The Mulberry Cocktail Bar review at The Celtic Manor, Newport

I’ve always been a fan of The Celtic Manor down in Newport and like the fact they are always evolving, changing and enhancing what they have to offer under the roof and in the mass of acres surrounding the Luxury Hotel Complex.

Not content with trying the afternoon tea once i’ve been back 3 times for the ever changing specials they run such as the Willy Wonka Chocolate and the Easter themed one i’ve taken my younger sister to. I love the afternoon tea that much I’ve booked in for a 4th time in March for their afternoon tea with a twist and exploration of world cuisine with the Ribs Slider Afternoon tea that is there for the month of March. I’m equally keen to try out the Asian themed afternoon tea there in June.

Then there’s the inaugural Polo at the Celtic where everyone gets glammed up I’d like to say to watch the Polo but it’s an excuse to put some smart summer wear on, shades high heels / loafers and quaff measurable amounts of Pimms and Champagne in sun kissed Newport Countryside. I attended the event last, 2 years ago but contemplating adding it to this summers list of events.

I was saddened to hear about the fine dinning restaurant closing at the Celtic Manor back last year but when an invite landed in my inbox to the vacant spaces latest incarnation the Mulberry Cocktail Bar I was more than happy to check out what they had mustered up in it’s place.

Mulberry Cocktail Bar Celtic Manor Resort

The Bar

I’ve stayed and ate plus attended a couple of years at the Digital Wales events at the Celtic Manor but I was unfortunate not to eat at the Epicure restaurant when it was open so can’t compare what the decor was like before the Mulberry opened but I thought it did make a lasting impression walking through the glass doors with the bar in front, swooping chandeliers, large high backed chairs, mood lighting and classy fittings.

Mulberry Bar cocktail lounge Celtic Manor

There were scutterings of tables in all shapes and sizes to fulfil groups of varying sizes from small tea seaters, large canvas backed lounge seating to hold small groups that was occupied by a friendly gaggle of locals and regulars at the restaurant who were enjoying their first round of Mulberry fizz’s. There were offshoots with rooms and couches curtailed by thin threads giving a sense of privacy that can be booked out for groups and parties I was informed and then weather permitting (which it wasn’t on Thursday sadly) outside parasol entombed tables centered around a modern fire pit, which i’m sure would be well exploited come early spring and into the late evenings in summer after feasting on one of the many current restaurants across the resort.

Not being one who prefers the element of surprise, I had – had a sneak peek of the menu before the evening to see how they compared to recent visits to some of London’s favourite cocktail haunts such as Duck and Waffle, The Shard and the legendary Savoy. Sticking to my mantra of doing a smaller menu very well rather than an excessive menu very badly there were 11 cocktails to choose from. If you would of asked me what the ingredients to most of them were 12 months ago I wouldn’t of had a clue but to anyone whose graced the pages of my Instagram recently they’d know I’m partial to a cocktail or two these days.

There were a few familiar faces in attendance and not just fellow foodies and bloggers but Welsh Rugby hero Gareth Edwards, who i’m guessing is a keen golfer down at the Celtic Manor and none other than TV favourite Bradley Walsh who was staying at the hotel during filming of an upcoming show.

The Drinks

Price wise the cocktails were around the £15 mark, which for a Cardiff City Centre before 10pm might sound excessive to some but most of the venues in town who offer two for one generally in my eyes based on taste just use the same amount of alcohol but spread over two glasses so you’re just getting more juice or ice for your money. Having visited one venue well known for their two for one pricing the night after my visit I was quite appalled to see they were charging £9.70 for an Aperol Spritz outside of the happy hour window.

Here though at The Mulberry Bar they aren’t just using your standard house spirits such as red labeled vodka or sub £20 London Dry Gin they are using some of the best spirits available to make up the cocktails, which I think does warrant the slightly higher prices one would be more accustomed to in nearing Welsh cities. I’ve never actually been to a hotel for their amazing cocktail deals anyway as you come to expect to pay a little bit extra as it’s not just about the drink it’s about the experience, the service and having everything under one roof.

mulberry Fizz cocktail and canapés Mulberry Bar Celtic Manor

First up we were served a Mulberry Spritz containing vodka infused mulberries, Blackberry Pimms and Ice Cuvee. This wasn’t just some berries thrown in some vodka and shaken to within an inch of it’s life with ice with a straw. some thought and preparation and been involved from the steeping of the mulberries, the ice shaped carriages to hold the berries and the overall presentation of the drink. The first sip was quite potent but a little stir and muddle of the ice and it was a lot smoother.

