Showing a Bit of Front

THE PIER HOTEL & CAFÉ BAR, PENARTH FRONT

If you’re a fan of aptly named businesses then you can do no wrong in visiting the Pier Hotel, situated no more than a few hundred yards from Penarth’s pier, overlooking the often glum Bristol Channel. Rarely does the Channel that has the potential to provide 5% of the United Kingdom’s power supply look great, but on this particular visit, it looked at its most miserable. Why prattle on about it? Because the waterfront is supposed to be the major draw in the area for recreation, and perhaps even a spot of tourism if you happen to get lost on the route to the more desirable West Wales. We feel that if the Bristol Channel looked a little more like Holly Willoughby and less like the sagging corpse of King Henry VIII, then business might pick up a little, especially out of season. Alas, as Basil Fawlty would say amid panic (skip to 3:00), ‘No, it’s not a dream, we’re stuck with it!’. Continue reading

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Remember Me?

HOOTERS THE SPORTS CAFE, CARDIFF

Well, this was simultaneously expected but unexpected. Hooters of Cardiff was rumoured to be on the way out back in February, when the Bristol branch of the ultimate patriarch’s dream closed, and rumours were rife that the restaurant in the Welsh capital was heading rapidly towards the same fate, much to feminists’ delight and, well, nobody else seemed to care. Not even lustrous men, which clearly demonstrated that Hooters has its place, either in Robin Hood’s home town or firmly on American soil, where the natural drive and enthusiasm to make a mockery of yourself for precious tips comes more naturally. Continue reading

Hello, Sailor

THE CAPTAIN’S WIFE, PENARTH

Curiosity is a malleable concept; it can excite, it can disappoint, and it has a tendency to kill unwitting felines. In this case, our personal long-awaited return to The Captain’s Wife was one that resulted in a combination of the first two, with no death as far as we’re aware. It was a re-visit of a place that evokes memories of fish fingers, vast amounts of that cheap vinegary ketchup and legging it around what used to be a Brewers Fayre ‘Charlie Chalk’ play area of inevitable bruises and tears. Continue reading

A Game Of Two Halves

THE SAND MARTIN, LECKWITH

If Jeckyll and Hyde were to live together, it’s highly likely they’d choose the Sand Martin. It’s a new-build pub, barely even a year old, yet already has a defining, landmark-like presence on Fford Fred Keenor, putting the KFC at its rear well within its commanding shadow. The building looks fresh both inside and out, and prides itself in offering a daily carvery at very reasonable prices at any time of the day. Continue reading