Tag Archives: food cardiff

Absolutely Fabulous Vegan Fayre, Plasnewydd: A Cruelty Free Food Community

Ab-Fab Vegan Fayres have been running for a while now, going from strength to strength. In a way, it has become a bastion for the growing vegan community in Wales and Cardiff – it is events like this that keep alternative culture alive. Ab-Fab is more than a lifeline for the vegan community, it is representative of a growing movement in Wales and Britain. The food, crafts and cosmetics on offer, too, were creative and – food-wise – incredibly scrumptious.


Plasnewydd Community Centre proved to be an appropriate space for the Fayre. The space was small, but properly utilised by the highly-varied stalls that filled up the community centre. The room was bursting with conversation, laughs and well-timed “mmms” when someone took a bite of something. The atmosphere was one that was welcoming and inclusive for vegans and non-vegans alike. The stalls were incredibly varied (although cake-heavy, which isn’t so much a problem as it is a solution to a lot of life’s problems) at affordable prices. We didn’t get a chance to try everything, but what we did try gave further evidence that vegan food can be creative and satisfying to the palette.

Vegan Pizza Co. were our first stop. The Cardiff-based pizza slappers have been gaining a strong reputation in Cardiff and for good reason. The pizzas ranged from £6 to £8 which was great value for the quality of the pizza. The pizza crust was strong, the pizzas were well-topped and the vegan cheese was nothing short of a miracle – the cheese, truly, was indistinguishable from its curdled milk cousin. Cardiff Pizza Co. truly are doing great things with pizza and we’re praying that – eventually – they move from pop-up to establishment.


The next stop was The Welshman’s Lunch who had a variety of vegan cakes, chutneys and tea on offer. We sampled (and bought without hesitation) their avocado chocolate cupcake which was – again – a work of vegan magic. The flavour was strong, sweet, unique and dangerously moreish. We then stopped by Peace & Bake who sold a variety of sweet loaves, brownies and cakes (you can see a theme emerging here). A brownie and a banana bread was on the menu and these, too, were dangerously moreish


Mr. Nice Pie and Jack Bakes were next and offered enough savoury pie goodness to end your pie cravings forever. Mr. Nice Pie’s Thai green curry pie was immense and unlike anything we’ve tried before. Jack Bakes spinach tartlet, too, struck a fine balance to satisfy the palette.

The true unsung hero of the fayre was Global Fusion Creole Vegan Bakery. A variety of sweet loafs were on offer, £2 for a slice and £4 for a loaf. There were some truly original loaves on offer, but we settled for the mango bread (something we’d never seen before) and were not let down by the sweetness of the bread for our breakfast the next day.


In addition to the above, there were stalls offering crafts, make-up and cosmetics, along with food stalls we had to miss out on due to full stomachs. We’ll provide a list to all the stalls on offer below, so be sure to check them out as they were all so passionate about their food and crafts.

What stuck out most as we left Ab-Fab in a glucose-induced high was the accommodating nature of it all. A false narrative that veganism is militant has been concocted in recent years, but the truth about veganism is that it is accommodating for all – this was simply a group of people who were trying to make good food without hurting animals. What is there to hate about that? The next fayre is on the 25th in Penarth, so please head on down there whatever your dietary description because this event – along with the lovely organiser Sue Thomas – deserve all the support they can get. You can follow their next event here on Facebook.

Food Stalls:

Babita’s Spice Deli-Indian & Asian Food

Global Fusion Creole Vegan Bakery

Angela Feane-Vegangela Rose Bakery (Sweet Potato mild curry pasties & fabulous vegan cakes)

Vegan Pizza Co

Vic’s Vegan Bakes

Peace and Bake

Mr Nice Pie

The Welshman’s Lunch

Jack Bakes

Animal Rescue Stalls:

Greyhound Rescue Wales

FAUNA-VIKKI FAUNA-Wildlife Rescue & Animal Rights

Welsh Horse and Pony Group

Homeless Cats Cardiff

RozMogz Cat Rescue

Hillside Animal Sanctuary

Gifts & Crafts:

Ahh Lovely-Tracey & Cally

Venla Valve-Moon & Bear Shop



Skincare, Healthcare & Beauty:

IUVO Skincare


Selina Wells-Hyfryd Skincare

Tropic Skincare & Makeup


Theatre / food / health / the future of our planet: Chew It Over and get £100!