We were treated to a decadent selection of canapés to go with the drinks with fois gras and truffle, lobster with scallops and a mushroom with mozzarella. These were later joined with a panko crumbed raspberry with poppet of boozy liquer along with a rich chocolate and rose pot.

candyfloss cocktail at Mulberry Bar Celtic Manor

Next up was the Candy Floss Royal. Not a drink I would normally opt for myself as I don’t go for anything that sounds overly sweet but it was a lot better than i thought it would be and not too sweet at all. A chunk of candy floss drizzled with black muscat and finally drenched in Champagne. What’s not to like with anything topped with Champagne?

Negroni and Mulberry Bar Celtic Manor review

I got to choose my next drink so obviously went for a classic gin cocktail and what’s more classic than a Negroni, but not just any Negroni… a Posh Negroni with Martini Rosso, Roby Italian Roby Marton gin and bitter Campari. This was the biggest glass of Negroni I’ve ever set eyes on. They’re an acquired taste if you’ve not tried Campari before but i’ve had my fare share over the past 12 months and got a taste for it now. It was good as is but the bar manager offered a splash of Prosecco, which just lifted it perfectly.

Japanese Whisky Cabinet at Mulberry Bar Celtic Manor

The Whisky Cabinet didn’t escape my radar right by the entrance to The Mulberry Bar and on further inspection they’ve added a few Japanese Whisky’s that I’ve had a soft spot for since my visit and Whisky flight at A Bull in a China shop in Shoreditch, London just before Christmas. I’d also treated myself to a sexy bottle of Nikka From The Barrel for Christmas. I’d not seen the Nikka Coffey in a bar yet though and been dying to try it. It didn’t disappoint either so if you like your Whisky, next time you’re at a bar or take a trip to The Mulberry Bar at the Celtic Manor make sure you sample one or two in their ever growing list of Japanese Whisky’s.

Cheese trolley at Mulberry Bar Celtic Manor

Did we mention the cheese trolley they have too? Just our luck they plonked it next to us with it calling out “EAT ME!” for the duration of the visit. Sadly it was just to entice us back as it was just for show but we were informed it was around £14 for a choice of 4 cheeses. To make up for it though the friendly and attentive bartender rustled up a the showpiece of the cocktail menu the Cheese Delice featuring Monkey Shoulder Whisky blended with Kahulua and hazelnut liquer in the centre of a plate adorned with nuggets of cheese and drops of chocolate.

Cheese Delice cocktail at Mulberry Bar Celtic Manor

The idea is to dip the cheese in the chocolate, take a bite and then have a sip of the drink. This was definitely a dessert to share much like a cheeseboard. I loved the different flavour combos going on with the dish / drink but it would of been a struggle to finish on my own and was a great sharing drink after some food.

The Verdict

We both loved our first visit to The Mulberry Bar at The Celtic Manor and will no doubt be back to finish off where we left off. I loved the surroundings, the vibes and of course the cocktail and whisky list. We had a good chat to the bar manager who talked us through some of the drinks on the menu, techniques they’ve employed to deliver the epic cocktails and plans for the future with drink and menu development, which sounded more than promising.

The waiters and bar staff were very knowledgable and more than happy to explain some of the more unusual ingredients and offer recommendations based on our tastes.

If you are staying at the Celtic Manor and booked in for food at one of the restaurants then the Mulberry Bar is a must to end a perfect evening in Wales most prestigious Hotel. Even though it’s in the afternoon, we’re off for the afternoon tea in a few weeks and I’m definitely going to see if they can sneak us in if it’s close to opening time.

The Bar is open Wednesday to Sunday from 5pm but closed Monday and Tuesday and to find out more visit The Mulberry Bar website.

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Xmas stuff







New Gin menu launch at Laguna Bar in Park Plaza Cardiff

Last week I was lucky to be invited by Park Plaza to sample the new offerings from their gin menu in Laguna bar and restaurant.

