why EVERY tea room must have mismatching crockery and 'quirky' decorations.  I do love that but sometimes you just want something different.  The environment here is calm and relaxing, it makes you want to settle in for hours, as WGP and myself ended up doing.

In the end we were tempted to try some tea.  The selection was amazing and it's something Waterloo Gardens Teahouse obviously pride themselves on.  One of the staff members talked us through all the different types of tea and giving their suggestions based on what kind of tea we normally like to drink.  I went for rosebud tea, something I've never drunk before and it was beautifully delicate and perfect for a sunny day.  WGP went bold and had the 'champagne of the tea world' by going for a grade 1 Assam.

It was really a great place to visit.  They have a great breakfast and lunch menu, everything that came past us looked amazing and I can't wait to go back.  I think even my boyfriend who is not big on teahouses at all would really like this place.  My slight criticism is that there are no newspapers around to read, but that was remedied by a quick visit to the newsagents next door.  Waterloo Teahouse also have speedy free wifi, all in an attempt to make you want to stay forever.  They also offer afternoon tea and take bookings which on the weekend is highly recommended.

Cardiffians, if you've not been here yet you're really missing out.

In Penylan: 
Waterloo Gardens Teahouse, 5 Waterloo Gardens Penylan Cardiff, CF23 5AA 
Telephone: 029 2045 6073
Openings hours: Monday-Saturday 8-18:00  Sundays 9-18.

In Cardiff city centre:
Waterloo Tea, Wyndham Arcade Mill Lane Cardiff CF10 1FH


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