Interested in theatre, food, health, and the future of the planet? Join the Wellcome Trust at their event Chew It Over! at the Masonic Hall on 7 May and 2 July for two events combining all of the above – attend both, and you’ll get £100 for your troubles!


Join Chew It Over! on a voyage of discovery, starting from our current issues and views, progressing to plausible futures. The event centres around Look Left Look Right’s new play ‘What we talk about, when we talk about food.’ The play explores food from all angles, from examining how we make consumer choices to growing algae in schools. Don’t worry, no acting or role play will be required!

The event will feature experts in the field such as John Ingram, University of Oxford and Barbara Gallani Director from the Food and Drink Federation. They’ll be supporting discussions and offering views from the research and policy community. Insights from these discussions will be gathered for use in policy influencing and research. YOUR TWO PENCE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE, PEOPLE!

During the event you will be opportunities to share your views and encouraged to think more deeply about how we produce, distribute, consume, store and dispose of our food.

It’s an immersive, theatrical experience where participants are invited to view a new play by awarding winning Look Left Look Right theatre group. The production is emotional and provocative, fuelling exciting discussions. We look at food in terms of its cultural elements, scientific ecology and what drives choices, as well as many other angles!

Chew it Over takes place over two days, 7 May (Act 1) and 2 July (Act 2). The days run from 10am – 4pm. The event is free and lunch and refreshments throughout the two days are provided. Spaces are limited, so be sure to sign-up now!

And as if influencing future policy on food and our planet aren’t enough, participants will get £100 for attending both Acts!

Find out more and register for The Crunch! in Cardiff

Follow #TheCrunch2016 on Twitter


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Observer Food Monthly Awards 2015: the Cardiff contingent

Well done to all the Cardiff businesses featured in the Observer Food Monthly Awards 2015! Have you visited these eateries yet? If not … why not?

Penylan Pantry - one of Elliot's choice spots in Cardiff

OFM awards 2015 best independent retailer: runners-up

Penylan Pantry, Cardiff
Get an organic veg box delivered to your home by bicycle, if you can’t drop in to the little shop.
72 Kimberley Rd, CF23 5DN; @PenylanPantry

The One Mile Bakery, Cardiff
If you’re lucky enough to live within one mile of this bakery then you can sign up (for either one, or three months) to get their original or sourdough loaves delivered.
07939 211809; onemilebakery.com

Wally’s Deli, Cardiff
An amazing array of European ham, salami, sausages and pickles on offer in this characterful deli, with a nod to Wally’s Polish heritage.
38-46 Royal Arcade, CF10 1AE; 029 2022 9265; wallysdeli.co.uk

OFM awards 2015 best market: runners-up

Riverside Market, Cardiff
One of three Cardiff markets, this one, opposite the Millennium Stadium, is the first and flagship, and draws more than 1,500 people weekly.
Sun 10am-2pm; 17 Fitzhamon Embankment, Cardiff, CF11 6AN; 029 2019 0036;riversidemarket.org.uk

Cardiff Central Market
Indoor market home to long-established independent traders in an impressive Victorian glass roofed building.
Mon-Sat 8am-5.30pm; St Mary St, Cardiff, CF10 1AU

OFM Awards 2015 best Sunday lunch: the runners-up

Milgi, Cardiff
Imaginative vegetarian cooking – try the Indian street food platter or Peruvian superfood plate – plate – with gluten-free and vegan-friendly dishes.
213 City Rd, CF24 3JD; 029 2047 3150; milgicardiff.com

Kings Arms, Pentyrch
At this pretty as a picture country pub the customer is king. The excellent value Sunday lunch menu offers three courses for just £16.
Church Rd, Cardiff CF15 9QF; 029 2089 0202; kingsarmspentyrch.co.uk

Bully’s, Cardiff
There are always five starters and five mains (two of which are a traditional roast) on the Sunday menu that changes according to what’s in season and good.
5 Romilly Cres, CF11 9NP; 029 2022 1905; bullysrestaurant.co.uk

Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff
Diverse and vibrant restaurant in the middle of this large arts centre with a range of lunch options varying according to season.
Market Rd, CF5 1QE; 029 2030 4400; chapter.org/eat-drink

The Lansdowne, Cardiff
A Camra pub of the year two years on the trot, this local is the place to come for ale, cider and good pub grub (also, pickled eggs).
Cnr Lansdowne Rd/Beda Rd, Canton, CF5 1PU; 029 2022 1312;thelansdownecardiff.co.uk