I’ll be the first to admit I was a late convert to the juniper botanical blended spirit but it’s my new go to spirit of choice. The initial hesitation to gin stems from growing up in a pub and no I wasnít an alcoholic child but my grandparents have ran a pub for over 30 years and I’ve lived with them on and off over the years. The problem was the only option we had 15 years ago when I first probably tried it working my way through the top shelf after my shift behind the bar was Gordon’s, Schweppes tonic and a plastic lemon!

One try I had and it put me off until a chance encounter with a wine and gin cellar bar in Chester back last year when I was introduced to what present day craft gin had evolved into.

Since then I’ve attended a few master classes and the Gin Festival down the bay last year and left with a new found knowledge of the craft and history of the stuff from the talks and tasting sessions down in the vaults in Portland House and a book of pairings for the 150 odd gins they had on offer, which has acted as my bible since then.

The Gin Tasting Event

I’d been to Laguna for the Gentleman’s afternoon tea and tried the amazing Sunday lunch but I’d not been for a while to sample the Gins on offer although I have been stalking them on Twitter seeing the ever growing selection they have behind the bar.

Cardiff park plaza gin tasting with Adam

There was a good mix of other bloggers invited to the evening at the Park Plaza with what promised to be a journey the new gin menu sampling 5 of the Gins in the range. I was a bit too keen I think and turned up first so I was kindly offered a choice of any of the ginís from the menu before the tasting commenced and everyone else turned up.

The menu had good balance of familiar faces and some that had I’d heard of but not had the chance to try. I didn’t want to double up and test any on the tasting options we were going through so opted for a new gin the Aviation. The aviation cocktail is probably one of my fav gin cocktails so this was one of the other reasons. I’d not paired a Gin with elderflower previously so this was a pleasant change to my normal choices available.

park plaza gin tasting gin bottles

Our host for the evening was a lovely chap called Adam who was very knowledgeable on the Gins we were sampling, giving a brief history behind the distillery, tasting notes and suitable garnishes to enhance the botanicals.

The gins we got to sample on the night were:

  • Sipsmith
  • Brecon Gin
  • Opihr
  • Caorun
  • Monkey 47

Adam told us about some of the botanicals used in the gins with some having around 5 unique neutral flavours to the German Monkey 47 brand that you’ve guessed it had a whopping 47 botanicals and a cool 47%abv.

I’d tried Sipsmith neat, well watered down with vermouth in a Martini but not tried it with a tonic and garnish. I’ve got a bottle of Monkey 47 in the house too but with the price on it it’s only come out on one or two occasions and Iíve always had it with lime twist.

I was keen to try the Brecon Gin as it’s only one of a handful of Gins produced in Wales and comes from the Penderyn Whisky Distillery the guys behind my favourite Whisky the Penderyn Sherrywood.
Mwsh had ordered an Opihr down The Dock down the bay not long ago but it came with an almost cartoon like chilli the size of my arm, which left me in hysterics so I couldn’t take it seriously at the time but this time it came with a wedge of orange, which cut nicely through the spicy notes of the Gin.

Gin tasting Cardiff Park Plaza Caorunn with apple

The other Gin on my to do list was the Caorunn. I’d seen the uniquely shaped bottle many times but not had the pleasure of sampling it before then. I was surprised to see it garnished with an apple and tonic, which I had never seen before and it turned out to be my favourite pairing of the evening. I think I liked the fact the apple parted with subtle hints of the fruit instead of the sometimes overbearing bitterness and burning taste of the rind of citrus.

Not wanting us to fall flat on our faces by the end of the tasting Park Plaza kindly brought out some sharing plates of nibbles so we weren’t too much affected by the powerful effects of some of the Gin on offer. Olives, cornichons, cured meats and breads with dips a plenty accompanied by some perfectly perfumed spirits, I was now in my oils.

Gin tasting at Park Plaza Cardiff with bulldog gin

After the tasting had come to a close and I’d polished off the lions share of the mezze boards we were given the option of trying one more gin to finish off a great evening of tasting. One I’d seen many times especially spending the best part of the weekend in the Bulldog pub in Krakow the week before was Bulldog gin. The gin was palatable but I’d say it was probably my least favourite of the Gins I’d tried that night but it was up against some stiff competition.

