Side Street Style

Side Street Style

Side Street Style

Family travel and lifestyle blog

07/08/2022

Cote Brasserie - the best french breakfast in Cardiff?

Cote Brasserie

*Written in collaboration with OpenTable - words & opinions 100% my own

Hands down my favourite meal of the day is a breakfast brunch and having spent time living in France before having kids, one of my favourite things to do is treat myself to a late morning french inspired breakfast and over the years I've tried a few around Cardiff but I had never visited Cote Brasserie until recently and I am so glad I did. 

Firstly I made my booking through OpenTable which is really easy to do and shows you all your local restaurants and cafes available at the day and time of your choosing. It doesn't cost anything to use and means that you can guarantee your table at your chosen venue. 

While I love breakfast I am not always the earliest of risers so I booked for 11am as Cote Brasserie serves breakfast until 12:30 on weekends and it made for the perfect start to a slow Sunday and even better my Mother and my Brother joined me as we hadn't gone for a meal together since the start of the Pandemic.

Cote Brasserie actually has two locations in Cardiff, one being on Mill Street in Cardiff Central and the other in Cardiff Bay. I went for the Cardiff central location and parking was easy and it was really nice being in the city on a Sunday morning without the working rush. 


Mimosa

When we arrived at Cote the host greeted us, confirmed our booking and took us to a lovely window seat where we could people watch while browsing the menu. The interior captures that Parisian cafe vibe with beautiful floor tiles, marble table tops and rustic wooden chairs and the menu offered just the right amount of choice to get the day started. Options ranged from French cooked breakfast to lighter dishes, croques, french toast and pastries.

You could also opt for a champagne breakfast and while we didn't go for that, we did decide to have a Mimosa using french white wine and fresh orange juice, I don't drink very often but it was nice to have a little toast and something a little refreshing while catching up with my mother and brother. 


French toast


When it came to the brunch breakfast I knew straight away I wanted the French toast as it's one of my favourite dishes and this came on french brioche with wild berry compote, fresh berries and creme fraiche and I couldn't fault it, it was delicious and I enjoyed every single bite and it wasn't too heavy or overly sweet and just hit the spot.

My brother had the Salmon and Eggs with sourdough toast and my mother chose the Eggs Royale on a toasted muffin with homemade hollandaise and while I cannot speak for them the dishes looked delicious and nothing was left on their plate. While there was the option to have a more British style cooked breakfast the theme of the menu was definitely french inspired, along with the interior, made it feel authentic despite being a small chain or restaurants. The service during the meal was great, we didn't wait to long for drinks or food and the staff was attentive without being overly so. 


Eggs Royale


In terms of value my French toast was £7.95 which I found very reasonable considering the level of service, quality and atmosphere, in fact every dish on the breakfast meal except one was under £10.

As we were in no rush, this was more a brunch affair then breakfast, we had some pastries and coffee after our main breakfast which was a lovely way to top off the morning. Catching up with my family over really nice food in a french inspired setting was just what I needed and as prices rise, opting for the breakfast menu can be a great way to enjoy your favourite restaurants at a more reasonable price that their dinner or lunch menu's but still equally feels like a treat. 


French coffee


So is Cote Brasserie the best French breakfast in Cardiff? Well from start to finish the meal was enjoyable, the atmosphere was nice and relaxed and the staff was friendly and welcoming. I also like the simple but well thought out menu and despite it being a chain the food was excellent and french interior felt authentic. It's also hard to find a French style breakfast in the Welsh Capital Bistrot Pierre closing and places like Bullys and Cafe du Chat Noir only open lunch and evenings, so yes Cote is up at the top of the list and would I go again, definitely, I loved my French toast with fresh berries and I will also be using OpenTable moving forward as I found it really easy and straight forward to use and having a booking takes the stress out of just turning up at a venue not knowing if they have a space or not.


Cote Brasserie

01/08/2022

5 budget friendly glamping spots in Southern Wales

glamping wales


While camping may not be for everyone, Glamping does have a big appeal as while it still offers a back to basics feel it's more comfortable and suitable for all ages. Some glamping options can cost in the hundreds and for good reason when it's an exceptional  location or unique experience such as a treehouse or converted double decker bus but there are a lot of fun budget friendly options, even during the summer months, which can make for a perfect weekend getaway. 

My boys and I have tried an array of glamping options over the years and it's something we really enjoy as each place is different, some have more facilities and amenities than others, ranging from high end to basic but that is all part of the adventure. So I thought I would share 5 of our favourite budget friendly options in South and West Wales which are perfect for families and 4 our of 5 of the sites are dog friendly as well.  

