It turns out that lots of restaurants are surprisingly helpful when it comes to identifying vegan dishes on their menus. One such place is Barbucci in Tenby, where my mum, sister and I went a week or so ago to celebrate mums birthday. My sister, who is one my biggest vegan champions, had got in touch with them to ask about vegan options. They had said that most of their vegetable curries are suitable as they are cooked in vegetable ghee. Music to my ears. Barbucci is in the basement, so it has a kind of secret James Bond lair feel about it. Service was excellent from the moment we arrived and at no point did we feel hurried or rushed, despite it being very busy, especially as they also do take aways. After demolishing an obscene amount of popadoms, my starter arrived, which was four delicious onion bhajis. Make it clear when you order that you do not want the mint yoghurt. I had completely missed this on the menu, as it states that it comes with the yoghurt. Fortunately, only one of the bhajis had the yoghurt on it and my sister was happy to trade me one of her yoghurt free bhajis. Then came the curries. I had ordered the vegetable laziza curry, upon my sisters recommendation. It did not disappoint! (Apologies for the rubbish photo below. Bad lighting, accompanied by being in a busy restaurant and wanting to tuck in meant I didn’t hang around trying different camera angles!)
This curry is delicious. You know how sometimes, you can’t tell different types of curries apart? This was not like that. It was full of flavour, not too spicy but tasty enough to make you sit up and take notice. It was so good that I kept thinking about the next day. And my mouth is watering as I write this! I would go as far to say that this was probably the best curry I’ve ever had and would happily go back for more. I also had boiled rice and a chapati so you can imagine that I was completely stuffed by the end of the night. If you’re ever in need of a really good vegan friendly restaurant in Tenby, then Barbucci is the place to go.
I love every bit of being vegan. Well, sometimes going out to dinner can be tricky. Okay, okay, going out to dinner at a non-vegan place fills me with dread. Will the waiters and waitresses know what a vegan is? Will the chef? Will I be served a plate of veg or have to make do with chips and salad? I worry quite a bit while dining in Oxfordshire, but I was quite concerned with the prospect of eating out in my native Pembrokeshire this weekend. It’s been tough to be vegetarian in Pembrokeshire at times, so I was a little apprehensive. Fortunately, my sister is incredibly supportive of my veganism, as is Phil, and between them, I was well catered for.
First up was Saturday lunch and my sister decided on The Brewery Inn in Cosheston. Having eaten there herself before, she knew it was a lovely, relaxed, dog friendly inn, with great food and service. She got in contact with them to find out what vegan offerings they had and they replied promptly, stating that as they cook everything from scratch, they could whip anything up, including a pudding. Well, with the offering of a pudding, I was more than happy to try there.
Hello, my name is Crafty Chai and I am a burger addict. I’m not 100% sure what the burger was, other than is was vegetable based (I’m thinking squash or sweet potato) and delicious. It was in a wholemeal bun (not all burger rolls are vegan *side eyes at M&S*) and had generous portions of sliced tomato and lettuce. It was lovely. So much so I barely said a word while eating it. Always a good sign of a content Crafty Chai. I was offered triple cooked chips, french fries or sweet potato fries. No contest really – I went for the triple cooked chips. OMG. They were to die for. I felt thoroughly spoilt. Plus virtuous, as my burger was basically vegetables meaning PUDDING! A chocolate mousse, no less. It came out of the kitchen in this rather large cup and saucer. I had pretty much given up on the idea of pudding, with the exception of sorbet (which I will never have. It’s pretty much a grown up, boring version of a Slush Puppy, without the capability of turning your tongue blue) so anywhere that offers a vegan pudding, I’ll be more than happy to dine in. This was a pretty epic pudding and it did defeat me. It was chocolatey, and velvet smooth. I will definitely be going back there. It’s got a lovely feel to it, it’s been decorated to a high standard and they had a cosy log burner on the go in the bar area when we were there. Plus, the staff were lovely, but not intrusive. I didn’t feel out of place at all (and I have done in some other places). Nothing was too much trouble. They had quite a few vegan mains available, you just have to give them advanced warning of your arrival. Their website is in the process of being updated, but they update their Facebook page regularly. So why not treat your vegan valentine for a tasty, cruelty free meal?
Last weekend, we went on a flying visit to my home county of Pembrokeshire to celebrate our engagement with my family. It came at a good time, as I needed my fill of coastal views and sea air. We started with a dog walk around Pembroke Castle and the Mill Pond in Pembroke, which remains one of my favourite walks of all time. I love walking around the old walls and imagining times gone by when the castle was inhabited. The Mill Pond is also a great place for some bird watching – we saw two herons, four cormorants and loads of swans and ducks.
After a spot of lunch at the Quayside Cafe in Lawrenny, we went for a walk around Carew Castle and the old mill. It’s a magnificent structure and a lovely little walk after a delicious lunch. I wish I’d appreciated these buildings more when I lived in Pembrokeshire and I’d love to learn more about their history. (At the moment, I like to make things up about their history and it’s a bit of a cross between Game of Thrones and The Tudors!) Finally, Sunday morning called for a visit to Freshwater West. As soon as I stepped out of the car and smelt the salt in the air, I felt restored. Sadly, this wasn’t to last as there were thousands (not exaggerating) of jelly fish washed up on the shoreline and they covered the beach. Poppy likes to bite them and fling them about. So we had quite a stressful walk, trying to keep her away from them and a few dead seagulls. Either way, there’s something about being by the sea that just fills my soul, even if it’s just for a few minutes!
Newgale beach is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to and I think it’s become my favourite beach. If you get the tide time right, it’s huge. I use the My Tide Times app and it’s brilliant for ensuring you arrive at the right time for maximum beach walking. Once you get over the pebble bank at the back of the beach, there are miles of golden sands ready to be explored. It’s fairly flat so is easy to walk across, unless it’s blowing a gale, which can make it very difficult, especially if you’re a small black dog with giant ears!
When we visited, we had come from the direction of Broadhaven and stopped at the first car park we came to which has seasonal parking charges. They kicked in the next day so we parked for free. As we parked at the opposite end to the cafe we wanted to go to, the Sands cafe, we drove to the cafe once we’d finished our walk and parked in the cafe car park. It’s really small so if you can walk up from one of the other car parks, then do, but make sure you pop in for a bite to eat.
The Walk: Newgale beach is just under 2 miles long. It has a huge pebble bank at the back of the beach, which can be difficult to walk down so watch your step. Newgale does have seasonal dog restrictions. The middle third of the beach is out of bounds to dogs during the summer. Take a look at the Visit Pembrokeshire website for a map highlighting the restrictions. There’s still plenty of beach to enjoy despite the restriction.
Car Park: There are three car parks and two have seasonal parking charges. Well worth it though.
Refreshments: There are two cafes, one at either end of the beach. Mum & I went to Sands cafe and enjoyed a delicious warming bowl of soup. It’s dog friendly too!