All posts by The Ladies

The Ladies Who Lunch have many years experience in the kitchens and dining rooms of Ceredigion. They hope you like what you read.

Wetherspoons Mexican Monday

Some people are sniffy about Wetherspoons – not us.
We particularly like the Steak Tuesday and Fish Fridays, and the nephew and I have enjoyed plenty of their breakfasts.

Wetherpoons recently  added “Mexican Monday” to its daily themes.
Sadly, this isn’t a day when your local branch is run by sexually promiscuous border-hopping illegal immigrants – unless you’re in the Lincoln branch, of course.
They have simply cut the prices of their limited Mexican food offerings on a Monday.

Bethan is a fan of all things Mexican AND saving money, so this sounded just our sort of thing.
Plus, we thought supporting Mexican culture would annoy Donald Trump.
Andalay! Andalay!

Continue reading Wetherspoons Mexican Monday

Making Your Own Easy Pizza With Bread Machine

Everyone likes pizza.
I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like pizza.
Aber has the world-class Baravain, the decent No.25, the excellent Pier, the rightly-maligned Domino’s  and, well, loads of places.
Don’t you ever find yourself noticing you could make it yourself for a fraction of the cost?
Doesn’t it hurt to be charged £1.50 for “extra pepperoni” that cost them about 20p?
Supermarket ones are better priced, and although Morrisons do excellent toppings, those hard bases are hard work.
With hungry nephews to feed, I decided to see if I can make good ones at home.
And I wasn’t afraid to cut a few corners either.

Continue reading Making Your Own Easy Pizza With Bread Machine

Welsh Government Shouldn’t Blow £300,000 on Another Report into The Aberystwyth-Carmarthen Railway

This is a hard blog to write, as I love railways, mid-Wales and economic regeneration.
It would be wonderful if Wales had a north-south rail link, and we could go to Cardiff without going east to Shrewsbury.
There used to be such a thing, but it was slow and under-used, and it closed in 1965.
In 2015, the Welsh Government spent £30,000 on a Scoping Document that looked at the feasibility of re-opening the line. It is an optimistic document, yet details the many problems re-opening the line would face before concluding at a wildly optimistic (and much quoted) total cost of £750million.

Based on this, the Welsh Government plans to spend £300,000 on a more detailed study.
£300,000 is a lot of money.
At the time of writing, parts of Llanidloes have no street lighting as the council can’t afford to repair them, and the A44 is Wales’ most dangerous road.
There are better ways to spend £300,000 than a further report into something that will never happen.
Continue reading Welsh Government Shouldn’t Blow £300,000 on Another Report into The Aberystwyth-Carmarthen Railway

Pizza at no25, Aberystwyth

Everyone’s a winner with pizza.
Customers can’t get enough of that bread and cheese – it’s a hit with kids, people on dates and drunks on their way home.
It’s good for restaurants too – pizza is tricky to do well at home, the mark-ups are phenomenal and punters are always on the look-out for a new angle.
So even though Aber has Baravin and the Pier offering great pizzas in attractive settings, and there’s Domino’s for masochists, you can’t blame Pizza at No25 for joining the fray.

Continue reading Pizza at no25, Aberystwyth

Mama Fay’s Caribbean Restaurant, Aberystwyth

After the closure of Irie’s, one might question the wisdom of another Caribbean restaurant opening in Aberystwyth.

But Mama Fay’s looks to be set for the long game, with a well-priced and interesting menu, enthusiastic staff  and a good location on Portland Street (site of the late and unlamented Nick’s).
The menu even looks (whisper it!) quite healthy!

Continue reading Mama Fay’s Caribbean Restaurant, Aberystwyth

Making Your Own Pastrami

After my first visit to New York over the summer, I came back determined to make a pastrami sandwich as close to this beauty from the Mile End Deli:
new-york-sandwichI wanted meat as soft and red as this, and enough to be able to load up my sandwiches that heavily.

And so, after plenty of research, and after Rob Rattray cut me a perfect piece of brisket, I ended up with this:
03-finished-pastrami-sandwichPretty close, and it tasted superb.
It takes a long time, and there’s a lot of steps, but each stage is pretty easy.

Here’s what we did. Continue reading Making Your Own Pastrami

Glen Marnoch 28 Year Old (Aldi)

With Christmas looming, Aldi have a big range of tempting wines & spirits.
Although their Islay Single Malt is a bargain at £18, I was very interested to see a 28 year old Speyside single malt for £39.99.

Now, I know it’s hard to use the word “bargain” next to a £40 bottle of own-brand Aldi whisky, but if there was a famous name attached to specifications like that you’d be paying over £100.

I was in Llandrindod Wells at the weekend, saw this, and I took the plunge.
Is it worth £40? Is it worth £100? Let’s see …

Continue reading Glen Marnoch 28 Year Old (Aldi)

Comedy Club, Aberystwyth Arts Centre

West Wales is a beautiful part of the world and has a food scene that punches above its weight
But where would we be without the Arts Centre at the University?
It’s our main venue for theatre, music and comedy, and manages to lure big name stars out west.

In addition to big comedy names like Jimmy Carr, the Arts Centre has been host to a monthly comedy night for the last two years.
It’s run by Little Wander, the company which manages (amongst other things) the Machynlleth Comedy Festival.
This gives the audience the chance to see three relatively unknown acts for the very reasonable price of £10.
Continue reading Comedy Club, Aberystwyth Arts Centre

Fusion King, Aberystwyth

A quick look at Fusion King’s menu shows a dizzying array of foods at incredible prices.
The restaurant is defiantly unfancy – so if you prefer thrills to frills it’s the place to go for Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Thai, Korean, Italian or Mongolian.
And if that all sounds a bit too foreign for you or your unadventurous partner, there’s always the Jacket Potato or Baguette of Shame.

Continue reading Fusion King, Aberystwyth

Making Pulled Pork with Meat from Rattray’s Butchers

We’ve had our ProQ smoker for two years now, and we’re delighted with it (review here).
Rainy weekends this summer have stopped us using it as much as we like, so when last weekend was sunny we took our chance and made pulled pork.

Americans make this with a cut called Boston Butt – a giant lump of pork shoulder with the bone still in – but these are very hard to get in the UK.
But the advantage of having an excellent local butcher like Rattrays is that you can ask them to make a joint how you’d like it.
Continue reading Making Pulled Pork with Meat from Rattray’s Butchers