The Verdict

I enjoyed the Caorun so much we went out on Saturday and picked up two bottles from Asda in the World Gin Day promotions they had on. Armed with the menu and tasting notes they gave us on the night to take away in a goody bag we paired a Botanist and Caorun with the recommendations from the menu that evening.

Gin goody bag from Cardiff Park Plaza

I think the new gin menu at Park Plaza is a great idea as it can be quite intimidating ordering gin for the first time not knowing what tonic and garnish to pair with it but the options on the menu have obviously been tried and tested many times before making the final cut on the menu.

Lurvill’s Delight Botanical Water Review with G and Tea cocktail

I was asked to test out the relaunched Lurvill’sDelight recently. For those unaware of the brand or product it was born out of the Rhondda Valleys some 100 odd years ago by twin brothers Harold and Lolo Lewis.

The story goes that the brothers used profits of the drink to pay for 150 local coal mining families in the Ynishir area of the Rhondda to travel to the states around 1900’s. The carbonated drink ceased production not because a decline in sales but from a shortage of one of the main ingredients, dock leaves in 1910.

Having heard about the relaunch back last year on social media, I was keen to sample the drink especially as it was initially brewed and bottled just over the mountain from my home town of Abercynon.

I found the botanical blend of Welsh Springwater to be rather refreshing, poured over a large 3″ chunk of ice made from my recently aqcuired ice cub tray from Amazon. This is definitely an adults drink as there is no added sugar, colour, preservatives or artificial flavours.

With hints of rhubarb, dock leaf, nettle and juniper the botanicals lend themselves very well to Gin and not just as a thirst quencher on it’s own. I did enjoy the drink by itself but it wasn’t as fizzy as I would of liked personally although that might of been something to do with the huge block of ice in my glass. It sounds more of a health drink and had that sort of medicinal feel when first trying but with a sence of nostalgia knowing the history behind the drink but the mellow flavours where made for marrying the juniper flavour with a good gin.

I tried a few different concoctions of gin and garnish with the Lurvill’s Delight but found the Masons Yorkshire Tea Gin to compliment it best. I gave the Negroni cocktail a go from the Lurvill’s website but I’m not sure if I used too much Campari but it overpowered the subtle flavour of the Lurvills Delight as it is quite bitter.

Where can I buy Lurvill’s delight?

I’ve been informed that bottles can be bought from a range of deli’s and suppliers in Cardiff with Wally’s deli being the most well known. They can be picked up online at Amazon with a crate for £20 and drinkstuff also had some in stock too after a quick search on google too.

lurvills delight g and tea cocktail

Lurvills Delight G & Tea

  • 50ml Masons Yorkshire Tea Gin
  • Twist of lemon
  • Dash of Lurvills Delight
  • Loads of ice

Fill a large goblet type gin glass with large chunks of ice.

Use a potato peeler to shave the skin of the lemon. Cut in half lengthways and twist the skin to release the essential oils but take care not to tear it in half then drop in the glass with ice.

Pour the double measure of Masons Yorkshire Tea Gin into the ice filled glass and top up with the Lurvills Delight to your desired strength.


The Best Gin Martini Cocktail in Rome – Stravinskij Bar

Having tried the best Pizza in Rome and wandering around St Peter’s Basillica with a blistered and beetroot red scalp for a while with no hope of beating the qeueues into the Vatican before close there was only one thing left to do…rehydrate with a cocktail of course!

A quick scout online for the best places for a gin in Rome brought back some good results with a few hidden bars and speakeasy places coming out on top such as Jerry Thomas Speakeasy, Club Derriere and Spirito but none of them opened till around 10pm and it was just pushing 4pm.

One other place that kept coming up was the Stravinskij Bar at the 5* Rocco Forte Hotel de Russie. Aparently they do the best Martini in town and seeing that that’s my tipple of choice we were sold.

Roads were basically at a standstill at this time around the Vatican and google maps reconed it would only take an extra 2 minutes to walk the 1.3 miles from our location so thought this would be a good time to burn off the 3 million calories I’d consumed in the past 48 hours and seeing there was treasure at the finish line we set out on foot armed with my ever frustrating google maps on my phone.

The Bar

We arrived at the hotel after more than a handful of pit stops to browse at bloody crockery as usual. We walked through reception and headed to the back of the hotel where we guessed the bar might be. There were garden chairs and sofas nestled amongst heaters and unopened parisolls on a patio area in a courtyard between the hotel buildings but thought it looked a bit low key considering the reviews we had heard online.

