Design: a day out in Cardiff Bay

Yesterday, I met up with my friend Neil for a jolly in Cardiff, before he goes back to work in London. It was such a sunny day that we decided to head to the bay, as did many others…it was quite busy!

Getting there for nearly half day, I was peckish for something. So, I got a few Welsh cakes from Fabulous Welshcakes, who make them, in addition to the traditional kind, in an array of different flavours. I tried the cherry & almond and the white chocolate & cranberry ones, which were lush!  Refuelled, we decided to go for a walk around the bay, stopping by the Norwegian Church and The Senedd or (The National Assembly Building). Opened on St David’s day, 2006 and designed by the Richard Rogers Partnership, it’s a building I’ve admired for years, but I had never actually been in. It was even built with help from Arup and Skanska – so its Scandi credentials were already appealing to me!

The interior is stunning, the ceiling clad in strips of Western Red Cedar sourced from Canada, is an amazing sight to see; while the floors are tiled with a beautiful Welsh slate, sourced from a quarry  in Blaenau-Ffestiniog. Then there’s the Siambr itself, with its ceiling partly made from glass, so that the public can view the Assembly processions below, a tip they’ve probably taken from the dome of the Reichstag, in Berlin. In the foyer (the Cwrt), and in the Oriel (gallery) it was filled with nothing other than some Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen furniture – Jacobsen’s Series 7 and Swan chairs were selected for the building, which I, of course, loved! It was funny telling Neil, how much they were each and seeing his face drop.

After our visit to the Senedd, we carried on walking around the bay, seeing a Tall ships youth trust ship set off. With all this walking, we had worked up quite an appetite, so we pondered where to go for food. Neil fancied fish & chips, so we went to Top Gun Fish & Chip Bar. ‘Award winning’ apparently, but I don’t know what award, as they were quite crap, being honest. £7-odd for cod (which was soggy, and greasy as), chips (which had been very obviously sitting under the heater for a while) and a drink, hmm. They don’t even touch on my local fish & chip shop for quality (Bonymaen Represent 😉 ).Plus I’m not a fan of their very sexist interior, popping back into the toilet to wash my now grease soaked hands, on the wall of the loo were some framed ‘nostalgic’ cartoon postcards. This one left me feeling very angry indeed. Some causual misogyny with my cod? I think not! Hmm

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Left feeling disappointed (and robbed!), we decided to head back into Cardiff central, not before stopping at Nata & Co’s new bakery in the bay for something to cheer me up. I just had to have one of their pastel de natas. Creamy, sweet and rich custard surrounded by crispy, buttery pastry. A perfect combo, and only for £1!.

A delicious end to a great day out.

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