Jamie's Italian is easily twice as good as any restaurant I've eaten in.
I think Tea and Kae would agree with that assessment of the place; they certainly enjoyed themselves. The quality of the ingredients is amazing, and what really sets it apart -- I've never tasted olives, bread or Italian meats like those -- but it's the little things too: like offering the antipasti tray based on how many will be eating it, and offering half portions of everything -- 'cause, frankly, it turns into a six course meal despite your best efforts, so you need to pace yourself.
But it's more than that: the selections are simple, yet inspired. I had a 'winter salad' with my penne arrabiata, and I quickly ended up pushing it to the middle of the table with a "OMG, you have to try this!" Pumpkin, two types of onion, pine nuts, balsamic vinegar... It looked beautiful, and was like nothing I'd ever tasted before; yet, it was so simple, I think I could make it (assuming I could get the same quality ingredients, of course). And Kae's tiramisu was another example: as she put it, "The orange changes everything!"
We finished up the day with the Cardiff Centenary Walk, and then caught the train home, planning our next day trip.
BathWe decided that some time at the spa in Bath would do us good, followed by more good food at the Jamie's Italian in that town. :-) Yes, folks, we went to that restaurant on back-to-back evenings. And while the spa was a bit disappointing -- the view from the rooftop pool was lovely, but the saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs were not nearly hot enough -- the restaurant was just as good as the one in Cardiff, if not a smidge better (just 'cause, Will, our waiter that evening, was so much fun).
|Stella at the Pig and Fiddle|
Finally, another highlight would have to be the book shops: Topping & Company Booksellers of Bath was fantastic, with all sorts of signed copies and upcoming readings. And Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights was just like someone's home: such a great selection, with water in decanters on end tables encouraging long hours of reading and browsing. They even advertise reading spa holidays, which, while still a mystery to me, sound awesome!
Up next: a weekend in London.