OFM Awards 2015 best restaurant: the runners-up

Purple Poppadom, Cardiff
Anand George serves imaginative Indian food with a twist (try a class at the cookery school, too).
185a Cowbridge Rd East, CF11 9AJ; 029 2022 0026; purplepoppadom.com

The Potted Pig, Cardiff
Industrial-style subterranean restaurant in a former bank vault. Potted pig is, of course, on the menu, as is whole suckling pig (which can be pre-ordered for a minimum of 8 people).
27 High St, CF10 1PU; 029 2022 4817; thepottedpig.com

Milgi, Cardiff
Popular vegetarian with its own backdoor yurt.
213 City Rd, CF24 3JD; 029 2047 3150; milgicardiff.com

OFM Awards 2015 best ethical restaurant: the runners-up

Milgi, Cardiff
Plant-based dishes, seasonal, organic, sometimes foraged.
213 City Rd,, CF24 3JD; 029 2047 3150; milgilounge.com

Penylan Pantry, Cardiff
Neighbourhood café/deli and hub promoting local producers.
72 Kimberley Rd, CF23 5DN; facebook.com/PenylanPantry

The Potted Pig, Cardiff
The French and American inspired menu is built around independent and locally sourced seasonal ingredients.
27 High Street, CF10 1PU; 029 2022 4817; thepottedpig.com

OFM awards 2015 best cheap eats: runners-up

Penylan Pantry, Cardiff
Store, deli and café that promotes local producers through the food it sells and makes.
72 Kimberley Rd, CF23 5DN; facebook.com/PenylanPantry

The Deck, Cardiff
This cosy cafe specialises in blow-out breakfasts (four-egg omelettes) and hot baguettes – try the Hog and Hen (sausage, bacon and egg) for a very reasonable £3.80.
20 Harrowby St,CF10 5GA; 029 2115 0385; thedeckcoffeehouse.co.uk

Hang Fire Smokehouse, popping up across Wales
Samantha Evans and Shauna Guinn are dedicated to authentic southern style barbecue, as is their roving not-really-a-restaurant. Check the website for their next appearance.

Caffi Bar at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff
Wide ranging menu with an international flavour and Welsh ingredients.
Market Road, CF5 1QE; 029 2030 4400; chapter.org/eat-drink


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Invite to Lia’s Kitchen – a ‘not-so-Greece food affair’, Saturday 27 September

Lia’s Kitchen has been doing pop-up supperclubs around the city of Cardiff (and beyond!) over the last couple of years. I accosted Lia for a quick chat and to ask her about her upcoming event on Saturday 27 September – a ‘not-so-Greece food affair’.

Lia's kitchen mugshot

Q. Give us a little background about yourself
I am Lia, an iterant Greek, and have lived in Cardiff for 13 years. I have at least two homes in my heart and feel at home everywhere. I love nature and all creative expression whilst I feel most free when dancing and singing, inside or by the sea or on a (real) mountain.

In my day job I work on water policy issues for the statutory water consumer watchdog. In my free time I sometimes write, and most importantly I run Lia’s Kitchen with the invaluable help of my friends and through collaborations with independent food businesses, such as the Penylan Pantry, MADE Gallery, and Natalie Eddins who used to run The Pot café.

Q. How did you end up in Cardiff, and how come you’ve stayed here?
A. My connection to Wales dates back to my postgraduate degree in Environmental Law in Aberystwyth. After a research year in Italy, I returned to Wales in 2002, to Cardiff in particular, to seek a research position and further research qualifications at Cardiff University. I worked at a coastal management project and taught Environmental Law. I loved teaching (miss it to this day), made wonderful friends and in 2006 at the tail end of my PhD process I settled down in Roath, in my own house.

My life took a dark turn that year when my beloved partner at the time, Tom Woollam, passed away. It was impossible to lock myself up to write up my PhD thesis and my priorities in life changed drastically. In October 2007 I gave myself one year in Cardiff, I did not want to run away from it but I also promised to myself I would not ‘bury’ myself in a place that was no longer suitable to be my home. In October 2008 I burst into life gratefully receiving every activity and offering that Cardiff had to give me, I really felt like I was rediscovering the city and myself.

My decision to stay in Cardiff was not based on logic, but I did not drift into it. I am not a work or love immigrant, although I found love again in the shape of a tall, friendly local photographer. This city has become home in such a subtle way that even when I feel I’ve had enough I want to find a way to at least have a part time base here. I love the people, the small distances, the parks, the pace of life. I love how Cardiff, despite its limitations, still offers itself to us as a blank canvas (so long as we don’t get dragged into navel gazing and perpetual old moans). Cardiff is my second home.


