The food scene in Cardiff and The Vale of Glamorgan (Wales), with an emphasis on Local Food. I also tweet @sfnottingham
Sunday, 8 January 2012
Lakeside Coffee Shop, Cosmeston County Park
Cosmeston Lakes Country Park, to the west of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, is a great place for a Sunday walk. I frequently walk or cycle around the park, and use it as a through route to Penarth and the coast at Swanbridge. Today, I stopped off for a hot chocolate in the Lakeside Coffee Shop.
I had previously considered the Cosmeston Café a bit of a lost opportunity, as it used to be somewhat shabby, and had a very limited hot food menu. However, I was pleasantly surprised today. It has been smartened up since I was in last, and it’s rebranding as the Lakeside Coffee Shop is to be welcomed. They do breakfasts, lunches and sandwiches, and cake throughout the day. In summer, they have always shifted a lot of ice creams, but it's good to see more food on offer.
The menu today featured numerous combinations of sausage, ham, egg, chips, beans, jacket potatoes and toast. Today's soup option was Tomato and Basil. Kids are well catered for with an extensive children’s menu. There was a choice of two cakes with the hot drinks today. I had the last apple from the fruit bowl. All the food was very reasonably priced.
Cosmeston Lakes Country Park comprises 110 hectares of woodland, meadow, wetland and lakes, in an area of reclaimed quarry workings. It is a haven for wildlife, especially birds. There’s a network of paths around the park. On a Sunday, the dog walkers, horse riders and parents with pushchairs are out in force. It’s a great facility for local residents and well worth a visit if you live in the Cardiff area and have not already discovered it.
Within the park is the reconstructed 14th-century Medieval Village (a location in BBC’s Merlin); a fee is charged for entry to the village. The best time to visit the village is on special day (e.g., Easter, battle re-enactment days) when the full cast of Medieval villagers are present to talk you through their various occupations (the gruesome medieval medic is particularly good value).
The main news from the park at the moment concerns a herd of at least 40 horses that have appeared in one of the fields. The Vale of Glamorgan Council, who own Cosmeston, wants them gone within two weeks or they are threatening to remove them and sell them. They have put up signs warning of Wild Horses and notices quoting the relevant section of the Animals Act 1971.