Now, I've eaten here a couple of times, but never had the chance to stay overnight before. It's pretty close to home, but who says an escape has to be a long journey? A retreat on your doorstep can be a really valuable concept. And so, the Village. The part of me that lives close by wonders why the hotel is just off the motorway, and just off the dual carriageway that forms my main route into the city centre. But then the sensible part of me remembers that hotels are located in places that are accessible for people who are travelling to them, and so the location is actually pretty much spot on. It's a couple of miles out of the centre of Cardiff, which means it's not going to fill up with party-goers running up and down the corridors all night looking for their friends (and I've stayed in enough of those kind of hotels over the years), though it is a popular wedding venue, so it can get quite busy with groups over the weekend.
We checked in on Friday lunchtime, and found plenty of parking space - always a good sign, and something of a rarity for city hotels, another bonus of being outside the city centre. The hotel is pretty popular for business conferences and training events too, and they've clearly planned well with the large car park. Our room was ready for us, even though we were earlier than the advertised check in of 3pm, and I was worryingly excited about the fact that we were staying in the "adults only" Upper Deck - the second (and top) floor of the hotel, with upgraded rooms, sky movies, a Starbucks hospitality tray, and lots of little touches to make this a real treat. We don't get a night away from Squeaky all that often, so it was great to be just ourselves. The room appeared newly decorated in a subtle modern style, and had everything you'd expect from a quality hotel - large flat-screen TV, plenty of seating space, hairdryer, an iron & ironing board, even an iPod dock, and a very special little welcome.
|What a welcome|
That sadly wasn't possible, for the best reason, of course. Dinner. Our dinner reservation in the Verve restaurant had me slightly confused because there seems to be some rebranding between Verve and Vinny and Vito's, and I can't quite tell which way it's going. Anyway, Verve is what our reservation said, so Verve it is. The menu was kept simple, but with loads of intense and varied flavours. With at least 4 vegetarian starters and main courses, there was a good choice, and I couldn't wait to get stuck in. I opted for the caramelised onion & feta tartlet to start with, and couldn't have picked better if I'd been in the kitchen. (At this point I have to apologise because I really couldn't take photos of Daddy's dinner across the table before he tucked in.)
|Caramelised onion and feta tartlet|
|Salmon fillet with mango, coriander and chilli salsa|
Disclosure: I was invited to be a guest at the hotel free of charge, and provided with a spa treatment and meal in the restaurant for the purposes of this review. I was not told what to write and all opinions are my own. Links are provided for convenience only, I am not a member of any affiliate scheme and will not receive reward for their use.