Wednesday 29 August 2012

The Owl and the Pussycat, Laugharne

The Owl and the Pussycat, Laugharne

We visited Laugharne in the depth of winter – the third week of January to be precise, during a pretty cold spell. Actually, though, this particular bit of South Wales has a microclimate and compared with the rest of the UK, it was pretty warm and sunny. Okay, there were only a few hours of light, it was a bit muddy in places and you needed to wear boots and a winter coat. The sunshine was there though, and the glorious views we had over the estuary were heart-lifting.  These views of course were shared by Dylan Thomas, whose boat-house home is just a few yards from the holiday lodge in which we stayed and the Owl and the Pussycat Tearooms.
The Owl and the Pussycat is everything a creative café should be.  It serves delicious home-cooked food, usually sourced from local ingredients.  It provides a comfortable seating area as well as the normal café tables and chairs. Small craft items were on sale there when we visited. It was a also clearly used as a meeting point for people who had something to say – and in that sense it matched the Viennese coffee houses,  on which the project is to some extent modelled. It is licensed, so had it been there in Thomas’s day, he may well have visited. It is the sort of place in which I could sit and write.  
The Owl and the Pussycat was most welcoming during our winter break in Dylan Thomas country.  I’d like to welcome it into the Creative Café Project.     
Visit The Owl and the Pussycat Tearooms.        

Thursday 16 August 2012

Vintage Clothes and Time for Tea

I love vintage clothes. Having scoured the shops in Bury, Manchester and Chester for suitable summer dresses all I could find were ankle length sleeveless ones or skimpy cocktail pieces – neither of which were suitable for keeping cool and looking smart at work or for dressing up in a comfortable way on holiday. But when I went to a 1940s weekend on the East Lancs Railway I found two delightful little numbers at a vintage stall. They were almost vintage prices, too.  No more than third of what the chain stores wanted for their impractical showpieces.  And the two dresses – one green, one red    have been greatly admired.
So, when I found out that Time for Tea were holding a sale of vintage clothes and accessories, how could I resist?      
I wasn’t disappointed. There were lots of lovely things to savour. I bought a flapper-style beach dress in blue and white with a touch of red. Pity I probably won’t be able to wear it until next year.
The café was buzzing. It was good, too, to drink tea from a real china cup, poured out of a small teapot. They also supplied another pot of hot water and a jug of milk. All for no more than what you’d pay for a cardboard cup of something at one of the big chains.  And then there were the irresistible cakes and the friendliness of the other customers.  
The provider of the vintage clothes was J'ADORE VINTAGE CLOTHING who offer vintage clothes parties pop-up shops in your own home or a favourite coffee shop. They are recommended by Vogue.    
Events and services like these that make these indie cafés really show their worth. It’s what the Creative Café Project is all about.