I wandered over to one of the waiters to ask where the bar is and he said you’re in it to my slight dissapointment as we could see terraces overlooking the courtyard embellished in sunlight. Apparently that was the restaurant but the view looked so much better than the patio courtyard below and come on I’m from Wales who knowns when i’m going to actually see the sun again this year.

I wish i’d just ordered a plate of chips looking back now to sit up there with a dirnk but I was parched and needed to rest my little trotters. We pondered over the drinks menu whilst the waitress tempted us with an array of complimentary snacks from mixed olives, a variety of crisps and honey baked almonds. These got me pining for my first Martini of the trip with the tray loaded full of salty favourites and there were more concoctions on the menu than i’ve ever seen.

The Drinks

After some deliberating I opted for the Gold Bond Martini with both gin and vodka with a glimmering display of gold flakes swirling round in the martini glass. Pointing out the obvious it was a potent mix of alcohol, mixed with alcohol watered down with yet more slightly weaker alcohol pimped up with a healthy portion of gold flakes to jazz it up and lemon twist for extra zing.

There were a few others I was torn between but this was a good choice. It was a good job were were just sampling the one (at 22 euros a pop) we just thought we would see what the bar was like but I wouldn’t be steady on my feet after many that’s for sure.

Mwsh opted for a prosecco based fruity number although not of the martini variety. That was ok, had a slight Pimm’s feel to me and at that price I wanted a that hit of alcohol to headbut me in the face but it was a bit to reserved for my liking.

The Verdict

After being a bit disheartened at first not having a seat up on the sun laced terraces I did enjoy the relaxing ambience of the terrace down below (after about 15 minutes of some devil child bawling uncontrollably till the Russain looking child bride and Oil Oliagarch handed over said child to the stone faced nanny who soon got it to sleep).

It was a far cry from the tidal wave of tourists within the Vatican, noisy car and motobikes weaving in and out of traffic and the relentless assault of sales pitches from street reps trying to sell you JUMP THE QEUEUE tickets for the Sistine Chapel.

Ok so 22 euros a pop for cocktails isn’t cheap but this was a 5* hotel and one of the best in Rome at that plus the snacks we got probably would of cost us around 15 euros in any other bar no doubt. If we weren’t so pushed for time and was celebrating a birthday or something I’d definitely stayed to tick off a few more of the Martini’s on the list and would encourage anyone to swing by if you’re in Rome even if it’s just for one.

Negroni recipe

My first taste of a Negroni was the woodland Negroni at Duck and Waffle in London, which I have to admit wasn’t to my taste as it tasted like i’d just necked a bottle of pond water as it was seaped through layers of nature or moss as I’d call it.

I wasn’t put off though and knew there was more to this classic Gin cocktail as i’ve seen it cropping up a lot lately so after working my way through the taster menu at Mint and Mustard in Penarth last night we popped into Asda on the way home. I wasn’t quite ready for bed so left with a bottle of Campari in tow after hunting down a bottle of Noilly Prat Vermouth a few weeks back to make my own Negroni.

Negroni ingredients

2 x 25ml Gin (I used Portobello Road as it’s my favourite all rounder)

1 x 25ml Noilly Prat Vermouth

1 x 25ml Campari

1 twist of orange

Negroni cocktail making


To make two add 2 x double shots of Gin, 1 double Noilly Prat and 1 double Campari to a large tumbler filled with ice and stir for a good 30 seconds. Take a potato peeler to an orange and peel a slither of the rind, twist and squeeze to release some of the oils in the orange and add to cut glass tumbler. Pour the Negroni mixture equally between two glasses along with thick chunks of ice to keep the glass cold without over diluting.

Gin Sake Martini cocktail – sakitini

Ok so I’ve been a late adopter of the classic cocktail the Martini since sampling a bloody filthy one at Lab22 in Cardiff just before Christmas. Not being a fan of Gin till about a year ago and the idea of putting something salty in my drink never really appealed to me before as I thought it wouldn’t be too far away from dunking a packet of ready salted crisps in your drink.

Who would want those 45 organically farmed botanicals being sacrificed by a salty snack? Then coming to think about it a packet of crips, nuts or olives always taste better with a beverage of the alcoholic range hence why they’re called bar snacks in the first place!

