Restaurants and cafés in Wales are finally able to open indoors and we thoroughly enjoyed our first meal indoors at the M&S Café in Culverhouse Cross yesterday.

I’ve always viewed the M&S Café as somewhere to go for coffee and cakes rather than a meal, and as we aren’t coffee drinkers and rarely leave the house before five, it’s not somewhere we’d immediately associate as a dining venue, but – and this by no means should be undersold as a reason to visit – everyone is raving about their new Globe gin and I needed to add to my growing collection!

We thought we’d pop in for a meal while we were there shopping – and we weren’t disappointed, with a fresh menu, plenty of choice and unexpectedly reasonable prices.

I would also like to mention the staff, who gave a very warm welcome, nothing was too much trouble and they were discreetly cleaning and sanitising throughout the visit, the tables were very well spaced, there were plenty of perspex screens too and we felt safe here.

The menu offered a bit of everything, from fresh bacon rolls to soups, salads and jacket potatoes, and most of the main courses were priced at under £6.00 – portions are not huge, but they are reasonable and the food was very filling, it’s the kind of place you can have a meal and still have room for a reasonably priced indulgent slice of cake.  For two of us, the bill was under £20.00.

When I saw they were offering fresh stonebaked pizzas I was hooked, and at a very reasonable £5.50 to eat in, and very delicious too, this was a welcome change to the multiple visits to takeaway chains, and far more filling.

My husband ordered the spinach and mushroom frittata – and I have to say, on tasting it I was suffering with a bit of mild food envy, my pizza was delicious but the frittata was next level!

This is, I guess, simple everyday food and of course the Café won’t be chasing any michelin stars, but when compared to fast food and other supermarket and coffee chain offerings, the standards at M & S are noticeably higher in everything from the standards of cleanliness and well spaced layout to the food itself.  Cheaper than the coffee chains, and a better variety of healthier, tastier, more filling food, it ticked every box for us.  It’s a far cry from the soggy sandwich and overcooked fry up seen in so many supermarket venues these days.  We loved it.

To sum up our visit, yesterday we drove to Culverhouse Cross to buy M&S gin and stopped to enjoy a meal.  Next time, we’ll be heading to the Café to enjoy a meal and picking up some shopping as we head through.  Three words: we’ll be back!