Q. Tell us about your history with food.
A. For me food and cooking are more than a survival skill or hobby. It might have something to do with my upbringing but food has always been at centre stage. We always were made aware of nutritional value and the importance of a balanced diet. I believe that food is love and appetite for food shows curiosity for life.

I think food and the act of preparing it are more than preventing our stomachs from rumbling. At difficult times cooking together helps overcome communication barriers – it can help transform difficult situations to nurturing and healing moments. When in celebration the act of gathering at the table seems the most intimate and meaningful. When in far away places, cooking and sharing food overcomes language barriers and awkwardness – people open their doors to you to share food. And then of course food and discovery of recipes is a way of travelling, understanding cultures and identifying similarities amongst them.

Lia’s Kitchen is about all those things. I want to create dinners that offer indulgent but healthy dishes, I want people to leave an event having met someone new or having learnt a new thing about their friend, I want people to discover new tastes and music, and at the end of the night to leave with a feeling of contentment and excitement.

Business card template


Q. What’s the most memorable meal or eating experience you’ve ever had?
A. That’s hard to answer and hard to pick. So here is a recent highlight.

Last year on my birthday we organised a meal for 40 people at Jacob’s Market. My friends and I cooked tirelessly and then towards the end of the night Dan had to pull me out of the kitchen. Forty people who had just eaten my food sang happy birthday to me, and Zoe, of Bird to Market, presented me with a delicious pomegranate and feta birthday cheesecake! This is the best birthday I have had in a very long time and the best cake that anyone has ever made for me. I felt like I turned 30 again!

Q. What inspired you to start Lia’s Kitchen?
A. My friends. My real friends see things that I don’t and they don’t just hand me a drink or pat me on the back. The urge me to be all the positive things they see in me and love to push me out of my comfort zones. And so it was that one sunny day on a road trip to the Gower, my friends Becci Lynch, Elpida Sarvani and my boyfriend Dan Green, started talking about Lia’s Kitchen as a brand, a blog and a food venture. I listened, got enthused and a week later an outline Lia’s Kitchen appeared on my ‘ideas’ notice board.

Lia’s Kitchen started as a blog to record recipes and to tell stories of gathering. Oh how I rambled until I found my own format to write a recipe. Eventually, I felt the urge to cook for others outside my home. And so Lia’s Kitchen started popping up as a guest cook at various locations to create unique gatherings and menus. A new page has been turned. I am now moving on to designing my first cooking classes and offer bespoke menu design, cooking lessons and recipes on demand.

It is still the beginning for me and a year ago I never imagined there could be such a strong movement of pop-ups, supper clubs and food ventures. I feel encouraged and not the least antagonised by all these amazing entrepreneurs. I feel very lucky to live during what I consider the most significant period of food in history – a real food revolution. I am proud to be part of it.


PantrySupperClub_16 PantrySupperClub_08

Q. Tell us a little about the events that you are holding over the 27 – 28 September 2014 weekend
A. Lia’s Kitchen is holding two events showcasing Greek cuisine on 27 and 28 September at Penylan Pantry. The first event is a unique dining experience where our guests will be allocated Olympian and Roman deity identities for a night. And the second day is a cooking class! I am very excited that we are launching our first cooking class and I am so happy to be working , for both events, with the wonderful Penylan Pantry, a thriving independent business growing from strength to strength.

On 27 September the menu is inspired by delicacies from my homeland but I have aimed to include dishes for which many have different cultural references. It will be a kind Greek menu with a multi-culti twist. I can reveal it includes homemade vine leaf dolma, tomato fritters and the amazing cake of cakes, Revani.

On 28 September everyone that joins us will learn how to make dolma, the infamous vine leaf rice parcel. This will be a process of communal cooking. And we will also share a light evening dinner amongst the class participants.

You can get more information and book a place at our table here:

Q. Finally, give us a cooking tip that will make all our lives better in the kitchen!
A. You don’t need to wash mushrooms! For chestnut and cup mushrooms remove the stem, and peel the mushroom skin pulling from the stem cavity outwards. For oyster or wild mushrooms use a (new) soft toothbrush to get rid of the dirt.


Thanks Lia! Contact Lia’s Kitchen on liaskitchen@gmail.com to be added to Lia’s event mailing list.


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