Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

Tag Archives: Penarth

An Unwelcome Diner…

A few weeks ago we had a special visitor that we planned to take out for tea and cake. Unfortunately, not everyone was very welcoming when it came to letting him dine in their establishment. Well, he doesn’t wipe his feet and he wouldn’t have any issues taking food off your plate if it took his fancy so I can see he wouldn’t be everyone’s favourite dining partner. He also prefers to have his dinner on the floor which is a little unconventional.

This aside, I didn’t realise it would be quite so difficult to book somewhere. Asking around on Twitter, I was overwhelmed by responses from people telling me we needed to go to Hamptons in Penarth. Along with a quirky setting, delicious cakes and a friendly service, they also have a doggy dining area and offer furry diners a free doggychino.

While we tucked into our waffles and coffee, Oscar the dog enjoyed his doggychino and the attention he got from two legged diners passing by into the Blue Pelican Cafe.

I don’t have a dog but it was refreshing to know that if Oscar visits again we will still be able to go out for lunch and that he will be welcome. I think it’s a great idea and another reason to visit the fabulous Hampton when you’re in Penarth.

Oscar the dog

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The Pilot- The Perfect Local Pub

With The New Conway and Woods already established and popular with Cardiff diners, Knife and Fork Food’s new venture, The Pilot has shown itself to be a welcome addition.

Located in a residential area of Penarth with great views of the harbour, it is the local pub I wish I had. Although I like a rustic theme, I am getting a bit bored with the amount of new pubs and restaurants that are attempting it. The Pilot is not rustic and is not pretending to be. It’s modern, clean-cut and homely with a vintage feel.

The main dining area has tables arranged in straight lines with comfy leather sofas in the centre of the room. Combined with mismatched picture frames, vintage style lamps and a cosy wood burner, it has the feel of being in someone’s living room, albeit a full living room.

The menus are displayed on boards and you order at the bar so it is all very informal and definitely more public house than restaurant. When we were there the menu was substantial and it changes with the season. They use local suppliers, forage and even use produce from some of their staff’s allotment.

We found a table for two on a surprisingly busy Monday night. I love the layout of the place but the tables were awfully close together. Mr V and I are relatively little but had we been any bigger, it would have been a bit of a squeeze to get to our seats without getting a little too cosy with our neighbouring diners. This was pretty trivial though in the grand scheme of things.

To start, Mr V ordered Confit of Duck Ragout with white bean puree and I had Smoked Haddock with Bacon Croquettes. Our orders arrived very quickly, no longer than a 5 minute wait which was almost a bit too quick. My croquettes were crispy on the outside and soft and creamy inside as I’d expect and were a bargain at just £4.50. Ben’s rague was nicely presented with nice textures and colours and decorated with micro cress.

Again there was a very short wait and our mains arrived in 10 minutes. I chose Lamb Rump with Roasted Carrots, Mash and Peas with a Mint Dressing. The lamb was well cooked, medium as described and the vegetables were crisp. The mint dressing was actually a mint gravy but that suited me. The weather had just started to get chilly and I had the winter blues so it was the perfect homely pick me up.

Mr V chose the Grey Mullet with Chorizo and Tomato Ragout. The fish was a good size and well cooked. The ragout wasn’t outstanding, just tomato and roast potatoes but it was exactly as described.

Usually it isn’t an issue if food takes too long but the Pilot was the opposite. If anything the food came too quickly. We had finished our first two courses in half an hour which made the evening go far to quickly but this was my only complaint and I appreciate this would not be a negative for everyone.

For dessert we went back to the chalk boards. There was a very good selection and while dessert is my least favourite course, I was excited by the prospect. I chose the Banana Parfait with Caramelised Peanuts and  Mr V had the Chocolate Torte with Salted Caramel and Chantelle cream. We shared in the end because we both got jealous of each other’s choice.

The Torte was lovely. Rich and bitter and was complimented beautifully by the salted caramel which was artistically arranged in droplets on the plate. The only downside is that I would have liked more salted caramel.

The banana parfait was good although the peanuts were more sticky clusters than caramelised but nice all the same.

I really enjoyed my evening at the Pilot. It was nice to eat good, honest pub food done well and that’s exactly what it is. It isn’t pretending to be a bistro, the food is simple and reflective of a pub menu. On our visit the prices were competitive at £4.50-£5.50 for starters and £9- £13.50 for mains which puts it in the same price bracket as a far less superior establishment. The menu was fresh and original but still included pub food favourites like bangers and mash and fish and chips.

My Last Mouthful was: Lamb Rump with Roasted Carrots, Mash and Peas with a Mint Dressing

Service-

Atmosphere and Decor-

Quality of food-

Diversity of menu-

Value for money-

Overal rating- 

20% off new summer menu at Hamptons- Penarth

To celebrate the launch of their  new summer menu, Hampton’s are offering 20% off your lunch time bill from Monday to Thursday until the end of June.

Old favourites like Aunt Harriet’s Home Made Soup, Life Guard’s Lunchbox and our freshly made Quiches have been joined by some mouth-watering new additions.

The new Hamptons Chicken Caesar Salad combines baby gem lettuce with chicken breast and is finished with anchovies, quail’s eggs and parmesan shavings.

Home made Long Island Burgers are served with a selection of our new salads such as Feta and Mint, Potato and Pea, and Thai Coleslaw.

The Portofino Platter is a feast of continental meats, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, humus, roasted peppers, chorizo sausage and fresh bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Home made Bayside Fishcakes served with a selection of our delicious salads and a lemon and dill mayonnaise are perfect for a light lunch.

Please see Hamptons website for more details and terms and conditions.

