I was in Cardiff last night visiting Den (presently working there) for the night. We went to the castle and did a tour of the Millenium Stadium both of which were good and excellent value for money. To eat we decided to go to the Cardiff Bay area and eventually found ourselves at Mermaid Quay. This is yet another of these new renovations of a former dock area that are all starting to blend into one another for me. They all look the same and provide the same type of experience – has imagination been lost? After a bit of debate about what to eat we eventually settled on Terra Nova. The setting was OK and the manic layout with lots of small rooms was quaint. The service though was definately poor. The staff managed to pitch their level of disinterest just below “offsensive” but slightly beyond “disinterested”. The only expception was the waiter who actually brought the food to the table, but everyone I had contact with up to that point fell into the earlier category. Having only the lowest level bar open (without any signs to indicate this was the case on the many other bars located throughout the place) was annoying as it meant the upper 2 levels had to walk down to get drinks or order food. Apparently they only open the other bars at the weekend, which would be fine if they just had signs telling people new to the area this was the case. If the restaurant were located in a residential area and catered for locals that would be one thing, but in the midst of an area designed to attract tourists it’s just not acceptable in the current climate. I would certainly advise people to give it a miss!
On a brighter note the railway system excelled in their service for this journey. The trains left on time, were actually clean (shock!) and their staff helpful – polite even! I’d much rather use public transport for this sort of journey as driving isn’t what it used to be. Spending they day avoiding queues, speed cameras while driving somewhere new isn’t as much fun as it sounds. The train journey was very relaxing and cost almost the same as the petrol would have done.