Cwmcarn Forest Pods


1. Cwmcarn Forest Pods

Cwmcarn Forest is a great location for family adventures, with the forest drive, walks, hikes, cycling trails, lakes and play parks it's perfect for families and is also dog friendly. They offer both furnished and unfurnished pods and both have heating and electricity. We stayed in the furnished family pod which had a cosy double bed (you can also hire bunk beds) and a fridge, kettle and seats to relax as well as a picnic table and bbq area outside. Furnished pods start from £58 and unfurnished pods from £42 and they also offer camping pitches and luxury lodges. You can read more about our stay here


Tylau Yurt


2. Tylau Yurt, Hay-on-Wye

Tylau Yurt is run by Outdoors@Hay which also have a variety of other glamping options including a bell tent, cabin, camping pitches and bunkhouse accommodation and is within a short walking distance of the famous bookshop town of Hay-On-Wye. We just love this location and the Yurt is fantastic with everything you need to be comfortable including great indoor and outdoor cooking facilities, log burner to keep warm at night and soft bedding. It's also a great location for those who love the outdoors with safe wild swimming nearby, waterfalls, the Brecon beacons and plenty of trails to explore. The yurt is around £90 per night over summer and you can read more about our stay here


Castle knights glamping


3. Castle Knights, Usk

Castle Knights glamping and camping is such a unique experience with and array of different glamping options but also being on the grounds of the private Usk Castle makes it extra special. We stayed in Glyndwrs Fort which comfortably sleeps four and has electric but you can also stay in Tom's Barrel, shepherds hut and a yurt, they also offer camping pitches and are dog friendly. Usk is a beautiful town near the River Wye and the Castle is a lovely place to explore. Camping starts from £10 and Glamping from £80 and you can read more about our stay here.  


YHA manorbier


4. YHA Manorbier Pods

We love the YHA which offers basic but comfortable accommodation in amazing locations across the UK and helps the charity do amazing work for getting young people outdoors. the YHA Manorbier is only a few minutes walk away from Church Doors Cove which is a beautiful cove to explore and you can also join the heritage coastal trail. Our pod had a everything we needed with heating, electric and very comfortable beds with decking, seating and outdoor cooking space. The hostel also offers additional facilities such as warm showers, toilets, budget friendly cafe and wifi. The site also offers camping pitches, Land Pods and Bell tents - both of which are dog friendly, along with their bunkhouse accommodation (not dog friendly). Camping pitches start from £13 per night and you can read more about our stay here


Top of the woods


5. Top of the Woods, Boncath

We have actually stayed at Top of the Woods twice which says something about how fantastic it is with a stunning location, facilities and dog friendly makes it a hit, plus luxury glamping options. We have stayed in their nature domes and pioneer camp tents and both come with cooking facilities, log burner to stay cosy, bedding, seating and solar lights. They also have a cinema barn, hammocks, a games barn and a waterfall walk on site. They are a little bit more expensive than the other options in this list but thats down to the additional facilities and they are still very reasonable with 2 nights during summer holidays around £280 for a Pioneer tent. They also offer camping pitches. 


glamping wales



25/07/2022

Top Tips for Planning the Perfect Vacation

London travel


It's the time of year when everyone is making travel plans. But for some, the process of planning a vacation can be overwhelming. If you're one of those people, don't worry - you're not alone. In fact, there are a few things you can do to make the process a little bit easier.

So, here are some top tips for planning the perfect vacation:

Choose a Destination

When planning a vacation, the first task is to choose a destination. There are so many wonderful places to visit all over the world, that it can be hard to decide where to go.

Do you want to go somewhere exotic on the other side of the world, or would you rather have a staycation closer to home? Over recent years, the idea of a staycation has become much more popular and accommodation choices have become a lot more diverse now too.

For example, a boutique hotel in Rittenhouse, Philadelphia is the perfect place to stay when travelling to this part of the United States. It provides all the comfort you need to enjoy your stay while feeling like you are at home. It's a win-win.

Regardless of where you ultimately decide to go, a few factors to consider are your budget, the climate you prefer, and the activities you want to do.


Manchester
City break in Manchester



Figuring Out What You Want To Do

Once you have picked your destination, it's time to start thinking about what you want to do while there. This can be tough, especially if you're going someplace new. A fantastic way to get ideas is to look up popular attractions in travel guides or on the internet.

If you still can't decide, consider talking to friends or family who has been to your destination before. They may be able to give you some interesting suggestions. Also do you want an active holiday or a relaxing one? Do you. fancy trying something new like SUP or surfing or do you want to focus on trying local food spots?


River Wye



Set a Budget

When it comes to budgeting for your vacation, it’s important to be realistic. Decide how much you can afford to spend and then break that amount down into categories like airfare, hotel, food, and activities. If you’re not sure where to start, use a travel budget calculator to help you create a budget that makes sense for your trip.