Rustic charm that will make you feel right at home at the Ocho Lounge

Not wanting to miss any of the glorious sunshine (which has promptly disappeared!) we headed to Penarth on Sunday for a drink and a spot of lunch. Walking along the high street we passed Ocho Lounge which has been recommended to me by a few people so we decided to give it a go. It’s one of ‘The Lounges’ along with Fino Lounge in Whitchurch, Juno Lounge in Roath and some more around the UK.

As we stepped in it felt really homely with its gorgeous rustic wooden tables and terracotta walls. There were a couple of lovely big plants which made it feel very inviting and added a bit of colour. Ocho Lounge is divided into two sections. The front is very much like a coffee shop with a bar and gorgeous cakes on display and the back is geared more towards those who want to eat a meal. The menu is displayed on a black board in the back section which is a lovely touch and there was a really good selection of snacks and main meals on offer when we were there.

As the sun was out, we decided to head to the outside patio. I liked the general theme of the patio area which was lined with old-fashioned signs advertising various businesses and the area was enclosed with trellis decorating the walls. Each table had a flower-pot with a table number on it which doubled as an ashtray which is a quirky idea. Although the area was nice, I think it could have been improved if it had something growing up the trellises or something to give it a bit more colour as there is a lot of concrete and brick.

We ordered food after scanning the menu for sometime. The choice was good and we couldn’t decide whether to go for a light lunch like a panini or a proper meal. In the end, my fiance chose a sausage, cheddar cheese and onion marmalade panini which came with chips and I had the gammon and chicken pie. Mine came with creamed leaks, chunky chips and a delicious tarragon sauce. Ben’s panini was very good. It was hot and the filling had melted nicely but mine was especially good! The pie had a generous helping of meat and the leaks were lovely. I was very pleased with my choice!

I would definitely go back to the Ocho Lounge. The food was good and the prices are reasonable. The decor is just to my liking with its rustic theme and little quirks. Perfect for lunch.

Hampton’s Music and Dinner Events- An Alternative Night Out

When I say Hampton’s, the home and garden store in Penarth, you probably won’t associate it with music and dinner events. The quirky shop is full to the brim with decorative products such as gorgeous lamps, soft furnishings and a Cath Kidston range. It’s probably the last place you would expect to spend an evening listening to music and eating a meal.

Think again! By night Hamptons is transformed into a classy entertainment venue with a separate entrance that goes straight upstairs, bypassing the shop. The first floor of the store is cleared and becomes a stage area with the Blue Pelican Cafe (as it is by day) becoming the seating area for a night of music entertainment.

By day the Blue Pelican Cafe serves breakfast and lunch interspersed with afternoon tea and cake. By night it is full of well dressed couples and small groups enjoying a 5 course meal and a music event. We were invited along to the Spring Swing Jazz event last Friday and were treated to a meal and an evening of music from Claire Hingott and the Graham Watkins Trio.

When we entered the Blue Pelican Cafe, I first noticed the stage area which was very impressive considering it was in a shop. It was erected in such a way that you couldn’t really see the shop displays behind and it was very well done. The cafe area is separated from the shop by pillars and a railing which worked really well because it gave the effect of being on a balcony looking out onto the stage or even the feeling of being on a cruise ship.

The decor and the atmosphere very much reminded me of a 1940’s war film. The low lighting, combined with the soft jazz music while we waited for the main act the start and the wood panelled walls really gave this effect. The evening seemed to appeal to the older generation although I think other events that are run would pull in a different crowd. Maybe it was the paper doilies that made an appearance with every dish as part of the presentation!

Staff bustled around serving drinks and seeing to customers. Although the meal was a set menu, the staff were still very busy taking drinks orders and checking that we were ok. They were very efficient and friendly and we felt very looked after. Drinks were a good price with a bottle of house wine costing £13 and £4.35 for a large glass.

The whole event was very well thought out with precision timing. Breaking the meal into 5 courses was an excellent idea as it meant that something was going on all night. We weren’t left waiting for courses, there was a constant stream of service with plates being brought out and taken away. The band came on during our second course and ended during coffee which was just right.

The food was presented very nicely on sharing platters. This was slightly strange when it came to the main as it was essentially fish in a cheese sauce, potatoes and vegetables which would have been easier to eat if it was on a plate in front of each person. It worked well with the other dishes though.  I particularly enjoyed the 4th course which was a spoonful of Ginger and Apple Granita.  The only niggle I had was that although we had eaten a 5 course meal, I left hungry. It was great having so many courses but it felt like a small 3 course meal divided into 5. We could have done with a little more food.

Claire Hingott and her band provided some lovely entertainment. Claire was very welcoming and friendly and chatted to us between tracks which was nice. She introduced her band and joked with them which made the whole thing very relaxed. The music was good, with lots of well-known songs and typical jazz standards. Claire has a lovely voice and was very popular with the crowd.

Overall, we enjoyed our evening. It’s a novel idea to turn a shop and cafe into an entertainment venue and worked very well. The idea of having your food and entertainment all in one place is very appealing to some people. Especially with the weather as it was outside, it was nice to have everything under one roof so you didn’t have to eat and then move onto a club or bar.

Hampton’s have a number of entertainment events coming up. The next is a Soul Sensation Evening on Friday 20th May. Have a look at their programme of events and see what takes your fancy.

TWEET AND EAT! Win afternoon tea for 2 at the Blue Pelican Cafe

Eat Out Cardiff and The Blue Pelican Cafe at Hamptons are offering an exclusive competition!

On Twitter? Follow@eatoutcardiff and @HamptonsPenarth and retweet this post

On Facebook? Like Hamptons and Eatoutcardiff and share this post

You could win an afternoon tea for two in the fantastic Blue Pelican Cafe in Hamptons, Penarth. When 100 people have entered, we will pick a random winner!

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