The hedgerows are heavy with sloes and blackberries and the house fell quiet as the
In a bit of a first for me, I engineered to have a day with each of Blue & Pink on their own before they went back to school. 'Quality time' if you can bear to call it that - although I'll come clean and admit to dressing up ' making sure both of them were in all respects complete kit-wise for the new term' as 'quality time'. I was particularly keen to spend some time with Blue who has been growing up at a frightening pace recently and (gasp) has just started secondary school. Good job I did the kit check though, as I had completely forgotten to get him rugby boots.
While Pink's outing of choice was a perfectly easy trip to the lovely Peapod Junction, a pottery painting cafe and shop stuffed with lovely things, situated north of us, and rather delightfully in the middle of nowhere between New Quay and Llangrannog, Blue chose a slightly longer trip down to Pendine Sands, home of the Museum of Speed. Pendine Sands is, of course, at low tide, a vast expanse of flat beach on teh Carmarthenshire coast which gained notoriety for a short period in the 1920s as being the international home of the land speed record. This before speeds starting getting really silly - over 200mph for all you petrol heads that follow this blog - and the action moved to the States.
Anyway, to Pendine we went, Blue and I. A land of caravan parks, cafes and a huge MoD range. If you're in the area and have 15 minutes to kill, I thoroughly recommend the Museum of Speed. Marvellous value (it cost me £2 for both of us), and despite Blue's slightly bewildered pronouncement "Well, it's only got 1 car and 4 motorbikes", it did that car and those motorbikes very well. There's a good little film about the heyday of Pendine as the venue for record breaking, and just enough to occupy you (even someone like me who, let's be honest, has zero interest in cars other than knowing that they can get me from A to B) before you get bored.
15 minutes is all well and good, but what to do for the rest of the day? Well, about half way from our house to Pendine is the gorgeous Pembrokeshire town of Narberth - lovely shops, lovely cafes and home of the utterly fabulous Ultracomida deli & tapas bar. There's a branch in Aberystwyth too, and quite simply if you have any affinity with Spanish flavours at all, it's a 'must visit'. Blue is about as big a fan of chorizo and manchego as I am, so it didn't take much to persuade him that what he really wanted to do, given that we'd exhausted Pendine pretty quickly, was to see if we could grab a spot of tapas on our way home.
Ultracomida is a veritable treasure trove for foodies. Stuffed to the gunnels with all manner of moorish treats, food, drinks, oils, vinegars.... sigh...
Up till now, I've only managed forays into the deli for cheeses, chorizos and salamis, and just fabulous Spanish almonds which I could eat till they came out of my ears and I start rattling. On previous visits to Narberth, I have been thwarted either by time, or a heaving mass of people in the tapas bar, and have had to withdraw, clutching my deli counter prizes for treats at home.
Arrive at 11.30, however, and the breakfast crowd has departed, the lunch crowd not yet arrived. And while the full tapas menu isn't available till 12, we settled down to a platter of 'Embutidos' (cooked meats) and a 'Platter de quesos' (cheeses) plus complimentary olives cornichons and divine, nutty bread.
There's not much to say about it other than it was exactly what I was hoping for - and Blue loved it all too. It's a great thing to be able to share this love of food with him. The only thing he was slightly ambivalent about were the crisp rosemary flatbreads that came with the meats and cheeses, but I thought they were perfect.
There's a really convivial atmosphere promoted by the seating arrangements - no individual tables for 2 or 4, simply a couple of big tables where you grab a seat, plus a bar with high bar stools, which reminded me of the tapas bars I visited in Barcelona many years ago...
Deeply satisfied, we perused the deli and chose a selection of meat to take home for the Husband and Pink to enjoy too, plus a tin of olives and some cooking chorizo.
A thoroughly successful outing - and, calling in on the off chance, we even managed to score some rugby boots on sale in the sports shop in Cardigan, too.