Cardiff, Cobbles and Calonnau

Well, what a lovely weekend it’s been…for various reasons, my birthday celebrations were brought forward by a week this year and what with a distinct lack of child free nights out since the birth of PSB (perfect second born) it was decided that a night in the Welsh capital was in order. Cue the frantic making of child care arrangements, the digging out of long forgotten “night out” clothes and shoes and the abandonment of all the usual responsibilities…for Cardiff beckoned.

For me, getting ready to go out has always been almost as pleasurable as the night out itself. I get lost in the make-up, the hair products, the heated rollers and the false eyelashes; it’s a total escape from normality, although I’m slightly out of practice, as I am with walking in sky-scraping heels on cobble stones as I found out to my detriment on Saturday night (the decision to install cobble stones within a 100 metre radius of any venue frequented by women in the evening  must have been made by a man, as any woman would have realised the potential for an expensive pair of high heels to be irreparably damaged by the offending choice of paving). I have to say, it was an extremely pleasurable evening away even if it was only a 24 hour break away from the children. To conclude…great food, great champagne and a late check-out allowed for the watching of the Australian Open final!

Speaking of “check-outs”, this brings me to my rant of the week…5* hotels (as classified by various hotel booking websites). Well , more specifically, a rant about a certain 5* hotel which shall remain nameless…but I will say that its located in the capital, in the area of the city where there’s quite a bit of water and is near the home of the Welsh Assembly. I was “fortunate” enough to stay at this hotel-which-shall-remain-nameless recently. Yes, it was a traditionally busy time, but that doesn’t make up for a number of misgivings. This is in complete contrast to my experience at The Hilton over this past weekend. So if any of you are torn over the decision with regards to which 5* Cardiff hotel to stay at, here’s a rundown of my experience:

  Hotel   which shall remain nameless but regularly frequented by Assembly Members The   Hilton Cardiff
Car Parking Left to our own devices, had to trudge from car park via muddy pathway to hotel. Parked outside, greeted by Concierge who helped with luggage and   parked the car.
Greeting A greeting of sorts by a less than helpful member of staff who   informed us on our request to dine at the hotel restaurant that evening, that   is was full…really?! Surely, you would expect a hotel of this calibre to be   factoring in hotel guests to their restaurant reservations…or is it just   me! Greeted by the Hilton “Employee of the Year” who just couldn’t do   enough to help. I happened to mention to her that we were celebrating my   birthday and within 2 minutes of arriving in our room, a plate of chocolates   emblazoned with a chocolate-piped “Happy Birthday” was delivered.
Food and Drinks No food…no room at the inn! The bar area was very nice though and we   did return at the end of the evening for a bottle of champagne rather than   face Cardiff’s madding, and increasingly rowdy, crowds. BUT, breakfast was an   altogether more chaotic affair with having to queue for a table and queue for   the buffet only to face rather a bland breakfast. Also had a nice bar area (but the same bottle of champagne came in at   around ten pounds cheaper!) Enough said…

So there we go, I hope it’s pretty obvious which hotel wins my vote…the AM’s can keep their alleged modernist opulence. (Having re-read this rant, I fear that I may come across as some kind of 5* hotel connoisseur …please be safe in the knowledge that I’m really not, it’s just that we’ve had a couple of “big” birthdays to celebrate recently: some “bigger” than others!)

Now, I would imagine that some of you lovely readers may be booking into hotels of your choosing within the next few weeks, what with V-Day approaching. Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is inescapable. I can’t say that I’m a big fan and with the Welsh equivalent, Diwrnod Santes Dwynwen, being celebrated not long before it on the 25th January, by the time it actually comes around, I’ve hit V-Day overload. Whilst I appreciate that some people may well like the plastic roses, heart confetti filled snow-globes and the other general tat that is farmed out at this time of year, I’ve been on a mission…oops, you’ll have to excuse me whilst I clear up a generous amount of apple juice that has been spilled on my freshly washed cream carpet by PFB. How two small children can create such devastation is beyond me, anyway, I digress…as I was saying, I’ve been on a mission to find some gorgeousness amongst the tat and the best thing about it, is that they’re all from Welsh companies. So here they are for your viewing pleasure (disclaimer: I possess no guilt whatsoever for featuring products from my own business, after all, if I didn’t think they were utterly lovely, I wouldn’t make them…enjoy)

photoCAFKW3GD

1. Kate Hamilton Hunter Vintage Heart Rose Necklace, £28.50, available at http://www.medi-gifts.com

2. Vintage Love Bird Wedding Cake, price on request, http://www.littleblackhen.com

3. Caru Ti love you soap, £4.50, available at http://www.adrahome.com

4. Modern Welsh Love Spoon, £9.95 each or £17.95 a pair, available at http://www.adrahome.com

5. Small Welsh Love Heart, £8.50, available at http://www.medi-gifts.com

6. Gingham Fabric Roses, £10.00, available at http://www.calonogi.co.uk

7. Clay Love Token Magnets, £6.50, available at http://www.calonogi.co.uk

8. Love Heart Cushions, £25.00, available at www.calonogi.co.uk

9. “Cariad” Silver Pendant, £45.00, available at www.adrahome.com

I have to finish with a quick shout out to the absolutely amazing initiative that is Little Angels Cakes. I can’t sum it up better than they have themselves on their facebook  page, so here you go…

“Little Angels Cakes is no ordinary cake page, we are suppliers of free beautiful cakes using cake makers across the UK to make cakes for children with life threatening conditions and their siblings.”

So take a look at the amazing work that this not-for-profit organisation does by following this link www.facebook.com/LittleAngelsCakes (and I’m sure they’d appreciate a few more “likes” on their page!) Well done ladies x

So there we go, that’s quite enough from me on this rainy, windy Monday evening.

Over and out…

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