Hello & Welcome

to the August issue of the BAY magazine

Firstly, I would like to thank each and every one of you that took the time to email, write and call me to say how happy you were to see your copy of Bay, hit the doormat. I shared all your messages with our contributors and advertisers, so that they too could see just how much we have been missed. To be honest, it made me quite emotional.

Right, back to business! I hope you are all beginning to get back to the new normal. We at Bay have been adjusting to life after lock-down by venturing a little further afield, and slightly expanding our circle of contacts albeit very cautiously.

Last month I asked you to get in touch if you wanted to give someone a special mention for something that they did for you during the lockdown, and I had a letter from The Friends of the City of Swansea Botanical Complex (FCSBC) who asked me to tell you how they were rescued during the lockdown when their regular plant sales were curtailed.

“FCSBC would like to give their huge thanks and appreciation to W. Davies Ironmongers in Eversley Road, Sketty, and One Stop Shop for selling our plants on our behalf over the past months during the COVID-19 Lockdown. Our thanks must also go to the Swansea Council gardeners who have watered and cared for all our plants during our long absence. 

    “The Friends had JUST taken delivery of the new stock of plants, shrubs and trees at the Botanical Gardens in Singleton Park only to have the Gardens and their plant shop, as with everywhere else, closed to both the public and the volunteers. The Botanical Gardens has now re-opened but unfortunately, because of COVID-19 safety concerns, the shop will not be in a position to re-open to the public for the time being. 

    “Volunteers continued their great work during the lockdown and the public will now be able to see the results. A new children’s play area, additional wood carvings of hedgehogs, foxes and rabbits, more plant identification labelling and refurbishment of more park benches. Work on the new entrance gates will also start within the next few weeks now that Eifion the blacksmith is able to purchase steel”

We dithered a bit when deciding whether to go ahead with Nick Smith’s To the Ends of the Earth article. With international travel very much curtailed, we wondered if it was right to tell you about his trip to the Galapagos Islands, but since it is such an amazing story, we felt it was worthwhile.

My restaurant reviews have had to take on a different slant of late, as no restaurants were open for anything except take away. But as of this month we can once again arrange to go out for dinner, and for a while we can get up to £10 off our meals, courtesy of the Government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme. It’s available Monday to Wednesday throughout August – at the time of going to press there wasn’t much information available on participating restaurants, save for the big chains, so I tried to contact as many independents as I could to see if they were joining in with the scheme. So far, I can tell you that the New Gower Hotel, Bishopston, The River House in SA1, El Fuego Victoria Road SA1, The Pant-y-Gwydr, Oxford Street, Gigi Gao’s Favourite Authentic Chinese in the marina, Truffle Restaurant in King Edward Road, Brynmill, Commercial Inn, Killay, Brynymor, Uplands, Pub on the pond, Singleton Park, are all taking part. There will surely be many more – it’s probably best to check out their websites or social media pages to find out more. The Big Heart of Swansea Facebook page was working on a list when we went to press, so that would be a good starting point.

We have another fab recipe from the Graffeg book Flavours of Wales, The Seaweed Cookbook. This one is a smoked haddock dish topped with a laverbread Welsh rarebit. Fulke Andel’s recipe for courgettes is a winner too – courgette and feta fritters. You might have noticed that I make his recipes most months, generally because it is impossible to find a picture suitable in our image banks. It’s not a hardship because they are usually fairly simple but mainly because they are delicious. This one was particularly good – I love the saltiness of feta and often use it crumbled on top of salads.

This month’s walk will be a favourite to many of you. The views are spectacular and well worth the bit of a climb in places. Apart from the café at the start, watering holes are a bit thin on the ground so a picnic or a flask of coffee is well worth packing.

Have a lovely month of August and we’ll see you in September.