Monday, 8 December 2014

Ty Cerrig Christmas Tree Farm

Between Cardiff and Cowbridge lies Ty Cerrig Christmas tree farm. Before last year I had never heard of it but when my family were on the hunt for their Christmas tree we decided to check it out, we were very pleasantly surprised and knew we'd go back this year for our tree.

Ty Cerrig have eight different types of trees to pick from. It's a pretty simple idea, you turn up and wander through various height and types of tree until you find 'the one'. Anyone who has ever looked for a tree this way will know when they find their tree, it's just there looking perfect for you. After walking through lots and lots of trees, declaring that some were too tall, too short, too wide, not symmetrical, too bushy or not bushy enough we found it. One of the guys that work at the farm then came and tagged our tree with a price (£40 for those who may be wondering) and our name, after that someone else comes with a chainsaw to chop it down. That's how to get a fresh tree, not one of the ones from a supermarket or garden centre that come ready bagged after being cut down weeks ago. 

There's something truly lovely about wrapping up warm, pulling on your wellies and heading out to have your tree chopped down in front of you. Needless to say I'll be going back next Christmas and hopefully many more Christmases to come.


Sunday, 7 December 2014

Restaurant review - Chimichanga

Mexican food is a big thing at the moment, which is about time in my book. Tex Mex is probably my favourite type of food when eating out as well as when I'm cooking at home. Chimichanga is a restaurant I'm familiar with as I've eaten there a fair few times since it's Cardiff restaurant opened in St Davids 2, I wrote a review of it back in 2012 which you can read here

After a tough week I was ready for some food to cheer me up, so along with Nat off I went to Chimichanga. It was already packed with a line of people waiting for tables, thankfully we had a reservation so we were ushered past everyone in the line and taken to our table. The interior of the restaurant is brightly decorated with a mix match of tables and chairs, it's the type of place that you can have a meal for two or a party. 

After glancing over the menu we settled on the nachos grande to start followed by pulled pork quesadillas for me and the Mexican paella for Nat. Good thing we were hungry as the sharing starter was huge with tortilla chips topped with jack cheese, salsa, jalapenos, cajun chicken, sour cream and most pleasingly fresh guacamole. It was good to find actual pieces of avocado in the guacamole rather than something resembling store bought guacamole which I usually suspect has very little avocado in it. I really enjoyed the nachos, although I found that the chicken wasn't as spiced as it could have been for cajun chicken.

After a short pause we dug into our mains. As soon as my quesadillas had been put in front of me I recognised that the way they were presented had changed from my previous trips to Chimichanga, I can't say I was much of a fan of the change but that's very much a personal thing as I like my quesadillas dry and away from sauce. Away from the presentation, the quesadillas were good with a balance of cheese and pulled pork. As always the portion size was very good value. 

Nat's Mexican paella containing cajun chicken breast, prawns and chorizo was another sizeable portion. Nat has described it as being very spicy (for reference, she usually goes for mild sauce at Mission Burrito) but enjoyable, although the prawns were lacking in flavour.

After our mains we had a bit of a breather over a strawberry and mango virgin mojitos whilst looking at the dessert menu. I'll admit that I already knew I wanted churros after seeing someone I follow on twitter tweeting a photo of some earlier in the week, thankfully Nat went for the suggestion of us sharing some. I'm still patting myself on the back for that, they were hot and crispy and came lightly dusted in cinnamon sugar with dulce de leche and vanilla ice cream on the side, they were the perfect way to end a very good meal at Chimichanga.

Service at the restaurant was great, it's nice to see a restaurant with a good amount of staff on at a very busy time, no one seemed to be waiting long for their food or drinks despite the restaurant being full. Another good experience at Chimichanga.

I was invited to Chimichanga as a guest by Millennium Hotels Cardiff, our food and drink was complimentary. Millennium Hotels Cardiff are putting together a guide to Cardiff, for more information on what to do and where to go in Cardiff check out their website. 

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