I thought this would be an interesting idea to start on the blog. Apart from featuring the usual business profiles and interviews, I thou...

TALES OF A FOOD BLOGGER: COAST TO COAST & LOTS OF BBQ

August 05, 2013 Lauren Mahoney 2 Comments


I thought this would be an interesting idea to start on the blog. Apart from featuring the usual business profiles and interviews, I thought I would share with you a more personal side of what goes into creating content for this blog.
I recently read a post by the Yorkshire Pudding blog and thought that it would be a fun element to incorporate into the blog on a monthly basis. One of the main things I enjoy doing is travelling, and this blog gives me the opportunity to do that.
After my trip to Barcelona last year, I really enjoyed sharing the places and events that I stumbled across. The thing is, at the time, I was still pushing my blog as Cardiff-centric and I think those posts were definitely misplaced and didn't get the reaction I was hoping for. But, hindsight is a great thing, and I think the lack of reaction scared me into thinking it wasn't worth doing and that I should take away any personal element I had to my blog. This of course was a silly idea, and now I'm left wondering why I worried about what people thought in the first place. Writing about food AND travel makes me happy.

I'll still be blogging about the usual things, but I thought this would be a nice change of pace and perhaps a bit more engaging to read about. Who knows? Here goes.....

The month started off with a visit to Dublin via Bristol. I was desperate to get Clifton on the blog, so that was my first port of call. The sun was shining and the village was picture perfect. I went for some amazing food in Cotes and explored the award winning Arch House Deli. After some cocktails on the waterfront, it was back up to Clifton to check out Grillstock and after, I took my friend to the Avon Gorge hotel to see the views from the balcony.

The next morning was a 5.30am start and we got on the plane to Dublin. We visited what is one of the worst tourist traps I think I've ever encountered - The Guinness Storehouse. We prepaid for our tickets online and, to be honest, we could of walked through the gates without paying at all. Nobody checked or cared. It wasn't quiet the hands-on experience I thought it would be as there were lots of documentaries to watch. Throw in some 'free' Guinness and a trip to the overcrowded Gravity bar and you feel like you've wasted a morning. We stopped for lunch and had some amazing beef stew with some cloudy views of Dublin. That was its only saving grace.


This month did seem to consist (as it does most months) of visiting BBQ places. I needed to get some more pictures of the fantastic food at Hang Fire, so I dined alone for the first time.
OK, OK so I go to coffee shops alone all the time to do work, but technically that doesn't count because I'm working.
The photographs were for a specific reason as I was writing an article for Around Town Magazine. I didn't go alone just to stare at beef brisket like a weirdo.

I also paid a visit (with a person this time) to The Smoke House in Pontacanna. I'd been to the preview evening some months before, but not had the time to get back there. So, while the weather was a face-melting 35C, we decided "Hey, why don't we go and stuff our faces with 10lbs of meat and beans? This is the best idea we've ever had!" The food was great but the idea not so much. We also walked there and back because I deem owning a car far to responsible and grown-up. Glutton for punishment much?
 
During the visit to Pontcanna I managed to squeeze in a photo session at the Fat Pig Deli, and explore the rest of Pontcanna for more blog content. I don't go over to that side of the city often so it was a treat to 'discover' what they have over there. It got me thinking about ways I can incorporate Pontcanna more into the blog, although I still haven't quite figured that out yet!

Back in Roath, I paid a visit Tea and Cake for some new photographs for the magazine article. Again, I decided walking straight from the city centre to the deli was a really good idea in the heat and greeted them with one big sweaty mess. I got some pictures for the magazine article and had a catch-up with owner Phil and tried his new drink concoction - Grandma's Garden. Yep. I'll leave it at that.

I decided to head down to the coast for a few blogging opportunities. Tenby was the first place I thought of and of course being at the seaside meant getting some fish and chips. The name of the place escapes me now, but we did have some food at the Pembrokeshire Pie Company before the journey home. I also photographed The Tenby Deli and we made off with some ginger beer and lavender chocolate from NomNom.

Swansea Bay was another place I was keen to explore. I had a meeting there one morning and decided to make the most of the day. I headed to The Mumbles where I managed to inadvertently (by standing quietly at the bus stop) and simultaneously gain both a tour guide and groupies. I live in a place that is 80% students. So people being friendly and helpful was a strange and frightening experience. After my self-appointed tour guide drew me (despite me explaining I had GPS on my phone) directions to LangLand's beach, I went to find a place to eat. I needed air-con and wifi so LangLand's brassiere it was. The walk back up to the bus stop was a true test of my fitness levels and toughness. I determined I was city tough and not beach tough.

I paid a visit to a couple of deli's to get some content for the blog. Chai deli was one of the best I've ever seen and was a dream to photograph. Olives and Oils was small but charming and the staff were very friendly. That was the end of my seaside escapades for the day and went home.

It's not all deli's and BBQ though. I had some articles to finish up for some websites and get my pictures edited and sent off to Around Town Magazine. I also worked at some food festivals with A Taste of Persia. The Cardiff International Food & Drink Festival was a sun burnt success and so busy I had no time to take any pictures. The Big Cheese in Caerphilly was a change of pace (and weather) and a more relaxed festival, which gave me the opportunity to chat with some of my favourite vendors, such as  Blaenafon Cheese and Nibble Nose.

I spend lots of time going through all the pictures that I've taken and start the process of editing them.
There are a few places I need to email to get some quotes for some blog posts. One thing I notice when dealing with companies a little further away is that they take forever to reply to an email. And that's if they even reply. That means I have some great pictures for some empty looking posts.

That doesn't deter me though, and I spend time coming up with ideas for more content for the next few months and mapping out ideas for photo shoots, recipes and ideas to further the blog. 

So that was the month of July. I have a couple more things in the pipeline that I can't reveal just yet, but if all goes well, I hope to share the news with you soon!








2 comments:

  1. Blimey! You've had some serious foodie adventures lately. And I need to know where these places are to eat in Pontcanna. I always thought chapter was the only good place to eat down my neck of the woods.
    Han. Xxxxxx

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  2. Indeed. This month is less adventures and lots of deadlines though :( but I do have a trip to Glasgow planned. The annoying thing about working with businesses in Tenby etc, is they don't seem to like the idea of bloggers or free publicity. Or responding to emails. Shame really. I have some great pictures of The Tenby Deli to share. xxx

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