Earlier this month I turned 28 and Tom planned out a surprise activity. Although I really hate surprises, it actually brought back all the excitement of waiting to find out what you’ve got for your birthday.
So, after an early start (7am, no birthday lie in!), all was revealed – surfing lessons in the Gower!
Surfing on the Gower
The lesson was at Llangenith beach, about an hour and half away from Cardiff. Llangenith is a beautiful wide bay with plenty of waves for the pro surfers and complete beginners to do their thing.
Surfing is something I’ve always wanted to try, but have been a bit apprehensive about actually doing it.
We did a three hour beginners lesson, in a group of nine, which included wetsuits, surfboards and lots of great instruction. Our instructor was great, he went through the basics of safety, the board, and how to stand up with enough information to put me at ease, but without a lot of standing around.
I discovered that surfing is very handwork; I have a lot of bruises, swallowed a lot of seawater and didn’t manage to stand up on the board. It’s definitely not my hidden talent, but I enjoyed myself and am eager to give it another go soon!
No Sign Wine Bar, Swansea
After peeling ourselves out of the wetsuits, drying off and getting back to the car, we headed to Swansea for some lunch.
I graduated from Swansea University in 2013, and except for a brief visit for a Manic Street Preachers gig at Liberty Stadium, I haven’t been back since. We parked up at the bottom of Wind Street, and walked up to No Sign Wine Bar. It was almost surreal seeing the places that had completely changed, and some places (Revs, Walkabout!) that were exactly the same as they were.
No Sign Wine Bar is one of my favourite places in Swansea, it has a real cosy feel as you walk in, but it’s deceptively huge. I went for a mozzarella and tomato panini, while Tom had the biggest portion of fish and chips.
Casa Mexicana, Zetland Road
To wrap up the birthday celebrations, I’d organised a meal with a few close friends at Casa Mexicana on Zetland Road.
Casa Mexicana hands down do the best nachos I’ve had in Bristol. It’s a very generous heap of tortilla chips, with mixed cheese, refried beans, salsa, guacamole and sour cream piled up on top. The regular nachos are £5.50, and you can add jalapeños and chorizo or spicy beef for just 45p more.
If you only order one thing at Casa Mexican, order the nachos (but also order everything else because it’s all incredible).
I then had the enchiladas (£12.95) – corn tortillas rolled up and stuffed with tender shredded beef (you can also choose chicken or vegetable), in a dark bitter nut molé sauce and served with rice and beans.
All round, everyone enjoyed their food, and it’s a great relaxed and friendly place for a group meal.
Casa Mexicana, 29 – 31 Zetland Rd, Bristol BS6 7AH.