So for those who don’t know what a Martini is it’s one of the most simple cocktails known to man with a shot or two of alcohol watered down with a shot or two of more alcohol with a garnish of your choice plonked in the middle of the glass. Oh and it’s James Bond’s tipple of choice and he’s a more of a British icon than the Queen.

So there’s a choice of base alcohol in the Martini you can either go for Gin or Vodka and then it’s paired with a measure of vermouth. I can’t stomach vodka since my early 20’s and abusing the vodka red bulls as a student so I’m on team Gin Martini. You can go dry, which tips the balance more towards the Gin in terms of ratio or wet means more vermouth in your glass. Gin Martini is usually served with an olive or two or you can opt for a twist of lemon. If you want it dirty then a drop of olive brine is added to the mix or if you want it filthy a good glug of the stuff.

The good thing about a Martini is you’re never going to get short changed for your measurements here as most cocktail bars fill the glass to the brim with ice leaving you with a watered down heap of shitty fruit and smallest drop of alcohol. The martini comes straight up, no on the rocks after being shaken or stirred with ice to get a crisp temperature. What I can only describe as to the taste of a good Martini is very clean almost like you’ve just had a sip of minty mouthwash but it’s so morish.

Anyway I fancied making a Martini at home to try and use up some of the recent Gin purchases over Christmas and on recommendation by the very helpful guys at Lab22 I needed a good vermouth to pair with my gin. The vermouth of choice at Lab22 is Noilly Prat but even trying good ole Wally’s deli in town I couldn’t find any anywhere in Cardiff.

I headed home defeated with blisters bubbling at the back of my feet from my new daps from mother dearest for Christmas. After deciding on what I was going to cook for the evening and tipping towards something chinese I remembered I had some Sake in the cupboard. Sake being a fermented rice wine i thought I wonder how much different this would be to vermouth a fermented wine so thought there’s only one way to find out so went about making a Sakitini a sake inspired martini.

Sake Martini cocktail recipe – Sakitini

3 x 25ml Gin – I used Portobello Road as it’s a great all rounder

1 x 25ml Sake

1 twist of lemon


Two make two put 3 x double shots of gin and 1 x double shot of sake in a large tumbler with thick blocks of ice and stir for a good 30 seconds.

Take a potato peeler and peel a slice of lemon, cut in half length ways, twist and squeeze to release some of the oils and drop one into each glass and top divide the liquid between the two glasses.


The best mulled cider and spiced rum recipe

Since the clocks went back last week it’s been absolutely baltic here in lil old Wales and no better time is there to get the winter spices bubbling away in some real medicine to warm the cockles.

It was bonfire night on Saturday so I thought there’s no better occasion to get the first batch of mulled cider on the stove for a walk into Cardiff to watch the fireworks by the castle. There are loads of recipes online for mulled cider but I’ve concocted what I think is the best one I’ve sampled yet, well it is made by yours truly so I’m not at all biased! Oh and mine contains a little bit of extra chest warming capabilities in my special ingredient…spiced rum.

Mulled cider and spiced rum recipe (enough for at least 4 glasses)

  • 1 litre of your favourite cider – I used 2 x cans of Thatchers Gold
  • 250ml of good quality apple juice or more if you want a less potent mix
  • 75ml of spiced rum or like me I used 50ml Sailor Jerry’s plus 25ml cider brandy
  • 4 star anise
  • 4 sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 apple sliced in half then into smaller slithers
  • Stick a single clove into about 6 of the slices of apple
  • 1/4 of an orange sliced
  • 5 all spice berries if you can find them or half a teaspoon of sound all spice
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar


How to make the mulled cider and spiced rum

Put all the ingredients into a saucepan, give it a stir and put on a low to medium heat to gently heat the mixture. The idea is not to boil the alcohol that would just be a waste and we don’t want that now do we?

Have a spoon to hand to check it by tasting it every couple of minutes but should take about 10 minutes depending on the power of your hob.

Once you’re happy with the temperature making sure it doesn’t melt anyones lips off, use a ladle and pour into 4 glass mason jars and try to get some of the star anise, cinnamon stick and fruit into each one to allow the flavours to continue to impart some of their wintery magic into each glass.