Once you have a budget in place, stick to it as much as possible. It’s easy to overspend when you’re on vacation, but if you stick to your budget, you’ll be able to enjoy your trip without worrying about money.

Make a List of Must-Haves

What are the things that are absolutely essential for your perfect vacation? For example, if you're looking for a relaxing trip, you might want a destination with a lot of sunshine and a beach. If you're looking for an adventure, you might want a destination with hiking trails and interesting attractions.

As soon as you think about them, write them down and make sure to include them in your planning.

Start Planning Early

The sooner you start planning, the better. This will give you more time to research your options and find the best deals. It will also help you avoid last-minute stress.

The last thing you want to be when planning a vacation is stress, so by doing it in advance, you have more time to overcome any obstacles that may come your way.

Create a Packing List

When it comes to packing for vacation, less is definitely more. You'll want to pack clothes that can be easily mixed and matched, as well as versatile accessories that will take you from day to night.

Be sure to pack a swimsuit and sunscreen for any beach or pool days, as well as a light jacket for cooler evenings. If you'll be doing any hiking or other outdoor activities, don't forget to pack appropriate shoes and gear.


family travel



Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is one of the most important things you can buy when planning a vacation. If something goes wrong - whether you lose your luggage or have to cancel your trip - travel insurance can help you recover some of the costs.

It's worth spending the time to research different policies and find the one that's best for you. You will be glad that you did.

Enjoy Yourself!

Finally, don't forget to enjoy yourself. After all, you're taking time off from work and spending money to relax and have some fun.

Make sure to include activities that you know you'll enjoy, and don't be afraid to try new things too. If you're travelling with others, make sure to plan some time for everyone to do their own thing so that everyone can have a great time.

Now that you know how to plan the perfect vacation, all that's left to do is book your tickets and start packing!

What are your top tips for planning a vacation? Share them in the comments below!


24/07/2022

How to plan a Great Party or event

party

*This post contains affiliate links 

Everyone loves a good party, whether that be a birthday, anniversary or an office event, it's just the ticket to bring everyone together. The only problem being is many parties are pretty lame. If it's poorly planned, low turn out or you haven't budgeted correctly leading to slim pickings for food and entertainment.

Instead of settling for boring once again, why not go the whole nine yards, and plan something your friends, family or employees will look forward to attending? An organised event, celebration or office party is a great way to boost team spirit while having fun. Here are some ideas on how you can plan a great party or corporate event that will be a hit.

1. Wine and Dine 

One of the best ways to show people a good time is by treating them to some delicious food and drinks. This doesn’t mean you have to go overboard and spend a fortune, but it’s worth splurging on good quality food and beverages for your party. Maddalena wines near me, when searching online, is an excellent option for affordable yet high-quality wine.

You could cater the party or take it easy by ordering some pizza, Chinese food, or other favourites which you know will go down well. Just be sure to have something for everyone, including vegetarians, vegans, and those with gluten allergies or other dietary restrictions.


mason jar



2. Hold a fun Awards Ceremony

Everybody loves to win something even if it's just a bit of fun, so why not hold an awards ceremony at your next party? You could hand out prizes for things like "Best Dressed," or "Most Likely to Be Late." This is a great way to add an element of excitement to your event.

Be sure to keep the awards light-hearted and avoid any potential conflict by steering clear of controversial topics. Several studies have shown that recognition and appreciation are powerful motivators, so this is a great way to show your employees that you value their hard work.

3. Plan Games and Activities

Nobody likes being bored at a party, so make sure there are plenty of fun games and activities to keep everyone entertained. This could be anything from a simple game of charades or Twister to more elaborate scavenger hunts or treasure hunts. If you’re planning an outdoor party, you could even set up some fun outdoor games like giant Jenga or croquet.

If you want to go all out, you could hire a professional entertainer like a clown or a face painter. Just be sure to consider the ages and interests of your employees when planning games and activities.

4. Consider a Party Theme

One of the easiest ways to make your party more fun and engaging is by having a theme. This could be anything from a decade party where everyone comes dressed in clothes from a certain era to a movie-themed party with games and activities based on popular films. The sky’s the limit when it comes to themes, so get creative and create something that will excite your invitees.

A recent survey found that employees are 2.5 times more likely to attend an event if it has a theme. Also, be sure to take into account any dietary restrictions or allergies when planning food and drinks for your party.

5. Have a Dance

What’s a party without some good music and dancing? Make sure your office party has a great playlist with a mix of everyone’s favourite songs. You could hire a live band or DJ to get the party started or simply put together a really great playlist.

Dancing is a great way to get people out of their comfort zones and it’s also a great way to burn off some of those office party calories. Many studies have shown that dancing can boost your mood, increase your energy levels, and even improve your memory.

Hope these tips help when you are feeling low on ideas.


friends dancing


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