Merry Christmas

This year, my first in the flat in Cardiff I decided against the traditional xmas tree and went for lots of decorations centred around the fireplaces. 

Holly branches & Pomander Balls 

(Follow this handy tutorial for pomander balls - Instructables tutorial)

Cones, dried orange slices & cinnamon sticks tied with ribbon

Cute deers!

Love the nordic skier (Tiger)

Merry Christmas everyone!

A walk in the park

Red berries shine brightly, autumn leaves are falling forming a crunchy carpet of yellows, oranges, reds and browns to foot....perfect days for a winter walk

Winter approaches

Winter approaches


As winter approaches it's time for warm cosy jumpers, hot chocolate and hiding from the rain with a good book or film in a cosy corner.

Exploring.....Roath Park Conservatory, Cardiff

A hidden gem..........this weekend we discovered the lovely glasshouse at Roath Park. Located at the far northern point past the beautiful lake, amidst the botanical gardens full of rose beds, winding river with victorian bridges and mature trees with leaves turning autumnal oranges and reds.

The glass houses were first constructed in the early 1900's then replaced by the present conservatory in 1974. The warm humid conservatory is perfect for temperate and sub-tropical plants including banana trees, Panama oranges, pomegranates, ferns, orchids, Madagascar dragon tree which fill the glasshouse wherever you glance.

The focal point is a large pond with waterfall, providing a home to terrapins, huge fish and two wishing ducks. A pathway meanders around the pond and round through the tall banana and palm trees. 

At £2 per adult to go in it's well worth the money. A small shop selling a plants, duck food and a few gifts forms the entrance. 

Rose garden 
 Autumn colours
 Love the autumn colours

More about the conservatory & botanical gardens:

History of Roath's botanical Gardens

Visiting Roath Park

Exploring...Cosmeston Lakes

A relaxing sunday brunch and walk around Cosmeston Lakes.

Situated off the road between Penarth and Sully are two large lakes surrounded by meadows, woodlands,  wetlands, ponds and a medieval village. 

Designated as a local nature reserve and parts as SSSIs the lakes and surrounding habitats are teaming with wildlife.

 Speckled Wood

 A great place to spot Dragonflies & Dragonflies

  A bold young robin

   Rudd - beautiful red fins 

                                        Cormorants, Great Crested Grebes, 
                                           Tufted Ducks & plenty of Swans

Board walks and gravel paths surrounded the peaceful waters. 

The medieval village - a reconstructed 14th century village reminded me of a mini St Fagans. 

The country park also has a visitor centre, cafe, toilets, free parking and entry. For more info

For some morning energy, the Ocho Lounge in Penarth provided us with a scrummy brunch - definitely one to visit again. Ocho lounge is part of the Loungers group ( e.g. Tinto lounge in Bristol and Portivo lounge in Gloucester. Can't wait to try some more!

Klingande - Jubel (Official Video HD)

The perfect tune for the approaching summer.......with a video worthy of being the bestest summer day!

Exploring......Castle Coch, Cardiff

Standing prominent amongst dense woodland on the steep hillside high above Tongwynlais village, the fairy tale Castle Coch castle can be found.

Castle Coch translates to English as “Red Castle”, and it’s definitely shown in the red wooden features. It’s somewhat of a mix match towers, with hidden doors, tiny steep stair cases, beautiful stained class windows and elaborate walls and ceilings. 


Spectacular views across the countryside from the top windows

Ornate ceilings 

Colourful tiles…look hard and see owl faces?! 

Dressing table

The tea rooms were unfortunately closed but there was a little shop, free parking and toilets. Be prepared for lots of narrow steep steps!. £5.50 for an adult to go inside, which included an electronic guide (May 2014). 

For my first visit to a South Wales Castle (and I'm not big on them in general), the 19th Century Gothic castle was a good place to wile a few hours away....

Beautiful woodland with a dense Wild Garlic carpet surround the castle on the steep slopes. Some boards showing walks around the woodland would be a great addition.