Wednesday, 29 January 2014

January 2014 Digested


The festive period feels like a distant, hazy dream, and not just because I spent most of it with a glass in my hand. Surprisingly the dodgy weather has done little to dampen the the plans of our local food businesses and it has been a busy month. Here are some of the highlights:
  • Just in case you missed Hangfire Smokehouse's announcement via The Cardiff Food Project that they will be spending the month of February at the marvellous boozer (and my local) The Lansdowne.
  • Chef Anand George had a stellar month with openings for Munchesters, his town centre lunch venue opening to positive feedback, and a glowing review for the Purple Poppadom from none other than Jay Rayner in the Guardian.
  • Food hygiene scores continue to make news with England hotly debating whether to take the plunge. Here in Wales initial indications are positive that mandatory display of ratings is raising the game of local establishments, Don't know about you but I'm noticing a number of places (those with less than desirable scores?) that aren't displaying yet. 
  • The Grove at Narbeth was awarded its third AA Rosette, one of only 4 in Wales this year.
  • At Bar 44, owner Owen Morgan gained his Official Certified Sherry Educator's Qualification so if you thought he had plenty to say about Spain's most famous tipple before you might like to sign up for one his new 2 hour sessions and hear what he has been learning. As if that wasn't enough, the Penarth Bar 44 launched a new tapas menu this month with a refreshed offering following on for Cowbridge soon.
  • Fish at 85 have announced the return of their original chef, Dan Howell which is great news. For a review of his fantastic cooking go here.
  • James Sommerin announced the opening date for his much anticipated restaurant as Easter weekend. Booking arranagements for 'Restaurant James Sommerin' are available via an interview with Mark at Corpulent Capers
  • And finally, huge congratulations to the team at Halen Môn who have secured protected EU status for their Anglesey Sea Salt.
Dates for the diary

February 1st, The Celt Experience Brewery, Fire Festival featuring The Super Furry Animals and Hangfire Smokehouse £10 entry.

February 1st, Got Beef Co are extending their pop-up at The Canadian (previously home to Hangfire Smokehouse) to the rugby internationals, Wales v Italy all confirmed, fingers crossed for the rest of the tour!

February 2nd, Wright's Food Emporium moves 2 miles to it's new home at the Golden Grove Arms in Llanarthne, expect expanded seating and an expanded shop to follow

February 8th, the first Celtic Manor cookery demonstrations for the year, 'Comfort Food Classics' £45 including drinks reception and 3 course lunch with wine.

February 14th, Purple Poppadom Valentine's night menu, £89.95 for two

February 15th and 28thPop-tŷ, the new Pontcanna pop-up has released it's February dates.

February 26th, Grady Atkins is hosting a dinner at Fish at 85, £32 for four courses which will be seated communally, small groups of 1 -3 people recommended.
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