Tip: If you’ve got a slow cooker I did a batch last Christmas day putting everything in the slow cooker on high about an hour before our Christmas dinner was served and had it with our food for an extra Christmassy treat. 

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Wriggle Cardiff Discount Code and review

New on the daily deal discount scene if you haven’t heard about it yet is Wriggle. It popped up on my Facebook a week or two ago so i thought i’d have a nosey around on the site and signed up and to be fair i’ve been pretty impressed with the deals on offer so far in Cardiff since I signed up.

Instead of the usual chains and garbage you have to rummage through on some other well known daily deals sites they’ve hand picked some really good local favourites of mine with discounts from Crafty Devils Brewing Company, Chez Francis, Spit and Sawdust, Pizza Pronto, Dusty Knuckle Pizza’s and Lab22 cocktail bar to name but a few.

The first few deals that came through on Wriggle Cardiff happened to be lunch time deals but as I don’t live or work in Cardiff at the moment I (with tear in my eye) had to wait a whole 24 hours to see what deal they were pushing.

I waited too long to take advantage of the discount at Chez Francis with a 3 course meal and wine for just £11.50 so i’ve made it my mission to check first thing in the morning since then and bagged myself a 3 course cocktail taster at Lab22 on Chippy Lane in Cardiff for just £12.50 instead of the usual £25 but using the wriggle discount code AUHPSS I got £3 off so had 3 expertly crafted cocktails with side nibbles for just £9.50!! Absolute bargain.

espresso martini with lab22 discount voucher from with wriggle cardiff

I was hooked already and was gutted with tonights offer of 5 x 1/3 pints at Crafty Devil Brewing Companies bar and bottle shop with bar snacks for just £5 as I was up nanny Carole’s for Tuesday night supper up the pub! Bearing in mind I had 4 x 1/3 and a pint in Brewdog for £20.50 on Saturday night this was a real steal if you ask me.

All was not lost though as I’ve booked in for a £3 pizza and drink at Pitch on Mill Lane tomorrow night. I would of even pushed the boat out for a double header with pizza again from Award winning Dusty Knucle Pizza for just £2 on Thursday night, which is just up the road from the Crafty Brewing Company in Canton but I’d I’ve been eagerly awaiting the Gin Fest that night down the bay. I’m hoping to sample some new botanically infused white liquor and hopefully stock up on some 1724 tonic water whilst i’m there too as I’m running low from my recent trip to get some in Harvey Nichs in Bristol.

So why is Wriggle different to other daily deals sites?

The difference between Wriggle and other daily deals like Groupon and Livingsocial is that when you buy from them you have roughly 3 months from purchase to use it but with Wriggle they advertise the deal for a specific day in the next coming week and between the window of opportunity like 5pm-9pm for example and you have to use the deal then and only then. They also don’t seem to have the somewhat infinite amount of vouchers available like some other sites but then that’s probably down to the size of the traders and because it’s only available for exchange between a few hours on a specific day but that’s what makes it better in my eyes.

I’ve lost count how many times i’ve bought a daily deals voucher with no idea when i’m going to use it in the next few months whereas with Wriggle there’s a sense of urgency and I like the knowledge in knowing I’m going to use it and sample some great local food and drink in a day or two and makes you move your ass to sort it out asap.

I’m not sure if the deals are going to feature some of the local favourite independent traders in the future as heavily as it has done in the launch and for such amazing prices but let’s hope they don’t take the easy option and poison the site with chain after chain like some other daily deal sites.

Sign up to Wriggle Cardiff and discount code

You can sign up for Wriggle Cardiff here but have also launched in other large cities in the UK too to take advantage of but make sure you use the Wriggle discount code AUHPSS to get money off your first deal.

A guide to whats on and where to go for beaujolais nouveau day in Cardiff in 2016

[one_full last=”yes” spacing=”yes” center_content=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_position=”all” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””][fusion_text]Working in IT as I have for the past 10 year’s the IT crowd isn’t exactly known for it’s partying, bright lights and nights out so Beaujolais day was unbeknown to me until last year with a short stint working for a business networking company down in Newport last year as they were putting on their own event.

I didn’t sign up myself as I thought it was just for the members of the networking group and chatting about work outside of work…well that’s a big no no as far as I’m concerned because when I’m out having food or the drink that’s the last thing on my mind.

I did nip into town in the evening to pick a mate up from the Chapel event and that’s when I realised how big the day was and how many people went out to celebrate it. I then came to the realisation that it wasn’t just for brown nosing the boss or you’re next big contract win, it just looked like a good excuse to guzzle a shed load of red wine and chow down on some decent grub on a school night without feeling guilty so I vowed next year I want some of that!

You might be thinking what the hell is Beaujolais day anyway? Well Beaujolais wine is made from Gamay grapes from the Beaujolais region in France. It is celebrated on the 3rd Thursday in November when 12.01 midnight the wine goes on sale just weeks after it’s fermentation and sets off on a race around the globe to it’s eager wine fan’s waiting to sample the young wine. The wine is said to be easily drinkable due to it’s method of fermentation called carbonic maceration and contains less tannins that standard red’s but it’s these tannins that preserve the wine so it shouldn’t be left to savour for long periods and is best consumed within a few months.

So this leads me on to what’s going on this year and who is celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau Day in Cardiff and the surrounding areas in 2016.



Arbennig Restaurant

Price: £35

What do you get?

3 courses and a glass of Beaujolais wine.

Menu items including Chicken liver parfait Burnt onion butter, sourdough toast, pickle starter, Bavette steak, Cafe de Paris butter, black cabbage, Parmesan main and Chocolate mousse Peanut butter, salted caramel dessert.


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Bar 44

Price: £49.95

What do you get?

Tapas style 3 courses and half a bottle of Beaujolais and traditional spanish music for entertainment.

Menu items including 20hr roast fresh iberico ham and fillet beef pinchos, mojo verde.

bar 44 beaujolais day menu in Cardiff 2016

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Chapel 1877

Price: £49

What do you get?

3 courses, a glass of beaujolais and entertainment.

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Park Plaza

Price: Sold out

What do you get?

3 courses, a glass of beaujolais and entertainment.

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Pier 64

Price: £45

What do you get?

3 courses, cheese platter, a glass of beaujolais and entertainment plus shuttle bus to the afterparty at Peppermint from 7pm.

Menu items including chicken liver & foie gras parfait and Grilled Medallions of Welsh Beef.

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Madame Fromage

Price: £35

What do you get?

Featuring cheeses and wines from the burgundy and Rhone regions for tasting.
Arrival drink and nibbles, Beaujolais wine on the tables, Beef Bourguignon dinner and apple tart dessert.

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Chez Francis

Price: £24.95

What do you get?

3 courses and a glass of Beaujolais.

Menu items including pate de Champagne and Boeuf Bourguignon.


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Potted Pig

Price: £30

What do you get?

3 courses and a glass of Beaujolais.

Menu items including cod cheeks with puy lentils and sauce verte, whole roast poussin with orb of joy & matchstick fries.

Potted Pig beaujolais day menu 2016 in Cardiff

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Park House Restaurant

Price: £45

What do you get?

3 courses of fine dining and half a bottle of Beaujolais wine.

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Le Monde Fish and Bar Grill

Price: Sold out

What do you get?

3 courses and a glass of Beaujolais wine.

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The Pot Bistro

Price: £27.50

What do you get?

3 courses and half a bottle of Beaujolais wine.

Menu items including baked sardines, Bouillabaisse and Tarte au Pommes.

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Bully’s Restaurant

Price: £29.50

What do you get?

3 courses and a half a bottle of Beaujolais wine.

Menu items including Moules mariniere frites, Boeuf bourguignon, pomme puree, roasted root vegetables and Pear tarte tatin, pastis ice cream.

Visit the website

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Giovanni’s on Park Place

Price: £26.95

What do you get?

3 courses and a glass of Beaujolais wine.

Menu items including Cozze – mussels in a creamy, garlic and white wine sauce, Anatra all’ arancia – pan fried duck breast served in a delicate orange sauce.

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Mojo Bar – Newport

Price: £36 for 3 courses or £55 for 6 courses

What do you get?

3 courses and half a bottle of Beaujolais wine.

Menu items including Mussels with lemongrass, chilli, cream and fresh herbs, Pan fried duck leg, crispy breast on a bed of sauteed spinach, blackcurrant and Baked vanilla egg flan with Armagnac marinated prunes.

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